Why Paint Realistically?

I've been heard compliment like "It's almost like a photo!" "Does the cat bite?  It looks like it gonna jump out of the painting."

I know people are trying to be nice sometimes. But I have to ask myself why I should bother to try to depict the real world faithfully, when mostly, a camera does a better job of depicting the real world, than I can do? 

Photography is an art medium in its own right. Art has many mediums. As of any other medium, it has it's only distinctive  character that is hard to set apart.  It's the new fashion of art, which I feel greatly lucky living in the new age.  However, we do still need realistic art even though it's the digital age and photography is widely available.

To me, Digital art is a sketchbook with unlimited pages and a big range of colors and textures.  A painting, a good painting, is edited by the painter's mind. I do work from reference photos and they are of great help. But I try not to be restrained by it. I love to play with composition, the light and shadow, and the air that is circulating through my subjects. Every single minute playing with these elements is delightful and exciting.  The turn-out is the summary of my personal journey through out the process. If the viewer echoes what I see and what I feel, it will sing!

Art and images of the world are not a necessity for survival. However, they are important. They are one of the things that makes us human. We have the ability to appreciate the world as is and we are trying to approach to our limit to bring out the natural beauty faithfully.   
Painting what we see will change how we look at the world. That's something no camera can teach a person. 

"Silent Hours of Night"  14x20" Pastel on Paper