I recently had a comment made to me by another artist who said she had visited an art exhibition many years ago where the realistic art was criticized yet she felt that the mainstream public enjoyed the realistic art as much as the abstract art. During my high school years in the 70's, my realistic drawings were also criticized by my art teacher, who ended up telling me that I would never get anywhere drawing the way that I did and that I should abstract my work. I was devastated at the time but remained true to my passion and have never looked back. I think now it was all the motivation that I needed-to pursue my love of nature the way that I see it and to portray the natural beauty with my own artistic expression. I don't see the world in an abstract way and therefore cannot translate it through to my art. How we see the world and then translate our thoughts and emotions through to our art is very personal and neither discipline should be criticized. My mantra has always been to follow your passion whatever it might be, regardless of trends and your art will flourish.