Two contracts in a row ended in disappointment, and I sat down and tallied up the facts. I am not an illustrator. Art directors do not like my work. To be fair, I don't like theirs, either. I do not like to work with people who never answer their emails and reserve the right to change their minds repeatedly. (All this and I don't get paid?) After a lifetime of wanting to be a children's book author and illustrator, I discovered that even if I could, by working hard for another ten years, somehow transform myself into a successful illustrator, it wouldn't be worth the price. I just can't go on wanting this any more.
As a painter you can move in any direction and explore any idea. You can do ten bad paintings, throw them out, then do one good painting and sell it. You can create a series of paintings around a theme, have an exhibition, show a few works in a mixed exhibition with other painters, change media, change subject matter and change your approach. You can paint on location and on vacation. Heck, you can take painting vacations. What's not to like about all that?
Yesterday these were rejected illustrations from the last two and a half years. Today I'm promoting them. Today they're ... drawings and paintings.