To take paint, brush, and canvas and make something beautiful... in a sense, creating something from nothing. That's what I do. And it fills me with a quiet sense of pride and satisfaction like nothing else. In that way, I guess there is a bit of magic in my art (there's certainly no "magic" in the process of creating it). The feeling is addictive and at the end of the day, when I step back from the easel to assess what I've accomplished, it's that beaming sensation of fulfilment I'm hoping for... and it doesn't happen every time.
I know I'm not alone. Many people who work with their hands realize similar sensations. There is a moment during critical self-appraisal when an involuntary smile can't be suppressed and one realizes they've met or surpasses all expectations. The quest for that happiness each day soon turns into weeks and then months of work to be proud of. A lifetime of such realizing such self-imposed high standards leaves behind a legacy forged on the achievement's of one's own determination.
I had one of those moments today. It was a good way to start the new year. "Blackwater Marsh" is 10x8 (acrylic).