Realism is a craft skill. It can be done picture perfect and utterly lacking in soul. Just as an abstract can have so much soul that even the grunts are moved, without anyone being able to say what it is. Art is when you put soul into something, anything. Whether it's photorealistic, or a machine, or a garden, a dress, a ball of yarn or a child, when you stretch beyond craft into feeling, it's art. There's a very famous and successful artist in my area. He uses acrylics and paints from photographs. Mostly sky scenes with lightning or aurora at night, northern forests and lakes and such. People buy it a lot. He puts them up for charity draws too.
His work is draftsman perfect in every way. It misses no beat, follows all the rules of color, composition, line and mood. Even so, it's flat. Dead. I hate his work. It has no life. It's a factory work. Like those couch paintings done in factories color coded to fit with your decor. There's no soul.
A still life like yours at the top of this thread has more life than a rendered moose in a lake simply because you put your love into it.
that's what makes it art. Anyone can learn to be a craftsman, but artists can do art even without craft.
Using HP touchsmart tx2 1020ao tablet laptop with stylus and multitouch screen. I love being able to draw right onto my computer! Now if Art Rage had a "fingerpaint" mode I'd really be playing!