It seems like what the viewer and critic look for in art is evidence of intelligence. If a work seems to have been made by an intelligent individual, it is respected; if it seems dumb, it's not, almost regardless of subject matter, feat of effort, etc. It's like, the search for intelligent life in some ways.
here's Chelsea Food, possibly finished:
here's my onion painting, not very successful:
here's one of a few gesso studies I did: