One of the things I love best about writing flash fiction is the ability to play around with characters you probably couldn't build a short story or novel around. And while most flashers will tell you that description is one of the things you shove to the curb when writing flash, I use flash to learn how to incorporate good visual description into a story. With flash I've learned how to keep it short and sharp without turning it all purpley, something I tend to do. If you go overboard with flash, you learn very fast where to cut out the excess to stay within your word count.
For "The Painter" all I had was the picture of a small man sitting in the woods painting. I wrote a short piece and everyone in my critique group said, yeah, they liked the painter but why was the girl there? Back to the drawing board. After playing around with the piece for a couple of weeks, I found I had a nice little piece of horror. With thanks to Dave Barber you can find "The Painter" as part of The Flash Fiction Offensive's Halloween special.