I'd challenge you to re-think what you consider 'successful' to be.
When i first started college, I thought success meant making a bucket load of money and retiring at 40. If that's your definition of success, then your chances of being successful as a painter are similar to that of football players who want to make it to the NFL, or musicians who want to become famous.
I now understand success to be doing things in life that make me happy. So if that's your definition of success, and you're not overly focussed on making millions and retiring at 40, absolutely - painting can help you maintain a successful life if that's your passion!
Hope this helps!