Some people, with a love of looking at and making beautiful things, simply cannot imagine making a career in any field but art. Buying a few gallons of paint and practicing furiously for a few years probably isn't the best way to start, though.
A bachelor's degree in fine and studio arts (this term encompasses virtually all visual arts) provides you with the theoretical knowledge that will make you a better artist and not just a more technically skilled one. Some subjects studied in this regard are anatomy, art history and criticism, composition and perspective, and color theory.
At the same time, you can learn the practical techniques required in making art from experts in various media. Most art degrees offer courses in painting, drawing, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, and numerous other art forms including digital multimedia.
It would be impossible to master all of these during the span of a bachelor's degree, so all university programs allow students to specialize. You will generally have to take several different introductory courses to expand your artistic range and frame of reference, however. Studying in fine arts hubs like New York, Paris, London, Berlin, and any of several Italian cities will have the same effect as long as you make use of their cultural resources.
Finally, skills artists and people in the field often require but don't necessarily understand the need to study are offered. These include art conservation, managing a studio or gallery, and marketing a portfolio.