A tripod is the single best investment most fine art photographers could make. A tripod is cheap, versatile, low-tech, and easy to use. A tripod makes photography in challenging light easy, and provides a whole repertoire of options for photographing motion. Better yet, a tripod provides precise control over the composition of a photograph, allowing the photographer to carefully inspect and correct their composition before exposing. Properly used, a tripod could improve 80% of most fine art photographers' photos.
So why do so many photographers hand-hold their cameras?
Probably because hand-holding the camera is an easier, more spontaneous way to make a photograph. Hand-holding your camera let you explore compositions without being restricted by a heavy tripod. Freely moving the camera is especially important when photographing, a dense, detailed subject, where the best composition is not obvious and must be found through the lens.
My "best of both worlds" solution is to use a tripod with a quick-release attachment on the head. This lets me roughly find a composition through the lens by hand-holding, and quickly snap my camera onto my tripod when I'm ready to make the photograph. It also helps to have a tripod with quick-release legs. A tripod that is easy to use will see more use, and your photos will improve as a result.
This image I took in my friend's wine cellar without any studio lightening. So tripod was only way to make some picture. In general, on my road trips I don't like to carry it with me, but to be on the safe side it is always in the car.