A performer giving a painter a note (7)
I believe the answer is:
'a performer' is the definition.
(an artiste is a performer or entertainer)
'giving a painter a note' is the wordplay.
'giving' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'a painter' becomes 'artist' (painter is an example).
'a note' becomes 'e' (musical note).
'artist' next to 'e' is 'ARTISTE'.
(Other definitions for artiste that I've seen before include "Entertainer, singer or dancer" , "A sitter for a performer" , "Trouper" , "Theatre performer" , "Professional performer" .)