I think very few artists can keep on creating without any sort of reflection in a broader perspective. You can say that art is materialized thoughts and emotions. As a channel it can have its discharge in manifestation as piece of art for example. Even if you not in every occasion have clear intention or are aware what your creating for the moment. In most cases you understand what have done first afterwards. It can be some thought or spiritual being who want to make itself heard in the mind of the artist. There are profound meanings that artists can be medium for the spiritual world. I think painting is related a lot to poetry, to be touched by metaphorical expression in different mediums to boost someones psychic or soul experience. It can trigger archetypical energy in some way to make people experience a wider range of themselves. Another case is that art can truly set one individual to a trip in the mind of the beholder. Art is to distill a quality of life in a painting and to express such vision in a certain way.