I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
(From Tennyson"s Ulysses)
I've often felt this was a pertinent passage to being a painter. It feels almost heroically futile to pin down what reality is or even means; having said that, being aware of the mechanics of it (whatever it is) in some way and seeing one's own practice in relation to whatever emerges from that particular reverie is useful I'm sure. You return to the struggle of making the work though, and any state of understanding doesn't equate to a successful execution of this understanding - in my experience, and others too which I have read on this site. It takes time and considerable efforts and through this slog, an unforeseen acknowledgement emerges - you can point at it, but will (should) struggle to articulate it. It's a realisation rather than a reality - always in flux.