There are many ways to approach and/or define the life and work of an artist. I choose to be an observer. Every aspect of the work has something to do with what is happening in the world, my life, the moment, etc.. No amount of data flow is too small or trivial to escape this hungry black hole. Everything gets pulled in, tossed around and used up.
This choice of observer is not one that I decided one day to make, it is just how I am wired. The ability to stand back and watch my own life unfold. Being in it and not in it at the same time.
Art history tells a different story. One of narrative combined with artistic technique and a whole lot of art speak that has nothing to do with being an artist, but a lot to do with being an academic.
Most art, even the highly stylized art of the early centuries (before abstraction became a thing), had a narrative well beyond what was acceptable for sharing.
In our modern technological world we may (today) be sharing too much. Giving away too many secrets. Allowing more than is necessary, of our personal journey to be exposed beyond the layers of paint.
Perhaps it is better to let the work speak for itself and keep our mouths shut. Perhaps when asked we should just have a "pat answer" that we carry around in our pockets. Pulling it out when we need it, allowing the true story to remain in the darkness, under the skin, buried deep down in that black hole, never to see the light of day.
and.... maybe not.
The observer in me tends to play round robin with all of this information, running it through it paces, up down and wrung out; Until there is nothing left to see or feel. As well, maybe this is when the true work begins, in that place where nothing is left, and the spark must be discovered all over again. Every time.