I'm not a painter so I can only suppose but I would imagine that you sometimes have an inspriration that suggests a new way for you to deal with a particular problem - but the creation of resolving the problem still requires hard work, either mentally or physically.
This is a perfect observation. It is people's innovative solutions to problem solving in painting (ex: how to represent a couch, lace, a lock of hair, a concept, a texture, a pattern) that makes the painting interesting.
However, it is not an easy or fun path for the creative painter. You are constently having to invent, balance, resolve, decide. For less creative painters they already know the way - they have a fixed routine.