Creative Connections - Part 3

I’m glad you’re here to spark your creativity! For the last two issues of our ArtSpeak blog we have been exploring our creative connections—finding our best creative selves. If you missed the first two parts of the Creative Connections series, just click the following link and you can catch up!

Creative Connections - Passion and Flow

In this issue let’s talk about the last two words: FOCUS and RISK. The word focus may seem to be at odds with the word PLAY discussed in issue one. I like to think it’s about balance. Balance and harmony are principles we try to achieve in our creative endeavors. 

Play without some discipline or “focus” will not support your creativity when it hits a bump! Play becomes open-ended. To get past the bump we need skills in problem solving—creating is a process of solving challenges.



This great piece of string art reminds me of focusing the lens of a camera—the same way you want to focus on steps to solve those creative challenges. What are you creating? Does it have color, texture, smell, sound? Have you focused in on these? Have you identified the ways to express these?

 Artist and author, Nita Leland, says it well in “The Creative Artist”—“When you combine playfulness and a spirit of adventure with discipline and self-control, you experience the true joy of being a creative person.”

Somewhere I read a very apt expression for our word “risk”.


Creating is all about taking a risk. Somewhere in our growing up, we became introduced to fears we did not have as a young child. The fear of failure, making mistakes, being judged, being different—and more. These are all the enemy! One simple criticism can sometimes cause the shutdown of a fragile creative mind .

Creative people must step OUTSIDE their comfort zone. It takes courage and developing a bit of a “thick skin” to think and act creatively. We do not learn if we do not make mistakes. I’m not convinced that there are really failures because we learn something when things don’t go as planned. This “failure” may lead to an even greater creation. If you don’t begin-take a risk, then you are stuck and so is your creativity!!

To be creative you must live creatively. Take on challenges that are new to you. FOCUS your PLAYful ideas and take the RISK. Solve the challenges by getting into the FLOW and letting your PASSIONS shine in your creative work.


Enjoy the video below that goes through my journal work described in the first blog.  Remember:  EACH PAGE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A WORK OF ART AND YOU HAVE ONLY ABOUT 30 MINUTES TO DO BOTH THE LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE OF THE JOURNAL PAGES FOR EACH WORD!!!  HAVE FUN.

We will be off on a new adventure and subject in our next blog.  Do you have any subjects you want to see in the blog or comments? Contact Mary at: Stay in touch with Kingart by signing up for emails and connecting on social media.



This is a must have for watermedia artists!  As you can see there are three divisions in the basin.  Notice the large section with the ribbed bottom—a great help in removing paint from brushes.  Brushes should be gently “swished” back and forth across these ribs, wiped on a cloth or paper towel and the process repeated if necessary.  Often it will take just a quick swish, wipe and pick up another color.   Depending on the depth of the water, excess water may remain on the ferrule and/or handle of the brush.  Be sure to wipe off the excess water so that it does not run down the brush and dilute your paint or leave excess water on the surface.

There are two other sections to grab some clean water if needed or to further clean the brush.  There are four “slanted holders” on the divided side.  This is a place you might rest a brush for a short period of time.  Properly placed the tips of brushes will not be damaged.  Brushes should not be left in water for extended periods of time!

If you have been painting plein air or are just leaving class, empty and pop on the lid then stow your empty but still wet basin without worry of the rest of your supplies getting wet.

Remember if the water gets too dirty, empty the basin and refill.  Dried paint will collect on the sides, top, inside and anywhere you can imagine.  From time to time you may want to soak the basin with some soap, dishwasher soap works well.  Give it a scrub with a stiff brush and it’s like new.  Tooth brush works great!



READ:  “Art and Fear” by David and Ted Orland.  Focuses on the struggles that all artists have and the “why” behind creating art.

“The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it for Life” by Twyla Tharp.  Addresses roadblocks to creativity and how to overcome them.

CHECK OUT:  The Sketchbook Project—based in Brooklyn, NY  --  organizes global collaborative art projects from the sketchbooks of 36,154 artists’ sketchbooks from 135+ countries.


Blog editor: Mary McCullah

Mary works from her own photo references painting primarily in acrylic and watercolor. She has been painting for over 40 years dedicating over 25 years to teaching and designing educational material. Having lived across the country, Mary and her husband now reside in North Augusta, SC where she divides her art time with her horse time! Want to know more about Mary:

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