Creative Connections: Passion and Flow

Our “ART SPEAK” blog has been discussing creativity. Creativity can mean to arrange old into new forms, give birth to a new realism, or a new way of thinking, acting, and behaving.  Our Creative Connections series is delving into creativity through the five words: play, passion, flow, focus, and risk.  We have talked about play (see last blog) so let’s talk about PASSION AND FLOW and how they can affect your creativity.

The PASSION you have for creating shows in your art work.  It engages the viewer as it reveals part of YOU.  It often takes courage and self-confidence to share your passion in your art because you’re exposing some inner part of you! 

Sometimes we are not in touch with our inner self and don’t even realize it.  One way to touch base with yourself is to return to basics.  Try making a collage of all the things you are passionate about (likes or dislikes):  meaningful places, colors, foods, books, etc.  Just take a poster board or a piece of foam core and use a vast array of items from magazine cutouts to photos to art papers, to markers to yarn to found objects—whatever!  As your life grows and evolves, add to your collage.

Ideas born through this collage may spark a creative theme for your artwork. You will be surprised at everything you are passionate about and gain confidence to share these passions in your art.  As renowned wildlife artist, Robert Bateman, observes:  “Art is an extension of your life.  It’s all one unit.  Your experiences in getting where you are give your work its richness.”

The word FLOW creates a visual image and feelings unique to each of us.

As part of the recent LLUERNIA festival of light and fire in Catalonia, collaborators David Oliva and Anna Junca created this spectacular flow of lava using common fortune teller origami figures.  Over 10,000 folded pieces of paper were needed to create the work that was illuminated from underneath and further brought to life with smoke machines.  Titled simply “Origami Lava”, this piece was affixed to an abandoned building in Olot, a town surrounded by dormant volcanoes. (From Feedspot Today by Christopher Jobs)

What a marvelous image of flow!   You have heard the expression, “in the flow”.  When you are there, time passes without your realization, your creative project moves forward with ease and the outside world is far away.  It’s an exciting place to be!

It’s not always easy to find this place—“in the flow”.  It takes some practice to stop our “auto scan” minds.  The voices of criticism, the invasion of life’s problems, a closed mind, a lack of self-confidence, fear of failure or judgment, negativity to mention a few. 

Each creative person seeks ways to quiet these interfering thoughts.  Maybe it’s yoga or running or visualization or learning to center yourself.  For me, it’s Tai Chi and riding my horse.  Practiced on a regular basis, it becomes easier to slip into “the flow”. So if we combine our words, PASSION + FLOW, it fits author Eric Maisel’s description in his book “Fearless Creating”.


As with our first word PLAY, use your journal to exercise left and right brain expressions for passion and flow using words and visual images.  (Check back to the first blog)

(Creative Connections copyright by Mary McCullah)

What are your thoughts on creativity? What is it?  How do YOU stay creative?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  We can share them on social media. Contact me: AND stay in touch with us by subscribing to emails.


Featuring the Kingart Mixed Media Pad with 98lb paper

Product Review by artist Martha Fox

  • Shrink wrapping protects the clean graphic cover and edges of the pages. Other expensive drawing pads I’ve purchased did not have this protection, so I appreciate this feature!
  • Perforated pages and large spiral binding make it easy to flip and remove pages
  • Paper is heavy, acid free, and feels like a quality product. It wears well under erasing, layering and blending.
  • Graphite and ink: great sketching paper for graphite. I would use it for a finished drawing. Works well with ink too!
  • Colored pencil: I like that the paper is strong enough to withstand a heavy handed application of colored pencil and use of blending tools.
  • Pastel pencil: I was pleased with how well the paper gripped the pastel pencils.  I thought there might be a lot of pastel drift with a non-sanded paper BUT that wasn’t the case.  The Kingart pad worked great for sketching and preliminary drawings.
  • Watercolor pencil: It actually performed fairly well with watercolor pencils as long as too much water was not used.
  • I would recommend this product!

“I have been drawing all my life taking private art classes for years when young followed by two years in art school.  I really started more concentrated work in art after I retired in 2012.  I now work in acrylics, colored pencils and pastels.”  Marth Fox, Aiken, SC


Painting entitled “Trio”



Two websites sites to browse for information and opportunity:

Read—“Fearless Creating” by Eric Maisel & "The Creative Artist" by Nita Leland

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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