A wonderful friend, Jolene, noticed that I used the phrase "play with my paint" To me that is the natural process of making art. We so often call it a "work" of art. When art becomes WORK for me, then I may no longer make art.
As in all of life, your vocation should be something that feels like "play" rather than drudgery (work). This does not mean that you can't be intense about the art. I doesn't mean that you can't be focused strongly. It means that it should be a joy and something that you "don't want to stop."
Watch children playing (or if you can remember your own childhood, as I can) and notice that they are very focused, intent and in the moment. The act of play is all they know and all that matters. The ordinary rules are suspended (unless mom yells "I TOLD you not to play ___ in the house!") The child has stepped out of ordinary time into that magical realm where time changes and hours seem like minutes. The adults say "look at them in their own little world." BUT that world is large, sometimes larger than the world those adults inhabit. This is where I go when I paint. My child returns and I am freed from the bonds of reality and my inner world comes out in paint and collage. It is an imperfect rendition, true. It is also more real than the desk I sit at 8 hours a day in my "real" job.
Let the children play. Those children that you have repressed and oppressed in your "grown-up" body, let them out to play. You are an artist.