“A Thousand Reasons (and more) for JOY”
12 x 12in oil on museum quality panel

In case you missed it when I said this before…

Isn’t it amazing how good giving into joy FEELS?

What delight to simply fall back, with complete abandon, into what we know for certain holds only good.  It doesn’t require deep thought, soul searching or weighing of things.

It is simply an open invitation to something that feeds our soul.


Bare feet in new spring grass.
First sip of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.
Hot shower on a tired body.
Summer rain.
Clean sheets.
Pure. Maple. Syrup.
Sunrise on the water.
A glass of red at an old Italian vineyard.

The scene in the painting above was one of those giving into JOY moments for me.    So much to experience and feel.  All those thousands of pink petals—spending themselves in a brief burst of blooming before falling to the ground—what an exuberant message nature sends us!!

I decided to give into the JOY –to take a ride, pedaling through the petals, powering through the pink, panting from the sheer JOY of it all!!  

It felt like the tree, the blossoms AND the bike were were all in agreement.  It’s time to.Take our foot off the brake, spend what we have, and create a blaze of glory that shines some JOY for everyone to experience.  

At any given nano second of time, there are a thousand reasons (and more) for JOY.

Places and moments that invite us to shed our responsible, adult armor and be a kid again.  To jump into that puddle of water, tuck a flower behind our ear and smile at a stranger for no good reason—to simply JUST GIVE IN to joy.

FYI:  JOY is out there looking for you today.  Hunting you down as it were.  You may as well go ahead and give yourself up, turn yourself in.  RUNNING IS USELESS.
It knows where you live and is not going to go away:-)



This post was originally published on 03/04/2014.
I am immersed in a BIG project that needs my full attention and thought it was a good time to rerun some of the most read posts on this blog.
Keep sending those good thoughts and love my way—they are helping me so much to infuse my best on what I am working on!!!




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  • Lisa Gibson - June 30, 2015 - 10:40 am

    Dreama, I know you’re probably too busy to read this right now, but wanted to tell you how much your outlook resonates with mine. LOVE this post, your joy and enthusiasm is SO delightful and contagious! Glad I found your blog.ReplyCancel

"Eddie Goes Hollywood"  Artist Dreama Tolle Perry

“Eddie Goes Hollywood”
The original of handsome Ed is long gone, HOWEVER, it’s available as a print—just click here!


I thought it was worth repeating…

In my absentia Eddie has offered up his writing services to do a guest post on this blog and has assured me that his article is well researched and will be of great use to artists everywhere.

I have my doubts.
However, I’m busy working on a BIG project and my back is a bit up against the wall.
I need a blog post and Ed was willing to write.
God help us all.

Without further ado, here’s Ed, unplugged.


How Not to Make a Painting

1.  Tell yourself it takes a special something to paint and even though you have no idea what that something is, it’s a known fact that you don’t have it.

2.  Tell folks you’re not creative—-that talent does NOT run in your family.

3.  Don’t make any room in your home for an easel or paints.

4.  Avoid art classes/workshops like the plague.

5.  Remind yourself how expensive art supplies are and that it would be a dirty shame to waste $$$ on them ESPECIALLY since it’s a know fact you have no talent (see No. 1)

6.  If you have a studio or place to work procrastinate on going in there.

7.  Promise yourself that tomorrow you will begin…then don’t. Make other plans.

8.  Really important to be extremely critical of your choices when you paint—-subject matter, color choices, and brushwork are all up for grabs.

9.  Second guessing is an excellent tool for getting yourself into the uncertain/ I don’t know/ I should quit now because I don’t know what I’m doing mode.

10. Don’t paint the same or similar subject matter twice in a row. Keep tackling new things each and every time insures  you have a giant learning curve ahead of you on each painting.

11. Don’t complete a painting. Ever.

12. Keep unfinished “disasters” right on hand within easy eye shot to remind you of how bad you REALLY are—-never destroy those puppies!

13. Enter art competitions regularly and believe how unworthy your work is when you get the rejection slip.

14. Be VERY miserly with the amount of paint you put out. It’s especially helpful to do this and let it set a few days before using it.. This way it will be virtually impossible to make that million dollar stroke with a nickel’s worth of paint.

15. Start projects so big and complex that you probably can’t complete it in your lifetime—-it helps to work on something so long that you are actually sick of looking at it.

16. When working, play music that gets on your nerves.

17. Make your painting area as uncomfortable as possible. Dead plants, lots of clutter so you can’t move, and a poorly lit room are great starters! (I’m sure you can think of more—-just let your imagination run wild here!)

18. Spend LOTS OF TIME ruminating about what all you are lacking to make great art. Education, time, family support, talent, steady hands, 20/20 vision, money, etc.

19. Fervently believe no one will EVER want or buy your art.

20. Work with inferior supplies as often as you are able. Old stiff brushes and bad surfaces are guaranteed painting killers.

21. Paint subjects that you don’t really care for.

22. Don’t paint things you love, see what everyone else is painting and paint that instead.

23. This is one of my personal favorites. Affirmations! Place some around your work area.

Here are a few to get you started:
I Can’t Do This!
I Dare to Imagine the Worst
When Life Gives You Lemons, Remember—-They Are Probably Full of Chemicals.
I make the wrong choice every time
I embrace the habit of criticizing myself
It’s NEVER to early to give up on my dreams

24. FEAR EVERYTHING. Risk is your enemy

You don’t have to do all of these. Just pick a few and rinse, wash, repeat.  
In no time at all you too will not be making a painting!!!

Remember the world needs LESS art and it surely doesn’t need yours.

(Can’t you just feel how empowering that statement is?? Affirmations really do work!)

Guest Contributor
Eddie Bill the Cat

A note from Dreama:  Please note that Ed’s opinion does not necessarily represent the opinions or views of myself (or anyone else for that matter).

If you actually want to paint, just do the opposite of Ed’s list
and you will be well on your way:-)


This post was originally published on 11/03/2014.
I am immersed in another BIG project that needs my full attention and thought it was a good time to rerun some of the most read posts on this blog.
Keep sending those good thoughts and love my way—they are helping me so much to infuse my best on what I am working on!!!




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  • June - June 26, 2015 - 6:28 am

    Oh….that adorable and adorably cheeky Eddie Bill…the artiste extraordinaire. I loved his musings the first time ’round, and today, in major need of a good chuckle, this was the perfect remedy for my bout of da blues.

    Thanks Eddie Bill, for all your…emmm…good advice, suggestions and tips…and thanks Dreama, for reminding me that smiles and giggles are so very important in this life.

    Hugs to you from across the Atlantic.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Darling - June 26, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    Love this! #10 and #15 hit the nail on the head. I was LOL!ReplyCancel

"Walking on Sunshine"  Colorful Art and Inspirational Writings by Artist Dreama Tolle Perry

“Walking on Sunshine”
9 x 12in oil on museum quality panel



When you are totally AWARE of the beauty that surrounds you it DOES feel like you are walking on sunshine. It’s pretty easy to feel that in France:-)



Somethings are worth repeating….

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.15.15 PM

I think you need to hear this.

In fact, I am pretty darn sure you do.
How do I know this?  Because you are  human  and come equipped with dreams.
And dreams take time–more time than it seems like we may have.

As you know, along with those dreams,  there’s also a whole dance of life happening too. One that includes things like grocery shopping, house cleaning, volunteering, homework, car pools and the like—all  that have been assigned to you in addition to the big dreams.   When you realize you aren’t getting it all done (dreams and reality)….well, it’s easy to become convinced that you are somehow missing some genetic coding for wonder woman (or man) or something.

This comes up frequently in conversation.  Folks feeling like they may just be flawed because they aren’t getting it all done.
People often ask me of me how I get so much done (especially with the likes of Eddie dogging me all day).
I do, like you, have a full plate.  My days are full of things like painting, writing, blogging, taking photos, working online, Facebook, Pinterest, answering emails, paying bills, workshop planning, teaching, ordering supplies, etc.  And that’s only the art side of life.  I actually do have a personal life and family and doctors appointments and great nieces having birthday parties and trips to the vet for fur bearing peeps.

Word on the street has it that I work non-stop.
Never sleeping.
Probably not even taking time to go to the bathroom or eat (which could actually work now that I think about it.  Not doing one could cancel out the other until….hmmm, food for thought 😉 )
How do I do it???  How do I do it all??

Today’s text question from my sis Rhonda actually got me thinking on this.
Yes, the same Rhonda who texted me while I was in Florida in January with an invitation of “bite me”.
(We are now back on speaking terms, btw).

After a long hiatus, Rhonda is in the midst of getting her singing, songwriting self back in the game.  She has big plans.



She is running into the same dilemma that plagues all of us—to plow away at our passion OR waste precious time putting on clothes and make-up  😉



I know.
What did we do before the days of texting  :-)?

Seriously, you can place anything in that guilt question.  Any list of things left undone–fixing supper, cleaning house, making sure we have thoughtful birthday presents for family members, getting cards out for holidays, taking the dog for a long walk, having clothes that are ironed, etc, etc.  All the things that are normal and that we assume everyone around us is doing.  The idea that we can be like June Cleaver and answer our door at a moment’s notice and offer someone a slice of freshly baked peach pie while seating them in our immaculate kitchen (while simultaneously showing them our latest paintings and new best selling book hot off the presses).

Hear me now.



Not when you are pursuing your passion full speed ahead.  It is simply and profoundly not how it works.  You are not going to do it all.  You will live in a messy house, have clothes that you picked up off the floor, inspected for cat hair, and then donned to run out the door at the last minute for an appointment that you have known about for months and then get there just in the nick of time.  You will have long lists of things you are going to do that will eventually become lists of things that you didn’t do—they will have been pre-empted by your life of passion doing and pursuing the thing you love.

Which brings me to the next text from Sis Rhonda:


You must prioritize.

Which loosely interpreted means….a heck of a whole lot of things ARE NOT GOING TO GET DONE.

There are enough hours in the day for your dreams.
There are enough hours in the day for a perfect house and hair free clothing.
There are not enough hours in the days for dreams AND perfect homes and hair free clothing–
ESPECIALLY when you are  getting your dreams out of your head and into real action.

I  remember a conversation I had with my daughter Desiree about 4 years ago.




I was lamenting to her on the phone how EVERYTHING in my house and life was pressing in around me.  Stuffed, cluttered, undone, needing attention and there was still so much I needed to do for my art.  She pointed out (thank goodness) that J.K. Rowling was rumored to have said that she “lived in complete rubbish” while writing the first Harry Potter book.  It was how the work got done and what mattered was this….

And the rest of it didn’t really matter so much after all.

It never goes away (that worried little voice that says you should have had the perfect meringue on that pie if only you had remember to work with chilled beaters (or whatever), the one that chides you for not planning ahead to have the carpet cleaned and furniture de-haired because the family get together is at YOUR house this year.)
I wish I could tell you otherwise but I would be lying.

I can tell you this though.

Every time you pick yourself and choose your dreams, you are doing what you were born to do and the universe smiles back at you.

And you’ll find that your family arrives with their own sticky roller for pet hair removal and something gets spilled on the carpet that didn’t get cleaned—AND THEN YOU GET IT….

The important things DID GET DONE
and that’s what REALLY matters!

On the way to living your life’s purpose, you have to get comfortable with the notion of leaving some things undone—that’s how it works.  You are not doing something wrong.  You are not stupid, lazy, ineffective, or making bad choices.  You are choosing to do the things that will matter in the end.

Anyone, anywhere, who ever achieved anything  left a long trail of things undone.

We just don’t talk about it.
We remember them for what they did, not what they didn’t…do.

Dying with your song still in you is not a choice.  Sing and let the rest fall away.

Love yourself.
Love the vision you have been given.
Love the fact that you can’t do it all:-)

And if all else fails….

Preferably in your PJ’s.


This post was originally published on 03/19/2014.
I am immersed in a BIG project that needs my full attention and thought it was a good time to rerun some of the most read posts on this blog.
Keep sending those good thoughts and love my way—they are helping me so much to infuse my best on what I am working on!!!




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  • Cheree Lueck - June 23, 2015 - 9:56 am

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for these words! I needed this inspiration to let go of my guilt of taking “me time” to paint while raising my young family and working, but letting my house go a stray. Your words and art bring me joy and comfort as I am starting back with my art again after 20 years away. I too was struck with your words of “dying with your song still in you”, I’m letting my song out in my dirty house!!!

  • June - June 23, 2015 - 10:36 am

    Ohhhhh….you’ve no idea how timely this post was to read and to take on board again.

    Reading this has cleared up and clarified and gently reminded me of the truly important things I need to focus on, and to stop stressing and worrying about all the other little things (that only I make worse and give too much power to by worrying and stressing over them), and then I find that yes, the universe does smile upon me – in lots of little ways – and I’ve become so very grateful for that.

    Thanks for sharing this one once more, Dreama. Sending you lots of love, hugs and positivity to accompany you on your path to your big project.ReplyCancel

  • Vikki Bouffard - June 23, 2015 - 12:55 pm

    Thanks, you’re pretty fabulous and SOOO inspirational. This post brought tears to my eyes at the end–dying with your song still in you–that’s not ok. Best with your new BIG project. Can’t wait to hear about it!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Mathison Schmidt - June 23, 2015 - 5:12 pm

    Love. This. POST! you ARE fabulous, and I’m so sorry I had to drop out of your July workshop. And I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m DYING to know all about the “BIG project” !! Wishing you great success, whatever it is!
    p.s. I recognize that “stacked house” in Natchitoches that you painted in your journal from the June 18 post. I love that house. I have about 300 photos of it. I love your sketch of it. And all your art. :)ReplyCancel

Watercolor Journal Excerpt - Colorful Paintings and Inspired Writings by Artist Dreama Tolle Perry

Natchitoches, LA – Dreama’s Watercolor Journal Excerpt


In case you missed it when I said this before….

Two Questions

1. If no one ever saw anything you created, would you still create?

2. Are you letting your heart have what it really, really wants?

Believe it or not, the answers for these two questions are very connected.

The first question was posed to me many years ago and at the time it was very disquieting to me. The exact question was, ‘If no one ever saw any painting you ever did…would you still paint?’ and although that person was confident of their own answer, I was silent on the matter.

I didn’t know.
What I did know at the time was that I wasn’t separating out the creating part from the response of the mighty “they” in my life. In other words—it was one big ball of making a painting, entering it into a competition, hanging it in a show, being sensitive to what someone else’s reaction to it was. The actual doing of it (and how I felt when I was doing it) was buried underneath all the things that came afterwards. I was so vulnerable about the outcome of what I was creating that I allowed it to back flow into the process itself and impose its sense of carefulness. Careful not to take a chance. Careful not to risk too much. Careful not to listen too close to my own voice.

Carefulness has no place in the imagination OR in creating.

What was lost to me during those years was the uninhibited, go for broke, seize the moment, paint the day away for tomorrow we may die kind of thinking that opens the creative door wide.
How would it change what any of us are doing if we behaved as though whatever thing we created today would be swept away tomorrow before another soul laid eyes on it?

Would we perhaps bring more undiluted JOY to our work, a sense of freedom, a non-judgement frame of mind to whatever it is that we are called to do? Can our true work come forth if it’s done for the purpose of how others will perceive it?

Food for thought.

Which brings me to the second question of letting your heart have what it really, really wants.

If we change how we handle the first question by saying YES, it opens an immense door of possibility.

Yes, if no one ever saw anything I created, I would still create.

If it really didn’t matter, if the real JOY comes in the actual creating—not in its wake—then why oh why would we withhold our heart’s desires??

We wouldn’t of course. We would let our heart have at it! We would trust that it knew best. We would not be racing ahead in our mind to what someone else would think about our choices. If we decided that we wanted to start working in crayola crayons and doing it on brown paper bags we would not be sweating over how archival is it, will people buy something done on a grocery bag, or what will the all important powers that be have to say about us.

And that, as you might have guessed, is ONE very important place to arrive.
The place of letting your creative heart run wild.

Crazy with inspiration, grandeur, and possibility. Because no one (in theory) would ever see it, we are free to be us in our art!

“I feel assured I should write from the mere fondness and yearning I have for the 
even if my night’s labours should be burnt every morning

and no eye ever shine on them.”

John Keats in a letter to R. Woodhouse Oct. 17, 1818

It’s good to do a self check on occasion.
Checking in to see why we are doing what we are doing.

Asking ourselves if what we are creating today were to disappear by dawn’s early light, would we do it the same or would we do it differently. Are we holding back or are we leaning into the fire?

I’m not saying I am there. My paintings? Yes. They feel more like me than they ever have. I have JOY every time I paint. That is Truth.

My writing? Still scares me sometimes.
The what if’s and what will they thinks tend to sit next to me, trying to make eye contact that would intimidate me from even the words I would write to you now.

If I live my life carefully, weighing my creativity against an unknown future critic, I forgo living a fully expressed life.

Seeing it here in writing makes it seem pretty simple.

Create like there is no tomorrow.
Live to your heart’s highest expectations.

Give your heart what it really, really wants.


Note: The above piece (catch those  twinkling watercolors glittering in the sunlight– they always make me feel like a kid!) was done on the banks of the Cane River in a little town called Natchitoches.  The movie Steel Magnolias was filmed there.



This post was originally published on 04/04/2014.
I am immersed in a BIG project that needs my full attention and thought it was a good time to rerun some of the most read posts on this blog.
Keep sending those good thoughts and love my way—they are helping me so much to infuse my best on what I am working on!!!




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  • Susan Bennett Galassi - June 19, 2015 - 12:44 pm

    Thank you Dreama for writing this. I too often think about painting to satisfy others. I am that person who needs to let that go and paint for ME! That alone will help me to paint what I enjoy and finally be fulfilled. You are wise and beautiful in thought and I thank you for sharing that with us all.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Roberts - June 19, 2015 - 1:58 pm

    Dreama, I am a jewelry artist at a little gallery just on the outskirts of Kansas City, MO. This question is one I have been deliberating over for the last week. I was told a week ago on Thursday I have only 4 – 5 months to live. What should I do with this time? I won’t be putting anything else in the gallery. But do I still want to make jewelry? To what end? Who for? Your post today clearly answered my question. I’m going to do it, because it brings me joy. I’m going to go to the big local nursery just to smell the fragrance of the flowers. I’m going to do all the things that fill my heart with bliss.

    I love your work, Dreama. Many times the color palette that you used became the inspiration for a piece of my work. Keep painting and writing and reposting. Your post today, changed my life.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Yoder Strong - June 19, 2015 - 4:23 pm

    Perfectly stated! Well done.ReplyCancel

  • Don Melissa Jander - June 19, 2015 - 5:35 pm

    Thank you, Dreama, I needed to hear this today. Thank you for for following your heart’s desire!ReplyCancel

  • Silver Hamlin Geras - June 19, 2015 - 9:29 pm

    I would keep creating, my mind works constantly and I have to release it some how. I do what my heart wants and enjoys. An ex-friend once said to me, wow I didn’t think you would stick with that for long…I looked at her and said I am an artist and creative person I follow my heart. She looked at me not doing something anymore as a failure, quitter, I looked at it as NEXT what can I do now, I love working with my hands and pray I can till I am no more.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Gibson - June 20, 2015 - 12:39 am

    LOVE this post, it’s a “keeper” for sure to refer back to when I lose my way. Thank you so much, I realize it’s an “old” one, but new to me and the timing is perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Joyce Corns - June 21, 2015 - 8:36 am

    Just yesterday I decided to do a painting for me. It was from a photo of a beautiful spot on a trip I made to England. Since it would not be sold I did it to simply please myself and the love for myself in it shows. Yes, I would create even if no one ever saw it. This is definitely a keeper to re-read when I find myself painting to please others. Thank you for this reminder Dreama.ReplyCancel

  • Nadia Louderback Fine Art - June 21, 2015 - 10:37 am

    I am sharing this article and saving it to read over and over. Aside from your beautiful art you have a gift for inspiring and communicating. Thank you Dreama and good luck with your new venture. Can’t wait to hear about it :)ReplyCancel