Dreama Tolle Perry » Artist and Writer

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Paint Provence ONLINE with Dreama. Learn More> http://dreamatolleperry.com

“Playful Light of France” 
12 x 9in oil on museum quality panel

Talk about the $64 question!  For painters, that question tops the list of things most often wondered about.  How to know when a particular stroke is THE last one and the painting is perfect!  When do you stop, drop the brush and walk away??

Let me introduce you to the “just one more thing” painting approach.  Stop laughing…I know I am not the only one to have fallen victim to this belief 😉
You know it well.  Belief that one perfect stroke will carry us to the magical pinnacle of the perfect painting.   Only problem is the stroke doesn’t become the last stroke but more akin to the opening of Pandora’s box.  
(And even if you don’t remember the details, you know that particular story didn’t end so well.)

We are not the first to have pondered the big question:


Art is never finished, only abandoned. ~Leonardo da Vinci

*A painting is never finished, it simply stops in interesting places. ~Paul Gardner

A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished.  ~Rembrandt


Obviously, opinions on this vary widely.
At the risk of giving you one more thing to think about, I’ve decided to place my 2 cents worth squarely on the table.
And I should probably tell you straight up that it doesn’t involve a methodical approach of technical calculations.
Remember who you’re talking to 😉

I was prompted by a comment that someone had left on a FB post of mine, “I like that you know when to stop on a painting”. Which got me to thinking about how do I decide when a painting is done.  Known for my looser, painterly pieces you should know I have not always painted that way. Leaving mystery and unfinished business as part of a completed work is more “me” than how I used to paint.

Before I get to the “how I decide when to stop on a painting” part, I need to take you back to an earlier epiphany.  We will call it….


Most of what has gotten me in trouble on a painting is trying to get it “just right”.  Which is code for “perfect”.  Not liking the idea of being a perfectionist, I have other words to justify my “need” to do one more thing.  The obvious problem with this is that perfection doesn’t exist in a painting.

Not really.
And especially not how we define it.

Which means that the harder one works at it, the more elusive it becomes.

You might be surprised why. It seems simple.  We’ve narrowed down the problem.  It’s that one little thing.  We’ll just tweak it and then we’re done.
Easy peasy, right?

when the tweak is made we find that a new problem has now reared its head.  Just a wee one.  So we “fix” it.  Except, except…now there’s something else that seems a little off.  And on and on it goes until we realize we “lost” the painting about 200 strokes ago and now feel the urge to trash said painting.

We all need a T-shirt that says
“The Perfect Painting: Been there, ruined that”

There actually is a reason for this for this widespread phenomenon.  (I know…isn’t that the best news you’ve heard in awhile??)  We aren’t crazy after all!  It  really does keep needing ‘just one more thing’ and the reason is…

Everything in the painting is connected.  
One thing can’t be tweaked or adjusted without it impacting the rest of the painting.

Our paintings are just like a room full of people, each time someone new enters or exits the room, the group shifts a bit. Conversations change, new topics are broached.

When one stroke is added, one value adjusted, one little thing changed..well, you get the picture.  It’s akin to nailing Jello to a tree.  The desire for perfection, like the carrot on the end of the stick, has no happy ending when it comes to painting. Each decision is merely a transition to the next decision.  Which brings us back to the question of when is a painting finished.  Obviously not “when everything is perfect”. (* per Garnder’s quote above, paintings aren’t ever really finished, they simply stop in interesting places.) 

Obviously, there are things we see that need adjusting or correcting in a painting as it nears completion but the conversation here is specifically targeted on stopping on a painting while it still feels fresh, still retains the vibrancy and liveliness that you had in at the beginning.

Perfection isn’t the answer for ‘when is the painting finished’.  Each change made in a painting creates a new painting with new choices so perfection is a target that is ever moving and changing.
Sometimes in our searching for answers though one question leads to an even deeper one.
This one definitely does…

Why are we so bent on getting it perfect?

The conversation in my next post!

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this  🙂

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  • Nancy Shewchuk - May 23, 2017 - 7:43 pm

    I know! Perfection…my opinion is that a painting should look like a painting and not a photograph. If you want your painting as perfect as a photograph – take a picture and skip the painting! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Wedemeyer - May 23, 2017 - 2:01 pm

    At this exact moment, I am struggling with this very issue. My husband, being a very detailed guy due to a life time of analyzing details, wants it all spelled out. He is intuitive and has a good artistic sense, and I value his critiques and inputs. However, I am always reluctant to go the whole distance. I go for bigger, bolder strokes with the edges blurring…allowing the eye to complete the message. However, I’m never sure when that last stroke is made!! It usually happens when I’m beginning to loose interest! That’s a sure hint for me. I want that t-shirt!!ReplyCancel

  • Vonnie - May 23, 2017 - 1:48 pm

    This in a wonderful post, Dreama! I think it is the best explanation I’ve ever read on when a painting is finished! Such a difficult question to answer, and your response is right on. We’ve all been there, done that, so we all relate to your post, and it’s so good to have it in writing, right under our noses, so we can reread it when tempted with “just one more stroke”. You are a terrific teacher, we’re so lucky to have you sharing your heart and experience with us so freely. We appreciate you immensely!👩🏻‍🎨💕ReplyCancel

  • Jan Jensen - May 23, 2017 - 9:07 am

    I have a larger work right now that I plan to work on once again. I am telling myself that I have to be ok with the fact that no matter what I do to it it will not be the same painting!ReplyCancel

  • Vivian Sathre - May 23, 2017 - 9:02 am

    Haha. I call this the Dominos Effect. And we–or at least I–want to get it perfect because that’s what we were taught in art for the first 18 years of life. Strive for perfection: Color inside the lines. Straighten the side of the building. Grass is green. Etc.ReplyCancel

  • Pat macri - May 23, 2017 - 7:30 am

    Interesting because I have been there and still am…..maybe it has to do with confidence in ones ability. I tend to stop a painting when I am stuck or don’t know what to do next. When time passes and I finally go back to that painting with more confidence I mess it up..this is what is happening now. I am now not going back to old paintings. They were the lesson of that time. Right now I have a painting started last year in the dreama way. I want to say it’s done because I am giving it as a gift. I know it is not…some might say my background is too bright or my edges are too sharp..those are the only things I question. But as you said I don’t want to put a stroke that will make everything off….because on the whole of it …I like it….but it is the other person that makes me doubt…interesting…huh? Maybe writing this down will give me the confidence to say…that’s a wrap😉ReplyCancel

  • Judy Giannettino - May 23, 2017 - 6:24 am

    This post was meant for me! And I’m sure many, many more. When I think my painting is really good, I decide just this one tweet will make it better and, you guessed it, NOT! Thank you for your words of wisdom. Maybe this will sink in now!ReplyCancel

Fun Places to Stash Your Art Stuff / Paint With Dreama Online/ Learn more > http://dreamatollleperry.com


There is an art to traveling light.

‘Traveling is a fool’s paradise. We owe to our first journeys the discovery that place is nothing. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern Fact, the sad self, unrelenting identical that I fled from.’  ~Emerson

It pays to check your ‘luggage’ often..and as thoroughly as you possibly can 🙂

Like an old purse that can become heavy with forgotten items, we can become filled with stresses, fears and weariness that we’ve accumulated.   Things that we have thoughtlessly allowed to settle to the bottom of our bags.  Our hand-wringing, laying awake at night selves that Emerson spoke of.

In real life travel, I usually discover that I’ve packed way too much.  I overthink things and take lots of ‘just in case’ stuff.  Personally, as much as I hate to admit it, I think it’s a subconscious attempt to try and control life which of course just smacks of fear 😉 .  (Being spontaneous comes with a measure of risk so the ‘just take it all, including the kitchen sink AND then you will be safe’ mode kicks in 😉 )
Well, as any fool will tell you,  excess baggage ain’t no picnic.  You might be prepared for a tsunami but you’ll drown due to the sheer weight of your preparedness!

Unnecessary baggage impedes the ability to enjoy the present
which is all we ever have.


I’ve been observing myself of late.  With many things on my plate I have been actively choosing to not place extras (like worries) in my bag for the day.  I am finding an abundance of peace in this.  I mention it here to remind you and me that we do have a choice.  Like packing our suitcase for an around the world trip, we get to select what we are willing to travel with.  Granted, there are certain things in life that cannot be changed but there are many more things that can.  We get to pick what we will carry forward with us into life, into our day, and so important…into creative work.

We can’t do our best stuff when exhausted from carrying around overstuffed bags. One can only imagine how much of our JOY, our energy, our enthusiasm for life is swallowed up and lost to us.  And creativity! Don’t even get me started!

I want to free up those spaces in my bag for beauty.
For fun bits.
For laughter and peace.

And with all the space that is left, I want to flood it with lighter than air LOVE.

For the gift of this life.
For saying yes even when I’m scared.
For believing.
For trusting.
For traveling
into the light.

What do you think you are carrying with you that you might be able to discard?  Leaving room for the good stuff which weighs nothing at all?

It’s only natural to share.  I found a vintage train case, circa 1950’s, in a color I thought you’d like (it’s the same size/shape as mine that I use for my watercolors and shared in this post)!
Ready to fill with lovely, soulful things and to serve as a reminder to only pack the things you love!  Enter below:

Fun Places to Stash Your Art Stuff / Paint With Dreama Online/ Learn more > http://dreamatollleperry.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Linda Johnson - May 21, 2017 - 10:07 am

    You are absolutely right! We weigh ourselves down with heaviness of spirit and must learn the life lesson of letting go. Giving ourselves permission to just be! Be in the moment, Be authentic, Be transparent, Be intentional, Be purposeful! Once we learn to let go of our unrealistic expectations of ourselves, our life, our dreams or …………….(you name it) we can be truly free to exhibit our best creative self!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Johnson - May 18, 2017 - 10:52 am

    Thank you for the reminder to travel light…so blessed to have that choice…ReplyCancel

  • Anne Merrick - May 17, 2017 - 9:10 am

    I love your musings and insite. You get me to ponder life when I need to.ReplyCancel

  • Rhema Shepardson - May 17, 2017 - 12:44 am

    Great article Dreama! I have found daily journaling is a great place to dump the old and embrace the new! I am always amazed what comes to Light that I unintentionally picked up as I walked through my day!ReplyCancel

  • Nina Snyder - May 16, 2017 - 7:04 pm

    Such a great reminder to take stock of what we are carrying around each day. So easy to remember that choice plays a big role!ReplyCancel

  • Betsy Glass - May 16, 2017 - 2:52 pm

    What a lovely train case…would be perfect…..Thank you for your writing.ReplyCancel

  • Karina - May 16, 2017 - 2:34 pm

    I needed to hear this blog post today! In fact I wrote down several parts into my journal. There has been so much turmoil in the last few years that at times I can barely breathe! Trying to learn to step back and take a big breath and just be. It is freeing to let things go and to realize there is so much I can not controll..and that’s okay. Oh I also love the little carry on. Thank you for the opportunity to win it and for the encouragement!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Stierhoff - May 16, 2017 - 1:52 pm

    Just recovering from surgery and the world is going by too fast for me…don’t know how to be patient with recovery…live in the moment is what I take from your thoughts Dreama.ReplyCancel

  • Robin Flynn - May 16, 2017 - 1:18 pm

    If want to make room for abundance and JOYReplyCancel

  • Christine - May 16, 2017 - 11:12 am

    Sounds trite, but it isn’t….shedding pounds and expectations and both are making me feel lighter!ReplyCancel

  • JoAnne Jacobs - May 16, 2017 - 11:04 am

    Enjoy your commentaries. I’m trying to let go of all of the unnecessary things that we carry around. The case would be just perfect for all of life’s necessities.ReplyCancel

  • Marion Mercer - May 16, 2017 - 10:38 am

    Trying to weed out the old/unnecessary and focus on what’s really important in my life that brings joy. God, family, cherished friends, art, travel, great movies, children, our puppy, pretty things, sentimental things… all bring me joy!ReplyCancel

  • karen smith - May 16, 2017 - 10:28 am

    When I was a very young girl, I desperately wanted a train case like the ones that my friends had.. of course I had no money. My father told me how to take out a “loan” from one of his friends who happened to work for a bank. I had six weeks to pay back the loan without being charged interest. I did many chores to earn the money and just made it! I was so worried that I would have to pay that interest!! This train case brings back so many memories…I loved that thing!ReplyCancel

  • rebecca - May 16, 2017 - 10:14 am

    Simple fear. I’d like to rid myself of this rather sneaky fear that disguises itself and yet is still fear.ReplyCancel

  • Holly - May 16, 2017 - 9:53 am

    I desire to ‘pack up’ negative stressors that are out of my control. To hold dear and cling to what brings joy, creativity and gratitude to my life. So happy to have found you!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - May 16, 2017 - 9:01 am

    Love the train case and I’m leaving what other people think out of my bag. So funny that the baggage we carry that physically weighs nothing often weighs so heavy on our hearts. I’m leaving that out! Thanks Dreama!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - May 16, 2017 - 8:48 am

    Sharing beauty and having a purpose! This little vintage travel bag could be a great reminder to make your life contain both. I’d love to own it!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Stratton - May 16, 2017 - 8:39 am

    Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things that you’ve been l’ugging’ around for a long time. We form habits, but once we shed that burdensome weight, it’s so freeing & light. We worry about things that, frankly, we have no control over. I have found that my painting time takes me away from almost everything that weighs heavy and gives me the peace of mind that I need. Painting nourishes the soul, relaxes the mind, frees our imagination. That little carry-on piece ‘carries’ some magic inside of it …Go for the magic!ReplyCancel

  • Peggy Thibodeau - May 16, 2017 - 8:36 am

    It might help me to let go of hoping for people to be different.ReplyCancel

  • Irma - May 16, 2017 - 7:46 am

    Enjoyed your post. Will be packing for my trip to France in the fall with renewed determination to travel light.ReplyCancel

  • Pam - May 16, 2017 - 7:41 am

    Thank you for this timely reminder!ReplyCancel

  • debi - May 16, 2017 - 7:31 am

    Love this darling case. It is perfect for traveling with the things that bring you joy. I purchased some of the recommended items from Amazon & love the tropical water colors. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • M.J. valdes - May 16, 2017 - 7:07 am

    💕your posts both about life and art..ReplyCancel

  • Etta yeary - May 16, 2017 - 6:44 am

    This could not have come at a better time! It’s 6:30AM….. Just read this …….hoping to leave by 8:00AM for “Plein Air South” in Apalachicola, Fl .
    Dreama,Your words will definitely help me regroup on the luggage thing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Roberts - May 16, 2017 - 6:38 am

    Lately I have been worrying about having enough. But, I know that the world always gives me not only enough but abundance. So I’m ready to let go of that stinkin’ lackin’ thinkin’. And just be grateful for the abundance that surrounds me.

    Emersons quote reminds me of another. Where ever I go, there I am. I tried to run away from myself once and all I got for that was a lumpy mattress.ReplyCancel

  • Tacy Marsh - May 16, 2017 - 6:25 am

    I have been healing from a trauma that happened to me two years ago. Even though my life is different now, I want to look forward with gratitude for my life and all the new things God is doing in me instead of focusing on what I have lost.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - May 16, 2017 - 6:24 am

    I loved the timeliness of this article. It’s a great reminder to continually check the bigger suitcase of things we can’t control at the door.ReplyCancel


Watercolor Journaling with Dreama


Color for color’s sake.
Just because.
Wee palettes of color cakes.
Just because.

Tiny journals with tiny paintings in them.
Just because.

Watercolor Journaling with Dreama


‘Just because’ is short hand for things that can’t really be explained.   Like how we feel about the color turquoise (known to those in the Dreamette circles as Caribbean Blue 😉 )


Watercolor Journaling with Dreama

‘Just because’ comes to our defense when a dear friend unwittingly asks why we would need yet one more art thing.


Watercolor Journaling with Dreama


‘Just because’ has our backs when our mind starts to wander because it sees a label called PASTEL DREAMS.


Watercolor Journaling with Dreama


‘Just because’ is a knowing phrase passed between the lips of those who understand that there’s simply so many things that just can not be explained but are oh so needed to get us through one more day.

The earth laughs in ‘just becauses’ 🙂 !

Peacock tails.
Cat whiskers.
The scent of lavender…and roses!
Dew on the spider’s web.
The lone snowflake.
Dogs when they dream.
Dust particles in sunlight.

We are here to love and to be loved.

Just because 🙂


Watercolor Journaling with Dreama

With a grateful heart, I am preparing for some time in Tuscany.  On a mission to gather all that I possibly can to infuse into our next online painting adventure together, “Timeless Tuscany” 🙂    I’m taking my oils, my watercolors….and you in my heart!

Pack and Play Note:  I am loving my Richeson w/c brush set, shown in the pic above.  Multiple choices, short handles and a rigid carrier to keep brush tips in top condition! (I’ve added it and the Prima watercolor sets to my Amazon store affiliate link.)

Meanwhile,  I want you to have some watercolor fun!  Just because.
I am giving away 3 sets of the Prima Watercolors shown above…you can enter in the box below.
(Leave a comment, I’d love to know what you’d like to do ‘just because’!)

Note:  I may have purchased an extra vintage train case to give away..in my next post.  Just because.
You know you want one 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Scheria H Houston - May 23, 2017 - 9:37 am

    Love this”just because”. My just because is I love to paint with beautiful color.ReplyCancel

  • Lynette - May 16, 2017 - 8:31 pm

    I’m signing up for a chance to win this treat from you “Just because” i can!
    Seriously though.. I have found so much JOY in using your oil palette that I would love to have your watercolour palette too!! So that I can enjoy painting in watercolour – which is my first love.

  • Karina - May 16, 2017 - 2:43 pm

    Thank you for validating that its okay to “Just Because”. There need not be any other reason why passing by a certain little cottage down the road, watching swallows swoop, or seeing my grandmothers handwritten recipes makes me go all sqishy inside…it is Just Because!ReplyCancel

  • Pam - May 16, 2017 - 7:47 am

    Would love to be more disciplined in my journaling – just because it surprises me at what I can do and create and I am almost always excited with the end result!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - May 12, 2017 - 11:07 pm

    Just because the beauty of those lovely watercolors make me feel like a kid again!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Rene' Pennington - May 12, 2017 - 9:46 am

    I would love to have the discipline to sketch and watercolor In my journal every day. Your paintings brighten my world, as does painting here at home. I give it a good try. Dreama taught us not to whine about what we can’t do and about criticizing ourselves too much.ReplyCancel

  • Lynne Koliha - May 11, 2017 - 6:23 pm

    I would love to have the capacity to travel. Because, however, I do not, I must create my home-bound adventures. I have found various art classes of assistance in bringing forward a creativity I never suspected I posessed.

    Now, after working only in black, grey, sepia and white, I am readying myself to expand into colors.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - May 11, 2017 - 5:42 pm

    Dreaming of three days in the Smokey Mountains learning watercolor.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Maisonneuve - May 10, 2017 - 11:18 pm

    ….Life is great! And I beed to paint rainbowsReplyCancel

  • Pamela Johnson - May 10, 2017 - 8:21 pm

    just because…I’m grateful for the ability to see the beautiful colors and inspired by your lovely paintings and words…ReplyCancel

  • Julia Byrnes - May 10, 2017 - 4:13 pm

    Light candles in the evening, just because.ReplyCancel

  • Sally Wimberly - May 10, 2017 - 8:13 am

    Painting every day for the rest of my life (undisturbed)…..just becauseReplyCancel

  • Janel - May 10, 2017 - 7:15 am

    Watching the sunrise…just because☀️ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Flynn - May 10, 2017 - 1:01 am

    I would love to see all of these beautiful colors swirled together to see what magic is created! I especially love caribbean blue (aka Turquoise 😉 swirled with a burnt sienna. I am traveling to Provence in a month and plan to sketch little vignettes with watercolor every day! Having little cakes instead of tubes would be so divine!!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Sears - May 9, 2017 - 10:14 pm

    A day off from work that nobody know about just because I want to paint all day without any interruptions.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Hendricks - May 9, 2017 - 10:10 pm

    Love, love, love your art! Really want to be in on your next workshop!ReplyCancel

  • rejane eagleton - May 9, 2017 - 9:46 pm

    Last month I planted some daisies in front of the house.The name Daisy in Brazilian Portuguese is “Margarida”, which is the name of a close friend I had in my teens. I don’t know if I planted daisies in honor of my friend or because I miss those days where our worries were to study hard and have good grades. I’m not sure. Maybe I planted those daisies just because…ReplyCancel

  • rejane eagleton - May 9, 2017 - 9:35 pm

    I know the house needs sweeping and there are days I don’t even make my bed. The timing and the weather have been nice — to prepare the flower beds, to plant those bulbs I want to see transforming themselves in explosions of live colors. Yes, I want to be outside. Just because.ReplyCancel

  • Alanna Woodfin - May 9, 2017 - 9:07 pm

    Just because ….it is color…and colors whisper to my heart.
    Just because it is paintReplyCancel

  • Marion Mercer - May 9, 2017 - 8:46 pm

    Lift my face to a warm summer rain…just because.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Dunlap - May 9, 2017 - 8:24 pm

    I love taking art workshops these days. Nothing makes me happier!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Stratton - May 9, 2017 - 8:12 pm

    LINDA STRATTON – MAY 9, 2017
    Just because …Paint, brushes & canvas’ all bring us to another land! Always love how I feel when painting!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Hunter - May 9, 2017 - 8:11 pm

    Just because watercolor is my medium
    Just because God let me see the colors
    Just because at 76 I’m not going to stop
    painting, just because………ReplyCancel

  • Denyse Fenelon - May 9, 2017 - 7:11 pm

    getting up before dawn to be ready to paint the sun coming up on the Catalina Mountains… just becauseReplyCancel

  • Ginny N. - May 9, 2017 - 5:59 pm

    Just because my 18 year old cat and I will be moving out of state and painting (even not very well) will help relieve the stress for both of us! =^..^=ReplyCancel

  • Anne Presutti - May 9, 2017 - 4:54 pm


  • Mari - May 9, 2017 - 4:47 pm

    Enter to win a watercolor set…just because.ReplyCancel

  • Xavier Carrubba - May 9, 2017 - 3:38 pm

    The Joy of walking and working in my garden, taking in the fragrances of Spring and the beauty of color…”Just because”ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Englert - May 9, 2017 - 2:42 pm

    Hold my grandson Leo the entire time he takes a nap, enjoying his snuggles…just because.ReplyCancel

  • Ildy - May 9, 2017 - 2:35 pm

    just because I love watercolour
    just because I love sunshine in my hair
    just because I love my baby dog smell
    just because I love to live
    just because I love your posts ….

  • Dobbsie Koeman - May 9, 2017 - 1:42 pm

    Your website is an inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • sheryll maddox - May 9, 2017 - 1:32 pm

    Hold a newborn baby! Just because!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - May 9, 2017 - 1:24 pm

    Getting a massage…just because 🙂ReplyCancel

  • marguerite@logic.bm - May 9, 2017 - 12:29 pm

    Journal and paint with these delicious watercolors. Just because I love art!ReplyCancel

  • Marguerite Lovell - May 9, 2017 - 12:26 pm

    Love the colors. Love Dreama’s posts. Love to paint. Just because it feeds my soul.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - May 9, 2017 - 12:24 pm

    I would walk through French flower markets and smell the flowers…just because!ReplyCancel

    • Katie Richcreek - May 9, 2017 - 1:09 pm

      I would absolutely love to win the watercolor set. Just seeing how you paint little pictures I. Your journal is so inspiring and I want to do that too!!!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Tober - May 9, 2017 - 11:50 am

    I would love to go for a long walk, come home, pour me a tall glass of ice tea and relax the day away reading a good book! Just because life happens and I’ve had WAY too much of that to do this!ReplyCancel

  • Susan McManamen - May 9, 2017 - 11:48 am

    I like to sit on my deck and watch the wind play through my geraniums…just because. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LeAnn - May 9, 2017 - 11:26 am

    Just because….I was given the gift of life to live and live.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Grover - May 9, 2017 - 11:23 am

    Beautiful, luminous sunlight, just because….. Ohh, those lucious colors!ReplyCancel

  • Roxanne Current - May 9, 2017 - 11:07 am

    I walk around my yard taking in the fresh spring air and giving thanks for the amazing ‘new life’ that is blossoming everywhere….just because.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Dungan - May 9, 2017 - 10:17 am

    Walking barefoot on the beach…just because!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Johnson - May 9, 2017 - 10:12 am

    I like to rise to the sound of the birds and go for a swing in my hammock just because! Love to look at the sunlight and shadows under the leaves of the maple tree! It’s my happy place.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - May 9, 2017 - 10:04 am

    Just because….I love the colors in the palettes–perfect for painting in my journalReplyCancel

  • Debi Murray - May 9, 2017 - 9:52 am

    Order those water colors – especially the pastel ones – because they speak to my heart!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Monica Dahl - May 9, 2017 - 9:39 am

    just because we love all colors…ReplyCancel

  • Angela Alter - May 9, 2017 - 9:37 am

    I sit with a cup of tea amidst an armful of knitting patterns spread around me on the floor, dreaming of possibilities. … just because.ReplyCancel

  • David - May 9, 2017 - 9:31 am


  • Valerie Davies - May 9, 2017 - 9:28 am

    Just because i need perking up .ReplyCancel

  • Wendy Rogers - May 9, 2017 - 9:19 am

    Just because I love Dreama’s posts… <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - May 9, 2017 - 9:16 am

    I would like to take a cooking class – in Tuscany – just because!ReplyCancel

  • Andrée C - May 9, 2017 - 9:16 am

    Just Because…I love your tiny journals!…And I want “la persévérance” to continue mines everyday! Enmène-moi dans tes valises vers la Toscane, Dreama!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie May - May 9, 2017 - 8:56 am

    Purchasing another art journal because you like the feel of the paperReplyCancel

  • Mooneen Mourad - May 9, 2017 - 8:46 am

    I appreciate Dreama’s talent and personality.ReplyCancel

  • debi - May 9, 2017 - 8:18 am

    Really enjoy your rich colorful blog. TY.ReplyCancel

  • Christy Brink - May 9, 2017 - 8:15 am

    Just because the day dawns fresh and new with the cooing of mourning doves.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - May 9, 2017 - 8:12 am

    Just looking at these paints makes me happyReplyCancel

  • Jeanne - May 9, 2017 - 8:04 am

    ToTo nurture my subdued, insecure artist soul, to find my true self again just because…..ReplyCancel

  • Connie Conway - May 9, 2017 - 7:58 am

    Love your art.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Borch - May 9, 2017 - 7:51 am

    I run outside to see the rainbow and incredible light after the storm… just because!ReplyCancel

  • Etta Yeary - May 9, 2017 - 7:20 am

    Love your Watercolors ……… Love to journal, especially when traveling. It makes memories of the things that are most special to the traveler……..more meaning than a photo. I love seeing your journaling books, thanks for sharing.
    Would love to win these……if I do I’m on a quest to find that cute Samsonite train case! Antique booths here I come!!!! I still have my mothers Samsonite hat box with the hats. She wore to my brothers wedding and my wedding……ReplyCancel

  • Colleen Gilgenbach - May 9, 2017 - 7:10 am

    Just because I might win!
    Just because I want to.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Cook - May 9, 2017 - 7:08 am

    With so few sunny days here in New Hampshire this Spring, a cup of coffee on the back deck, soaking in the Sun, just because….ReplyCancel

  • Connie - May 9, 2017 - 6:56 am

    Taking a paint class. Just because!!ReplyCancel

  • Joan Creamer - May 9, 2017 - 6:35 am

    I never knew there was a name for “IT”. Trying to explain “IT” had me justifying until I would look silly. Thank you Dreama, you’ve helped me define “IT” in TWO WORDS! Besides you’re incredible talent, teaching and genius thought process, i can only say Thank You for sharing your life and heart with us! You are more than Just Because!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Harris - Harris Studios Inc - May 9, 2017 - 6:33 am

    I just love your work. For many years I painted primarily in watercolor and loved it… but about 10 years ago really started to explore oils and left my watercolors behind. I am ready to play again with new depth and life.ReplyCancel

  • Ghillie - May 9, 2017 - 6:28 am

    Cup of tea with my fat pug Cosmo snoring on my lap💙Just because it’s a great way that start the dayReplyCancel

  • Judy Jubien - May 9, 2017 - 6:16 am

    Just because…..I want watercolors too!ReplyCancel

  • Paul Rybarczyk - May 9, 2017 - 6:14 am

    because they’re cute!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - May 9, 2017 - 6:10 am

    Dark decadent chocolate! Just because!ReplyCancel



More inspiration and painting with Dreama at http://dreamatolleperry.com

I secretly think we are all on a quest.

Our curious heart, causing us to pause and examine with great delight the things that capture it. To touch and taste with no thought or measuring stick as to the importance or non importance of the doing.

It’s a state that creativity hangs out in. Even when creativity feels absent from us we know it’s a guise..it may be hiding…but gone?  Never!  Playing hide and seek with us, it asks us to become a kid again, full of what ifs and pretends and yearnings. Never to be regulated or pigeonholed, creativity is a rogue, rebel kid always wanting us to play full out.

It’s a part of ourselves that actually feels wonderful to say yes to!  I’ve been contemplating living… a measure less life. Thinking of more pausing and listening to that inner kid who has never owned a measuring stick. Looking at ways of getting to that measureless state of joy that I truly believe is ours….

…which leads me to sharing my newest acquisition with you…a vintage train case, circa 1950’s Samsonite.  And just as important, what I chose to place in it!

“Maybe it was the color.  Maybe it was the way I imagined it would feel in my grip.  Maybe it was the hopeless romantic in me… imagining myself all Audrey Hepburn style taking on Rome, Paris and beyond…”


Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

whatever the reason… I knew it had to be mine.

It’s at times like these that I know I am allowing happy in.  No justifying why I needed it or how it would be used.  (Seriously, who needs a 60+ year old suitcase with someone else’s initials monogrammed on the front “BLG”??)

Except that I am crazy over watercolors…their simplicity and beauty slay me.
Somehow these new ones found me…they look like boxes of eyeshadow.   Grouped in wonderful sets like Tropical and Pastel and Classic.  I haven’t even tried them out yet…I’m easing into this happy moment slow and easy!


And journals that I can both write and watercolor in. Like ice tea on a hot summer day…delightful and refreshing.

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

I have several I love, my favorite being the elusive Fabriano handmade journals that one can only find in  Italy (if you need a reason to go 😉 )  Another being the Nujabi journal which you can find online.  These precious things of course need a place that I can carry them all together…which brings us back to the quest, the train case and letting wonderment unfold with no need for measuring.

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

Perfect fit!

Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

The dictionary defines a quest as an act of seeking.  I have found that in my questing,  joy and wonder and awe are present.  Not defined answers (which would put an end to the quest) but an unfoldment. More passions, more delights, more things to wonder after.

I kind of like that.
In fact, I am in love with the quest and the measure less life.

Maybe the plan is to not have a plan—but to be purely present and alive and spontaneous.
So maybe I bought more of the new watercolors than I needed.  Who’s measuring???
(And maybe I might give one away in my next post!  You know you want one.)

Hope you are curious, hope you feel your creativity playing hide ‘n’ seek with you.
Enjoy the quest.

Measure less
Enjoy more



Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama Simply Watercolors, Simple Joy with Dreama

Back to Top…
  • Julie Mai - May 9, 2017 - 11:19 pm


    Bring (the) Love Girl!

    The perfect Acronym for your case.

    xoxo ps I bought pastels (lots) in Paris also in a nice case….not as cool as yours.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Stratton - May 9, 2017 - 8:07 pm

    Just because …Paint, brushes & canvas all bring us to another land! Always love how I feel when painting!ReplyCancel

  • Jewell West - May 9, 2017 - 8:00 am

    I have been hording two old Samsonite train cases for years. I loved them, but knew “others”, otherwise know as husband, would not understand why I’ve kept them. Thank you for opening the door to “acceptance” of my secret treasures.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Cook - May 5, 2017 - 12:52 pm


    I love your little carrying case and the story behind it. I find that all these years I have been measuring myself by the position I have (and trust me, it has not been an important one) and the duties I must accomplish, rather than who I am. I need to let that part of me that wants to play – to get out and play! Here’s hoping that your words will come to mind when that not so adventurous inner voice tells me I’m not good enough or I can’t play because I have chores to do and people to please.


  • Sally E Wimberly - May 2, 2017 - 10:34 pm

    Dearest Dreama, you have the greatest ideas and are very inspiring to me in every way! That pale turquoise train case is the cutest and perfect for toting paints! I told you in another post that I collect antique suitcases so I really love this one. When I started painting many years ago, it was watercolor that I chose as my first medium. Although I’m now painting more often in acrylic and pastel, watercolor is my first love, so please put my name in the hat for the possibility of receiving one of the precious sets! XXXOOReplyCancel

  • Laurel McBrine - May 2, 2017 - 9:52 pm

    My first love was watercolour too! Such cute paintboxes, love be the metal cases and how you have curated this with the travel case! Would love to try the pastel or classics, so pretty.ReplyCancel

  • Dreama - May 2, 2017 - 9:13 pm

    Love reading each of your comments! Next post I will be giving away some of the watercolors (for those of you who mentioned getting your name in the hat 🙂 AND who knows what else after than 😉


  • Barbara - May 2, 2017 - 4:25 pm

    Love the little watercolor sets! What kind are they?

    Also, as always, love your inspirational messages and the joy you radiate. 🙂


  • Beth McGale - May 2, 2017 - 2:16 pm

    Love the beautiful photos, this is art in itself. Always enjoy your writing as much as your art. Everything is so whimsical, how can it not make one happy… I so love watercolours, could you tell me what kind these are? I just love them and their delicious names.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Betker - May 2, 2017 - 12:44 pm

    Hi, Dreama! Love your little carrying case, reminds me of one my mother had and now I own……your sharing was just the sweetest reminder of her! And again how timely this whole measuring thing is for us! We need lots of daily reminders how to just be who we are, God’s creation, and stop trying to measure up to someone else…….and that’s exactly what’s needed for this moment.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - May 2, 2017 - 12:30 pm

    A train case filled with delicious watercolors is all I need for my next adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Martha Salz - May 2, 2017 - 11:06 am

    My mother has this very train case from her 1957 honeymoon. I just love how the watercolors fit like they were made for it or the other way around. I am an artist … but things, necessary but unpleasant are taking up all my time right now. I feel that pull everyday … “Just get back to the art” … But feel like I must wait for the other business to finish before I can create again. Like they can’t co-exist because one is dark and one is light. Maybe I am wrong? Thanks Dreama for including all of us in your essays, meeting us where we are.ReplyCancel

    • Dreama - May 2, 2017 - 9:10 pm

      I understand Martha. Sometimes getting something as simple as a new box of watercolors is good for the soul and where it is for the time being. It reminds you of who you are…even when you aren’t using it 🙂


  • Darlene - May 2, 2017 - 10:55 am

    I’m loving this post. Love the little palettes. I have saved a couple of train cases; however, they are not this beautiful color. I redid the inside with fabrics and now I am inspired to put my paints in them. I love watercolor. I bought the thinks that were in the very first posts. So cool. Everyone needs some sparkle for Joy.
    God Bless you all! Love DarleneReplyCancel

  • San Hicks - May 2, 2017 - 10:50 am

    Dreama, this is such a lovely post. Your words are like a warm, gentle breeze. You are a gifted teacher. I’m not sure if I found you to learn more about painting or for your wisdom … whichever, the timing is perfect and I am grateful. I will think/journal about ‘measureless’. The concept is intriguing and could be life changing for me. 💙 San
    PS. I’d love to try water colors, please include me in your giveaway.ReplyCancel

  • Linda B - May 2, 2017 - 9:56 am

    As of late I have been finding joy in painting various family items in a journal. These items belonged to my parents, some hand made including furniture. Items from my childhood and some of my favorite things. I’ve written about the items, told brief family stories among the pages. Now I will give the items to my daughters and granddaughters. A bonus is that I no longer need to store or clean the items and can go down memory lane when I choose. The surprise is that I no longer feel bound to the items. It’s time for someone else to enjoy them.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne Benson - May 2, 2017 - 7:22 am

    Love the train case and the article! Those little palettes look like some I have. What brand of paints and palette are they? I love my little palettes….so easy to carry along! I have a slightly longer palette like those with 12 full pans and it has room for 3 brushes in the middle and then the side area. Just enough! It is a go to for plein air painting when I don’t want to carry a lot.ReplyCancel

  • Judy Giannettino - May 2, 2017 - 7:04 am

    Love this post…to be purely present, alive and spontaneous! I have to try that today.

    I also love your watercolor journaling. I struggle with this and you make it seem so easy…sketching and painting just sitting on a bench!ReplyCancel