Dreama Tolle Perry » Artist and Writer

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How Not to Make a Painting

"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!


Hello California!!!!  I have arrived and am well into my first of three workshops this month at the awesome Randy Higbee/King of Frame location in Costa Mesa, California! (More on this later this week 🙂

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, having packed for a 1 month stay, 3 workshops, and traveled cross country to get here 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 🙂  For starters, see Carol Marine’s new book below 🙂

This is a first in a series of “How Not To” articles that Ed has written.
Your response will determine whether any of the others see the light of day….

It’s a keeper!

If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, Carol Marine’s new book is called “Daily Painting” and it’s one you will want in your artist’s library for sure.

It arrived last week in the midst of my “getting ready to leave for California for a month” mayhem and in spite of my best intentions to work, it kept sucking me in to read just one more thing—ALWAYS THE SIGN OF A GREAT BOOK;-)!!

New Book from Carol Marine

I rec’d an early copy and if you order yours before it’s release date of Nov. 5—you can save some $$$. Click here to check it out.


To Order my 2015 Calendar Click Here:-)


  • Nancy Darling - November 15, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Recognizing especially #s 11, 14 and especially #17. OMG it is almost impossible to paint in there. I think it could take a whole week just to remedy so I keep putting it off. Please have Eddy write a post about how to clean up your studio, what to do with stuff you might want “someday,” those old paintings that remind you of things, etc. etc. and so forth.ReplyCancel

  • Valee Sewell Penn - November 6, 2014 - 10:37 pm

    Hi Dreama, I know Eddie has the “Gift of Gab”, and now what a delight to discover his er… writing talent! Bravo for letting him post in your absence! I thoroughly enjoyed it! As long as he is writing and face timing you, you can relax. It is when he is quiet, you must suspect he is up to something.
    Sending purrs and hugs to you and “The Eds and Maggie”ReplyCancel

  • […] is good. Eddie is not. (see his first “How Not To” article […]ReplyCancel

  • […] is good. Eddie is not. (see his first “How Not To” article […]ReplyCancel

  • June - November 5, 2014 - 6:56 am

    Oh, Eddie Bill, you’re just so wise and savvy. I’ve been ‘guilty’ of too many of these creative crimes over the years, but, thanks to you and your great ‘purrls of wisdom,’ and with some help from your extra wise human companion, Dreama, I feel certain I will transgress less and less.

    I’m going to try my best and sell lots more of my craft pieces at all the upcoming Christmas craft fairs…and hopefully, I’ll be able to treat myself to Carol’s ‘Daily Painting’ book.

    Thanks for making me smile, Eddie and Dreama, and for brightening up my week. Have a wonderful month in sunny and warm California – looking forward to hearing (and seeing) all the highlights of the workshops (and all the fun places you go to while there).ReplyCancel

  • Dreama - November 4, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    Eddie face timed me and is absolutely purring with delight. He is reading and framing each of your comments 🙂


  • Pam Steeg - November 4, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    LOVED Ed’s list of HOW NOT TO PAINT – hit the nail on the head!ReplyCancel

  • Ann Pepe Marano - November 4, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    What wisdom you have Eddie and so clever..Great blog and advice..lol.

  • Susan Richardson - November 4, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    Thank you Eddie!! This post is a keeper, printed it and added it to the things I love to reread.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - November 4, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Dear Dreama,
    “Eddie Goes Hollywood” is fantastic. The little red dot in his right eye is magnificent!. His list of “How Not to Make a Painting” is wonderful. Eddie is smarter than I thought! California – one month! How could Eddie not send me that memo! Next time – and there will be a next time – I hope Eddie sends you to Northern California (specifically San Francisco Bay area). If he needs thoughts on locales for organizing a workshop in my ‘hood – I’m on it! We need you HERE! Not in Southie-Land.
    Thanks for your writings. The one on “words” slowed my heartbeat … in the best way. Happy Trails to you ….ReplyCancel

  • Rhojean McClure - November 4, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    Please keep Eddie on as your blog writer! Such insight into the artistic mind. I think I will leave the easel and take a walk in the beautiful sunshine, after all you paint better than me, and I’m not a “real” artist anyway. ;o)ReplyCancel

    • Dreama - November 4, 2014 - 11:05 pm

      Eddie is so proud of the direction you have chosen Rhojean 😉ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Clegg - November 4, 2014 - 11:03 am

    What a wonderful “guest” article from Eddie Bill. I saw myself in some of these “thoughts”. Please tell Eddie Bill thank you for sharing…… and keep them coming!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie Mincu - November 4, 2014 - 9:14 am

    This “How NOT To…” is brilliant and right on target (thank you Eddie!) Not just for art, but any endeavor that people say they want to do, but don’t follow through on.

    My own readers at “Thrive with ADD” are ADHD Adults who often struggle with follow-through. I would love to quote this post and direct them to your blog to read more of your wisdom. Of course they’ll adore the art as well!ReplyCancel

    • Dreama - November 4, 2014 - 11:07 pm

      Bonnie—Eddie has given his purmission for you to share his article and is VERY excited that he might get a virus (go viral—Ed doesn’t get the whole internet/viral thing 😉 Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - November 4, 2014 - 8:04 am

    Oh Eddie — you got my ‘vote’ on what not to do!
    Such a great set of rules deserves a can of tuna…!
    Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Nic's Earth - November 4, 2014 - 7:39 am

    Brilliant! I love this how not series. I’m guilty of a few but thankfully less than I’d have thought! !ReplyCancel

  • Jane Fletcher - November 4, 2014 - 7:25 am

    Great comments Eddie…….!!! You nailed most of my excuses!!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Ann Boyer - November 4, 2014 - 5:37 am

    This blog post was so true to what keeps us painting…thank you Eddie for your wisdom, hopefully I will remember to do the opposite! Thank you Dreama for a wonderful workshop…I loved every minute! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sandy Hay - November 4, 2014 - 2:19 am

    Thank you for the book recommendation! Ordered! Can’t wait til it arrives! And btw….I’ve used a few of those excuses for how not to make a painting a time or two myself. Thank goodness I’ve finally started kicking those self defeating thoughts right on outta my beautiful, little, newly remodeled studio!!! Thanks for the inspiration Dreama!ReplyCancel

  • Theresa - November 3, 2014 - 10:54 pm

    Eddie the Cat is just full of great advice… Oops! Guilty of work area clutter! Mea culpa, Eddie. Will neaten up from now on.ReplyCancel

  • jobi - November 3, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    Oh Eddie, you crack me up! Sounds like you know me pretty well! Especially #6. Tell your mom I’m really looking forward to meeting her Wednesday! Maybe she will jump start me back into creativity! I’m hoping she will help me have the courage to paint my own cat(s)! xoReplyCancel

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