Dreama Tolle Perry » Artist and Writer

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"JuNk DrAwer FriDAy!" No.9


Let the Randomness Begin:

Your Wake Up Call:
In case you can’t get to your caffeine fix soon enough of the morning (not that I know anyone who fixes coffee the night before and puts it on timer to be ready before their feet hit the floor in the A.M.)–thanks to Bath Buzz– you can now lather it on;) 


Yep, you heard right, Caffeine Soap for your get up and go;))
‘Cause you can never make the good stuff up:))
Music to My Ears:
The wonders of  music, of passion for life itself poured out in lyrics, guitars and voices–I am always humbled by the beauty and diversity and sheer magic of music. 

This week-end, take some time to treat yourself to the discovery or re-discovery of the JOY that music adds to the everyday moments of your life:)).  And please do share in the comment section–I’d love to know who inspires you:)!
My man John Mayer…keepin’ me where the light is!

If video does not appear, click here:)


Occasionally, I get a question thrown at me like the one below:

“Have you ever hit a slump where everything you paint turns out wrong? I’m there and am very frustrated!”

Eddie Demonstrates a Severe Case of Slumpitis..

It happens, sooner or later, to anyone trying to do anything creative:)   Many times it seems to correlate itself to a break through in your work.  The equation being something like  this:

The Amount of Building Frustration = The Amount of Breakthrough Pending:))

What becomes the challenge is to not get so discouraged that you quit for long periods.  
What I would suggest is doing the simplest of things in your studio that make you happy.  From organizing, selecting photos to paint from, setting up still lifes, looking through art books, etc—just let the muse lead you.  And here’s the kicker…when you paint, just paint for the joy of it.  No attachment, no expectation.  Think of it as a jam session like musicians do.  No one is recording.  Keep the focus and the joy on the pleasure of doing it—not a finished product.  Having the joy in the doing is what it is all about anyway.  

A finished painting is merely a by product of having a good time:)) 

Rearrange your thinking and love everything you do.  It is all a part of the journey:)

My Paris Studio Makeover (Part I and II) stirred up a few questions:


  • What kind of studio lighting are you using? I have basic track lighting with “cans” that hold a mix of cool (flurouscent) and warm (halogen) lights mounted to my sloped ceiling.  The lights face away from my easel and bounce the light onto my work surface.  What I consider in any indoor space I have painted is to work with the lighting until whatever painted using them appears pretty much the same wherever else you view it.
  • I’ve got so much extra stuff like canvases, travel gear, etc–where/how are you storing yours?  My studio room has a bonus area under the eaves that was finished out for storage.  All the “guts” of my studio reside there—things that I need to be handy, but not necessarily in the same room.  Thinking of a secondary storage area for your art stuff may help free up your actual working space.
  • What do you like about having your easel in the middle of the room?  Less chance I will walk into my sloped ceiling and leave a mark on my forehead;)  Seriously, it was just the most practical spot considering my options.  And it works.  When I need to back up to get the long view, I just turn my easel to view it from the adjoining room (my office)
  • Why the bamboo flooring? What about spills and is it cushioned enough?  I like it.  I am a fairly “clean” painter (put that down to years of working in watercolor) so I keep a small rug to stand on to protect the floor a bit, but for most part,  I don’t worry about it.  It is a studio, so if some paint does appear, NBD (no big deal;)  And I find it to be a comfortable surface for long bouts of standing.
  • In case you missed the posts on my studio makeover, just click here for Part I and here for Part II.
And there you have it.  How to hide an addiction and get clean at the same time, songs to sing in the shower, loose ends in the studio and pulling out of a nose dive.  If that’s not enough to keep you out of trouble, then remember my newsletter hits the stands Saturday morning.  That’s all I can do.  If you’re gonna drink AND shower, there’s nothing left for me to say….

  • Sue - July 28, 2012 - 6:03 pm

    Love your new studio. It’s just what I imagine your studio would look like – pretty, fresh, light, lovely. It suits you!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Johnson - July 28, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Hi Dream, I just read an interesting book titled:

    by Johnah Lehrer

    It had lots of info and interesting facts and talks about the different ways that people are creative. I think it would help any artist to understand the ‘how’ of what we create.
    Kathy JohnsonReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - July 28, 2012 - 10:36 am

    Hi Dreama, First off let me say “Happy Birthday” to you, hope your day is filled with love and joy. We haven’t met yet but I have finally been able to sign up for the Jacksonville workshop. I love your paintings, sense of humor, and your book (LTBL) with your wonderful insightful writing!
    I’m looking forward to painting with and meeting you.
    Thanks for your inspiration and uplifting newsletter and blog.ReplyCancel

  • Eva - July 28, 2012 - 8:42 am

    Happy, Happy Birthday young lady. The last time I saw 30 was almost 45 years ago!! I certainly did not have a beautiful studio like you or your wonderful talent. I hope someday you will make some instructional videos for us old folks who can’t afford or do workshops anymore. I love your wonderful paintings and I have a drawer full of photos begging to be painted with your wonderful technique. I always look forward to your delightful postings and Newsletter. I pray you have many more wonderful birthdays and continue painting your little jewels for years to come!ReplyCancel

  • June - July 28, 2012 - 5:27 am

    Another fantastic Friday filled with fantastic goodies in your Junk Drawer. I love the caffeine soap – what a brilliant idea (peppermint would be a perfect pick-me-upper, but how cool would it be if it had the scent of coffee itself – or coffee!). I could definitely use some of this for those ‘slumpitis’ mornings I’ve been experiencing lately. What you’ve written about ‘breaking through’ has helped so much – especially lately – to get to the other side of it. You always know just the perfect way to encourage, inspire and motivate me to create…with passion…with joy…thank you so much for that.

    Thanks, too, for sharing the John Mayer video and amazing music. In a word – wow! Definitely inspiring. Music is a magical experience – I don’t think I could live fully without it, or art, in my life.

    There’s so much in your Junk Drawer today that this comment would go on for at least ten more paragraphs, so I’ll leave it at just these (relatively) few.

    One last thing, though – and that is to wish you a very happy birthday. Your art and your blog has truly brought a gift into my life.

    With lots of art love and many hugs – JuneReplyCancel

  • Kelly Dombrowski - July 27, 2012 - 11:38 am

    I always love your Junk Drawer Friday’s Dreama! And YAY breakthrough is around the corner for me, yeah, I’ve been in a super slump! After I got over myself and not so hot paintings I’ve started to read read read how to improve my paintings!

    It’s good to know there is the other side! And yes, you feel like a fake artist lol. Everyone asks you for your latest stuff and what is going on and you have to say it’s a big goose egg! But artists are what we are, it’s in the DNA… 😀 And I really do need to paint with no stress and complete joy!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - July 27, 2012 - 10:40 am

    Dreama, Love your Junk Drawer Fridays!!! So fun and always something worth reading whether setting the mood, inspiration and encouragement, or something unexpected like ‘caffeinated soap’ – REALLY?!!? – one thing tho – I suspect EDDIE actually practices slumpits just for a little extra attention, unless maybe the little mouse outsmarted him that day. Sorry Eddie – RoseanneReplyCancel

    • Dreama Tolle Perry - July 27, 2012 - 11:36 am

      Thanks so much! I love putting them together:)) And you can thank my hubby, Gadget Guy that he is, for the caffeine soap–he will try anything. He purchased some of course and is now telling me that it’s supposed to help firm the skin, so I am thinking I may need to order a couple of cases:)))

      Eddie is just a ham and of course is not above trying to garner sympathy…..:))ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - July 27, 2012 - 9:31 am

    You are truly an inspiration. Please come to San Francisco and give a workshop.ReplyCancel

    • Dreama Tolle Perry - July 27, 2012 - 9:42 am

      Thanks! I love San Francisco—one of these days I’ll turn up in your neck of the woods. You’ve been warned;))ReplyCancel

  • SUSAN DRAWBAUGH - July 27, 2012 - 9:16 am

    Your blog is MY morning cup of coffee … before I drag myself into the kitchen to make it. The Gravity video was WONDERFUL!!! Until now I’ve never watched John Mayer – just listened to his music. It’s really something to watch him work that guitar. And the cinematography was outstanding!! You’re right, music is such a mood stirrer, and it put me in a great one to start my 12 hour day of drawing (on a deadline)! And, yes, Chris Botti is way up there, as well!! Thank you for such great inspiration about turning “work” into an act of love. Sometimes we forget when it’s paying the bills, but such a beautiful turn-around way of thinking! You are a breath of fresh air, Dreama:o).ReplyCancel

    • Dreama Tolle Perry - July 27, 2012 - 9:44 am

      Aww–thank you Susan! What a great way to start my morning off here in Kentucky. Had to go back and listen to John again–so glad it helped get your day off and rolling! Make sure you stretch and breathe some today!!! 12 hours on a deadline of drawing….You go girl!!!ReplyCancel

  • Dreama Tolle Perry - July 27, 2012 - 8:09 am

    Cinthia, those are great tips! I think it can be scary when we’re in the middle of it, because we are not sure if we are a “real” artist (whatever that is) and if we are really meant to paint. Just a painting pause, as you called it, can give you enough room for your confidence to reassert itself:)) Thanks so much for sharing–good stuff!

    And on the topic of music, wanted to share the name Chris Botti–just emailed to me by Jane:)) She says “his music really moves the bush!”ReplyCancel

  • Cinthia Ruscak Griffin - July 27, 2012 - 7:54 am

    Such good advice about the “slumps” & so true. I once had a slump for nearly a year & thought maybe I should just abandon painting altogether. But I’m glad I stuck it out because I had a big breakthrough happen just around the corner ! The key is KEEP at it, even if you take painting pauses. You can still spend that time creatively…..soaking in ideas, inspiration, visiting galleries or scenic destinations, & taking reference photos for future paintings. Also consider a mini workshop or new class to give you a boost. Thanks, Dreama, for the opportunities you provide for artists to connect & share our creative worlds 🙂ReplyCancel

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