10 Nov

Before the Creative Process


When your heart speaks, take good notes.  ~Judith Campbell

Following the Heart
What exactly does that mean?
For me it’s some do’s and some don’ts.
As in not following popular opinion and ideas just because they are there, presented and in vogue.
It does means listening.  Being quiet enough to hear that still, small voice within—the one that requires me to turn down the volume of everything else so that I can HEAR it.  Part of turning down that volume is recognizing and agreeing to tune out the opinions around me because…..

No matter how well intended, no matter how strong the love, no one—and I mean no one–knows what is best for me except…..me.

(It has taken me a long time to get this one!)

Intuitively we know that our heart,the voice within, has a cheat sheet—knows the answers we are seeking.

It promises a short cut to the good life, to living the life we are intended to live—a life of purpose, of promise, of peace, of magic.
Somewhere, someone made me realize the importance of taking action when I hear that inner voice speak.  To follow that ever so light whisper of direction, for in doing so, and this is important— we exercise the muscle of belief.  And with use, that muscle grows, becomes stronger–more able to take action sooner next time–no lag time or delay in indecisiveness.
With every follow up action that is taken, our steps become more sure in leading us to the life we desire.

Boiled down to its essential elements following the heart  contains within it the recipe for the life we are longing to live.

Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.
~ James Earl Jones
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
~ Carl Jung
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Dana Burton
Congrats Dana!   Click here to email me with your snail mail address:)

Here’s tomorrow’s Gratitude Giveaway:))

A petite print/giclee of the original painting, “Color Song”.
What comes to mind today of something you are grateful for?  Share it with the world on this blog –it will make your day happier AND get your name in for tomorrow’s gift and for the big drawing at the end of this month!
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  1. lois MADELINE nicholls

    i am thankful to have children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren to watch grow-up. They are gifts from my Creator and give me such joy and an appreciation for life.

  2. Anonymous

    I am grateful for the sunshine that makes everything look like a Dreama painting.
    Ann Greely

  3. Nancy Makar

    Grateful today for all the wonderful people I have in my life who love me no matter what!!

  4. Gretchen Stoudt

    I am grateful for my health.

  5. lois MADELINE nicholls

    i am thankful to accept things by faith .Some things just can not be seen but are guides just as if they were beacons in the night.

  6. Marcia

    I am so grateful for our new pastor who was installed this afternoon! It is a blessing to have him.

  7. Anonymous

    I am grateful to be alive today.
    Marilyn Troutman

  8. What an inspiring message . If I am able to be calm, to listen and to remember that the present is the point of power, to do, just do it, let the rest go. I am grateful for the possibilities.

  9. Anonymous

    Today I am grateful especially for pink flowers in blue mason jars and great friends who understand the need to paint.
    Karen Gifford

  10. So is it painting that makes you so wise, or is it living? Love your homily… and as always, the colors in your paintings.

  11. Dorothy

    Today I strolled through a holiday bazaar and a downtown saturday’s market and I feel so grateful that people are blessed with talents and have found ways to improve them and share their creativity with others. So much lovliness in the world that we make ourselves!

  12. I am very grateful for the opportunity to paint with Dreama these past three days. You’re one-of-a-kind, Dreama! Thank you!

  13. Im grateful for the lovely shade of pinkish red of the flowers on this painting!!!! amazing

  14. Irene

    Love love

  15. I am so grateful to be home again…it is my sanctuary….and I am inspired by all the comments you are getting!

  16. Anonymous

    Grateful for the reminder to listen to those
    quiet promptings to ‘paint-paint-paint’
    even when it’s n o t working out or looking right…try again, then again and again…
    and in the struggle lies the joy as well.
    Monica Dahl

  17. I am thankful for my precious granddaughter and the time we have to play all day together.

  18. My “still small voice” says that this life is not only a beautiful gift now, but there is sooo much more to look forward to when we finally “get home”. I am grateful for that promise.

  19. Anonymous

    Grateful for a beautiful day of sunshine and reasonable temperatures.

  20. Anonymous

    I am grateful for being able to teach the piano and help my students tap into an inner part of themselves which enhances every aspect of what they see and hear
    Jennifer Edgar

  21. I am grateful for the thousands of veterans who have given so much so that we can live in the greatest country in the world.

  22. Linda

    I’m grateful for a snowy day in a cozy cabin by the lake in the mountains. A good dinner tonight with comfort food, an old movie and my favorite guy! Life is sweet! Linda, Nevada

  23. Anonymous

    Friends, family and sunshine. A day of reflection is a joy.Dianne Harrison

  24. Anonymous

    I am grateful for my son
    Frances, France

  25. Anonymous

    I am grateful for this beautiful warm sunny day.
    Marilyn Troutman

  26. Today I am thankful for my techno-whiz husband, who keeps my cyber-world humming!

  27. pat

    I am so thankful that I discovered how to follow my inner voice. It has made a big difference n my life. The painting with the blue jars is one of my favorites.

  28. Anonymous

    What a powerful post today, Dreama, and the quotations you picked for it were perfect. We followed our hearts to become artists and I am thankful that our hearts are leading us to remain artists. To quote Winston Churchill “We will never give up.”
    Joan Terrell

  29. I am thankful for forgiveness. Admitting your are wrong sets things right.

  30. Today I am grateful for a beautiful sunny autumn day and a brisk walk. I am so delighted to have finished my report cards so I may return to a large painting on my easel! Cheers!

  31. Gloria

    I am grateful for my children who are always there for me, and I for them.

  32. Anonymous

    I am grateful for my grandson who gives me great joy.
    Lorraine Kendel

  33. I am grateful for days spent with my daughter. She is such a beautiful person and I thank God for her everyday.

  34. I am grateful today for a hot cup of tea and the beauty of a fall day!

  35. Anonymous

    I am thankful for my dog that constantly shows me how to live a life full of joy and playfulness. She is an expert on forgivness and living in the moment. And she is so beautiful to look at, with her gold eyebrows and black face…it is funny every moment of the day. Thank you god for such a beautiful creature!

  36. Anonymous

    ~~Dreama~~ Opening your daily email and finding your latest glorious painting is so special. Thank you for making my day!

    Hugs……….Julie Reagan

  37. Marcia

    I am grateful for my son’s visit. He is away at college, so this is a treat!

  38. Susan in Texas

    Love the Judith Campbell quote. I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful for my wonderful sister, my friend.

  39. I am grateful for the PBS program Car Talk which helps me keep my car going and makes me laugh.

  40. June

    It has taken me nearly all my life to get to that point, too – where I realise that only I know myself best, and what’s good for me and sometimes and also, what is not good for me. I have finally learned to truly listen carefully to my heart, as well as my intuition and inner guiding light, to help light the way in all of life’s experiences and paths and encounters – both the easy and wonderful ones, as well as the more tricky or difficult ones.

    We can all do this – we need only really listen, really see, and really feel to know what our heart is tellng us. We need only connect to what’s within us, and we’ll know, instinctively and intuitively.

    Today I am most especially grateful to my parents, for giving me life on this day, many years ago. As my beloved husband made a birthday toast to me today at our favourite pub/restaurant, I made a quiet, silent toast, in my heart, to my parents. I miss them – sometimes profoundly and unbearably so (like today) who aren’t here to celebrate with me, but they are in my heart, and in my loving memories of them when I was a child and as a young woman just beginning to find my way on my life’s journey.

    Here’s to you, mom and dad – I love you dearly, and I’m still your child, no matter how many years (and decades!) go by.

    Thanks for this one, Dreama. It resonated deeply with me today, along with one my favourite of favourites of all your beautiful paintings, too. That’s a lovely birthday gift, in itself.

  41. Anonymous

    Today is a beautiful fall day in KY. I am thankful for my eyesight that I may enjoy the beauty of the colorful trees in our yard! Sherry Crouse

  42. LeAnn

    Grateful for the gift of living in a beautiful autumn day.

  43. Marcia Fox

    Today I am grateful for having the time to paint. Hopefully will still be feeling grateful at the end of the day after giving both dogs a bath!

  44. Anonymous

    Grateful for my dogs’ joy in the morning…..they are always so happy when I wake up!

    Cathy Joerger

  45. Anonymous

    This morning it made me grateful and smile when I opened my email to find your beautiful painting and words that made me sit back and listen quietly. J.A.Walker

  46. Anonymous

    I am grateful for a clean heart shining with His love… listening to the small still voice in my heart.
    ~ Etta

  47. I am grateful for a whole day to paint.

  48. Ruth ATB

    I am so so grateful for a sunny today today. The warmth of the sunshine through the windows, the joy of a blue sky. Everything sparkles a bit more when the sun shines.

  49. I am grateful the sun is back out after a brief rain shower. Love todays painting

  50. pkseay

    I am grateful for this particular post…listening to MY heart.

  51. I am grateful for tasks that need to be done. Having projects and time to reflect just creates a wonderful feeling of a full life for me.

  52. I am grateful for the times I was responsive enough to the inner voice and followed my heart. I somehow stopped listening to it, but now I am starting to hear it whisper to me once again.

  53. Anonymous

    This morning I am grateful for the internet and how it has allowed me to find artists I would never known about and paintings I would never have seen. What a wonderful time to live.
    Barb Krell

  54. I’m grateful to be here in Italy on this magnificent morning… painting in the sunshine.

    Dreama… Thank you for all of the beautiful light you create and give…

    Ciao.. Love to all…

  55. jen lacoste

    EVer grateful for the daily change. Right now colours are deepening and warming more every day as the summer season progresses. With eyes open, I can never be bored!

  56. I am thankful for the wonderful COLOR we are surrounded with in our gorgeous earth! Autumn and Spring especially make me happy. 🙂

  57. MDS

    This morning, I give thanks for the little unseen birds who were chirping and singing with joy. They are so much nicer to hear then my alarm clock! (Time to think about filling the feeders).

  58. Today I am very grateful that I have choice!

  59. Dana

    I am grateful that Yesterday I was able to contribute to two worthy causes through my art: the Daily Paintworks auction to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief and “Bucks 4 Ducks” Art Show Auction to rause funds to help the education arm of our local Yolo Bypass National Wildlife Refuge. It feels great to give back to my community – on the national and local stage!

  60. …and do it today! Today, I am thankful for a studio space. For years, I have used spare bedrooms, closets, kitchen tables, laps, countertops..these days I have my OWN space – called THE STUDIO!! Thanks to my DH for helping me achieve some semblance, decor and function to that space. It’s where I can follow my heart and my dreams.

  61. Anonymous

    I am grateful for our beautiful Folsom Art Gallery. We had a wonderful show there last night called “Just Desserts” 2 artists and a sculptor. A local bakery came and duplicated
    some of the paintings with her own works of edible art. They were placed in front of the
    paintings that inspired them. Delicious to the eye and the tastebuds. Lori Anderson, Folsom CA

  62. margene parker

    Again as on day one I am so grateful for my health and thank the good Lord every day, I just lost another friend from Cancer, I don’t think we will win this one, we need to concentrate on what is causing it. as for me I believe we need to go back to eating and living as intended, this modern life is killing us.

  63. I am so grateful for my wonderful friends! They encourage me, love my art, are generous to me, and make me laugh so hard! We laugh together, cry together, have lunch at least once a week, and they inspire me!

    Michelle Lake

  64. I’m thankful for ultrasound; that I was able to hear my unborn daughter’s heartbeat.

  65. I am grateful that you shared an image of your painting “Color Song”. It’a a beauty and it did indeed make my heart sing! A timely post and a great way to start my day, Thank You!

  66. I am grateful for my artist friends, both in person at art classes and online. They’re the best!

    Joyce Howard

  67. Bon

    I too have learned to hear the inner voice. It makes itself known by an uneasiness of spirit when I am not listening. Once I ‘hear’ the message, I have peace. I am grateful that I have had the experiences that created that ability to hear my heart talking. They have made me who I am.

  68. Anonymous

    I am grateful for the love, encouragement and support from others.
    Dana Burton

  69. I am grateful for my artist friends, both in person at art classes and online. They’re the best!

    Joyce Howard

  70. Anonymous

    I am grateful for text-messaging, of all things, which is helping me stay in touch with both daughters away in college. Just a quick word here and there makes such a difference! I miss them so much!
    Mary Beth Harrison

  71. Anonymous

    Today I am grateful (yet again) for my Mother. In preparation for Thanksgiving, she says “this year we’re not going to have all that cr@p” while listing the names of all the dishes ever known to grace the holiday table. Gotta love her!
    JJ Hoffman

  72. Katherine Baker

    Today I am grateful for warm hugs. Whether greeting someone, sharing love, or curing the blues, hugs make us whole again.

  73. Anonymous

    I’m grateful for the artists who follow their hearts and share the results through their work… inspiring others. Thanks, Dreama!
    Lin Haaksma

  74. Fran

    I am thankful for the changing seasons each with it’s own beauty.

  75. I’m thankful for the courage to ignore comments that distract me from my goals, the courage to be different.

  76. Love the painting and this morning as I was trying to peel sticky glue medium off my hands after collaging last night, I was thankful for hands that work, don’t hurt, and are available to have some Liquitex Gloss Medium residue still on them.

  77. I am grateful that my town has a Veteran’s Day parade (today!).

  78. Grateful I have a place to go buy organic produce – and that today is market day!

  79. I am grateful I live in this beautiful state of Colorado, with its ever-changing weather and gorgeous vistas. So much to experience here!

  80. C-Rae

    Grateful for my natural curly hair…and all the products out there that let me hide the gray!

  81. I am so grateful to be reading the wonderful insights on your blog!

    • Anonymous

      I am grateful for the time I’ll spend with my sister today.
      Debbie Spivak

  82. Deb LaRocque

    I am grateful it is the weekend and that maybe I will get a little time to paint.

  83. Anonymous

    I am grateful that I have the time and opportunity to do what I like to do. And, thank you Dreama for all your insights. They help me put each day in perspective.
    Brenda Gibbs

  84. I am so grateful to have things to look forward to on this lovely day.

  85. I’m grateful for his stunning day and being able to spend it with old friends!

  86. Ginny good

    I am grateful for your inspiration in my life to follow my heart as I’m trying to Paint More and turn off the noise and distractions in my life!

  87. I am so thankful for the freedom to follow my heart.

  88. Sue Taylor

    I am grateful for my creativity and with that I see beauty and details that others take for granted!

  89. Love this post especially. As a new artist and taking from some wonderful teachers…I had to really find what worked for me and my voice. That meant hunkering down and listening and finding what my path is meant to be. Love quiet and find joy in that:) Beautiful painting too Dreama!

  90. I am grateful for all the wonderful surprises that may happen today

  91. Anonymous

    I am thankful for music! I was lucky enough to be able to play in college,which led me to meet my best friends, and best of all, my husband! Music is such a great way to express yourself and communicate with others!
    Jamie Matheney

  92. Anonymous

    So many things to be thankful for. Today I am thankful to be spending the day with my girls, going to Holly Days market and enjoying the start of a wonderful holiday season. vicki morgan

  93. Hi Dreama
    Today I am grateful for having wonderful art inspirations like You, Dreama. I Love, Love, Love your work so much! Thank you for sharing your art!

  94. I am grateful for the afternoon yesterday that I spent with my husband in The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
    standing within inches of the canvases created by Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Klimt, and the list goes on …
    I am thankful for museums which maintain these cultural treasures to be enjoyed by us all.

  95. Hi Dreama
    Today I am grateful for having wonderful art inspirations like You, Dreama. I Love, Love, Love your work so much! Thank you for sharing your art!

  96. I have the whole day to paint, I’m thankful.

  97. Beautiful painting, Dreama! I’m grateful for your reminder to seek guidance from within, to follow my heart and take action. Life is short and, as they say, this is not a dress rehearsal!

  98. Anonymous

    I am grateful for a day with my family.
    Carol Hickerson

  99. I am grateful for this ever so awesome blog post…perfect timing. Thank you.

  100. I am grateful for the world of watercolor. All the lovely friends that share this passion and the generous teachers that make it possible to stive for more beautiful images.

  101. Gaylynn

    I am thankful for my home. Thankful that I own one. Thankful that it protects us from the elements. Thankful that it comforts us when we are inside. Thankful that it is now a gathering place when my children and their families come home.

  102. Anonymous

    How wonderful to wake up to your perfect reminder. Gayle Nunn

  103. Ruth Roberts

    Today I have a class at the Kansas City Art Institute. I am grateful that there are people who have come before me willing to share their knowledge. I am also glad it is going to be sunny and 70 today here in Missouri!

  104. I am grateful to be able to start this day free of pain & with a positive attitude.

  105. Anonymous

    Today I’m grateful for the opportunity to backspace and “get” the blogs I missed, because each one contains a message specifically to/for me. I consider them gifts from God, whose still, small voice is available to all.Thank you, Dreama, for so generously sharing your very self. Sheri

  106. Anonymous

    Thankful for another beautiful day and loads of family visiting!

  107. FCP

    #10…this reminder that the simplicity of stillness leads to the complexity of consciousness.
    Faye Christian Phillips

  108. Joanna

    Enjoying the quiet time this morning.

  109. Nancy Toth

    Grateful we are having rain today and not snow.
    Nancy Toth

  110. This morning I wake up to the rising sun, as the fog burns off in the horizon. I sit with my coffee and study the reflections in the water, and watch a snowy egret standing in the marshland grass. It’s so peaceful. I’m grateful that I live in such a beautiful place.

  111. I am thankful for being in a position to follow my heart.

  112. Thankful for warmer temps coming to the Jersey shore.

  113. Lyn

    It looks like another great sunny day…thank you for your thought provoking post. I am happy to have time to listen, hear and follow!

  114. i’m thankful for great times with art friends yesterday & fresh inspiration to “keep at it”.

  115. Josephine Y Hardison

    Great thoughts as I read this post! I am grateful to be reassured that it is ok to listen to my heart and no one else. It takes awhile for this to sink in but is so true. Grateful for one more day to paint with Dreama!

  116. Teresa Robison

    I’m so grateful I found your website. You have influenced my painting and inspired my heart even though I haven’t had the opportunity to take one of your workshops. I look forward to reading your blog every morning and I love the way you paint.

  117. DLPBR

    Grateful for Mother Nature giving us beautiful weather for our Paint out.

  118. Anonymous

    I am grateful for the gathering of friends and family today. My adult girls are coming home for the night!!!! Along with my 3 yr. old granddaughter and a good friend from college. Thank God for connections in life…..
    patty O’Brien

  119. I’m grateful for 6 weeks I have given myself to listen to my heart and see what’s next for me.

  120. I am grateful that the framers have finally begun creating our new deck!

  121. Today I am grateful for following my heart in the beginning of my pursuit of art. When everyone tried to tell me not to paint portraits, I did it anyway! That course of study has been the backbone of ALL my art, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

  122. Anonymous

    Today I grateful for (and excited about) my Saturday! My hubby and I are visiting a wonderful new fish restaurant with family and friends that’s right on the sea front – and is by all accounts WONDERFUL!!Great food and great company – what more could you want? I cannot wait!:) 🙂
    Mandy Parrett

  123. I have to agree with Holly (above) about starting one’s day with this wonderful Gratitude project. I almost trip over myself getting to my computer to read all of the heartfelt comments, to see Dreama’s heart-inspired art and to receive quotes like the one today by Michael Beckwith. Y’know how some things just resonate within? Today’s quote is especially meaningful to me. I’m so grateful for all of you.

  124. I am so grateful for a wonderful first day of The Silver Brush art show last night. The crowd was tremendous and the sales great.

  125. One of the things I am thankful for in this day and time is a job that allows me to work my own schedule, work as many or as few hours as I want each week and the opportunity to take time off to go to out of town workshops. I know what a blessing it is to have a decent job right now and I am grateful for it.

  126. Holly Morris

    Grateful for a nice hot cup of coffee early in the morning, while checking out all my favorite artists new paintings and posts for the day! A favorite morning ritual.

  127. Anonymous

    I am grateful that I can walk, and climb stairs, and move about with ease; my friend is an amputee, and in a wheelchair, so I am thankful for being healthy and whole!

    Alma Marshall

  128. Freedom, so many aspects of it. Freedom to vote, disagree, make choices, but it’s my freedom to paint every day that really makes my heart sing.

  129. Turn up the volume of the heart & hear it’s voice; validate it’s message with action ~ Thank you Dreama for another beautiful expression of words from the heart. I’m grateful to my spirit guides for leading me to your website & energizing paintings (I connect with them), not to mention your delightful sense of humor & gifted ability to communicate your ideas & emotions with such clarity. I found your site by googling images for “coloring outside the lines” & your painting with the same title came up. Sweet Vivid Dreams ~

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  131. Anonymous

    I am grateful for feeling inspired to be more adventurous in my painting and to try new techniques and expanded color even when the old habits feel more comforting.

    Arleen Turzo

  132. Anonymous

    I am so grateful that I have a nice long vacation coming up for Christmas so I can spend some extra special time with my daughter. Thanks, Monica avila

  133. Anonymous

    Color has inspired me to paint. Each day that I paint I learn something new, and I am grateful for every little step that I learn. I can’t wait to take my next little step of growth. How can I be so lucky to have found this wonderful way of expressing myself.

  134. Anonymous

    Today I’m grateful that I had some time alone to recharge. Also I’m so glad I met Petrina, what an addition she is to my world. Trying the Anonymous button today so in case I’m selected my name is Sea Dean.

  135. Yvonne

    Grateful for a beautiful Summers day, feeling on top of the world, inspired to paint, inspired to experiment, and going to listen to my Inner voice!! Yvonne Ankerman Sunny South Africa !!!

  136. Today — thankful that you are following YOUR heart, Dreama,and that your words (and artwork) are helping me to follow mine! Tänan!

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