13 Apr

Before the Creative Process

One line following upon another…without a plan!

‘Doodles can be called mindless drawing.  It’s one of the last places drawing still exists in a person who gave up on art long ago.  A place where one line can still follow upon another without a plan.’
~Lynda Barry

A place where one line can still follow upon another without a plan

The boarding of a plane no destination in mind

Writing without a storyline first formed

An inescapable sense of longing for open ended possibility

For living only to see where the road takes us, not where it ends

For that which we love because we CAN’T predict it

For the joy beckoning us on the road less traveled

For the mystery of this unfathomable thing called LIFE

This touches on everything I love about creating. What I love about writing. What I love about painting.  What I love about passion.  What I love about life itself.
A state where ‘one line falling upon another without a plan’ happens.

This week I ordered a book that the above quote came from.  It has delighted me in the most unusual of ways.  I’m dipping in and out and treating it like the treat that it is.

I discovered it in an email from another delight whose work I relish.  Austin Kleon.

The book is called ‘What It Is’ by Lynda Barry and you can check it out here.

What’s Cooking:  I’m preparing for my trip to Paris next month to begin capturing all sorts of stuff for what will become…Postcards from Paris…my next online creative adventure (coming 2019).

With three courses completed (Dream.Love.Paint., Once Upon a Time in Provence, and Timeless Tuscany) it feels good to go into this with an open mind and live in the possibility of ‘one line falling upon another without a plan’.
I find leaving the door open for inspiration is what brings me JOY.  Leaning into the fire with all my heart has always led me to good things.

I’ve got some ideas in mind but as always like to leave things open for the inspiration that happens once there.  When I was in Paris a few summers back, I so wanted to roam the streets with my watercolor journal in hand.  It was a serious craving of which I intend to make good on this time around.

I’ve learned so many good things from traveling–things that now help me in life.
Used to be that when I traveled, I was fearful I wouldn’t be able to see it all so I would cram in as much as possible.
Then one day I began to realize the beauty of being in one place and mining it for all it’s worth (sort of like that ‘focus on one thing’ post I wrote).

All the layers, all the beauty, all the history, all the people, all the things are unique to that one single place. Trying to cover everything as opposed to going deep into one place is the difference between an acquaintance and a friend you can call in the middle of the night.  Going deeper in one place unearths the inherent beauty–beauty that is missed when trying to ‘do it all’.  Sort of sounds like life, doesn’t it?
So this time we’re going deep…in Paris.

It’s a busy time when I do these trips for the courses.  (Scarcely leaves time for macaron eating and cafe’ sipping, but I manage 😉  )

I am planning on using a ‘new to me’ feature on Instagram called stories which will allow me to share some behind the scenes stuff of our time in Paris.   The stories are online for just 24 hours and then disappear.  You can join in and follow along if you like.  My instagram link is instagram.com/dreamatolleperry.

Watercolor journaling is so soothing to the soul–the touch of a color loaded brush into sparkling water is magic in itself!

30 days in Paris
What would you do?

P.S.  Postcards from Paris will be coming to life in the coming months and debuting in Jan/2019.  Join the list of those who wish to stay in the know for this online painting + adventure course in Paris.  Click here!


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  1. At the end of each of your posts I find I have a tear in my eye, a lump in my throat and a heart awakened.
    Thank you

  2. She Schrieber

    Love you website and your posts are so inspiring.

  3. Jeanne

    Hi Dreama,
    I have been to Paris a few times and it is one of my favorite places. Something we did, that is not on most tourist list of places to go, was a visit to Rungis. This is the market place that services most of France with produce, meat, seafood, cheese, vegetables, and FLOWERS! It is amazing, like a small city and you have to arrive around 4am to see it in action before everything sells out for the day. In particular I think you would find the flower market and cheese vaults interesting. Also, watching the workers belly up to the counter for salami, cheese & wine after their shifts (at 9am) is pretty fun. Its worth getting up early for. You must have a guide to gain entry and if you are interested I can forward the name of the gentleman who took us. He also provided a great list of restaurants in Paris:)

    Love your class, although I haven’t gotten very far in yet, and looking forward to the Paris edition.
    Jeanne Freel

  4. If I had 30 days in Paris, I would be eternally grateful that I had the means to travel to Paris and stay for 30 days. Anything I did would be a treat beyond belief!

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