10 May

Before the Creative Process

Wanted: A Creative Nest

Driving back yesterday, vehicle loaded down with yet another run to various antique shops, flea markets and the like…I had a sweet realization.
One which involves you.
But first, you should know…

My DreamLovePaint cottage/studio is dedicated to creativity.
Each room, alive with spirit, holds space for incredible gifts.

Things like…

This sweet cottage has been undergoing a total makeover.

From repainting cabinets to hanging curtains. She’s a quiet, old friend, 100 years wise. One who lets me do what I want to do with her and be who I need to be with her at any given moment.

I’ve dug deep into her yard and planted roses. Her back porch, made of worn and weathered boards, has allowed my feet to cross her threshold into peace.
Her giant maple tree, canopied out like a dense green umbrella, has tarried with me. Providing leafy hugs—grand enough to hang a crystal from.
She has welcomed my hammock swing.

The do over project started because of an impending photo shoot. One with the lovely Priscilla Baierlein, Dream Team member. The last time she had photographed the cottage was in 2015!

Back to the sweet realization that involves you.
I smiled when, with my car bursting at the seams (a 5 x 7 rug stuffed in the back seat/front seat), the real truth occurred to me.

This had never been about the photo shoot.
It was in fact about what my heart needed.

The things I had in place in 2015 were perfect then and reflected where I was at the time.
Stepping into the cottage of 2015 felt no longer true to the me that is here now. Feeling the stirrings of new beginnings, I needed the cottage to reflect this truth.

Have you ever felt that for yourself? That your studio/creative space no longer matches the person you are now? And certainly not the one you are becoming?
Sometimes we need to change what we are surrounding ourselves with.
Give a signal to the Universe that we get that we are growing and changing.
We need expansiveness that arrives on the winds of change.

Our creative spaces are our nests.

They are one way we testify to ourselves that we believe in our potential, in our worth at this very moment.

They give legs to new ideas and possibility thinking.

They hold the door open for inspiration. Inspiration which begins as a trickle but promises to turn into a swift running stream. A stream leading us to a creative ocean!

Nest building for us artists is life-giving to our creative processes. (It may be even more true for women artists as we are natural nesters.)

It is not an extravagance.

It is not being wasteful.

Surrounding yourself in as many ways possible with whatever sparks joy—well, it is our JOB.

Taking care of yourself in this way is part of taking care of your gift.

Birds build nests to help keep their eggs safe and warm. … they create nests to lay their eggs in and to provide a safe environment for their babies.

It should also probably be noted that birds build their nests near food sources.

How does this translate for the artist’s nest?

Well, we need a safe place to birth our ideas.

Free from predators (critics)
One that is ‘warm’ (as in sustaining the new life of an idea)
And filled with things that feed our creative appetite

Next post, I’ll be sharing some ideas for feathering your nest!

Note: Speaking of nests and creative appetites, I’ve left Provence open for a little longer… Just in case you missed the fact that I opened it again for a new group. Why am I doing so? Because I myself waited until the last minute to sign up for a writing course just this week. It was on my radar but I missed the close date. Then had to write them and beg for late entrance 😉
No need for begging here—just click here to begin painting in Provence, all from the comfort and safety of your nest 😉

P.S. After I finished writing this week, I returned to my nest building at the cottage. Pulling out an old journal of mine to place in the vintage cabinet I discovered this entry:

How shall we yet build again?
New on old?
Nests, woven from that which is spent, fallen to earth and finding rebirth
into one strong place
Ready to house new dreams
new hopes
gifts from the One that inhabits

Let us build on wings of love
with hearts afire
that we may


the One truth

All is love.

I love when life feels in alignment!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on creative nesting—share away in the comments below!

Dreama Tolle Perry Log
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  1. Joy garner

    Dreama, you could TEACH the writing class! Your writing is just lovely! I just happened on
    Wanted: A Creative Nest. Was it part of the Surprise and Delight of Flow for March?
    Maybe it’s a separate blog? Let me know, I don’t want to miss any future posts.
    Also, I’ve taken Dream.Love.Paint and I can’t believe I painted the paintings I did!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Gail Hocquard

    Thank you Dreama! I love your creative nest, you are blessed with many things, including your desire to share your dreams with us. I’m still dreaming of having a creative nest of my own, & have many ideas running through my mind. I do enjoy all your messages, please keep them coming into my in box. Gail.

  3. Sonali wagle

    Hi Dreama
    Love your paintings and blog. Please let me know which writing course are you doing.

    Sonali.. India

  4. TuRna may

    Dreama – Thank you for sharing your heart and soul, and your art with us through your website and blog posts! I took a watercolor course many years ago when my oldest child was around three (now soon to be 33!). I fell in love with watercolors and found myself painting every tree, flower, bird, and landscape in my mind everywhere I looked….I looked at everything with new eyes! Then, after my third child was born, I just stopped painting altogether and have rarely picked up a brush since! It saddens me every time I think of it….
    My husband and I just returned from a two week road trip out west and then back through the National Parks with our new travel trailer and I was so inspired by the wildlife, nature and open expanses that i saw, that I’m so ready to paint again! When I contemplate why I stopped painting years ago, perfectionism and fear of criticism are the first things that come to mind…and your blog post that likened critics to “predators” (if I remember correctly) of a mother bird’s nest came to mind. The other, perfectionism, that fear of even beginning, is a real joy stealer, as I’m sure you were very familiar with, at times. I am making a commitment to myself to begin again….even if it’s just painting a little something everyday…kind of like a daily devotional.
    However, the main reason I started this reply to your post (and got completely sidetracked, haha) was that I do not have a space set up to paint and I know that having a designated space does make it easier to begin and paint regularly. My plan is to turn our extra bedroom into my personal space – it gets beautiful natural light with both east and north facing windows. Do you recommend any wall color that is best suited for a paint studio? I noticed your walls are a neutral, non-distracting cream color. Thanks again for opening your studio and heart to us…you are truly inspiring and I am so happy for you that you are living your dreams everyday!

  5. Maureen

    I signed up a month ago but have not begun Painting in Provence. I realized now that I was waiting to create my nest. I cleaned an area that has a sink and intend to hang a few momentos from France. It’s a small space with natural light and room for my easel.With cabinets for my supplies. I even bought my self an apron with French Blue ticking. I will make it my own. If I wait for an entire room makeover, I will never get started. So I will start with my small nest to inspire me.

  6. Susan Petersen

    Thank you Dreama….Your posts on preparing a creative space and nurturing that inner artist… for me the child that wants to play with my paint, but ever too busy working and caring for others. I’ve let my creative space be crowded out with clutter that would never allow a dream. I so needed to read this and give myself permission to dream again! You are truly an inspiration! May God Bless you mightily 💕🙏🥰

  7. Thalia Newton

    Dreama. I just love everything I continue to learn about you and your unique ability to share parts of your personal self with us.
    I just completed ( well partially) yourPostcards from Paris course. I would have signed up for the new Provence course but my past experience has been with watercolors and I’m still enjoying the journey.
    I recommended a good friend , Pam Folse, and she can’t quit thanking me because she loves her new journey in your newProvence course.
    Thank you for keeping me”in the loop” with these wonderful creative
    Messages. I’ll look forward to hearing from you again.

  8. Julie Diehl

    I wish I had a separate “cottage” as you do! I have an office but it still has a large desk and other items that make it hard to transform into a painting studio. It’s in our walkout basement and is a very nice room but it’s often cold in temperature and so I end up painting at our dining room table which has large windows facing beautiful woods. I tuck my supplies away in the living room and then carry them over to the dining room table whenever I’m working on art. I need to work on transforming my office into a permanent studio that I can leave as is with art in process and not put everything away.

  9. Charleen diliddo

    I got so excited remembering how I wanted to have a studio in Paris a long time ago. It was my dream. I began to remember. I wrote it all down and I can hardly until your next post. Thanks Dreama for speaking those dreams.

  10. Jan

    Thank you for this wonderful inspiration. Not only giving ourselves permission to dream, but permission to act on those dreams is life affirming! Thank you for giving hope to that voice.
    Jan 🌺

  11. Maeva King Cook

    I love your creative nest! Is it separate from your home? Will you do a tour of it soon?

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      Yes and yes Maeva😊. Yes it’s a little cottage, about 10 minutes from my home and yes to going inside for a look since its makeover 😊

  12. Charleen

    I love to hear your thoughts on art and decorating our painting space.

  13. Cynthia spooner

    Your thoughts and especially your lines,
    “Sometimes we need to change what we are surrounding ourselves with.
    Give a signal to the Universe that we get that we are growing and changing.
    We need expansiveness that arrives on the winds of change.”

    Really resonates with me as I am deciding whether to stay in my Coastal North Carolina home , my sacred space of 23 years or move onto another adventure, the latter pulling me more & more. The last hurricane has amped up my search to a new area as well as carving out another space that is truly my own. Designing another creative space would be fun…

  14. Joanne

    I think more then anything Artists evolve more then other people. Every time we pick up a brush, we are evolving. And I think it affects our surroundings. I am very traditional but a recent move made me decide I never want to have curtains or drapes up in any room. LOL. I do have blinds. I have never liked curtains. I like to see out my windows. I think its because I grew up in a house that had woods behind it and I enjoy seeing nature. I am a life long ”people” person. I like watching a bit of life go by my windows. Don’t you just love sitting at a cafe and watching life go by? I am now appreciating brighter colors then I have ever liked before and its showing up in my paintings.

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      I like this train of thought Joanne!

  15. LRSanders

    You speak to my soul! Truly! Thanks for the continued inspiration and creative support that your words and images and spirit provide! So glad I stumbled upon your website. 💕❤️

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      I’m so happy about that too!

  16. I feel so grateful and blessed to have Dreama in my life Her joy and passion for creating all
    things beautiful are such a generous gift to all who discover and partake.
    My day feels happier and I am ready to paint my peonies that are almost gone.

    My nest is my garden and my studio and perhaps I too shall search for a petite cottage.

  17. Julie Myers

    Dreama, I love the writing you shared. Today I complete my final full semester as a college interior design teacher in a town 80 miles from my home on the river in Montana. I am 63 1/2 and my future plan is for partial retirement: I will teach one more class a day a week fall semester and work a few interior design projects, but my family, my art and my old house in need of repair – these things are calling to me.
    It is time to build new dreams on old, listening to the One who guides me, doing all of this with love. Thank you-Julie

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      Wow—love hearing about you and your plans—so glad the writing spoke to you 😊!

  18. Chris

    We live in an old home from the 20’s. 1/2 of the attic was converted to a large room. We have used it as a guest room. I set up my art things, but the space always felt like it belonged to guests. Recently I got rid of the twin beds and that virtually opened up the space to be mine. To put out the art and things that spark joy.. I go upstairs, start Dreama’s playlist (French or Italian, depending on oils or watercolor), light a stick of incense and settle in with paintbrush in hand and joy in my heart. It is my aerie, my happy space, my safe space. I am blessed!

  19. Beautifully put, Dreama! I love all of this post – thank you for offering your words!

  20. Lila

    So inspiring, Dreama!
    Refreshing and nurturing!

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      Yay! So glad to hear this 😊!

  21. Clare

    Loving your new nest! It looks so YOU.
    I started rebuilding my nest last fall!
    And wouldn’t you know it, pink and mirrors showed up 😉. Thanks for your inspiring words. 😘

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      Clare! You and pink and mirrors—that’s a something that should have happened already 😉😂!! Awesome!!

  22. AnnieKate Phillips

    Hi Dreama, Thank you for this wonderful entry. I love the poem. I just had three new opening windows put into my studio space. It required I remove all the treasures I had in the windows, the lace curtains, the little plants, the stones and dried flowers, the 4 dream-catchers, the wooden elephant, the jade cat. Now I enter there and it has a different feel. I can’t quite explain it, but I’m holding off just putting everything back in place. Thinking about painting it, a soft pale mushroom gray, maybe … You’re right. I’ve grown and shifted a bit since I last “decorated”. New window, a new view on the world – inside and out. Thanks Dreama. –

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      So wise Annie to go slowly in what is allowed back into your space. Creativity is such nuanced character. Noticing the small things and how it makes you feel pays big dividends! Have fun 🙂

  23. Rosana Leatherwood

    Wow wow, just started thinking to have a ‘ nest ‘ , I have a empty room to redecorate just for me!! Have so many ideas. It’s going to be ME and Mine!!
    Thank you Dreama. Love you.

    • Dreama Tolle Perry

      Yay Rosana! That’s the spirit that is needed 😊💕!! Exciting!

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