Dare to Dream

Abstract painting by Charley Perryn

Charley Perryn is a poet and mixed media abstract artist. She primarily works with acrylic paint, mixed media and digital art on her smartphone. Poetry is also a starting point or created in response to her artwork.

Charley is inspired by the magic her little dog Harry brings to the adventures they share. He has taught her that the little things really are the big things and in doing so has shown her how to live her best life.

As a student on Converge courses at York St John University and art sessions at York Art Gallery, Charley learnt new skills and developed creatively. This gave her the freedom to explore the magic of simplicity and discover through artistic processes her own unique style. Charley is also inspired by the wonderful people she has met through being part of the local artistic community.  

Charley’s life has been transformed through these wonderful experiences and is now filled with purpose, meaning and endless creative possibilities.    

Charley is autistic and has created this exhibition to celebrate neurodiversity and show the gifts that her autism brings her. She also wishes to inspire others to dare to dream and find the magic in life.

Charley’s Dare to Dream exhibition is currently on display on the main corridor in York hospital, between junctions 7 & 8 and will be available until June. All artworks are for sale. To enquire please contact the Arts Team.

Creative Nirvana

This piece of artwork captures the bliss I feel when creating. The following poem was written in response to the painting “Creative Nirvana”.

Chuck on the Paint
Having to fit into endless boxes,
of this is how we do things! And this is what we must do.
My brain dies when discovery is over
And it’s time for the repetitive
Learn the skill drill, to perfect the technique.
Like the creative life force has been drained,
And the spirit in me screams to be set free,
I don’t understand the rules of art
So I threw them out, liberating in itself.
But what do you do,
When the blank canvas is in front of you?

I draw upon the inspiration, of a fellow artist’s journey.
And this dances, like a waltz in my Being.
It begins to sing, it’s not daunting anymore.
The soul of the painting comes alive, and a smile,
rises from my heart as the magic is about to happen!

That amazing moment when it just me
and the creative process brought forth,
The rules of perspective and colour theory
Ditched for eternity.
Forget the planning of neat precision… the rule of thirds,
I live at the edge, working with creative destiny.
The secret magic to all my art…
Chuck the paint on the canvas!
Flying through the air, it lands with joyful satisfaction
Creating shapes patterns and colours I could not
Conjure up with some prescribed rules.
Because it’s magic! The Freedom, the Liberation, the
Adventure … the pure bliss, swirling, twirling on canvas
and in my soul!
This kind of painting brings me home to the freedom,
I have searched for all my life!
My art my way! The world has no say!
The paint all lined up just ready to fly
Yes, fly onto the canvas!

I see a world beyond the one we live in…
the stress, the strife,
I see a world of magic and imagination
Freedom and play,
One where Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny
Are still very much alive!
Not childish but childlike,
A world most adults forget existed
Once childhood ends.

And life with its wonderful paradoxes
Showed me first the path,
That was arduous and difficult
I squeezed and squished to the point
I could not breathe in the figurative art box.
And in that gasping for freedom
I dared to be different!
And leapt into the great unknown!
And the creative universe caught me
And the artists Picasso and Pollock
Lit up my soul with a message
Your art… your way… just play!

Chuck on the paint…let it fly through
The air and land with magic,
In its own creative destiny.
Chuck on the paint
My art! My way!
I just Play!


I created this mixed media collage to celebrate my best friend and dog of a life time!
The following poems were written in response to the collage.

This Harry and Me
The train whizzes! and I’m fizzin, excitement and glee!
For this Harry and me are off to the sea,
Off to Scarborough, our Heaven on earth
The place where, our Dreams give birth!

This Harry and Me!

Down on the beach, he barks out loud
In doggy Glee! we chase and splash, so proud,
And dance in the sea; my heart bursts with joy
With this love, for my Beautiful Brilliant Boy!

This Harry and Me!

Freedom flowing from every tide,
Up and down, on the little train, we ride!
Views of the castle, and sounds of the sea
As we absorb, This ecstasy!

This Harry and Me!

In this bountiful bliss, time stands still.
And my heart begins to fill,
With Harry’s glorious light,
which shines so Beautifully Blissfully Bright!

This Harry and Me!

Bouncing, on the bliss of sunbeams,
I don’t where he ends and I begin in dreams?
Love so limitless, ice cream and blue yonder,
So vast so wide, I sit in serenity, and ponder

This Harry and Me!

On the train returning home, still free,
he’s curled up happy upon my knee
And he sighs blissfully and I give thanks for
The dog of a lifetime!

This Harry and Me!

Odd Socks

Dawn breaks, Harry leaps out of bed,
pinches the socks for a dash around the living room;
a game of chase ensues!
With the washing bin open, up jump the paws,
Time to pinch another pair!
To toss them up and down in the air!
Appeases him, gives me five minutes.

Then I am brushing my hair, in he flies,
with “Socks! Socks!” in doggy cries!
Again the washing bin, pinching another pair
And trots off, triumphantly to bury
them behind the sofa cushions.
Brushing my teeth, Harry cries and whines,
If he could talk he would be saying, “Socks ! Socks!”

I try to find a pair of socks to wear,
Nothing matches, mismatched socks.
as the sock pinching professional,
prowls into the bathroom but hey no socks!
He spots a toilet roll instead!
And chase ensues around the room…
Odd socks, toilet rolls and a Harry zoom!
I wouldn’t change a thing!

Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth

This painting captures the magical moment I met a Harry. The poem below captures the beautiful memories I have of that day.

I Remember
Somewhere between Heaven and Earth,
Written amongst the stars
Was a destiny to befall me,
In the form of a four legs and a waggy tail,
A Harry!

A Shooting star from the Heavens
Fell from the sky, the day he was born,
A little angel incarnated
Into Doggy Form!

I remember this bundle of fluff,
Snuggled amongst several other bundles of fluff.
I remember him being placed in the palm of my hand,
I remember his sweet smell
Of newness and puppy.

I remember him snuggling into my chest,
And feeling his heartbeat,
I remember his sweet sigh,
I remember my heart swell
And bliss flood my Being.

I remember my heart exploding
With Hallelujahs!
The moment I had dreamed of had come true!
He had found ME!
He had chosen ME!
How blessed I felt,
As I held Harry Heaven
in my hand!
Magical, Exquisite!
I remember!

Jolly Dreams

This painting captures Harry’s joy on a “Jolly!” This poem depicts a Happy Harry’s Culture “Jolly” around York.

On A Jolly
Nose pressed against the window
Little children wave and squeal in delight
As a Happy Harry whizzes by on the number one bus!

His eyes so big and wide in excitement he knows
We are almost there –
Ding ding ding the bell rings
up he leaps up, tail wagging its waggiest
As he trots off; Paw up…treat time…good boy!

He knows the route of his cultural jolly
Loop round York Minster, chance to pee on Constantine;
Power walking sniff to sniff, in scenting heaven
On the minster steps poses for his photo – Angel in fur.

He knows what’s next – museum gardens
Scentilioius dogglicious Paradise
We stop and feed squirrels
He waits patiently – Paw up. What about me?

Then stop! Another scent, another whiff
All so different, never smelt before,
Oh the doggy galore!

Then on to the river bank
To sniff some more!
This is the culture jolly, once a week
A ride on a bus, treats and fuss.

Tail begins to wag, as the bus approaches.
Doors open, on he jumps
Aw everyone says what a good boy
Hometime – to play with his squeaky toy!

Another favourite jolly I like to take Harry on is to Haxby.
We love to sit and feed the ducks. This following poem
captures this bliss.

Haxby Duck Pond Paradise
I love the tranquillity of the water and the
Sound of the laughing ducks, as the lapping
Water soothes my ears.
The cool water shimmers in the sunshine
And light sparkles dance like fairies
Across the ripples,
The ducks splash and flap
In an exciting flurry to gobble down
The duck food, waddling around
Amidst this blissful feast set before them.

I smile as the little children point and wave,
As mummy Duck waddles with her ducklings in line,
The cool shade of the willow trees,
So refreshing and their beautiful vines
Gently dance in the late summer breeze.
A Harry sat on my knee,
The pressure soothes
My nervous system
I feel calm,
And he enjoys a treat.
All is well here! All is well,
I can breathe!
Such a sensory paradise!

The patterns in nature make my heart smile,
The twisty bark of the trees,
The leaves and their defining shapes.
And the intriguing markings on the feathers,
Of my beloved friends
The ducks
A Harry to sit and stroke,
His fur so soothing,
Heaven sat on my knee!

This is Haxby Duck Pond Paradise!

Wyre Pond

This collage was created in response to the poem Haxby Duck Pond Paradise. I created the collage with images from photographs I took of the duck pond in Haxby.

Harrys knows how to live his best life, happiness is who he is. I imagined what it would be like to live like Harry and wrote this poem.

If I Was A Harry
If I was a Harry, I would wake up at 6am
Whinnying in unison with the dawn chorus,
So excited to begin a new day with play play play……

If I was a Harry, I would pinch a pair of socks out of the
washing bin and toss them up and down! Then gobble
down my breakfast, Like it was the last meal on earth!

If I was a Harry, I wouldn’t go for a walk to do exercise,
I would go on a sniffathon and enjoy every snifficlicoius,
Doggy delicious scent, I wouldn’t miss one whiff!

If I was a Harry, I would squeak my squishies,
I would toot, toot and toot some more! And I would chase
them, and pounce on them, all day long… just for the thrill!

If I was a Harry, I would hunt the postie in red down
When I heard the letterbox rattle and sit and give a paw.
Have a chicken treat – the postie now my best friend!

If I was a Harry, I would be full of joy and zest,
I would be very blessed!
Because I would have lived heaven on earth!

Harry’s Zest

This painting I created in response to the poem If I Was A Harry, capturing his love of life.

Upon reflection of living like Harry, I imagined what it would be like to really live and wrote this poem.

If I Were To Really Live
If I were to really live, I would leap
Out of bed and watch the sunrise!
I would greet the day with a smile,
For all the brand new things that head my way!

If I were to really live, I would burn the
To do list of the mundane,
And do that something I have
Always wanted to do.

If I were to really live, I would tell the
People around me, I love them,
I would listen to the bird song and smile
At the heavenly sweetness!

If I were to really live, I would notice the
Tiny miracles that surround me everyday,
The rainbow after the storm,
The majestic setting sun!

If I were to really live, I would stop
Worrying what other people thought,
put my arm around the Inner critic
show her how loveable she is.

If I were to really live, I would
follow my dream, and aim for the moon
And if I were to miss, I would
Land amongst the stars!

If I were to really live, I would enjoy this gift
Called Life, and not miss one minute by
Living in the past! Realise I have NOW,
and in the NOW I live and do all these things!
I choose to really live!

The Gift Of Life

This painting I created in response to the poem If I Were To Really Live, capturing the wonderful gift of Life. Harry’s eternal and unconditional love has given me wings to fly. It is my dream that everyone can experience this too. I wrote this poem in response to this dream.

One star System One Universe
Made from stardust, we are all stars,
Some shine more brightly than others,
Some shoot off into the yonder
And burst into light!
Singing shine, shine, shine!
While others fall and fade away.

I dream of a universe where,
Each star sings and shines,
Its own unique melody,
Of the creation of the All.

I dream of a universe, where
The shooting star catches,
The falling star, and takes
It on the adventure of a lifetime!
And shows it how to shine!

Each star treasured, as
As a Wonder of the universe
Belonging to the beauty
Of the whole.
Belonging to the
The infinity Of all that is
Eternity and beyond…

A Universe where each
Star recognizes the light,
In each other as the same light
One star system, one Universe.

I look up to the stars
And I dream of Heaven!

Eternity and Beyond

I created this painting in response to my poem One Star System One Universe.
I wrote this next poem as a blessing during these troubling times.

A Dream of Light
These are challenging times…we dream of feeling
The Sunlight on our face, but that dream…is waiting to
come true, by being born, through you!
Do we dare to be the light?
For each of us is a light, that can shine at any time.
The world may try to put out our light,
But this is just a misperception!

For we are light! We are born of the stars,
Each one of us has the gift of free will, to choose again,
To choose even in the darkest of moments, to be the light.
Sometimes it feels impossible, but listen to the heart, for
it is the home of our light, and love always overcomes.

It’s a brave and lonely choice, sometimes, to be the light
When there is no light, to remember your own light,
Is a blessing and prayer, not just for you,
But for those trapped, by the perceived darkness.
You light up their life, and help them to remember
Who they are…Light!

If we stand in our own light, and shine shine shine!
We become a beacon for light, and people stand with us
In solidarity, in recognition of the one light…..
our humanity and together we light up the world!

Together we change the world, one person at a time.
As the light switches on in our hearts.
And conflict with ourselves, and our neighbours ends.
And we fall back in love with our beautiful earth,
And save our home. The world needs your light!
It’s your time to shine!


I created this collage in response to my poem A Dream Of Light. I love the Zouche Chapel in the Minster. I find it to be such a comforting place to meditate and be still.

Falling Through Eternity

This painting I created to celebrate the light Harry is in my life. This next poem I wrote in response to the painting Falling Through Eternity.

Doggy Grace
Nobody ever really talks about it,
But I often wonder does anyone
Else ever contemplate,
Who their beloved dog is
Beyond the skin and fur?

A Harry takes the form of dog,
But his Spirit is timeless.
And I have danced many a dance
With this amazing Soul!

I don’t know where he ends and I begin,
He’s the sun that rises upon my morn
He’s my stars that shine at night.
In a world that is so unpredictable
He is my constant,
His steadfast routine,
From dawn to dusk gives me
An anchor, to ground myself to,
My autistic brain needs a routine
And a plan to thrive,
With him I LIVE
Not just survive.

With him, I feel like I’m flying
The heavens.
Like I’m falling through eternity,
Through the paradise of his Being,
And with this soul I have known forever,
One touch of his fur and I am transported
Into his sweet benevolence,
And swim in his ocean of
Awe and wonder.
He showed me the magic
Where I only saw the mundane.
With his big beautiful soulful eyes,
That beam love into my heart.
I take him with me wherever I go,
Sat in my heart,
He’s my safe space.

I wrote this next poem to celebrate the magic and miracles
that nature gives me. As I walk Harry twice a day I am
blessed with these simple pleasures every day!

I Collect The Rainbows
I am one with nature and all the year through,
Mother nature comforts me in all that I do.
I collect her rainbows and store them in my soul
Such riches, such treasure, makes me feel whole!

I collect the rainbows!

Spring burst forth with her canvas of colour!
The dull and the desolate
Transforms in a magical metamorphosis!
Greenness growing all around, carpeting the once barren

I collect the rainbows!

The sensational summer sunshine warms my heart a new!
As the cool summer breeze that whispers through the
Soothes my ears with a sweet lullaby, warms my soul.
The smell of fresh rain, natures perfume and I feel whole.

I collect the rainbows!

Autumnal leaves fall to the ground, a red and orange
carpet to be found.
The last rays of the late summer sun, glinting gleaming
shining so bright,
As angels dance leaving heavenly delight! A blissful feast
for my eyes!

I collect the rainbows!

The silence of the newly fallen snow, Serenity Serendipity,
The quiet crunch underfoot of bliss, the universe’s winter

I collect the rainbows!

Blessed with such beauty all year through
My rainbows are with me
In all that I do!
The rainbow of hope
Shines so beautifully bright
And whatever storm i weather
I will be alright!

As I collect the rainbows!

Spring Time in Museum Gardens

I created this painting to celebrate the rainbows I find in museum gardens…….mine and Harry’s favourite place to walk in York!

River Foss Rainbows

This painting captures the calm I feel when enjoying walks along the River Foss.

The following digital art I created to celebrate the rainbows I find in the beauty of York countryside throughout the changing seasons.





I love sunrises, they fill me with hope. This poem explores this hope.

A New Dawn
As the sun sets and night fall descends,
I can carry the light of the sun within me,
To light my night and illuminate the stars,
Which seek to guide me through the night.

The sun kisses me with her eternal promise to
Rise each dawn, a brand new day full of
Unlimited potential and possibilities,
The internal sun of hope burns bright in my heart.

I choose the sun of hope, as even in the deepest
Darkest winter, the sun keeps on shining
And sets and rises its steadfast promise of a new dawn,
Hope that light will forever overcome the shadow of fear.

I believe in the darkest places there is always light.
Sometimes there is no light outside of us,
Sometimes we have to find our own light.
And find the courage to shine our light.

It lights our path with hope, and we find fellow souls
Whom have recognised their own light.
Together we stand in solidarity.
Our light connects and shines as one.

And a new dawn of kindness
And compassion is reborn.

Sun Rise

I painted this piece of artwork to capture the essence of my poem A New Dawn.

These next paintings I created to capture the magic I found in my most favourite exhibit at York Art Gallery…..The BFG In Pictures (2018). What would life be without dreams and magic?

BFG Dream Jars

I created the poem What’s bubbling? in response to the paintings, wondering what dream would be bubbling inside the jar!

What’s Bubbling?
Rainbow colours swirl and twirl, dancing! Prancing!
Leaping in joy, fizzing! Whizzing!
Popping in glee! Bouncing! Bubbling!
Fantastic and free! These dreams in a jar are just for me!

What’s bubbling?

What would my dream be, what would I do?
I would fly to the moon on a magic broom!
And surf a shooting star, then ride back down to earth
In an alien’s cosmic car!

What’s bubbling?

The impossible! The possible!
The imagined! The unimagined!
The known! The unknown!

What’s bubbling?

I’d dream of doing nothing,
And in the beingness of the bubbliness
Something would emerge,
From the seeds of anything!

The impossible! The possible!
The imagined! The unimagined!
The known! The unknown!

The magic of imagination!

What’s bubbling?

I wrote the following poem as I wondered what the BFG’s dream for humanity would be.

The BFG’s Dream
Dreams of peace, plop down
From heaven, with the dripping
Magic of rainbow juice …
created by the disappearing colours,
Melted into raindrops … then
Splattered over humanity
In one almighty downpour!


I created this painting in response to my poem the BFG’s Dreams For Humanity.

My autism blesses me with many special interests…besides painting and poetry I love steam trains! The poem below captures the bliss I feel when out chasing Steam Trains!

Steam Train Dreams
Ear defenders, camera, the thrill of the chase ensues!
Where do I stand for the best glimpse?
Away from the crowds….but close enough
To get my steam train fix!

I can sense its vibration long before anyone can
see it or hear it, my autism super senses kicking in….
Suddenly puffing out, billowing smoke, rising patterns swirl
and twirl into the late sun streaked sky.

The hiss and fiss of the boiler gives me goosebumps,
The march of the engine, forceful turning of the wheels,
the huff and puff the chuff, chuff, chuff!
Sends my soul singing in total glee.

My eyes marvel at this sensational sight,
The Flying Scotsman! Fuming funnel of smoke,
pummels the air, leaving his majesty everywhere!
This giant, British steam history made real.

Years of restoration, boiler now alive,
the whistle announces, here! the wheels begin to turn, hiss
of the steam creates a mist…….
Through which
Gathering pace… now thundering, down the track, making
the past visible in this awesome sight,
When things get tough,
I carry this steam giant in my heart ,
And I come home to myself.

The collage below is of my most favourite engine of all!

Flying Scotsman

My final poem sums up how Harry has shown me how to live my best life.

There Is A Dawn And A Dusk To All Things
Everything passes with time they say,
As there is a dawn and a dusk to all things.
But I don’t want to miss a moment
Of this beautiful experience called Life.

I’ve lived in a past of regret,
I lived in the future of what ifs?
I’ve lived in the perfection reality where
Tomorrow everything will be as it should be.
But none of this is LIVING!

It’s just existing in a mind distracted from NOW
For in the Now I experience it all,
The joy of spring
The bliss of summer,
I let go to the old in autumn
And I am reborn a new in the
Stillness of winter.
As I shed all that no longer serves me.

In the messiness of human life
Where perfection is not required,
And the imperfect is perfectly perfect,
Now this is LIVING between dawn
And dusk,
And I don’t want to miss one minute!

I hope you have enjoyed my exhibit as much as I have done creating it!
Happy Dreaming!
Charley Perryn 2022

3 thoughts on “Dare to Dream

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment Lynn, it’s lovely when the artists receive positive feedback, I’ll make sure I pass it on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: