Friday, September 19, 2014

Touch of Fall White Hydrangeas and a Tennessee Workshop - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Touch of Fall White Hydrangeas
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel


Touch of Fall White Hydrangeas was one of my class demonstrations today in Collierville, Tennessee. The ladies produced a plethora of lovely white hydrangeas, painting from life this afternoon, and fueled by gourmet cake donuts provided by our gracious host and hostess, Carolyn and Emory Brown. I'm glad they had the donuts, because I unintentionally traumatized the entire class trying to make a point this afternoon. 

I asked everyone to come up to the front of the room and stretch and relax just a bit, since they were focusing so intently on their own paintings. I had just finished a second hydrangea painting, and demonstrated how to put tiny bits of violet into the shadows to give these flowers just one more dimension of color. While my students were happily stretching and relaxing, I took my Viva paper towel (you may recall I own stock in Viva...) - and I WIPED the whole painting from top to bottom, obliterating my white hydrangea painting in one sweep of the towel. There were cries of dismay and my friend Carolyn was about ready to smack me. I promised it wasn't my intent to psychologically scar my students, I just wanted to emphasize you can disengage from these class paintings, because they are excercises, not masterpieces. I re-applied the hydrangea and repaired the damage in order to make up for the shock value of the lesson. The last thing I want is to have students sitting the corner rocking. The workshop police would serve me with a citation for that, I'm fairly certain...

A talented bunch of Tennessee ladies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

French Cafe and Sketching the Streets of France - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

 French Cafe by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

French Cafe is the newest painting in Flower Mound Studio, and it's good to be back in the studio. I brought home a head cold from France, and in addition to the time change, it's taken a few days to get back on my feet *playing tiny violin*. It has been a rough re-entry into regular life, with no church bells to wake us each morning, no warm croissant aroma to waft up the stairs and help make the wakeup calls irresistible. I took tons of notes during my trip, to help ease the transition for my students next August, and most especially will be sharing my top 10 rookie mistakes for traveling in Europe, so you'll want to stay tuned for that, if only for a few chuckles at my expense....

It has been wonderful to be surrounded by the puggies again, though, and we've had a great deal to catch up on - tummy rub schedules were sorely neglected and the extra special Mama Brings Us Snackies in Bed routine is right back on track, as it should be. The hubby will be keeping everyone spoiled and happy as I head off to paint with my favorite southern gals this weekend in Collierville-Memphis, Tennessee. Au revoir for now ya'll!

I drew a little crowd when I was sketching
in Rocamadour last week....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

French Sunday Flower Market - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina 

French Sunday Flower Market
by Nancy Medina

The only kind of shopping I like is flower market shopping! I got my fondest wish twice this week in Southern France. Each day we go to the market, we have a picnic lunch afterward. We share different treasures we find at the market, including organic cheeses, olives, tampanade, fresh bread, lemon tarts, sundried tomatoes, prosciutto and dozens of other yummy choices. Today we placed our blankets on the shores of Valentre Bridge in Cahors. The toughest decisions we make each day are whether to have brie or soft parmesan cheese. The hubby and I have already decided all weekends going forward will be cheese weekends! Tomorrow, here in France, we visit Rocamadour, located atop a rocky plateau overlooking the Alzou Valley. Stay tuned for more images from one of the most beautiful places on earth! Bonjour flower friends!

Painting on the patio at Le Vieux Couvent

From the garden

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Looking for Love - Romantic Kitty Watercolor in France - Nancy Medina Art

Looking for Love ~ 
Romantic Kitty Watercolor
by Nancy Medina

Looking for Love is my new Romantic Kitty Watercolor from Le Vieux Couvent in Southern France this week. Bonjour flower friends and romantic kitties from across the world! May your journeys always lead to bowls of warm milk, freshly opened cans of tuna, and warm beds in which to snuggle...

We visited my favorite village in France, St. Cirq Le Popie! I'll be taking my students here in August 2015 and can't wait to visit this town again. Tomorrow we paint paint paint and Friday we go to the medieval town carved into the side of a cliff, Rocamadour. Miss you bunches flower friends!

France 2015 ~ I've Got a Croissant With Your Name on It!

The view from our cafe table in St. Cirq le Popie  


French sunflowers and cosmos near Castle Beynac

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Testy Rendezvous in France - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

 Rendezvous Red Geraniums
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel


Class Demonstration
We visited the most beautiful village in Southern France yesterday, St. Cirq le Popie, with rolling hills and endless tile-roofed vistas and tons of gourmet gelato shops. While the views and shopping were magnifique, there was one little fly in the ointment, an occurrence that showed that all was not perfect in this little bit of heaven on earth. I've shared the story with you here, in the photos below. Please know that none of the French kitties or pups were harmed or injured at all in any way shape or form in this true life dramatization. Bonjour flower friends, and tomorrow we travel to Cahors, another river valley medieval village. I will save a creme brulee gelato for you!

St. Cirq from above - heavenly!

Beauty on all sides in St Cirq!

Every byway and alleyway
contained treasures!

Ah mon cher, a new friend!

But I mean you no harm 
little feline friend! Come, let us
have an omelette and speak
of life on four feets in Le Popie!

Ah well, another day, another
time, farewell my sweet kitty!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

You Know You're in France When - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Wild Abandon Sunflower II
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel

My French sojourn continues, and I have lost count of the days. I no longer know what day of the week it is, nor how many days until time to return home. Time is marked by the ringing of the church bells just down the lane. Each day begins with breakfast plates filled with warm croissants and homemade plum jelly from the trees near the hollyhock garden, eggs, fruit, and other treats. Instead of trips to the gym, my workout consists of scooting myself and my paint brushes from the patio table (when the sun encroaches upon my perfect perch) to a rose garden bench, or to the stone grotto surrounded by sunflowers. Each day is like a gift, with trips to neighboring markets and medieval villages for shopping, sketching, and exploring. In the meantime, I've begun to recognize the signs that clearly indicate this Texas gal is no longer in the Big D!

Here are a few signs that you, too, might just be in France this week:

France 2015 ~ I have a croissant

with your name on it mon cheri!

 The checkout counter at the local market
has been in operation for 10 centuries...

There are "Yield to Artist" signs...

 The sunflowers have smiles on their faces....

 The neighbors' McMansion is a bit
bigger than your McMansion...

Your Hispanic husband knows
more French than you do
(and looks cuter in his beret!)

All images copyright 2014 Nancy Medina Art LLC
and may not be used without permission from the artist.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Starry Starry Night in France, French Hollyhocks and Lavender - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Lavender Fields of France
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel

My new DVD

Today we explored the grounds of Le Vieux Couvent and the surrounding hillside cottages in this charming French village. This morning I shared a video on my Facebook page of the church bells ringing at dawn outside my window. I have learned the stars in the night sky are so bright, they can singe your eyelashes and prick your skin. At midnight, he darkness in the Lot Valley of Southern France is so absolute, so quiet, it feels like cool silk.

Everywhere you turn is another amazing scene, and I confess I've been utterly seduced by the geraniums, pink hollyhocks and stone courtyards. Tomorrow we visit an outdoor market and then explore some historic churches in surrounding villages. Stay tuned, I'll be sharing more pictures with you of my art journey soon.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from today, as well as one from yesterday evening. I am imagining you here with me next summer. There are only a few seats left in my French dream workshop, so don't delay!

Nighttime in the courtyard at Le Vieux Couvent

All photos Copyright 2014 Nancy Medina Art LLC

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand 
©Don McClean Lyrics

Frayssinet's historic church

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Bells of Frayssinet and Sing to Me Poppies - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

 Sing to Me Poppies
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel

My new DVD

I finally have my land legs here in Frayssinet as I write this post for you from the Lot Valley in Southern France. The church photo below is the view from my bedroom window at Le Vieux Couvent, a 17th Century convent converted into an artist school and retreat. I can lean out my blue shuttered window, resting my elbows on the thick, ancient stone wall, and see the stars so clearly tonight.There is nothing but perfect silence outside, except for the historic bells.

Every few hours, the bells ring from the village church here in this medieval village. Years ago, the this was how the townsfolk were able to tell what time it was, and it helped the workers in the fields know when it is time to come in for meals. Now the bells toll for a different purpose. During World War II, the bells did not ring. Now they ring to give comfort to the older residents of Frayssinet, commemorating the victory, and also to help everyone remember there was a time during Hitler's aggression when they did not ring. The Lot Valley played an important role in the French Resistance. I'll be visiting the French Resistance museum soon, and will share photos with you. 

My grandparents came to the US from Northern France many years ago, in advance of the path of Hitler's troops into the Alsace Lorraine. Have you ever visited somewhere for the first time and felt everything around you resonate, like your soul had been here before? This region would have been magical regardless, but is even more so for that personal thread.  I do not know the full story of how my grandparents came to the US from France, but maybe someday I will be able to. Au revoir and bonjour until tomorrow flower friends!

Join me in Southern France ~ August 2015! 


The church bells of Frayssinet
Photo copyright Nancy Medina Art LLC

Sunday, August 31, 2014

When In France Poppy Field - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

When In France Poppy Field
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

My new DVD

When In France Poppy Field is the daily newbie in Flower Mound Studio. While I was trying to memorize the correct pronounciation for "May I have more red wine please and pronto...", British Airways sent us a countdown clock to check in this evening. Included in their email were destination sights and suggestions, weather guides (it's low 80s during the day, high 50s at night!), and all sorts of ideas for ways we can spend our one day in Toulouse before heading to Frayssinet. I am most surely taking more than I need to as far as clothes, but layering does call for everything from tank tops to raincoats and sweaters. The hubby is quite happy with the fact that he's taking two tiny carry-ons, and backpacking all our electronics to boot.

The last time I flew to the UK, I was on my way to study at King's College Chelsea for the summer in London. The campus was over 500 years old, and there were no computers in the classrooms. There was one "photocopy machine" but it was kept under lock and key, guarded as a most precious and revered possession. We wrote all of our papers long-hand, turning them in with the fervent hope that they were not lost, since there would be absolutely no proof they had ever been completed should this occur. Looking back, I realize this was as much a vacation getaway for the instructors as it was for the students, and I suspect the grades were rather lenient as a result. Shopping in Harrods during their annual sale, and excursions to Cambridge and Stonehenge, and all the major art museums, were some of the highlights of time that went by so very quickly there.

I'll share as much as I can with you over the next few weeks from France, if the wifi cooperates, so stay tuned here to the art bloggy for all the flower news that's fit to paint!

Saying goodbye to the glories this morning...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some Like It Hot Red Poppies and a French Reconnaissance Mission - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Some Like It Hot Red Poppies
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Your mission should you choose to accept it - *cue Mission Impossible theme music* to Southern France, unplug the Inter-Web thingy, taste test a few pounds of delicieux gelato, feast your eyes on rolling hills, medieval villages, and flowers, and shop at the local markets until you need to acquire a new suitcase for the trip back home for all your new treasures...! The only sad thing about such a travel adventure is we cannot bring the puggies with us, despite Howard Pee Pugpant's argument today that, in his new French beret, the French ladies would surely adore him...

Why am I going to France? I'm doing a bit of advance reconnaissance for our trip there together for my painting workshop next August! My first workshop is full, but I have a few seats left in my Aug. 4-14, 2015 workshop at Le Vieux Couvent. I've saved some creme brulet with your name on it! Read more....

 Poppies blooming on the easel!

Just a few pre-trip appetizers....

Howard Pee Pugpants is quite sure the French ladies
would find him quite appealing in his new hat!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Warm Hearts Stargazer Lilies and Packing for a Dream Vacation - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

 Warm Heart Stargazer Lilies
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Warm Hearts Stargazers is the daily newbie in Flower Mound Studio, where things are in a bit of a floral uproar, petals flying hither and yon, leaves scattered everywhere. The studio director in particular has been quite helpful as I pack for the dream vacation of a lifetime, a trip to Southern France. This is my first trip to France, and the hubby is going with so I'll have a big strong guy to carry all my baubles and trinkets and help scout out the best gelato in town. It's a visit to the kind of place where fairy tales and dreams come from, to quote my brilliant friend Sherry. We were told to "pack light" so I've pretty much narrowed down my MUST TAKE TO FRANCE LIST to:



Paint and paintbrush


Hmmm, I think that's all I'll really need, don't you? With the exception of my four footed helpers. Thankfully we have an auntie who stays at our house the whole time we are gone to ensure the pugs are cared for in the manner to which they are accustomed.

 The studio models take a fragrant bow!

Studio Director AnnieBee, my little morning glory!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rhapsody in Blue Lavender and a Southern France Workshop - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Rhapsody in Blue Lavender
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel

I'm warming up my lavender brushes this week, because next week they'll be dipping into the colors of France! I'll be visiting the property where my August 2015 workshop will be held, testing the gelato, deciding which cheeses are the most yummy, and sipping the local vintage a time or three. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it! My first France workshop filled in 2 days, so I opened a second workshop and I'm holding a seat especially for you. Don't delay, there are only a few seats left for a painting adventure designed to make your lavender dreams come true!


 Painting Brilliant Florals in France

With Nancy Medina

August 4-14, 2015
Le Vieux Couvent

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dreams Come True and Texas Hill Country Melody - Lavender Painting by Nancy Medina

Hill Country Melody Lavender
by Nancy Medina
Palette Knife/Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

If you could take a workshop anywhere in the world, where would your heart and your paint brush lead you? Just when I think my new job as a full time artist and teacher could not get any better, another fringe benefit blossoms right before my eyes. Thanks to my talented, motivated and beautiful students, I've been able to find venues and ideas for teaching flower painting workshops around the world that seemed like just an unreachable dream a year ago.

One of my favorite places to teach is in the Texas Hill Country, and some of my favorite family vacation memories are right here amidst these old stone farmhouses, in particular Settlers Crossing, a B&B five miles from this historic German town. Plans are in the works for another workshop in Fredericksburg next spring, so stay tuned to my workshop page for details to come. Thanks so much Jane for making this dream come true!

Detail from Hill Country Melody

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunset Vintage and a Visit to Becker Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Sunset Vintage by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Sunset Vintage is the daily rendering in Flower Mound Studio, I felt compelled to produce some icy blues and warm grape hues - you might think this is a creation based on some far away European countryside, but it is, in fact, a little vignette from a lavender farm in the Texas Hill Country. Each time I visit Fredericksburg, Texas, I am amazed at all the new wineries cropping up here and there. So many wines to taste, so little time! Becker Vineyards is one of my favorites, and when its spring flower fields are in full bloom, there is no better time to visit.

Sunset on the easel....

Becker Vineyards at dawn
(Photo courtesy of Becker Vineyards)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Magic Dreamer Tulips - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Magic Dreamer Tulips
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Archival Panel

My new DVD

The fresh tulips were a bit droopy this morning, so I pulled out my magic straws and propped them up for at least one more painting under the spotlight in Flower Mound Studio today. I painted these with a limited palette 2 days ago, so today I decided to get all of the crayons out of the box and infuse them with a little August heat. Never shy away from the unexpected. After all, you're the boss of your flowers!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Sisters White Tulips and Dangerous Encounters in the Market Today - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

 Five Sisters White Tulips
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

My new DVD

Five Sisters White Tulips was a celebratory painting in Flower Mound Studio today, celebratory because I found one lone bundle of French tulips in the market - in August no less! These flowers have a mysterious past. I know they weren't from Texas. I'd be amazed if they were from California this late in the season. When asked about their roots, they were absolutely mum. While in the market, the lady pushing them around in the shopping cart was distracted by a very dangerous substance, one which is perfectly legally bought and sold every day not a mile from her house - pastries! See the photo below for the incriminating evidence....

 The studio models taking a bow, and another bow, and another...

Dangerous things happen when I'm left
to my own devices in a grocery store....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Heart's Wish Sunflowers - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Heart's Wish Sunflowers
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

My new DVD

Heart's Wish Sunflowers is the newest painting in Flower Mound Studio. AnnieBee and I spent yesterday at the farm with mom. If you could have one wish, what would it be? Mine would be to have the time back with my Mother when she was younger, when she was in good health, outdoors pulling peppers off her plants in the garden, still working at the courthouse, and still getting her boxes of books in the mail from her book club every few weeks. Those are the sweetest memories now, and I'm so glad I have them...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pink Poppies and the Thing for Which I Shall Be Famous - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Pink Poppies Purple Iris
by Nancy Medina

Pink Poppies Purple Iris is the newest small work in the studio, finished at dusk amidst the pug snores. I posted a few studio photos on my Facebook page and the image of my shoe bag paint storage system went viral. Artists from around the globe posted and reposted and exclaimed they could now eliminate their giant flat 2-ton multi-drawer tool cabinets on wheels and take themselves post haste to WalMart for cheap $11 shoe bags! It is a small contribution but one for which I shall always be known. Oh, wait, I forgot to put my name on that photo. Well, darn. Professional obscurity shall continue.

But wait til you see what's on the OTHER SIDE
of the door on the right!