Monday, May 25, 2015

Close to Heaven Pink Peonies and Remembering My Mother - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Close to Heaven Pink Peonies
by Nancy Medina 
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

I've been thinking a lot about heaven lately, since I now have one more guardian angel, perhaps the most powerful one I have ever had. I thought I would only feel my Mother's presence the morning after she died, when I felt a blanketing warmth and comfort surround me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. But today I felt her with me again, a transcendent peace settled over me this morning as I watched the sun finally come out after a night of ferocious thunderstorms. I think we all wish and hope that we will never truly lose the ones we love most, and perhaps this is all just wishful thinking. 

My friends assure me that I should be prepared to be fatigued almost always now, since, even if I am not aware of it, the brain is processing after a loss of this magnitude. If so, what a blessing to have a tired mind that allows my thoughts to wander to such feelings and memories. I keep picturing my Mom at her kitchen table, stirring a glass of iced tea, and laughing. If there were one epithet I would hope for, it would be that people said of me, "I always remember her laughing." What a wonder to have lived my life with a Mother who had a magical laugh and an easy smile and a heart always open to others.

The studio models take a dip and a bow!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spring Rain Peony and Hydrangea Garden and a Flower Mound Art Event - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Spring Rain Peony and Hydrangea Garden
by Nancy Medina 
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas

Spring Rain Peony and Hydrangea Garden is my newest large container garden, unveiled at my art event at Wine Down Market in Flower Mound Saturday. I'm humbled and honored at such a great turnout for the show! Thanks so much to everyone who joined me, and congratulations to Kay McCarthy who won a fun and squishable peony pillow. All the proceeds for the pillow giveaway went to one of my favorite charities, Dallas Ft Worth Pug Rescue. There were several quite good looking puggies who joined us for the event, four footed snuffly little ambassadors to the cause. I'll be having another art show at Wine Down Market again this year, right in time for holiday shopping, I sure hope you can join me there! Sign up for my newsletter so I can keep you in the flower loop!

Art and pugs, what a perfect mix!

Great to catch up with friends!

Camille the pug has found a forever
home with Don and Julie - hooray!

A future flower painter arrives, hooray for Jodi!

Milessa aka Miss Fashion Sense!

Crickett in her favorite place,
Mom Karolyn's lap!

The pug rescue dream team, Jan, Karolyn, Cricket the pug, and Tammy! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Free Tulip Video and Framed in Violet White Roses - Flower Painting Workshops and Classes by Nancy Medina Art

Framed in Violet White Roses
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Framed in Violet White roses celebrates the push and pull of warm and cool violets, and how it can be just so much fun to let your hair down and play with color. Today the pugs and I are celebrating in the studio the release of my full-length, free tulip video. Just a flower footnote for all those who watch, unlike my professional DVDs, Pink Pirouette Tulip on video was just an amateur production done by yours truly, with her puggy assistants, so the sound is not high quality. I beg your forgiveness for that, though, if you listen closely, as a consolation prize, you might just hear snoring, snorting, barking and other assorted puggy noises! Stay tuned to the end for some fun out-takes involving the helpers!

Click here to watch your free video!

I hope you enjoy this little tulip treat, I created it for you as a thanks for walking with me on this flower-strewn path of my first year as a full-time artist, and also to celebrate hitting 14,000 Facebook fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart - with flowers - and pug kisses, too!

The studio models take a bow!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies and the Birds and the Bees - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

 Ballet Slipper Pink Peonies is the newest painting in Flower Mound Studio, based on the fresh flower models who kindly stayed up late with the artist with little or no complaint. It was a beautiful day in my garden, my oak leaf hydrangea is in its glory after weeks of rain. I was able to catch a few rays this afternoon, between clouds, and noticed after a few moments I was sharing my chair with George the tree lizard. Actually, I am quite sure he was George the XIII, since he was a rather spry youngster compared to his George the Lizard cousins hanging out on the gate puffing their little chins at one another. I hope your day included a few moments of blissful contemplation (aka napping) in a sunny garden!

The studio models take a siesta!

A little water dabbing in the sunshine!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Dallas Arboretum Tour and Willow Loop Wildflowers - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Willow Loop Wildflowers
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Museum Quality Panel

A wet winter and spring have brought on the most colorful wildflower bloom in years in the Texas Hill Country. Willow City Loop is just outside the historic town of Fredericksburg, Texas, where I teach each spring. We also have plenty of blossoms up here in North Texas. The Dallas Arboretum has constructed an array of new rose arbors this year, along with some fun Texas-themed topiaries. Here is a photo tour for those who haven't visited yet this season - enjoy!

 Roses to rival Coronado Island blooms!

Talk about color drama....

Don't you love the long green manes!

 The petunia star - biggie size!

Just imagining lavender here....

 Roses, arbors, make my heart go pitty pat....!

So much color, I hope they last all summer long...!

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Mother's Music and Peonies in Cut Glass - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Peonies in Cut Glass
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Museum Quality Panel

When we were young, my Mother would go into the piano room and play Fur Elise while we worked on our homework. Sometimes she played for hours. At times she labored through the notes and, at other times, the music seemed to flow from her fingertips. Today when my sisters and I met at the farm, it was the first day I was there when my Mother's home no longer was filled with her presence. Where her hospital bed sat in the living room, an empty space now waits.

I went into her piano room and opened the old wooden bench, where her sheet music was stored. Fur Elise lay on top, with notes on pages yellowed with age and corners crinkled from years of use. Beneath were other songs she would play for us, the Christmas music, the children's songs, and some classical pieces. But the only thing I took with me from my Mother's home, was Fur Elise. I'm learning to navigate a new path now, a life where my Mother can no longer be held and touched. These tangible notes, her music and poetry, the things she loved, are so very precious to me. Paper and words, they weigh so little, but they will be my anchor and my comfort when I miss her most.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Saying Goodbye and Flags in My Garden - by Nancy Medina

Arboretum Flags ~
Blue and White Irises 
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

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Heaven is filled with the gorgeous sound of my Mother's laugh today. She passed away on Thursday evening. Just as many had predicted, the world tilted under my feet, and life is not the same. I've learned a lot since Thursday. I've learned that amazing friends will carry you on their shoulders when your heart is sad. I've learned that sisters are some of life's most precious gifts. I am quite certain my Mother is writing poetry again. I woke up this morning with a funny little song in my head that had the words "I'm so proud of you, Nanny..." in it, and though I can't remember the rest, it felt like a message from a guardian angel with a sense of humor. 

Holding my Mother's spiral notebooks of poetry tightly, I felt a sense of absolute peace and calm the morning after she left us. Her typed poetry is on yellowed paper. Her written notes are in shorthand, and some are in tiny print. Poems under construction are scribbled through, rewritten in margins, and then typed perfectly in courier. I found things in her notebooks that I had never noticed before. A card from Poetry Magazine, offering prizes of "$50, $100 and even $500!" for winning poems. I remember when we were small, how she saved a few dollars back from grocery money each week to buy school clothes for us girls. I wonder now if her poetry wasn't just about creating art with words, but just one more way she was trying to make our lives better. 

I taught a class at the Dallas Arboretum Saturday. At lunch break, as I sat in the quiet classroom by myself gazing across the easels at my student's work, and seeing the sunlight streaming in from the skylights, I realized my Mom had just watched me teach for the first time. 

I do believe there is a beautiful next chapter in this life. I do believe there are more poems to come. For now, I will keep moving forward with her spirit beside me and the memory of her laugh in my heart. I will love you forever, my beautiful Mom.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pink Tulip Jubilee and a Gift for You - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Pink Tulip Jubilee
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

 The fresh pink tulips stayed perky for one more day, so we're celebrating with a spring giveaway in Flower Mound Studio this week. I'm looking for a home for a deep gallery wrap print of one of my favorite paintings, Life's a Breeze Peonies. How to win? Sign up for my Art Newsletter! I'll be announcing the winner on May 2 at 8:30 pm CT on my Facebook Fan Page. Be sure to tune in flower friends, you may have to get that hammer and nail out to hang your new prize!

Life's a Breeze Peonies and the studio models

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pink Blush Tulips, a New Video, and a Radio Interview - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Pink Blush Tulips 
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas

I was feeling quite blue about missing the tulip fest at the Dallas Arboretum this spring, when I stumbled upon a bouquet of big pink tulips at the flower market today. I could hardly wait to get them home and put them under the spotlight! Pink Blush Tulips celebrates all my favorite spring colors, with a mix of warm peach and pink spring hues.

The real prize at the market was a bundle of peonies - cross your fingers, toes and flower petals that the peonies will fluff open in the next day or two and be ready to pose for a painting! If I get really lucky, they'll hold up for my next DVD filming coming up very soon. (Stay tuned for more details on the new video lesson coming up soon...)

My first radio interview aired a few days ago, for Artists Helping Artists on Blog Talk Radio. Awesome hostesses Margaret Sheldon and Leslie Saeta put me right at ease, and the puggies even cooperated, not interrupting even once. I am very proud that Margaret's helper, Gus, tuned in with a few snores, from his strategic nap position at her feet. What's an interview without input from the helpers? (Apparently not a single leaf fluttered outside during the interview, or else the Leaf Flutter Alert System would have gone into full puggy action mode!) You can hear the whole interview, even if you missed the event, since it's all on the streaming thingy ma bob system. Break out the popcorn and enjoy!

The studio models take a bow!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog Talk Radio and Hydrangea Queens in New Orleans ~ Nancy Medina Art ~ Painting Classes and Workshops

Sugar Queen Hydrangeas ~ Class Demonstration
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas

No sooner had I unpacked from my back to back workshops in Nashville and New Orleans, and it was time to prep for my Blog Talk Radio Show interview for Artists Helping Artists.

I'm so nervous! What if I forget my name? Worse yet, what if I forget the studio helpers' names?

Leslie Saeta and Margaret Sheldon, the hostesses, assure me it's just a chat between friends, nothing to be concerned about. Nevertheless, my motto is: It's best to be over prepared. I've glued post-it notes all over my computer and begun gargling with salt water. I've included essential information, too, like my name, blue and yellow makes green, all those little things that slip my 50-plus year old mind. I'm really hoping for one of those 10 minute delays, in case of pug-catastrophe. (Do you remember that time Howie decided to throw up in the middle of my DVD video shoot, and he did it loudly and with great enthusiasm?)

Just to calm your nerves, or rather my nerves, here are some photos from my most awesome trip to the Big Easy this weekend. I LOVE New Orleans, and had a fabby time, as my friend Rebecca has taught me to say. Next stop is the Dallas Arboretum - I'm saving a tulip with your name on it!

Hydrangea construction zone, hardhats required!

Sylvia's sparkling smile (and flowers!)

New Orleans Alumni, 2015 

The classroom models take a bow!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Rain Irises and Pugs in the Garden - Flower Paintings and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Spring Rain Irises
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas


This morning my iris garden was struggling to regain its footing after the cool rains yesterday. A flock of yellow blossoms had fallen to the earth, so I took up my garden scissors and brought them indoors for a modeling session. My four pug helpers accompanied me on this rhizome reconnaissance mission into the gardens. 

Our special needs rescue pug Hannah has bird patrol duties she takes quite seriously, while Howard Pee Pugpants enjoys smooshing his snout into the potting soil, the pots, the bags, the boxes, and anything in general he can reach. Java, my old man puggy, always comes to Mom for love and pats first, since he considers himself more human than pug. And Studio Director AnnieBee waits impatiently for me to throw the toy du jour a few gazillion times for her. She waits all day for this, and it's been a long, wet winter so we've had a lot of catching up to do. 

I hope you've had some productive moments in your spring garden, with helpers nearby to keep you smiling - tomorrow morning I'm off to teach in New Orleans, one of my favorite places in the whole world - and I'm not just saying that because of the beignets, cher!

 The studio models take a bow - and a dip!

AnnieBee says, don't forget to play outside today!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Southern Bell Sunflowers and a New Tennessee Workshop - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina

Southern Bell Sunflowers
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas

Southern Bell Sunflowers was one of my class demonstrations in Tennessee last week, and features some teal pops of color to balance the warm orange bellies of these large flowers. We had a great time in class, the students took home some prizes, new hats, and even one big grand giveaway of $1000 (in chocolate!). I'm delighted to announce I've opened another Tennessee class since the first one filled up so quickly - I hope to see you there!

Painting Brilliant Florals and Landscapes
in Memphis/Collierville, Tennessee
October 12-14, 2015

Nashville, Tennessee Alumni 2015


Donna's delicious prize!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Blue Heaven Hydrangeas and Tough Choices in the Garden - Flower Painting Classes and Workshops by Nancy Medina Art

Blue Heaven Hydrangeas
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Deep Gallery Wrap Canvas

I clipped the blooms from my hydrangeas this evening. I originally had planned to cut some of my new irises and bring them into the studio to paint. I stood in front of the iris bed with the scissors in my hand, looking at the white irises, and the blue irises, and the deep purple, and I just could not bring myself to cut any of them. They were so tall, and fresh, and recently unfurled, and clearly enjoying their moment in the sun after a long winter.

The blue hydrangeas that traveled with me from my last workshop, however, were beginning to fade. Destined for my flower pots tomorrow, I knew the blossoms would not last much longer. Or perhaps that is just the excuse I used to have the courage to cut them. They posed quite bravely under the hot spotlight in Big Blue, my favorite vase, this evening. Here's to their sacrifice - thank you so much to these lovely blue blossoms for taking one for the team!

The studio models take a bow!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Sparkle Geraniums and Caught in a Flower Painting Love Triangle - Nancy Medina Art

 Spring Sparkle Pink Geraniums
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Spring Sparkle Pink Geraniums was one of my recent class demonstrations and the flower models are already blooming happily on my sun porch, as part of my "paint the flower, plant the flower" recycling program. I'm leaving for Tennessee Friday for a full workshop near Nashville, but I have a confession to make. I am so excited about Tennessee and seeing all those friendly southern ladies, but Sonoma, California, is on my mind! Paint Brilliant Sonoma is coming up soon. Is it okay to be in love with two venues at the same time? Will Nashville begin saying awful things about Sonoma on its Facebook page if they discover I am practically seeing them both at the same time?

I know the airline is pretty happy with me at this particular juncture, as I have six plane tickets in the queue and single handedly have funded an entire fuselage on one of the new Airbus 777s. Not to incur further jealousy, but the flight attendance slipped me an extra bag of peanuts on my last flight. I tried to nod my thanks to her, but the gentleman's elbow in the seat next to me was wedged so tightly under my chin I could barely get my seatbelt clipped.

Regardless, the evening wine tasting and hazy mornings over flower filled fields with clusters of grapes catching the dawn dew are calling my name. I would move back to California in a heartbeat, if I could afford the car registration fees. At least I can visit occasionally, and take you with me! Here's the squeeze on Sonoma:

Paint Brilliant Sonoma

May 29-31, 2015

Registration Information

~ Class Wine Tasting Outing May 30 ~

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Signs of Spring Purple Iris and a Sonoma, California Workshop - Flower Paintings by Nancy Medina Art

 Signs of Spring
Purple Iris
by Nancy Medina
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Signs of Spring celebrates the first blooms in my garden, my purple and blue iris. Thanks to the wet winter, the flowers are promising to perform extraordinary feats of color in my iris and hydrangea beds over the next few weeks. I promise to document the array of unfurling petals for you on my art bloggy, flower friends, so stay tuned! I hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend with lots of loved ones nearby!

I'm excited to be heading to Sonoma, California, for a workshop soon. My hostess has been sending photos of the blooming gardens there, and we have a wine tasting evening at La Rochelle Wine Market. You are invited so pack your purple brushes and join me there - your vintage awaits! Read more...

Paint Brilliant Sonoma

May 29-31, 2015

Registration Information

Signs of spring on the easel!

Your vintage awaits!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading to My Mother the Poet - By Nancy Medina Art

Pink Halos Peonies -
Cover Art ~ Pandora's Box
by Nancy Medina

Tonight I read to my Mother from her own book of published poems. As I read, I glanced at her from time to time in her hospital bed. She lay with her eyes bright and alert. As I finished each poem she had written, I would meet her eyes briefly and she would meet mine, with a bit of a smile shared between us.

As I read to her, it occurred to me, my reading voice has the same inflection my Mother's voice had when she read to us as children. Because her hands can no longer grip properly, I held the book upright for her, showing her each poem and the painting I had chosen to go with it.

When I finished the last poem, the one she had written about her father, I said to Mom, "The end." She turned to me with a smile and said, "That was good."

And it was. It was very good.

Gentle Thoughts

Drifting, drifting
back in time,
poignant memories
brush my mind.

When we were young
and life was sweet
I danced with you
in sandled feet.

You were so tall
and I so low
I had to kiss you
on tiptoe.

My faithful friend
so strong, so true
I loved you but
you never knew

Elsie Leighton Becker