Seduced by a Cad ~ What Happens in France, Doesn’t Always Stay in France

French Window Peeper Geraniums by Nancy Medina
French Window Peeper Geraniums, 12X12, oil, sold


There is one reason and one reason alone I took up oil painting. I fell in love with a cad. One day, after years in on again, off again relationships with watercolor and acrylics, my world was upended. I saw a painting of a red geranium in oils. I had just encountered cadmium red, up close and beautiful, for the first time. I was dazzled. I knew at that instant, if I could paint like that, I would be the happiest person on earth. Maybe if I had gotten therapy immediately, or an intervention, my whole future would have changed. Corinne, the owner of Le Vieux Couvent where I teach in Southern France each year, shared these words of wisdom: Don’t be seduced by geraniums. This was her guiding policy when she was first looking for a property to buy in Europe.

The truth is, every time I see a new image or scene I love, especially from France or Italy, I want to toss all current commitments to the wind and paint whatever I’ve just seen. My entire life is driven by emotive responses to color, shape, and light. I think for many artists, this exact sequence of events happens over and over again, every time we see a new image we love. Do your endorphins kick into high gear in the presence of golden yellows, beautiful magentas, eye catching caribbeans and heart warming oranges?

Today I’m on a color high, because I’m painting red geraniums. It’s pretty clear oils and I have entered into a long-term commitment to one another, tied the knot, broken the plate, and are up to the elbows in turp cans, medium and varnish. But just the other day, I saw this incredible, bold abstract acrylic painting that rocked my world. There was texture and a black line in a Z pattern that was absolutely arresting. My heart went pitty pat. Everything changed. And so it begins…again!

PS: Something absolutely magical is coming your way – on August 16, I’ll be making a big announcement so stay tuned flower friends! Let the all new, exciting countdown to color begin!
Congratulations to Patricia Cochran-Campbell, winner of last week’s blog commentary print prize, Italian Rain Lavenders. Share a comment right here on my blog post, and you’re entered to win a fine art print of French Window Peeper Geraniums!

PPS: See all the sights of my recent trip to Italy in my new monthly online class, The Joyful Brush, I want to take you with me in Petal Perks! Learn more here…

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Nancy Medina

Nancy is a master signature artist and instructor with over 1800 online students from around the world. She has worked with Disney, served on the art faculty of the Dallas Arboretum, and teaches workshops in France, Italy and across the US. More about Nancy

Reader Interactions


  1. Beautiful!! I am still trying to find my happy medium and am thinking its oil! I should say after having taken your classes, is see colors and shapes all around me and am itching to try almost everything that I see in nature! Sadly, too much inspiration and no time! Hopefully I will will get to to indulge in colors soon….meanwhile,waiting for your announcement!

  2. Red has always been my signature color! But then there’s turquoise, which makes my heart sing. Add some bright yellow, and you’ve got a spectrum going. I tend to add a bit of sparkle to my paintings when I get the chance.
    After I started painting seriously, I looked at the clouds in a whole new way. How many shades of grey could God paint?!

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