How to Ignite the Joy and Avoid the Oreos

Fly Away Home Poppy Garden
Fly Away Home Poppy Garden, 20X20, oil, information

The garden has been a super distraction, and fresh air while potting new dahlias and peonies is like a gift from Heaven. Being a woman of “a certain age” adds an edge to the worrisome bits these days, and I’m thankful for my garden, my home based art business, and my sweet hubby and pugs. Social distancing is a great recipe for safety, but I’ve also learned to social distance myself from the news ~ lest I end up a basket case before the day begins.

If you’ve found a beautiful, healthy escape, I’d love to hear your ideas and discoveries. One friend mentioned yoga – my doctor said “a woman of my age” can do that from a chair and highly recommended it. Lots of online meditation links are also available. Artists are gifted not only with color, form and creating, they are often more in tune with the gentle vibrations of mood and emotion. Taking all the world gives us into the studio every day is just part of living the life of a daily-ish painter. How you feel affects how you paint.

Recently, I’ve discovered something new: If I really want to be expressive, I have to abandon process and embrace surprise. Letting go is scary, but it’s what really gets the joy ignited. A painting can be technically perfect, but lack the energy and color that draws the eye. Looking back at paintings from years ago, I often find them more appealing than I did when I created them. There is a raw quality of exploration in impressionistic paintings that can be suffocated if we bind ourselves too tightly to rules and rigidity. Your brush strokes reveal your energy level, your stress, and your enthusiasm for the subject.

It’s terrifying to clear your mind in front of a blank canvas and rely solely on intuition. Once you reach a certain place in your art journey, the rules are innate, but the mojo is not. This is why I always set up my subject just minutes before I touch the brush to canvas. If I let time and life get in the way of that moment of excitement, there I am, back in front of the news again, eating double stuffed oreos and thinking about a nap.



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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. My Dear Nancy, as I read this I thought she needs to change doctors!
    Armchair Yoga? Your kidding right? How old was this guy? 25?

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