When You Need a Friend

Lilac Garden Red Poppies
Lilac Garden Red Poppies, 20X20, acrylic

Two days ago, I arrived home from France, a few pounds heavier, and missing my gorgeous students so much. Sometimes the universe sends you a gift when you need it most, thankfully, because this journey did not start off on the best foot. Have you ever had one of those trips where it felt like all your best laid plans were coming unglued? Like every time you put out one fire, another one sprung up? A day before travel, we discovered (doctor’s orders) Carlos was not to fly anywhere for 2 weeks. Then, just moments after absorbing that, I realized I had made a major error in booking our flights, thinking we were staying a few days in Paris on the inbound leg. After all, we had done exactly that in 2018! Alas, there were no such plans this year, so clearly my brain was on early vaca mode when I booked these dates, ages ago. So, I could choose to take a nerve pill and go set my hyperventilating self down on the couch, or I could put on my cowgirl boots and my Dr. Pepper lip gloss and face this crisis head on. Thanks to a super nice gal at American Airlines, all was smoothed over for us in the flight department, less than a day from departure. Even better, travel insurance said everything was fully covered. Carlos was fine, just needing to take it easy for a bit, per his doctor. The rest was going to be a breeze, right? Until my baggage, including all the students’ gifts and all the art supplies, failed to accompany me to France.

I was a bit shaken and stirred upon arrival in Carcassonne, with the idea of having to go a day sans deodorant or toothpaste weighing upon my mind (“Do you remember that art teacher who refused to speak to us the first day of the tour, or let us come near her – sheesh!?“). But this is the part that matters: My hostess, Carol (whom all my France students agreed could aptly be called “She Who Shall Always Be Adored”) brought me a care package with toiletries, PJs, comfy socks, and a hair scrunchy. I couldn’t use the hair scrunchy with my short curls, but it was the thought that counted! Next, my students stepped up and said, no worries, if my supplies did not arrive, everyone had a squirt of some color I needed, and duplicates of other goodies such as brushes and canvases could be found for teacher. Thanks to these gals, I felt like I could breathe again. It was really hard not having Carlos there, but a big weight was lifted from my shoulders.

This is what happens to women when other women stand by them.

One more time, I was reminded of how blessed I am – the artists who paint with me feel like more than friends, in truth, they are sisters. I’m a lucky duck. I’ve been given permission by the universe to do what I love – to work with artists. It’s a gift, and this combination of freedom and love is a potent one. When I feel afraid, or fearful of the future – the universe always seems to step in and send an angel or two, or even a half dozen, with paintbrushes in hand. This is my thank you letter to those better angels and kind souls – the artists who walk with me on this journey: a most heartfelt thank you!


Carcassonne class coast
An extraordinary bunch of French travelers, all smiles after a delicious lunch on the coast!



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June 2020 ~ Your summer escape awaits!

Mon Dieu, This Workshop Is Almost Full!

You are invited to join Nancy for a summer getaway to the magnificent French Alps. There is no more beautiful escape from the summer heat than spending 10 days in the heart of the lovely  medieval village of Annecy, known as “The Venice of France” with its canals, flower gardens, cafes and shops.

Learn more about the French Alps painting getaway!

After flying into Geneva, Switzerland, we’ll make our home in The Splendid Hotel near the shores of historic Lake Annecy. Your journey begins with a tour of Col de la Forclaz with lunch on the terrace of a dairy farm in the mountains. We’ll sample slices of charcuterie, cheeses, potato beignets, and fresh blueberry tarts with cream. We’ll tour the Chateau de Menthon St Bernard, a castle filled with 13th century furnishings, tapestries and a library of ancient manuscripts painted with illuminations from the monks of the Middle Ages. And this is all just Day 1!

During your journey workshop, you’ll have plenty of painting time with Nancy in the indoor studio at your hotel in Annecy. Nonpainters will enjoy additional tours and excursions while the painters are busy in the studio. This tour is filling quickly! Contact support@www.nancymedina.com for registration details.




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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. First of I’m glad Carlos is ok. I know that not having him on the trip added a lot of stress. Plus all the missing stuff. Sometimes travel is a bit overwhelming (my parents, since they don’t speak much English and there are two layovers needed, won’t visit me anymore since last year when my flight was delayed by four hours and I needed to call the airline. I was able to get on the last flight out of states but in their case they would’ve been stuck at the airport not knowing what to do). And sometimes it feels like we need vacation from vacation.
    However I still wouldn’t change all the memories 🙂 I’m so glad everything worked out in the end for you. And thank you for creating the joyful brush and gathering all the like-minded artist around you!
    I so wish I could go on one of your trips, meet you, Carlos and everyone in person (may need to win lottery first though 😉 ) and to experience it all. For now thank you for being a flower friend (I love when you greet us like that) 🙂

    • Iwona that would be so frightening not to understand the language in the midst of flight delays and cancellations, good grief! You’re absolutely right, the trip was magical, and I hope someday to meet you too, flower friend! Although I already feel like I know you. 🙂

    • MaryLee do you remember Dr. Pepper Lip Gloss? I wish it wasn’t part of my history, but it sure was! big hugs!

  2. oh gooness Nancy! I’m so glad Carlos is ok!!! And your wonderful host & students all came through for you!! Travel can be really stressful – but when you need a friend….oh – friends are priceless!!! Cheer & blessings to you!, Roxanne Steed

    • Roxanne that is so true, friends can carry you through just about anything, especially when art and shopping is involved to smooth the way! 🙂

  3. Oh Nancy, what a journey you had on this trip & lots of memories. I enjoyed your description of it all. It did bring back a few travel memories of my own. In late 1970’s I had to travel to Tripoli, Libya with 4 & 6 year old sons (my second flight of my life.) Missed our flight but finally made another one but my luggage did not. Spent the night in London, changed airports & praise the Lord they called with my luggage at correct airport. Lots more happened but now I can laugh at it all. Your class of artist’s sound like wonderful people helping you as they did.

    • Oh my gosh Vesta, I can’t imagine going through all of that with two little ones in tow! You are a brave, fearless Mom!

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