When the World Drops Out From Under Your Feet

Tumble Down Daisies 24X24
Tumble Down Daisies, 24X24, acrylic, information

We’ve awakened to a new world these past few months, and every week this reality has sharper edges. The hubby loves to do the grocery shopping, so we’ve changed a lot of our habits to doorstep deliveries, but some things require venturing out. While picking up a prescription, I was amazed that the grocery store was fully stocked, except for the paper products aisle (no Viva paper towels, eep!). Despite all of this, I realize today I am one of the fortunate ones, an artist who already has a healthy online teaching business. This makes me want to drop to my knees and thank the angels. I’m watching art friends whose survival depends on teaching and gallery sales suddenly searching for new ways to pay the bills. And I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for what is happening to scores of other professions out there.

This is not the first time the world has dropped out from under my feet as an artist, however. About 4 years ago, after launching my first online class, I was elated with the results. Over 400 artists from around the world signed up, and the students were very happy with the class. A few weeks afterward, while teaching a class in France, I received a startling email. The Web developer for the class decided to drop our contract. The funds that had been sent to the Web developer were substantial (think about buying a car, or two, and then finding out you’re allowed to drive it a few more months, but then must park it for good, while it still had the new car smell!).

I was devastated. I remember sitting on the edge of a bed in a 300 year old convent after reading the email, and feeling like I had fallen down a deep hole. We had invested all of our savings in paying the developer for her work. My husband had just given his notice at his company 2 weeks earlier, to work with me full-time. We were fairly certain we finally had an art business that could survive on its own, and perhaps even grow in the future. And now we were facing the prospect of starting over from scratch, and trying to build everything again. It felt like the end.

The angels were watching over me, however. My virtual assistant, Jude Rush, was in touch within minutes. She said not to worry. She and I had already survived several amazing highs and lows together in navigating the uncharted waters of online teaching, and our “Thelma and Louise” track record was solid. Jude said to me, I know a Web developer who is absolute gold. And that’s when Rachel Vane became part of our team.

These two young women have been the backbone of our art company through thick and thin. I read years ago that, if you give a busy woman something to do, rest assured it will be done, and it will be done well. Thanks to Rachel and Jude, I became one of the first oil painters to launch a monthly online membership class three years ago, an affordable way for artists to be able to access full-length painting lessons with lots more beautiful bells and whistles to boot. (You can read more about The Joyful Brush here).

I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: If it feels like the world has dropped from under your feet and the end is near, take a deep breath. There are helpers out there, and angels are watching over us. Artists are amazing, giving people, and the good energy they submit to the universe every single day does result in echoes and ripples, in goodness and joy, that return to reward you. Keep your heart light, keep creating and sharing beauty. Your gift means more now to the world than it ever did before, so don’t give up, and don’t be afraid. You’re part of a family, and we’re in this together, sweet friend.


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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. Thank you for this blog. Most of us have had serious ups and downs, how we deal with the good and bad is what makes us who we are.
    I am loving my “shelter in place” time to paint. Usually my husband and I are so busy, painting is in small snatches of time.
    We both love to cook (low carb!) and we have time to develop recipes.
    I pray we all stay healthy and happy.

    • Brigida thank you, I’m glad you have that quality time with your husband. I’m enjoying that more than anything else these days!

  2. I was just saying yesterday how lucky you are that you are so far ahead of the curve with your online teaching classes! We love you both! Big air hugs! Party on!

    • Thank you for those air hugs Lee! Partying with paint brush in hand, with you (from afar!) x

  3. Beautiful post, Nancy. I had no idea the difficulty you faced in the beginning. What you have created, with the love and help of your husband, your professional friends, your determination, perseverance, and strength, is truly remarkable. I look at all you’ve created for yourself, and it is truly an inspiration. Stay safe. Stay well. Hug your puggies. We all love you ♥️

    • Thank you so much Mary, I appreciate that. It feels like yesterday when it all began!

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