Broken Things I Treasure
Cripple Creek Gold, live painting, 20X16, acrylic, information

Broken things I treasure rest on a ledge in my studio, bathed in autumn gold sunshine from the skylights above.

Among these is a small pink angel with a rough, chipped veneer. My friend Sara made this for me over 20 years ago, when I lived in Santa Barbara. She had tossed the angel into the rubbish, because she wasn’t happy with how it turned out during its time in the fire. I pulled it from the bin, and begged to keep it. This broken angel has watched over me in four studios now, traveling from state to state, and I’m quite sure I could not paint without her steadying gaze from above.

A hand painted cappuccino cup, cracked and chipped from use, but still in good working order, is another of these treasures. I discovered it in a pottery studio in Sarlat, France, the same day I learned my little pug Annie had cancer. My husband had returned home to be with Annie that morning. With my heart in pieces, and those I loved on the other side of the world, I left the studio with a fragile, hand-made object that reminds me each morning of a tiny soul taken much too soon.

Surveying these treasures, and others like them that clutter shelves and collect the dust of life, I have become aware with age that the least valuable things often command the most prized real estate in my heart.

If this means I am well and truly old, then I’m all the happier for it. There will come a day when these items land in a box or rubbish bin, forgotten and buried under debris. Today, though, they are signposts along the meandering journey of an art life well lived.


Signature purple


studio cappuccino cup
A small treasure in my studio kitchen this morning

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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

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