An Artist's Quest

An Incomplete Picture

ears and years of journals and sketchbooks. The first started when I was 18 all the way up to a current book of ideas.

Years and years of journals and sketchbooks. The first started when I was 18 all the way up to a book of current ideas.

Hello dear readers, I haven’t forgotten about you.  It has been several weeks and many miles since my last blog post but now I’m back in ordinary time swaying between computer screen and studio time.  One of my summer endeavors is to do some sorting and packing and moving along of stuff, too much stuff, both in my home and studio.  I find it especially hard to get rid of things in my studio, I might need that scrap of fabric, or dab of paste, I might want that old poster to cut up or weathered wood to work on, but space is limited and I find my creativity and my inner calm hampered by the clutter, so I sort.  In the save pile I have a stack journals and sketchbooks.  Not one of these is filled from cover to cover save for one plein air sketchbook (perhaps I should pay attention to that, but not for this post).  Most of these journals were started at the beginning or end of something.  Most detail love lost, or angst, or love and angst. One journal begins with being dumped but doesn’t continue on to brighter days of self-confidence and satisfaction.  Another little book begins with a lovely inscription from my husband at the beginning of our infertility journey.  He gave me the journal to help me  during the daunting and rigorous infertility process, and a fine idea it was.  But reading back I find that I journal the journey through only 3 of the 7 unsuccessful tries and not a note about the triumphant 8th and semi miraculous try that led to birth of our most amazing, gift of a son, Ivan. Some future reader thumbing these pages at a yard sale will find a picture of a woman of dark countenance and even darker future.  But it isn’t so! Here I am, bright and shiny and filled with the joy of living. I just want to get that on the record. Until I sat down to write about these fragmentary texts stacked in my studio, I didn’t realize that this blog right here is my latest journal attempt, I am inching up to three years on this commitment! I will admit there are times when I’m not sure why I’m blogging, I have had confused conversations with people trying to describe the purpose of my blog. Many people want to know if there is a financial or career motive to my blogging.  I would have to say there is no economic reason to blog and it’s debatable if there is any career advancing reason to blog.  But here I am confessing to you.  Ugh I’ve done it again, by blogging my thoughts I’ve come to the root of it. Perhaps it’s a confessional!? I’m not catholic, I fancy myself something of a christianbuddistpagen, but this act of writing to you, confessing to you, my desire to share something of my misgivings and transgressions with you as well as my triumphs and discoveries, is motivational. In the past when I kept a journal it was very insulated and internal, no editing for comsuption and so the thoughts are incomplete, bitter and bruised. But the act of blogging, has been a boiling down, a making of jam, taking the tart fruit and sugar of my life and adding the the spice and tang of you my subscribers, stirring and cooking, stirring and cooking, until a sweet concoction is achieved. So thank you for being out there in the ether, in the cloud, across the interweb, and down the street. I’ll keep at it if you’ll come with me to keep me honest.

I’d love to hear your experiences, struggles and successes, with journaling and blogging, how does it work and what does it mean to you?


13 responses

  1. ted and joan

    Oh My God, Your blog is fantastic. Your art grows and always delight us, wishing we could cover our walls with it. I feel like you are becoming the philosopher queen, I feel in tune with so much of your thinking. Please keep on sharing. T&J

    June 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm

  2. I love to journal and do so daily. I have all of them and review them once a year to see my growth. I think it has been healthy as I gave continued to move forward and see growth. Thank you for sharing this post. I think it was courageous.

    June 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  3. Delores

    I love your blogs. keep them coming. I too have been journaling for years–it is therapeutic for me.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

  4. Valerie Komkov Hill

    I have boxes in the attic of diaries and journals dating back to when I was ten years old. From tiny plastic diaries, to pages and pages of cheap legal pads and notebooks to art journals, to my own blog, the latest incarnation, but now much less confessional and much more me just being detached and observational. Some of them I cringe to read, and yet…..I can’t bring myself to just toss them. I don’t know if I ever want them read or saved so why can’t I throw them away?

    June 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  5. Laura Thorpe

    You’d better believe I’m along on your blogger’s magic carpet ride for the long haul. There’s nary a Lisa Thorpe blog post that doesn’t get me really thinking, nodding to myself, and often tearing up as well. My reactions are in some measure a big sister’s pride in watching the little sister do something I could never do myself — just like when I nervously held my breath watching a much younger you nail your balance beam routine at a high school gymnastics meet many moons ago … But it’s more than that. Post by post you speak to my soul and nourish my heart and challenge my brain. How great it is that you have those old journals that chronicle the upheavals and pain of your past. How great for your faithful readers that through your blog you give us a gift — a window into the joys and struggles that fuel the older and wiser Lisa, while also stimulating those nods of recognition in me, and I am guessing in many others as well. Thanks for letting us leaf throw the pages of your new millennial journal….

    June 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    • Wow, I’ve had such loving support for the blog I am encouraged to continue on this crazy journey, thanks for coming along for the ride!

      July 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  6. Mary Thorpe

    This blog certainly resonates with me. I have started and abandoned more journals than I care to count. Each began with good intentions to keep a record of interesting times, heartfelt musings, or just bits of things that crossed my mind. Those good intentions to fill the pages were always short lived. I have a similar record with photo albums. Lisa, you on the other hand, have an incredible record when it comes to telling beautiful stories year after year with your photo albums. Not to mention, nearly three years with your blog is no too shabby!


    June 30, 2013 at 9:33 pm

  7. Hi Lisa, this is Lucy from England. Andy and I really love your blog, and actually you inspired me to start my own blog about baking artisan bread at home. Take a look if you have a moment, and if you have the slightest interest in bread baking, or alternately looking at pictures of freshly baked bread. ( Blogging is another world and I’ve really being enjoying all the connections you can make with other people, and that you can learn from them and be moved by them and be encouraged to try new things. So keep blogging, we so enjoy what you create.

    July 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    • Mary Anne

      Just want you to know I shall check out your website as I am a fellow bread baker!

      July 2, 2013 at 8:58 am

  8. Anne Blanton

    Dear Lisa,

    Writing has been my life blood..
    Journals abound, from years past until the present.
    Now my dear I am ready for the next adventure.
    I am officially retired and feel euphoric.
    I am excited to have time to become more involved in the ranch, to do a retreat with you!!!!
    We will be in touch.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

  9. Jane

    Once again Lisa when I read your blog I am amazed at how much we share in common! I also hate to throw anything away, especially if it falls into the crafting/creative material category. I sadly do not share your talent, but I certainly share your insight and optimism for items that others easily discard. As I continue on my year of clearing out, the latest target was my office – five boxes of trash/recycling out the door so far, but oh so far to go!

    I have been attracted to journaling for years, but until last year failed to put down more than a few days down on paper in any one year. Your comments made me realize that I too tend to journal during the harder times, and fail to write anything of the good and joyful moments. I think I like to journal to talk with myself and process my options and find understanding in the situation. This month we have had much joy to celebrate, but only now (after been prompted by your blog) am I writing about any of these joys.

    Thanks again for the insight. I am making a mental note to take time to not only smell the roses, but to press the flowers so that I can treasure their beauty for years to come.

    July 2, 2013 at 7:18 am

  10. Mary Anne

    Love your blog! Stay with it as so many would miss hearing from you.

    I ceased writing narrative only journals years ago as they became too self-indulgent. I started keeping “scrap book” journals filled with fewer words. They are filled with “important stuff” pasted on the pages with brief statements and lists. While I continue to keep those journals, I began art journaling last year. Art journaling for me is a great way to explore art media and techniques and still record my place in the world at any given moment.

    Happy and blessed 4th of July!

    July 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    • I like the idea of the art journal… art that’s just for me not to sell… but I haven’t gotten there yet.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm

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