Artist & Teacher

Work to Do


A demo page from my class at MAC on Mixed Media Art Journaling

A couple of weekends ago I taught a Mixed Media Art Journaling class at the Mendocino Art Center. The center is located in the quaint artsy coastal town of Mendocino in on the Northern California coast. It’s a beautiful little town and a lovely place to teach. On Saturday, after teaching, I made my way to the local bookstore and as I often do, I found myself thumbing through the poetry section. This poem of Mary Oliver’s spoke to me and I used it as my inspiration for my Sunday demonstration in my workshop the next day.

 I Go Down to The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning

and depending on the hour the waves

are rolling in our moving out,

and I say, ok, I am miserable,

what shall –

what should I do? And the sea says

in it’s lovely voice:

Excuse me, I have work to do.

                              –Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

The poem speaks to where I am right now- “I have work to do”. I had a summer with busy parts and lazy parts, visits, travels and guests. It is wonderful to get out of the routine, get out of the ordinary, to play with the rhythm of the day and the rhythm of the week. But at some point it is time to return to ordinary time. There is comfort in the return – the structure of rising early, exercise, and getting down to the business at hand. This week was that for me, doing Ranch work, making sketches for a commission, meetings, emails, even this blog, all of it. My to-do list has been sitting ignored for some time now and this week it’s boxes were checked, things completed new items added. It is both daunting and invigorating to return. So forgive me if I brush past you in my bustle, like the sea, “I have work to do”.

Poem detail-MixedMediaArtJournaling-Poemdetail

Detail of journal page


6 responses

  1. Beth

    Lovely Lisa! I’m hoping those sketches are for our work together!! 🙂

    August 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

  2. Hi Lisa, That poem is where I’ve been the last couple weeks emotionally. Thanks for the inspired posting. I shared with a friend of Drew’s who also appreciates Mary Oliver and it was meaningful to him too. You sent a little blessing that helps me endure. Love, Susanne

    Sent from my iPhone


    August 20, 2016 at 7:44 am

  3. Bonnie Orr

    So beautifully rendered, Lisa! I resonate with Mary O’s poetry and your fine visual art. Thank you to you both for sharing this with a “perpetual wannabe.” 😜

    Sent from my iPad


    August 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

  4. April

    One of my favorite of your blog postings. Thank you for reminding me. I’m going now…

    August 21, 2016 at 1:32 am

  5. I love it! May I share it on my blog – earthenware ministry? Blessings!

    August 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

  6. Pingback: Work to Do — Lisa Thorpe’s Mandala Challenge | Earthenware Ministry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s