Lynn Thorpe grew up in Newcastle, WY. She studied French and English at the University of Washington ( BA 1968); art at the Canberra School of Art , Canberra, A.C.T Australia (1975-77); the University of Wyoming (2nd BA and MFA, 1983); and printmaking at the Canadian Institute of Non-Toxic Printmaking, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, ( 1994 and 1997).

Thorpe retired from teaching at Northwest College in Powell, WY, in 2005.  After some wandering between SD and MT, and more teaching for BHSU, Spearfish, SD, she now lives and paints in Rapid City, SD.  More of her work can be seen at Warriors Work & Ben West Galleries in Hill City, SD, and at

These three paintings were influenced by the current COVID pandemic and couched in terms of nursery rhymes and the origins of currently used words and phrases.

            “Baa, Baa,…” , comes from the nursery rhyme, “ Baa, Baa, Black sheep/

Have you any wool? / Yes, Sir, Yes Sir, / Three bags full.  / One for the Master, / 

And one for the Dame, /And none for the little boy/ Who lives down the lane.”

The rhyme is said to refer to the 13th-century wool tax (the Great Custom) which was split between the farmer, king, and Church. The “little boy…” is the shepherd.  So, in my interpretation, he/she is “the essential” worker.  

            Stir-Crazy, comes from the old meaning of “Stir”—prison, or jail.  The term has been around since the 1850s.  The word “stir” probably comes from the Roman word, “stariben” which was sometimes shortened to “star”.  The term “stir-crazy” refers to being mentally disturbed due to a long confinement, whether alone or with others.

            Nest Egg, comes from the old practice, of putting a real or china egg into a hen’s nest to encourage her to lay. The term “nest-egg” has been around since 1686 as a savings term.  I used it ironically in reference to COVID as everyone’s “nest-eggs” are disappearing..” Lynn Thorpe