Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aunt Nan's Initial Offering

I just had a birthday, and I got to thinking it was about time I had a blog. I have been noticing that I have too much to say in ordinary e-mails, and maybe it is time to enter the blogosphere. I consider my mind a tool of sorts, and these days it has been overactive in a whole lot of different directions, and it might be that some of the things that flit through are worth writing down in case my kids and grandkids should ever wonder what I've been up to.

I've been up to HERE. (That's me, pointing at eyebrow level, in case you can't tell.) I am learning all the time, and my latest venture is learning to crochet. I have a very patient and wonderful friend who is helping me through this phase, giving gentle instruction and trying hard not to laugh at my drunken spider productions. I am learning to crochet because there is this cool felted bag I want to make to hold my crochet projects. Yes, it does too make sense. If you want to do something that needs a container, then you need a container to keep that something in--stands to reason. Anyhow, maybe by Christmas I will have mastered crocheting enough to have actually started on the bag. In the meantime, I shall have to use whatever bag happens to be empty at the moment.

Ah, yes--bags. Bags are very important in my life. I use them to keep parts of ongoing projects together, to haul stuff back and forth from various meetings and arty parties, and to store stuff for classes. And for anything that needs to be stuck somewhere more or less out of sight. I have a lot of stuff, and so I have a lot of bags. Most of them are full most of the time, and so I am constantly in need of new ones. Empty an old one, you say, and use that? Ah, but you see, the old ones are usually filled with projects, art materials, paper, embellishments, and odd stuff. And yes, I need all that, because, as one of my friends put it, Art Requires Inventory.

Oh, I didn't mention that I am an, among other things, artist. I make art. I do this on paper, and on canvas and sometimes on whatever is handy. Like porcelain. I am a Master Porcelain Artist, and I have the certificate (and a pile of blue ribbons and some trophies) to prove it I also do water colors, make books, make collages, and do weird things with acrylics. And now, lately digital art has taken hold. Easier to store the equipment for that--a terabyte hard drive takes awhile to fill--at least I hope so. I shall doubtless inflict images of some of my art upon the readers, if any, of this blog.

Another thing I am is a writer. I have written an unpublished mystery, several chapbooks of self-published poems, a PhD dissertation, lots of 500-words-or-less Flash Stories, and articles for many newsletters for organizations I belong to. Some of my poetry has been actually published in literary magazines and journals, but these have now sadly disappeared from the world of journals. I also have edited a book called Art and Archaeology in the Mediterranean World (and did an article for it and most of the illustrations).

Oh, yes, I have done illustrations. My illustrations have appeared in thirteen books to date, and I will have some in a fourteenth coming out sometime late this year or early next year.

And would you believe, my husband and my kids somehow think I've never done anything. What I haven't done much of is housework--who had time?

Here is a self portrait taken in a mirror and photoshopped to get rid of a too busy background. I made myself look like a little old lady, too, while I was at it. I'm really a tall, gorgeous red head with great legs....oh, and the other picture is one my friend Charlie Nagel took at Clay Camp this year. He calls it Nan, Being Dignified.

Yes, I do have a Real Name. It is Anne Lou Hawkins Robkin. But you can call me Nan.


  1. Great Blog. But, let me be the first of the kids to say, not only do I know Nan does "anything," she does everything (except, as she stated, housework). She's got one of the craziest social and creative calendars of anyone I know. That list of accomplishments above is how I usually begin the description of her, as well as mention that it's from her I get my independence, tenacity and life of the party skills. She failed to mention she is a book maker, speaks Greek and I pretty sure she's got some Latin skills running around in that brain. As for her poetry, it's excellent and I'm the proud owner of a couple of her poetry books.

  2. Congratulations, Nan! Love your blog, love your pictures! Post more!

    I just made a valiant attempt to post a more lengthy comment but it got lost in the workings of Blogger somewhere. Happens sometimes. Might show up again...hard to say. Apologies for being so wordy, if it does!

    Anyway, super job! I followed you and will be back to read more!

  3. Wonderful blog; had me smiling from beginning to end. And yes, thanks so much for the pictures--would love to see covers of books, samples of art, traces of spidery crocheting...whatever you've created. I am myself setting up a blog on WordPress and will look forward to adding a link to you, first thing. In the meantime, am proud to be an early follower.