Category Archives: Art | Design

The all-new MandalArt app

About four years ago, I discovered an iOS app called iMandalArt that offered a distinctive way to think about goal setting and task accomplishment. It was based on what I subsequently learned is the Lotus Blossom technique, often described as a form of brainstorming or mind mapping.

MandalArt_i_HDWhen I wrote my first blog post about the app, iMandalArt coming to an iPad near you, my perspective was largely shaped by a bunch of popular productivity apps, for example, Things. Let’s call it a seeing-the-world-through-GTD-colored-glasses outlook. I knew that iMandalArt was somehow different, but I confessed that I was pretty sure I didn’t “get it.”

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Escherian puns

Five years ago (February 2009), I took a photo of two geese on a frozen pond, standing in identical poses. They were both balanced on only one leg, with their heads turned back over their left shoulders. The one-leg thing was presumably to keep the other, uplifted foot off the ice. Their heads may also have been turned in a heat-conserving tuck, but I suspect that it was synchronized preening. After all, the Vancouver Winter Olympics were only a year away, and the Geese were Canadian.

En Escherlon

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Our correspondences… our intimacies

While I was doing some Spring Webcleaning a year ago, I coincidentally received a phone call from Nick Bantock about my long-moribund fan pages on his Griffin & Sabine trilogy. As I subsequently cleaned up the link rot in Where in the World are Griffin & Sabine?, I was briefly re-immersed in the tactile pleasures of the letters-in-envelopes motif that made the trilogy such a novelty.

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The notebook as (framed) art

PenWorld is a place of pens and ink and cases, paper and notebooks and covers, pencils and markers and sketchbooks, plus the handwriting and artwork that can be created therewith. It’s probably fair to say that PenWorld’s residents, among whom I count myself, look at this assemblage of objects through both aesthetic and utilitarian lenses. Of course, true collectors generally have a different perspective — after all, a stamp collector is unlikely to salivate over a rare mint find in order to lick it and mail a letter! That scenario aside, most of us who own multiple fountain pens, for example, still look forward to inking them and using them. We may stare at them appreciatively, which is why those wooden cases for 12 or 24 pens usually have a glass top. But that top raises up so we can take them out and write with them.

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