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A few decades ago I was a big fan of "Commander Mark" (true name Mark Kistler), the goofy teacher on a PBS television series called "The Secret City". The Commander taught elementary cartooning and drawing. His show was great fun and I learned a lot from it, though I haven't practiced nearly enough. I sent in a self-addressed stamped envelope and received a membership card that I still carry with me: "Commander Mark's Draw Squad Club".

Besides the "Seven Magic Words of Drawing" — foreshortening, shading, surface, size, contour lines, overlapping, density (OK, eight words!) — Cmdr Mark emphasized the importance of maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude. I remember it by the initials PMA. Years before that the same letters stood for Physics/Mathematics/Astronomy, the name of the academic division at Caltech where I studied. Most recently, in the context of mindfulness meditation PMA is used by some authors to represent Present Moment Awareness. All different, all good.

^z - 2011-01-13