The Chimerist

Your wish is my command, Laura. I owe my home page, like my lock screen (below), to an unwitting M.C. Escher. Somewhere on the Internet, I found a tile derived from his angels-and-devils tessellation and I used an app to make it repeat across the screen. (I would pay for this background and the others if I could, Escher estate.)

I’m less drawn to Escher’s structures and mazes, which college kids coast to coast bought posters of at Spencer’s and hung all over their dorm rooms in the late 1980s. I like his patterns, not just this ironic interlacing of the heavenly and demonic, but his salamanders, fish and frogs, and flocks of birds.

Some of his nature drawings, my favorite of all, are actual scenes, a mix of realism and fancy. 

This tableau, with its unlikely jumble of avian and ocean life, evokes the breadth of the sky, the depths and mystery of the sea, and the meeting of the two. And the iPad’s shiny, shiny screen gives the water a pond-like quality. I almost expect it to splash and ripple at my touch, the way the Ancient Pools do.

My iPhone lock screen, also Escher, gives me the same feeling, more intensely. It’s called Three Worlds (and poster prints are for sale online).


My life is bifurcated between my day job and all the writing I do outside the office. I never bring work-work onto my iPad, but I use it for everything else: for pleasure, for reference, education and edification, for practical things, and for all my personal projects. I hadn’t realized until I took the home page screenshot how apparent this mixed use is even from the first screen. — Maud Newton