Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Feminism Book Review

March 31, 2017

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This extraordinary little book gets right to the heart of raising a daughter to become a strong and independent person in a world where inequality is rampant. Fifteen suggestions are carefully constructed and could provide a valuable tool box for both parent and child.

If the term “feminist” throws you off, here it is defined as a person who believes in and acts on the goal of all people being equal. It means equal in all opportunities. In all ways. It doesn’t mean “Feminism Lite”;  it means “you either believe in the full equality of men and women or you do not.”

Adichie writes “Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. . . ‘Because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever”.  This is a foundation for teaching equality. “Separate but equal” is not the same thing and is not applicable. The author gives good examples of how this works and how it could be applied to sons as well as daughters.

Another key concept that Adichie suggests is to “Teach her to question language”. It is not as easy as you might think and the author points out that you will have to question your own language.

“Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions.” She writes. Indeed, language is incredibly powerful – and often underestimated.

The book, which takes about 30 minutes to read, is an open letter to her friend, who has asked for advice in raising her daughter.

It addresses concepts like marriage, likeability, sex, identity, appearance, and one of the most important things in life – “difference”. Important because every human being on this planet is unique – something we often forget in our rush to label and box people based on some irrelevant basis.

“Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary.” And along those lines, the author ends with “I hope that (your daughter) will be full of opinions, and that her opinions will come from an informed, humane, and broad-minded place.”  A great place for the book to end…and this review of a beautiful and powerful book.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is from Nigeria. She is also the author of We Should All be Feminists.

Book Review by Phil Dynan, working artist.


apple, feijoa & maple pie

May 30, 2014

Putting my frozen feijoas to good use!


Chelsea Winter's Apple, Feijoa & Maple Pie, Woman's Day NZ Chelsea Winter’s Apple, Feijoa & Maple Pie, Woman’s Day NZ

Chelsea Winter is a popular food columnist in New Zealand’s Woman’s Day magazine. She recently appeared on TV1’s Good Morning show with this spiced maple-sweetened pie that has winter comfort written all over it.

If you missed the mag, the recipe features on the Good Morning website. Search for feijoa to discover other wonderful recipes.


Serves 6
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 35 minutes


  • 75g butter
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1.5kg feijoas, flesh scooped out and chopped
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 2 x 400g puff pastry blocks*
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
  • ice cream and cream to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt…

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first taste

April 9, 2014

EXACTLY how I feel about the arrival of the first Feijoa! Right now I am caring for the plants and trees, carefully watering and mulching them. Later I will get my paint brush out and assist with the pollination process. Can’t wait!



Feijoa season is never quite real until I have the fruit in one hand and a teaspoon in the other. That taste. There’s nothing like it. And the texture. And the memories.

Twitter told me back in March that the feijoas had arrived early this year and I’ve been noting disgruntled friends in other cities commiserating about the price of them in the supermarkets etc. But I have not seen any myself, until I stumbled across six trees in my neighbourhood, neglected, fruit unwanted.

The first ones I grabbed were ruined by fruit fly. Ugggh. The horror and the disappointment. But, unable to help myself, I went back and discovered good sized feijoas that were untouched.

Simultaneously, Word Porn (on Facebook) delivered up this unknown gem: Natsukashii. I have a suspicion that this translation from the Japanese may not be entirely accurate – but it is the most perfect description of what it is like to taste…

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Electronica Disease

March 8, 2014

I’m taking an Art History for Artists at CalArts right now…homework assignment is to list things that are part of our personal art history. So I’m working backwards from the my current works:
Tate Modern students
I have been painting in London since 1970. Art History and cultural appreciation for art and artists seems so much more valued there than in the US (in general). I regularly do gallery tours and on this momentous occasion, I was touring with Swedish Artist Anna Tuhus. We had visited about 6 galleries before we got to the Tate Modern. Most were small galleries or exhibits where the visitors were intensely focused on the work. BUT there at the Tate, with an incrdible Joan Miro exhibit, the visitors – about 60 students – were ALL completely focused on their electronic devices – not one was looking at the exhibit. They had given up true social discourse and observation for virtual reality. Even sketching and shooting around them, they barely noticed our existence. I’m now doing a series of paintings based on this “electronica” disease.

Rancho Marijuana – Where I Live & Breathe

October 9, 2013

Come and pick your own bud farms! Harvest Season in Rancho Marijuana! The smell of bud permeates everywhere in this tiny community – but you need an invitation to “pick your own”, unless you want to do it in the middle of the night. There are over 350 marijuana farms in a two square mile area – almost none of it guarded or protected – not even basic camera surveillance. Generators are going 24/7 to water the crops. Strangers are driving around taking pictures, stealing plants and taking notes from their cars. The local Sheriff (Tehama County) is afraid to even come near this place – where Ana and I live. It is 30 miles out into the back country and though 1500 people live here, there is no form of public transportation. The “1500” people does not include the majority of marijuana growers – they are, for the most part, transient foreign nationals. They constantly break the laws in regards to cultivation, registration, fencing, water transport (it is against the law to move water from one property to another), distribution and sale. And they sometimes get busted – a few months ago one of them got an 18-year sentence for illegal sale – but he was busted outside the Rancho. His crops here went unattended for….wait for it…about half an hour. We live in the middle of this, foolishly growing our own food and planting fruit trees – hardly the stuff to make us rich. But then the growers don’t seem rich either – battered pick-ups and tents or broken down trailers; generators instead of power poles; and they bring in really cheap whores for weekend parties. Not the Glorious life depicted on Miami Vice. This is where we live – our house is surrounded by more than 50 marijuana properties just in a half-mile radius. We smell the weed, the exhaust from generators and our roads have been, in some cases, completely ruined by constant water-truck traffic. We don’t go for walks any more on the ranch because it isn’t safe and we don’t want to “alarm” any grower who might be sleeping in a little tent next to his crop. Some day he might be rich and we’ll want him for a good neighbor. LOL.

How I Got There

August 20, 2013

Last night driving down Highway 99 near Gerber (CA), saw this building (this version in my mind). I stopped and learned that the building was originally part of an almond ranch; then it was Danny’s BBQ – named after the owner’s son, Danny – who lost his life in the war. After it was a restaurant, it was sold and became a Card Room. Now stands vacant and dilapidated.
Here is the photo that Ana took for me while I was getting the history of the place from the current owner:
I added “Danny” (a photo of my Dad when he was home between being in the RAF and joining the US Army Air Corps.)
Used Photoshop & OnOne software. Hey, you can’t there from here!

MOCA Mocha

July 25, 2013

Mocha-Final Inspired by a photo of Evelina Galli by photographer Alice Poghosian, and painted as a collaborative effort with Anastasia Nelson. Motivated by current pop culture, this fashionable visitor to the LA Museum of Contemporary Art talks on the phone and sips a coffee while Matisse watches from the background. 30×48 canvas.

Works in Progress

July 16, 2013
Evelina in LA

Evelina in LA

Phil working on the Wedding Celebration

Phil working on the Wedding Celebration

Working on two pieces right now: (1) Evelina in LA and (2)the Wedding Celebration. The first is a collaboration with Evelina Galli, Alice Poghosian, Anastasia Nelson and myself; the second is a collaboration with painter Maria Onyegbule, photographer Natalia Maks, painter Anastasia Nelson and myself. Works in progress.

Nightfall on Lassen

June 26, 2013

Nightfall on Lassen

Night at Lassen Volcanic National Park by Phil & Ana Dynan

Black Rock Desert Moon

June 18, 2013

Black Rock Desert Moon

The Black Rock (NV) shot from the hot springs under the moon.