Expanding your borders, exceeding your limits

Long ago, as with many novice painters, I was a little intimidated by my canvas.  I plopped my subject down in the middle, and filled in a background.  At the time I was very pleased with my efforts. Now they look like floating heads to me (thirty plus years on…)

© Marion Pennell

© Marion Pennell

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Here Comes The Sun

Somewhere in the world someone is working on a new energy source.  Solar panels are still big and expensive and rare.  Once installed, things are great, but few are able to switch over. Sun Somewhere in the world someone is figuring out a way to make an accessible cheap small solar panel.  There is an energy source that a woman in Afghanistan, and a man in New York City, will be able to use for heat and power.  Equally.

People laugh when I say someone is working on this.  There have been other industrial upsets in history – the automobile, refrigeration, television, the internet – that can render previous industries virtually obsolete overnight. Continue reading

August 9, 2014, Ferguson, Mo.

The date and place of Michael Brown’s death.

I call it murder. I am not on a jury except in the court of public opinion, accordingly no-one should worry about any legal ramifications if I declare it so.  I’m not going to list my links, although I have many.  I have read so many articles (and comments) from so many sources, especially independent media who were on the ground there as events unfolded. You can write a blog of your own on this very topic if you feel the need to express yourself, as I do.

Have you seen the photos of Ferguson in the daylight on a regular day?  Very normal place.  Not a slum or a ghetto.  A place where two older teens walking down the middle of the street would happen any day. Continue reading

Free Bird

I have painted animals that are not in the wild, but in captivity.  I usually bring a sketchbook to a zoo.  In the 80s when my parents wintered in Florida (on the old people’s side, Pinellas Park, near St. Pete’s) I would use my school break to spend a week down there, and at least once per visit, I would go to Busch Gardens in Tampa and sketch all day.  

The most complete sketches are of alligators (they don’t move much) but I have favourite sketches that may not even be recognizable to most, yet I know they represented a challenge of drawing most are not aware of.  Capture the single most important line of all FIRST.  and so on.  It’s poetic to even try. Continue reading

Default sex

So, it seems one of the biggest problems with feminism is that is starts with “femin” because some young men assume that must mean it is an ideology to disempower men while empowering women.  Conquerer/conquest – as if every ‘ism’ is only about who is on top.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

Women have dealt with language: mankind, He, him, his – for their whole lives.  Who are the protagonists in almost every book we read in school?  Who were we studying in history?  Women were a footnote, a muse, a plot device, at best.

The default sex is not the one that produces the next generation (men have to live long enough to impregnate, women long enough to raise the spawn), but mankind, with woman as a derivative thereof.  Mother Earth vs. God our Father. Continue reading

Are you in a homophilial relationship?

Homophily, as contrasted with homosexuality, means that your friends (remember Philadelphia means City of Brotherly Love), the people you surround yourself with, are like you.  It is seen to be a natural human inclination.



Certainly, when my parents came to Montréal, they found a neighbourhood (Verdun) with others from Newfoundland.  Many cities have a Chinatown or a Little Italy or other ethnic enclaves.  A new immigrant will want to find others who share some of the basic life experiences.

Your current circle of friends may resemble yourself in many ways.  Most likely socio-economic (or class) factors would be the most common denominator.  Depending on the makeup of your town, racial or religious factors may weigh in. Continue reading