Teaching and Learning Art…Part 1

(“Composition in Green and Yellows No.1”, acrylic on canvas 40x50cm, original artwork by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

For all those that may be interested. We here at Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia have decided to proceed in a new and different manner. Our intention is to spread the love of art, the ability to create art and the knowledge of art as far and as wide as we can. We cannot do that without the help of our new Patreon page. We produce well researched articles and videos on art and we need them to reach as many people as possible but we also have to cover expenses. Our page is called “Jazzy Arts” and you can check it out here. There will be free articles but the gist of the material will be for those who would like to make a commitment and become patrons. For those I promise to expand upon theories of art, creativity and more. I will also post more research and investigation of the artists who have made a name in art history. And as well I will share with you the developments within the body of my own artwork and I will share with you how I do it and how you can also develop your own.

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Let’s begin what I know to be a marvellous journey.
And believe me, the principles I will present, discus, and teach here are valuable for anything in life, not just art.

But in our case we are artists, we are wanting to be artists, we are studying art and we are developing our ideas, our imagination and our creativity. That’s the key. We are becoming something else, something that not everyone is. We will also do something that not everyone can do. That means we have started on the road to becoming an artist.

Here is the first chapter:

“How I Teach Art”

A Poem for a Friday Morning in Valencia: “Prologue to ‘Capricious Vagrants'”

(Photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia, “The Blossoming of the Almond Trees in Valencia”)

KINDNESS IS A WAY TO FIND
CAPRICIOUS VAGRANTS
THAT THROUGH TIME
HAVE WONDERED THROUGH THESE STREETS.

UNKIND AND CRUEL IMPLACABLE
THE FATE THAT RULES
THE ROPES THAT BIND
CAPRICIOUS VAGRANTS
THAT THROUGH TIME
THROUGH RAINBOWS
AND THROUGH WARS
HAVE PLAGUED THE STREETS
HAVE FANCIED BARS
AND EVEN THOUGH THEY HIDE THEIR SHAME
WITHIN THE CRACKS THEY WILL REMAIN.

KINDNESS IS A WAY TO LOSE
CAPRICIOUS VAGRANTS
DRESSED IN WOOL
THAT FOLLOWED ME ONE DAY.

UNKIND AND ANGRY
RAGING MAD
DESTINY
THE DAYS WE HAD
WITH CHANCES TO REDEEM OUR SOUL
SAVING THOSE WITHERED AND OLD
THE HELPLESS MASS
UNFORTUNATES
THAT ALL FORGOT
THAT NO ONE NAMES
HAVE PASSED

CAPRICIOUS VAGRANTS IN THE RAIN

WITH SADDENED HEARTS THEY WILL REMAIN.

C.2021, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 26 FEB 2021, Valencia, Spain

It’s Thursday! The Middle of the Week: Classic Rock Album for Today is “Deja Vu” by CSN&Y

Deja Vu : Crosby, Still: Amazon.es: Música
(Released 1970)

I remember buying this album (the vinyl) back in High School. Loved it, still do. One of the best of that classic rock era I must say. This group, one of the favourites of the hippies of the late sixties, early seventies, had already released one prior album, Crosby, Stills & Nash on Atlantic Records in May of 1969. And that’s how I got to know them, by their singles “Marrakesh Express” and especially “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, which I learned to play on the guitar, although to play it right I had to re-tune it to EEEEBE.

Then in 1970, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash brought in Neil Young, and thus CSN became CSN&Y. Neil Young and the lads went on tour at the end of the summer of 1969, and on the 17th of August, they played the Auditorium Theatre of Chicago, with Joni Mitchell opening the show. It was during this concert that they mentioned that on the following day they would be going to a place called Woodstock, but they didn’t know where that was, and they clarified things by beginning their second set, with the same statement they made in Woodstock: “This is only the second time we play in front of people, we’re scared shitless”. Then they played “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” followed by a version of The Beatles “Blackbird”.

So Deja Vu was a super album by a super group. It made it to number one in the US Billboard top 200 and three singles were released: “Woodstock”, “Teach Your Children” and “Our House”. All of them were top 40 hits in the US. In 2020 the album was placed in the 220th spot on the best 500 albums of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Actually there was a fourth single launched from the album, “Carry On”, unfortunately, that song did not reach the top 40.

A couple of interesting things about this album is that it included the participation of Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar on “Teach Your Children” and John Sebastian doing the harmonica work on “Déjà Vu”.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine placed Déjà Vu on the list of the best 500 albums of all times, putting it as number 148, but then on 2012, they revised the list, placing it as number 147.

It seems like each one of the lads, Stills, Crosby, Nash and Young all contributed two songs to the album and there is one final one, “Everybody I Love You” that was co-authored by Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

Got to say that my favourite cut…and they are all great tunes…of the album is David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair”. A real anthem of the generation.

Déjà Vu Live was released by the band in 2008. It served as the soundtrack for a documentary film about the careers of the members of the band. It included many CSN&Y songs as well as one called “Let’s Impeach the President” by Neil Young. This live recording has virtually nothing to do with the Déjà Vu of 1970.

Hope you like it and I really hope you let me know what you think.

CHEERS!

Creo … I believe

(Photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios València)

Creo que hay que ponerle freno a esto. Estos actos de vandalismo no son más que ataques a la propiedad pública y privada y no debe permitirse … I believe this should be stopped. These acts of vandalism are attacks on public and private property and should not be allowed …

(Photo property of El Periódico)

Pues de aquellos polvos vienen estos lodos. Si no se acaba con las indisciplinas se convierten en actos anárquicos … Those acts of vandalism mature into street violence. If indiscipline is not stopped it matures into anarchy …

Journal Entry #6: Dear Diary, WTF!

(Photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

So I am here, drinking my coffee after having enjoyed a nice dinner. It’s 3pm, the middle of the day and the weather’s fine. Valencia always comes through. We had some days of grey skies and humid air but now we are back to our sunny normal. Cannot say it is warm, but warm enough to cause envy in those who live further north.

www.campustraining.es/wp-content/uploads/2017/0...

I woke up to the “telediario” (the news) and again, violence in Tarragona and Barcelona. This marks the seventh night of riots. The destruction was massive and the assaults on police more and more violent. Some of the neighbours in the streets where these hoodlums were creating their chaos and destruction started to shout at them, perhaps in a feeble attempt to get them off their usually peaceful streets, but it didn’t work, actually it might have inspired them to worse actions. The Catalan autonomous police, the Mossos d’Esquadra are being overrun. These “demonstrators” are showering them with bricks and rocks and they’ve little recourse but to pull back. They need reinforcements, preferably from the Guardia Civil or the army.

Artimagen Pegatina círculo Guardia Civil El Honor es mi divisa ø 50 mm/ud.:  Amazon.es: Coche y moto

But the streets of a civilised city, in a First World Country like Spain, cannot be left in the hands of those who cause mayhem and destruction. The government is charged with keeping their citizens safe and property secured. Businesses all up and down the Passeig de Gracia (the 5th Avenue of Barcelona) have suffered incredible losses due to the destruction of their storefront windows and the looting of their merchandise. These businesses are already suffering due to restrictions placed upon them to fight the COVID pandemic, so who pays for the things these vandals have destroyed?

Destrozos en 32 tiendas de paseo de Gràcia en los disturbios
(Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona)

Freedom of expression is a slippery slope. Are we really free to express everything? Should we? Should someone that is trying to destroy the very foundations of the society that we have been developing and building with our honest work and taxes have the right to express, and in so doing incite, others to destroy it? Can we allow freedom of expression to destroy our way of life? Who has the right to destroy private property in their quest for “freedom”? Can the law of the jungle decide who goes to prison and who goes free? These groups destroying Barcelona and other cities of Catalunya, say they are protesting the arrest, detention and subsequent incarceration of one rapper named Hasel from Lleida, Catalunya. This man had a fair trial and was condemned to a prison term for his incendiary remarks and other public threats he made against the Royal Family. So, if justice took its course and the defendant was found guilty, what right has anyone to dispute that decision by destroying property in the streets of the city?

Pablo Hasél: Los jóvenes antisistema tras los disturbios: así salen a destruir  Barcelona, Linares o Madrid
(Photo property of La Vanguardia newspaper of Spain)

The answer is they’ve no right. These people are not necessarily protesting the jailing of this rapper. I would imagine that many of them are not even familiar with his work. And truth be told, he was not imprisoned for his “artistic” creations but for his verses that he sent out as messages to incite violence. I think a society has the right to protect itself from those that would destroy it, especially those who use the freedoms of our democracy to destroy our way of life. Lenin said the west (meaning the US) would sell them the rope they would use to hang us. Are these people the rope? They are supposedly armed and violent leftist groups and anarchists. But leftists are not anarchists and anarchists are not leftists. So WTF? Who are they?

Pablo Hasél: Los jóvenes antisistema tras los disturbios: así salen a destruir  Barcelona, Linares o Madrid
(Photo property of La Vanguardia newspaper of Spain)

Enough Francisco! Yes, I know, we’ve all had enough of bad news. So, our country is slowly creeping out of the critical phase of this portion or wave of the pandemic. Our numbers are getting better and better and I thank God! We need normalcy again, even if it is the SOS we used to complain about daily. I miss seeing the sidewalks of Valencia filled with our bars and our deer drinkers, our gin tonic drinkers, our coffee drinkers, our drinkers in general! Come on all of you political leaders throughout the land, let our people drink in the streets!

Thank you, I would like to hear now from you. What do you think? What’s going on? and What can we do this weekend?

CHEERS!

Tuesdays Tunes: “Tom Traubert’s Blues-Waltzing Matilda”

Resultado de imagen de rod stewart tom traubert's blues
(Released 1992)

This is Rod Stewart’s version, which was released as a single in 1992 and then included in his unplugged album of 1993. The song was written by Tom Waits and released in his third studio album Small Change, released in September 1976 on Asylum Records. Considered the work of a “very talented lyricist”. It was covered by Rod Stewart and released as a single in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Tom Waits said in 1979 that he met a girl named Matilda, “And uh, I had a little too much to drink that night. This is about throwing up in a foreign country.”

Talking about the lyrics, Waits has said, “when you’re ‘waltzing matilda’, you’re on the road. You’re not with your girlfriend, you’re on the bum. For me, I was in Europe for the first time, and I felt like a soldier far away from home and drunk on the corner with no money, lost.”

I was highly impressed with the song because, well I must say, at first it reminded me of being in English school and being taught to sing “Waltzing Matilda”. Of course I had forgotten all of that by 1992 when I heard Rod Stewart singing that song. But then all the memories came back. So I love the song and this is one of those songs that does not get old for me. I hope you like it too. I hope it brings you some good memories…

“Waltzing Matilda” is traditionally considered a song that celebrates the struggle of the poor against the rich, the rich that are protected by the all powerful state that constantly runs over and tramples the rights of the poor. This is the most famous Australian folk-song, especially internationally and was even considered as a possible choice for the national anthem. Australians are very much attached to this song, and with good reason the love it. There is a museum dedicated to the son in Winton, Queensland. It was composed in 1895 by Andrew Barton Paterson, an Australian poet. He is also known as “Banjo” Paterson. What we know now is the modified first version, which is, in truth the second version of “Waltzing Matilda”.

I will give you here three lovely versions. First “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”:

And “Tom Traubert’s Blues-Waltzing Matilda” by Rod Stewart:

And finally, “Waltzing Matilda” as sung by Johnny Cash:

CHEERS!

“Dear Diary”, journal entry #5, on a cold, windy, stormy day in València…

(photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios, València)

So, I know, it’s been a while. This always happens to me when I try to write a diary. I forget to make entries. I promise to try harder and to remember…

Since the last entry, well, nothing much has occurred. We are still under very heavy handed restrictions here in my country, the Comunitat Valenciana. All our bars and restaurants are closed (only take away service available) and the rest of the businesses must close their shutters by 1800 hours daily. Our curfew is from 2200 hours to 0600 and during the weekends we are confined to our municipalities, we cannot cross borders even if the other municipality is across the street. Yet, it seems to have worked, since these measures were ordered towards the end of January. This morning I heard that our numbers were down reference those infected as well as those in UCI (Intensive Care Unit).

So, this is the trend all over Spain. But in most autonomous communities, seeing that the numbers of infected, sick and hospitalisations is down, the restrictions are being lessened. In Madrid they are expanding the hours for the bars and restaurants as well as rolling back one hour for the curfew. Yet our president, the Honorable Mr. Ximo Puig, does not seem at all inclined to open our hospitality industry. As a result, the city’s sidewalks, which are always full of terraces (what we call our outdoor bars) and happy folk drinking coffee, beer, wine, eating bocatas or patatas bravas, are now only for pedestrians. The city looks sad, empty, abandoned, ignored.

Another thing that has happened is the issue with rapper Hasél. This thirty three year old rapper has been sent to prison for saying that he wants ETA and GRAPO back and wants them to continue to kill and to foment terrorism in our cities. GRAPO were an armed terrorist group created in Vigo, Galicia, in 1975, and ETA, was the terrorist Basque organisation which killed over 800 people in Spain during their reign of terror. Last night was the fifth night of violent street protesters in Barcelona, Tarragona and LLeida. Groups armed with bricks have been destroying storefronts and showering the police with rocks and other debris. They demand “Libertat”, freedom for the jailed rapper alleging that this is a case of freedom of expression. I guess this is something else to be concerned with, as if COVID-19 wasn’t enough.

In my world, the micro-world of Omnia Caelum, well, I am almost finished with my commission. Three out of the four paintings have been completed and well received. I was a little concerned as I have never attempted such a large project, especially when the idea came from the patron. But it has proven to be quite educational for me and a great experience. I am very happy with the three and I cannot wait to show it to you, but for now suffice it with this, it is almost there as the fourth is well sketched and ready for me to begin putting paint to canvas…

I have also ventured out on a new path, both for my art and for myself. As I am now quite confident that the future of art is online, I have opened a Patreon page. Take a look: http://www.patreon.com/jazzyarts

I leave you with one of my YouTube videos that showcase my work from the days of Omnia Caelum Studios Miami and I would hope that you like it, subscribe to our channel and perhaps even share it. Thank you so much.

Stay safe, stay alert and aware. Remember, situational awareness is the only way to successfully defeat an enemy…

(Please don’t forget to like, share and to subscribe to our YouTube channel, thank you!)

CHEERS!