Coming Back to Valencia!

Well, leaving my little paradise in the Aegean…Turkish Aegean coast…was not easy but it was necessary. Chesme is a summer place and in the post season there is hardly anything open there and neither a thing to do. So it was time to go, after all, most of my friends and acquaintances as well as the people from my condo community had already left or were leaving, so staying was not an option.

In any event it was a lovely holiday and the three months seemed to have flown by. By the time I left the weather had cooled considerably and it was time to bring out the jumpers and the blankets, so the beach was already something out of the question.

Returning to Spain, was a four legged journey (see pic hehehe…). Well, what I mean there were four parts to it. First leg, the airport, about an hour and a half by car. We hired company to transfer us. The second leg was the flight from Izmir (Aegean Coast major city) to Istanbul. That took close to one hour. We arrived at Istanbul’s new airport, purported to be the largest in the world, and although the flight, Turkish Airlines…a very good airline I must say…was prompt and timely, it took almost thirty extra minutes to taxi to the gate. I guess there are some drawbacks to such a huge airport…

The third was the longest for it included the three and a half hour flight from Istanbul to Valencia. We flew Turkish Airlines for it was the only airline that flew direct to Valencia and did it twice a day for five days a week. So it was very convenient and very economical.

The flight was pleasant enough but we received an added bonus. The plane had to circle for a landing and we got the benefit of being given a lovely aerial tour of our city, the surrounding countryside, the mountains and the smaller towns and suburbs that surround the city of Valencia. And of course arriving in the Comunitat Valenciana is quite easy and fast, flash your passport to the Border Police and you are back in the UE, happy, safe and relaxed.

The fourth was a cab ride home. It took about twenty minutes at the max as Valencia’s airport is in town. Convenient. But it was Sunday afternoon and everything is closed in Valencia. Not too convenient. However, not a problem, just a short walk, about one kilometre, to the Consum Express (always open, thank God!), and got a bottle of water…I also picked up a bottle of wine from our region, Utiel-Requena…and some snacks to hold us over until dinner. Dinner time begins at 2130 hours. You can decide whether you like eating so late or not but it is a centuries old tradition here.

So now that I am back in my hometown, my home and my studio I am also back at work. I have an expo to prepare for that will open at the end of this week, that being Friday, the Fourth of October (2019). It will be a small expo here in the neighbourhood of Ruzafa (Russafa in Valenciano) at Bar Gallery Trentatres. If anyone is in the neighbourhood, you are invited, especially those who actually live in Valencia, I am sure they will know the place I am talking about on Calle de Sueca (Carrer de Sueca in Valenciano)…the expo will be for one month, maybe more…

But since I know most of you are not living in Valencia, I will post some of the paintings and drawings I will exhibit to see what you think of the expo. This will be my first public expo since the Spring of 2017.

If you would like to see a more complete catalogue of my artwork, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and for the online galleries of “JaZzArt en Valencia” please visit http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 and my YouTube channel.

Here is a sample of “JaZzArt en Valencia” Expo #1:

The top three are drawings with graphite on paper, all 27,9×35,6cm in size and the three underneath are various sizes but all larger than 40x50cm

If you like what you see and read, please hit that like button, follow and share!

N.B. The photograph above, shows a horse drawn carriage. That was not my way back home. That was last June in Sevilla!

THANKS!

Ja estic a Espanya…

(En el puerto de Valencia)

Y en mi Comunitat Valènciana…

Ara a treballar perquè el expo sigui tot un èxit. Russafa, és un barri molt artístic, vello i bell. Bar Gallery Trenta-tres serà el meu galeria aquest mes d’octubre i us convido a tots!

Moltes gràcies i ens veurem…

“Caras Tocando” grafito sobre cartulina 17,25×18,5cm colección “JaZzArT en Valencia”

Amaranta la lechuza valenciana…

“Amaranta” acrílico sobre madera 25x25cm

Son unos de mis animales favoritos, junto a los murciélagos, los toros y los gatos…

Me gusta pintarlas…lechuzas y búhos…porque tienen una forma y estética que se presta claramente a mi gusto artístico, igual que los toros, eso si, no los gatos ni los murciélagos…

Amaranta es la Lechuziña de Valencia que forma parte de mi colección “JaZzArT en Valencia”. La he pintado sobre madera pensando que le daría más textura a la pintura y también más profundidad a los colores.

“JaZzArT en Valencia” es una colección de cuadros que he pintado durante el corriente año (2019), en mi nuevo atelier de Valencia y que exhibo y promuevo así, con ese nombre.

Si queréis ver más de JaZzArT de otros años y otros lugares, podéis visitar mi Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera y también http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 para la obra de “JaZzArT en Valencia”.

¡Gracias mil!

While Listening to…

“Ascension Jazz in Red” 30x40cm acrylic on wood (private collection, Melbourne, Florida, USA)

John Coltrane’s “Ascension…

I love jazz, always have since the late seventies. I sort of transitioned over from my first love which was and still is, rock. Now they call it classic rock because it has transcended through the decades and it is still as fresh and powerful as when it was originally done. It’s hard to improve on classic rock, I believe.

I have been a musician, a soldier, a playwright, dancer and, I guess, always always involved with something artistic. I prefer to call myself a poet of the brush, the strings and the written word. But I am simply a “jazz” painter. The reason is not just because I like to paint references and scenes that relate to music and dance. Although I tend to usually include in my compositions instruments and players. But the reason, as I have stated in other articles, is that I have adapted the “official” definition of Jazz…developed by the original masters back in New Orleans at the turn of the XXth Century…and made it the ruling guideline for the way I paint.

Jazz is considered to be the “performer’s art”. To define the genre, it was accepted, by convention, I guess, that for a song to be “jazz” it had to have the musical element of improvisation, it had to allow for the player…or players…to compose as they play, musical and compositional spontaneity, and it must swing. Jazz must have rhythm. Some purists actually think that Jazz should not have melody, that it should be purely the structure of the music, placed against a rhythmic back beat and that if it became too melodic, the melody would steal away the purity of the notes, chords and sequences.

I’m not a purist. I love Jazz in most of its forms. But when I heard John Coltrane’s “Ascension” album, I was moved to actually paint what I heard. This was a pivotal album, as some critics have called it, for it broke away, in many ways, from Coltrane’s previous work and it marked his farewell to the Miles Davis ensemble.

Coltrane assembled the following musicians to create “Ascension”: McCoy Tyner on piano; Jimmy Garrison on bass; Elvin Jones on drums; Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone; John Tchicai and Marion Brown on alto sax; Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Johnson on trumpets and Art Davis also on bass. Coltrane played tenor saxophone. The album was recorded at van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on the 28th of June, 1965. “Ascension” was released in 1966. It is a masterpiece.

The year 1965 was a great year for music…and this is an aside, naturally…because that was the year the Beatles released, what in my opinion, is their best album…at least it is my favourite…”Rubber Soul”. Both of these albums, Ascension and Rubber Soul, albeit sounding eons apart from each other, included major changes within the structure of the songs and the instruments used. The Beatles went much further in their musical aesthetics when creating Rubber Soul. They used many studio techniques and many innovations. Their experimentation and quest for a new and unique sound while recording Rubber Soul, led them to record and release, in 1966, the second greatest album they have ever made, in my opinion, which was “Revolver”.

So, from Coltrane’s “Ascension” to the Beatles, that is what Jazz is all about. You know where you start but not so where you will end up and that makes the journey very interesting. I try to capture that in my paintings and my drawings. Not only through compositions that include musical instruments, dancers and musicians, but in the way they relate to each other and in the way the compositions line up in layers with an implicit perspective that enhances the whole idea of improvisation, spontaneity and swing.

So, prepare your ears and listen to “Ascension”. If you are not used to improvisational jazz, sans melody, it may sound like noise to you. But do not give up. Listen as much as you can, then listen again. If you take a break from Ascension, listen to Rubber Soul and then go back to Coltrane. You will see that little by little you will hear the spirit of the album. You will sense the message it transmits. You will commune with the players and meditate upon the endless universe created by the notes, the harmonies, the chords and the rhythm of such an interesting work.

All artwork and photographs included in this blog are my work and original. I am an artist from Valencia, Spain. If you would like to see more of my artwork, paintings, drawings and music, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my YouTube channel under the same name. My “JaZzArt en Valencia” 2019 collection can be seen at my online galleries http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!

I’m Looking Forward…

(From the “JaZzArT en Valencia” 2019 collection)

Yes, looking forward to returning home to Valencia, to the festivals of autumn and then Christmas and to cooler weather…

I am looking forward to exhibiting my artwork once again. I haven’t exhibited since 2016…so I will be doing a solo expo this coming October in the artistic Russafa neighbourhood of my city at Trentatres Gallery Bar on Carrer de Sueca…

It’s been an awesome summer here in Ilica, Turkey. Turkey is a fantastic place, a very cultured country where I enjoyed music, dance, a lovely ballet and delicious food and beverages…

But, although I love this Aegean region…I also visited friends and places I love in the Greek island of Chios nearby, it is time to return. Summer is over and these are summer places, not places to spend the autumn season…

(“Blue Jazz” acrylic on canvas, 40x50cm)

I hope you all had as lovely a summer as we did. Thanks so much for your beautiful friendship through this blog and we will continue our efforts to always share art and other creative processes. And I also look forward to all your incredible posts!

Peace and love and many many thanks!

To see most of my paintings and drawings please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

THANKS!

Sailing on a “Sea of Green”

(Turkish countryside of Aegean Regional)

I had posted this in Spanish but…

I had to post these thoughts in English as well…

We are sailing on a sea of green. Green grass, green trees. Green also are the hills and the mountains. These are the waters of our life, metaphorically speaking. The sea of green replace waves, currents and tides with flowers and lush foliage.

Although we do embark on journeys across the never ending blue waters of the nearby seas, to land must we always return.

(Small baya in Turkey’s Aegean Sea)

And if we take to the skies, the infinite blue, that sometimes turns grey and others so brilliant and orange, the clouds themselves will guide our way towards land once more.

(Sunset view, Miami, FL, USA)

So we follow our path, seek out our destiny and journey on towards forever. Yet, although we may dream of the sea and soar through the air, it is the earth that lays down her carpet of green to receive us. From the earth we came and to the earth we will return.

(Original photos and artwork. If you would like to see more of my visual work please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

THANKS!

A J A…Abstract Jazz Arrangement…

(Los tiempos de AJA, 1998 a 2018 en Miami)

AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement) fue el grupo que organicé para que en el pudieran participar cuantos músicos quisieran que tocaran jazz, o al menos algo por el estilo. Yo quise siempre que se siguieran las normas establecidas por los clásicos que impulsaron el género Jazz allá en Nueva Orleans a principios del Siglo XX. Estas eran la improvisación, la desenvoltura creativa del solista…y del grupo…y que la pieza tuviera ritmo, o swing.

Así fue y tuvimos algunos éxitos. Para mi, uno de los mejores músicos que vino fue un estadounidense de orígenes alemanes que colaboró conmigo en un CD (AJA 2004) haciendo unas improvisaciones al piano bellísimas.

Aquí podéis oír muestras de los temas que compusimos, yo en el bajo y el en el piano. Yo lo quise llamar…al CD…Música para la meditación romántica… ¿que pensáis vosotros?

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

Pero aún antes, allá por el 1999, me reuní con un percusionista cubano (de Miami, no de los comunista), Rey “Conga” Díaz (Instagram @Reyconga) y grabamos un EP titulsdo “YaYa” . ¿Que pensáis?

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja2

En conjunto también hicimos este numero llamado “Roach Clip” el cual use como fondo para un vídeo clip con mis pinturas y trabajo artístico. Lo hice cuando me auto titulaba “Bodo Vespaciano”.

Pero todos los tiempos pasan igual que las cosas. Hay que agradecerle a Dios que uno guarda recuerdos.

Desde Valencia trabajo y desarrollo mis nuevas colecciones de cuadros tituladas “JaZzArT en Valencia”. Para ver mi obra…casi completa…por favor visitar mi Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera y también las galerías online de la colección 2019: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

¡GRACIAS!