Journal Entry #2, From My Blood-Red Orange (Valencia)

(Here I am sitting in Valencia, at my favourite bar enjoying a beer before lunch)

Well today in the journal I must say that I am working on a new painting…nothing to do with the big project of four that I talked about Monday…that I had started about one week ago. I thought about creating “pop art”, of course my way, but I did not want to…really and fully…follow all the rules. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think of art as a serious manifestation of human ability and I do believe there are rules, except that I also believe that rules are meant to be broken, some times. So I started out on the left side of the canvas and I created a “person”, a figure, with a recognisable face, but in my more usual expressionistic style, let’s say contemporary expressionism/impressionism as I don’t really and fully follow the rules of the original…and old fashioned…expressionism. Then on the right side I decided to go “pop” but my way. This is what came out and I am not yet finished with this painting, but I’ve titled it “Gusto” recalling the days when I loved, absolutely loved to drink carbonated cola drinks made by the most popular company in the world…

“Gusto” acrylic on canvas, 36x48cm by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia

I have sketched…in pencil…one of the four paintings that I have been commissioned to paint and I am happy with it. I had been painting it in my head for several weeks and now I can actually see it on paper and it looks good, so one is ready for the canvas now to tackle the other three…

I am still watching…season seven…of Homeland on Netflix and it is getting more and more interesting. Interesting as a fictional drama with almost super-hero type protagonists and super-villain types antagonists. However, the thought that to create a crime or in this case a spy drama you must make the “heroes” almost super human is ridiculous. Yes, the ones, especially the one, in this series have flaws, severe almost crippling flaws, but their flaws hardly encumber them from continuing and whenever they are in grave dangers, something almost magical happens and they are safe again and on the way to eliminating the threat. But that is not the thing that really bothers me about this series. What I see is almost like the blueprints of what is happening today in the United States. They talk about impeachment, invoking Article 25, riots in the streets, the siege of the Capitol and the violation of human/civil rights by a despotic, autocratic and almost tyrannical US president. Basically to stop the evil…which for the US it is always the Russians…the CIA must break all laws, violate all rights and act like thugs, and just so no one gets jealous, they have also put the FBI in the same category of both being criminal organisations. Incredible! Of course I enjoy it because this is what creates tension and interest in a fictional account but I just hope that no one gets the idea that things are really done that way. Well, I cannot vouch for Federal law enforcement but I can tell you that in my thirty years of law enforcement, in the US, at the county level, things worked legally…

Anyways, the weather is back to beautiful in my city of Valencia, here in Mediterranean Spain. We have highs reaching 16-17 degrees Celsius and lows of about 3-5 degrees, mainly at night…

Because the COVID numbers continue to rise, not only in Spain but in all of Europe, our president Ximo Puig has decided to order the closing of all our bars and restaurants. We can only get take out starting 21 JAN and the prohibition is supposed to be until 03 FEB. I know that the numbers are rising but why the attack on the bars and restaurants? Are they not all in compliance with the regulations? In any event, all “non-essential” stores and businesses will close at 1800 hours and the curfew, for all citizens, begins at 2200 hours and ends at 0600 hours. In some of our autonomous communities, like Castilla La Mancha, the curfew is set to begin at 2000 hours and I would not be surprised if our president changes it here as well…

In closing…for this edition…I would like to say that 2020, although a very hard, unusual and tragic year, was a year of getting closer to my work and getting closer to my spiritual roots. I am a “fallen” Catholic, born, baptised, confirmed and schooled in parochial schools and then with the Jesuits, but now I may have climbed up off the floor where I fell. I never lost faith in God and this last year has shown me that faith is very important in human behaviour and interactions. I am not afraid, therefore, of this pandemic because I know God is in charge. I still don’t go to church or keep the Holy days, perhaps I never will, but my condition of “fallen” is changing and I think it may not have had I not passed through a year as 2020. I am thankful that nothing happened…and nothing has…to myself or my loved ones.

I am also very happy to have made great new friends on WordPress! Some that started 2020 off as good friends, or en route to becoming that, have faded away or chosen other paths, but, new ones came along. I am grateful for their support and encouragement throughout the early period of my blog. Blogging was absolutely something new to me. I thank you Brad Osborne, Joni , Tiffany, Aiva, Rebecca, the Cincinnati Baby Head, CB and my good friend from Tennessee, SP, and many, many more. I thank profoundly those that have continued to follow Omnia Caelum all these months because I only really started blogging in August of 2019 and it is going strong like I never would have imagined. I have managed to join a wonderful community where there are writers, poets, artists, travellers and all around great people from all over the world. I do miss many that I used to hear from months back, but maybe they either stopped blogging or, well…

Oh, just one more thing. I am so glad that today a new president will be sworn in to the US! Thank you to the millions of people in the US that made that possible. I hope and pray that the transition is orderly and most importantly peaceful. We needed a change in the US and here in Europe we certainly welcome normalcy again from Washington. Congratulations Biden-Harris!




  1. Brad Osborne · January 20

    I love this painting Francisco! The left is what I have come to expect from your considerable talent and artistic eye, and the right is a perfect counterbalance in the pop art style. On the right I see the silhouette of faces in almost every crevice and brush stroke. It is beautiful to see these different styles sharing the same canvas. As for my support of your efforts, I am simply returning that which you give to me in unending fashion. The highlight of such a dismal year is to have made such a good friend as you! You have taught me so much over the past year. You introduced me to exciting artists old and new, helped me to see my own writing from a different perspective, taken me back to my youth with your music series, and have shared my feelings on things that many, who have not seen combat, would find hard to understand. You have, in every sense , been a great friend! Much love brother!

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 20

      Thank you very very much my brother. I am extremely happy to have met you and you, my dear friend are a constant source of learning and inspiration which I get through your beautiful words and poetry. I truly appreciate your support always.
      Take good care my friend,

  2. spwilcen · January 20

    What a grand read this morning. Like we were sitting a the same bistro table, you and your cerveza, me and my caffeine. Lost contacts? Yeah. Life. For me, pen, paper and stamps for years, then email, now one “social” meeting-place. Some, sadly, have passed. Others, yes, succumbed to changing interests dictating changed attitudes supported by “better” friends. Yes, SP, life. A file cabinet of forty correspondents I touched and was touched by weekly, some less often, now dwindled to three active email correspondents. When golf, “Billy was at Tim’s Trading Post,” and other “events” are more important than friends, I wonder if I’m that far out of step. Great art work, sir. Excellent read. I’m liking this introspective journal thing. Do well today. We here across the big cold blue are preparing to start a new and exciting chapter of the same old, boring meirda.

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · January 21

      Thank you SP, and I agree, I cannot think anything can be more important than friends. But time passes and people change. It’s a fast moving world and things are happening and we are at the margins of what life may be bringing to others around us. I miss many people that I’ve lost in my life and I think that others may miss me as well, but as long as we’ve life we’ve a way back…
      All the best my friend,

  3. JoJo · January 20

    A lot of energy and joy in your painting – maybe helped along by beautiful Valencia and it’s sun shining on you ☀️

  4. rajanisingh885721172 · January 22

    Beautiful blog

  5. Outosego · January 23

    Liked & Shared. Thank you, Francisco. And take care!

  6. DougInNC · 30 Days Ago

    Well, well. You have mixed but strong emotions about “Homeland.” I watched a few seasons and will someday watch the entire bundle. It was fun to read your comments in two posts and realize there are others (“like me,” if I dare say so) that refuse to be simply entertained and must frequently form an opinion, or a critique. I enjoyed your evaluation of the series. …Doug

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 30 Days Ago

      Thank you Doug, and you’re right, I guess people like us seek perhaps more than mere entertainment. I’m awaiting season 8, when they get around to streaming it in Europe. In the meantime I’m watching an English series titled Frankenstein Chronicles, this one is purely for the fun of it. All the best my friend,

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