For me there is nothing like looking, smelling, feeling, touching and sensing the power of the sea. I can also say the same thing about any other body of water, of substantial size, naturally…
Yet, the mountains also speak to me in many ways. There is a certain power intrinsic in these giants of the earth and I love to climb, hike and be within their incredible habitat…
In Alaska, I was truly blessed with being able to avail myself of both. The Pacific Ocean comes to caress the shores where the mountains of Alaska have knelt to feel the cold, crisp touch the sea.
Alaska is called “The Last Frontier” and in the United States, it truly is. I loved Juneau, nestled in between mountains and so close to the Inside Passage, a narrow waterway through the mountains. There are no chains of fast food restaurants, most things are authentic and the spirit, flowing through the air is very clean, very pure. It has to be, as Juneau receives both the energies from the Pacific Ocean and the intensity of the great mountains on which it sits.
Even from the deepest forests, where pine trees are everywhere, filling up every centimetre of nature, standing proudly behind it all is the white, snow capped mountains, the greatness of Alaska. These wilderness is a place of silence, a fine place for meditation and contemplation. Here one is transmitted a profound sense of peace…
I know that every mountain range, especially the mighty tall ones in Nepal and our own Pyrenees and Alps all have their very particular charm and energy. I can appreciate that. But the ones in Alaska, perhaps because they are at the “top” of the world, somehow really projected incredible intensity and majesty to me…
So spirituality can be found in all of nature, I’ve no doubt. Nature is the creation of God, the place where one can commune with the Great Spirit and find exactly who one is…
If you would like to see my artwork, as I live and work here in Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia, Spain, please follow me on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo-Cabrera and to see my “JaZzArt en Valencia” new 2019 series, please visit my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155
You can also tune in to my YouTube channel…
And, please do not forget to hit that like button, follow and share. Comments? Love them! Keep them coming!
Love and Peace! THANKS!
(All photographs and other artistic elements used in this post and in this blog are property of FBC and Omnia Caelum Studios (OCS) Valencia. All Rights Reserved, C.2019 Derechos Reservados. They cannot be reproduced or copied without the written permission of the owner)
I don’t know if we all do but I definitely identify with the fact that I was born next to the sea and I’ve always lived, somewhere, next to the sea. I love the mountains, the valleys, the rivers and the woods…even deserts…but I would not want to live anywhere where I cannot see, hear and smell the sea, or the ocean…
I think it has greatly influenced my life as an artist…
Of course, speaking only for myself, I get energy from the breeze blowing over the surface of the salty waters that bring to land those very benefitial negative ions from the sea which are also healthy and inspiring. Although I do not believe in inspiration, I feel a certain impetus whenever I am near the water and it usually leads me towards artistic creation of some sort.
I saw a movie once that dealt with a mental hospital. The patients were very upset most of the time, they were restless and even violent. The staff and doctors were rather corrupt and did very little to pacify them. Basically they would just lock the patients up in a cage outside and leave them there, even during rain storms.
Then a therapist was sent to assist and he happened to be an artist. He painted an enormous canvas and placed it in the main resting hall where the patients were allowed to congregate. Little by little all the patients came forward and started staring at the painting. They were quiet, relaxed, at peace and tranquility reigned. So much so that the staff came to see what was going on. Then they saw the painting, and the camera panned the canvas.
What did the artist paint that caused such a psychological change in the patients of this institution? He painted the sea. Just the sea, no ships, no shoreline, nothing other than the waves in the middle of the ocean…
I think that we all, regardless of our state of mental health, can gain much by looking at the ocean. Looking at water, having water nearby, even if it is a river, is relaxing and a major stress reliever…
I want to know if people that were born in the mountains feel the same way. I want to know if they have the same attachments to their environment as I do to mine. And does your mountains, your valleys, your plains, deserts, forests or rivers give you the same intense energy that the sea gives to me. I would like to know.
You can follow me on Instagram where I place all my most recent artwork, both drawings and paintings. I am at @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and you can see my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection by visiting http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155
If you liked what you read and saw, please like, follow and share and as always, comments are encouraged, welcome and appreciated.
ALL IS HEAVEN…ALL IS WATER…ALL IS IN MY IMAGINATION…
I have been born with imagination, in a simple tree branch, a thriving nation, I see a million clouds that form the shapes of dreams and hopes in a cloudless sky. And many times I wonder if we are fragments of a storybook recited to a child in Heaven...
I called my studio of art, Omnia Caelum Studios, because of certain verses in Ovid which I always found interesting:
“…ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe, quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.”
I liked the significance which translated roughly means:
“Before the sea and the lands and (which covers all things) the sky, one form was in the whole sphere of nature, which they called Chaos, a raw undigested mass, and nothing but an inert mass, and heaped up in the same [place], the discordant seeds of things not well joined.”
Not well joined until touched by the hands of the artist who can redistribute, reshape and create something beautiful out of an undigested mass…
I was attracted to the order from chaos idea which in many ways describes the way I approach art. But mostly I was attracted to the line “omnia caelum”, which I know to really mean…at least really to me…that “all is Heaven”. All starts from Heaven and ends as well for Heaven is still there for us to look up and smile and wonder. After all in the skies…Heaven…we see so many incredible things…
From the source, Heaven, I can create the first line on my canvas that will inspire my improvisation that will ultimately create Jazz Art right here on the plane of Earth.
And not just my paintings, I have also created music using the same idea of Jazz. I formed the “Abstract Jazz Arrangement” (AJA) in 1999, withing Omnia Caelum Studios. I use the “Arrangement” to collaborate with jazz musicians, or others who like the idea of creating from short lines and forming complete tunes…
I like to work with the certainty that there is something before and something after. To me the concept of Heaven is many things, for example, the place…the horizon on the sea…where you see the union of sky and water…
I want my studio to be what I think art is, therefore it is conceptual, that way I do not lose my place and I can continue to work within the structure that I have created for myself. It is not a limitation, it is simply a border, a reminder. After all just because your elbow does not bend outward, are you limited?
I chose “jazz” as my style not just because I love that musical genre but because it creates something pure, organic and complete out of randomness. I wanted to unite with music in the spirit of the abstract, after all what can be more abstract than music?
If you would like to see more of my artwork, paintings and drawings, please follow me on Instagram as there I post them as I paint them, just go to @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and if you would like to see the 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” series, please access my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155
The hands of God that made me, intolerant and strong, intolerant of ignorance and strong to fight alone, to fight against the hatred that's like a gathering storm, The hands of God have made me, The hands of God are warm...
The hands of God have made me, as they have made the Earth, the skies above, the sea below, it all came from one birth.
One birth to make all those who live, fully understand, the Human Race, redeemed by grace, is made of many forms, of many colours, of many shapes, with different rhythms that set the pace, for every one to walk their path in peace and in full knowledge, that we are all the same, from Heaven we came and to love is our true calling.
C.2019 Derechos Reservados
I wanted to write a poem, not a religious poem but a realistic one about the way people are treating each other. In these days I see a tremendous amount of intolerance, prejudice, hatred, bigotry and anger among people. I think it is due to ignorance and that is something that can be remedied.
I am quite angered by politicians and people who have a voice that is heard, that instead of trying to unite people what they are doing is creating more divisiveness and hatred among the varied and different groups that form our countries, communities and neighbourhoods. If these same politicians would emphasise our similarities and would attempt to facilitate our getting to know one another better, we would have a much better world.
I have also noticed that recently, here in Europe but in America as well, people are very preoccupied with climate change. I am too, but, it is not the only pressing problem facing our countries and our lives today. I find that the disintegration of our societies due to racism, intolerance, prejudices and bigotry might just finish us off much sooner than the rising seas. Of course without taking away the importance of being aware of and trying to do something about climate change.
In any event, I just wanted to say something about it and the best way I could put it was in spiritual terms, somewhat, because I do not make a very great distinction between spirituality and reality. What I mean is that you do not have to be a monk, priest, imam or rabbi to be spiritual. God is an equal opportunity employer and creator.
And I beg the pardon of those who are aetheists but being that we live in a world which mostly believes in God, in one manner or another, I will make no apologies for acknowledging that the lessons, held in the holy books, if followed, even at only 10%, can make life much better and each other much more tolerable.
What I think about aetheism is resumed in an anecdote that supposedly happened when someone asked Soviet Premier Nikita Jruschov if he believed in God and he replied saying, “I am an aetheist and God knows it.” Aetheism is a position taken, it is not a philosophy or a belief system as you cannot deny what you believe does not exist.
Photographs are property of FBC, owner, and cannot be reproduced or copied without the expressed written permission of the owner.
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Khios is not a very popular island but I love it! It is very close to the Turkish coast. It is not too small, as it is the fifth largest in the Aegean Sea with a population of close to 54 thousand souls and 842,29 square kilometres in size. Khios…or Chios…is famous for exporting its mastic gum and because of that they call it the “Mastic Island”.
Khios is not overlooked, however but it is certainly not as popular with tourists as is Santorini or Mykonos. But at least it is not as forgotten as Milos (where the Venus is from).
I usually spend some of my summers in Chios. I have been doing it for several years and now have many friends there. Among the things that I love about Khios is the Mavra Volia Beach in Emporios…
Mavra Volia beach is made of this:
There are monasteries like Neo Moni up in the central mountains and many, many churches…
Chios is also the home of Aya Markella. She was assassinated by her step father and her death became her martyrdom. She lived in the XIVth Century in the town of Volissos and she was cannonised by the Greek Orthodox Church. Her feast day in July 22.
Going to Volissos, visiting the Monastery and then walking along the coastline to the cross is one of my pilgrimages…
All in all Chios is not too large, not too small but all of it is very lovely to me, especially the mountains as they coexist with the sea…
You can reach Chios by plane from Athens, or by ship and from Turkey as well from a fast catamaran as the journey to Cesme, Turkey is only twenty minutes. Chios has an international airport and seaport. Emporios Bay Hotel is where I recommend. From there you can hire a car and begin to get to know Chios. Remember, it is a small island and you can go everywhere in one day as the roads are excellent but the travel is slow as you are constantly going up and down mountains.
All photographs are property of FBC, C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)
In the Antalya province of Turkey, which is in the Mediterranean, is the small Turkish city of Demre. However, its history goes very far back to the Fourth Century before Christ when it was the Greek city of Myra. From then it was transformed to a Roman city…St. Paul changed ships there en route to Rome…then Byzantine, later the Ottoman Greek city of Lycia and the small Turkish town of Kale. The name was changed to Demre in 2005.
In 325 A.D., Lycia became a Roman province and Myra became its capital. As the Metropolitan See of the province, it was the home of the bishop and the bishop at that time was none other than Saint Nicholas. He was one of the fathers of the First Council of Nicaea in that same year.
Saint Nicholas of Myra (15 March 270 – 6 December 342), who is known as Nicholas of Bari and, because of the many miracles attributed to him, as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He is the patron saint of sailors, repentant thieves, brewers, children, merchants,archers, and students in Europe. But his lovely habit of secretly giving gifts, has created the idea of the Santa Claus, or Saint Nick.
The ancient Greek sarcophagus of marble was used to bury St. Nicholas but his bones were stolen in 1087 by merchants and taken to Bari, to the Basiliaca of St. Nicholas. The Church gained permission in 2007 from the Turkish authorities to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. This was the first time in many centuries.
A famous site in Myra are the rock-cut tombs. Many of them are situated above the theatre and more on the east side in a place called the river necropolis. Some of them have carvings depicting the everyday life of the person buried.
In 1840, discoverer of the city, Charles Fellows said he found the tombs painted red, blue and yellow.
Antalya is the fastest growing city in Turkey. Because of its combination of great beaches and traditional Turkish customs.
Antalya was originally named Attaleia (Ἀττάλεια). The King of Pergamon, Attalos founded the city and gave it his name. In Greek today it still bears this name. In Turkish it was first Adalia and then Antalya.
To visit, Antalya is a great summer destination. With more than 300 days a year with sun, and shielded by the Taurus mountains from the northerly winds, the climate is hot, dry and wonderful for water sports, swimming and for exploring the interesting places, such as Myra, which are close by.
I visited there in 2005 and loved the experience. I flew from Istanbul to Bodrum and drove south. The motorways are very good and safe and there are many rest stops, restaurants and accommodations along the way. Another alternative is to arrive to Istanbul and then take a direct flight to Antalya.
And I say “waking up” because we arrived here from North America, it was a long trip getting there and I mostly slept on the way but it was a cool place to wake up in…
We arrived to Istanbul and took a connecting flight to Izmir. Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city and it is located on the Aegean coast. From Izmir, our journey took us to the ancient places…and beautiful places…in the vicinity.
After spending about twenty four hours in Izmir, we decided to head for the Aegean coast a little bit north of the city…we arrived later that evening to Ayvalik and from there to a little island called Cunda.
So we arrived to our first destination, which was Cunda Island in nearby Ayvalik. I guess that one of the benefits of arriving at night is that you do not have to wait long for a great dinner. In Cunda, being an island populated with so many fishermen, it was natural to find an overabundance of fish restaurants. All of them were right on the water. It was hard to choose one, but I think we made a fine choice. We had sea bass baked in salt, (“lubina a la sal”) which was incredibly delicious!
The following seven days we spent sailing around the coast, which was beautiful! We found some pretty interesting places to dive in and enjoy swimming in these clear, cool and blue, blue waters…
To get to know and enjoy this area of Turkey, I would recommend arriving in Istanbul…which is where most international flights arrive…and taking a short flight to Izmir and proceed from there. Izmir is close to many of these destinations and you can hire a car and drive south. There are good roads and highways. If you are coming from some European cities, like Munich or Dublin, there are flights direct to Izmir, so you can avoid a second flight from Istanbul. Unless of course you would also like to get to know that city as well.
After Izmir, one stop, very interesting and which you should not ignore, are the ancient ruins of Ephesus. There are tours or you can hire a car. The distance is not far and the roads are good. I think the ruins of Ancient Ephesus are the largest and best kept archaeological site outside of mainland Greece. Close to Ephesus you can visit the little house where it is said that the Virgin Mary lived. It is a beautiful place, very peaceful and serene on top of a mountain…
The House of the Virgin Mary, like I said, is very close by to the ruins of Ephesus and about seven kilometres from the town of Seljuk. Catholic tradition says that Saint John brought Mother Mary to this house after the crucifixion and it is here where she stayed until her ascension into Heaven.
From Izmir it was quite easy to reach another ancient site, Pergamon…This is one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse. It is a popular destination with Christians worldwide. There are many tours which feature travel to all the churches. I have not seen them all but I can say Pergamun was beautiful! (see my article on Pergamun on this blog)
I must say that it was a rather memorable journey with much of history, archaeology and spirituality. All of these places are a short distance…by car or coach…from Izmir. However, if you choose to stay in one of these places, there are towns nearby, like Seljuk, with nice hotels and good accommodations. And of course, from there, you can travel on to many other destinations in the area which I will be writing about and featuring in my blog.
Turkey, because of its location, is an open air museum where you can see the ruins left behind by the passing of so many cultures and peoples. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for your time, your attention and for your visit! If you have liked what you have seen or read, please hit that lovely like button, follow and share. Comments are always encouraged and welcome.
I am an artist from Valencia, Spain. If you would like to see more of my work, I invite you to follow my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and you can also see my online galleries with my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155
La Virgen de los Desamparados es la Patrona de Valencia, llamada la Jorobadita por su leve inclinación de la cabeza. Cada segundo domingo de mayo se celebra el traslado de la Virgen de los Desamparados. La Madre de Dios, Geperudeta (en valenciano), mas bella que la belleza, mas pura que el mar que besa nuestras arenas, la madre de Valencia, de todos y de Dios.
Al fondo de la Calle Caballeros se encuentra la Plaza de la Virgen y la Basilica de la Geperudeta…
La Plaza de la Virgen es lugar de ocio rodeado de bares y heladerías y centro para las fiestas de nuestra patrona.
La Plaza de la Virgen es el punto de origen de la ciudad de Valencia. Su fuente, fue creada por el escultor Manuel Silvestre Montesinos, también conocido como Silvestre de Edeta. La fuente, que fue inagurada en 1976, es también conocida como la fuente de las ocho acequias del Turia. Se encuentra enfrente de la puerta de los Apóstoles. Esta rodeada de ocho mujeres jóvenes, desnudas y que llevan peineta y peinado de labradora valenciana y que vierten cántaros del agua en la fuente.
En el centro de la fuente, en una taza de mármol y colocado sobre un pedestal vemos al hombre que representa el Río Turia. Tiene en sus manos el cuerno de Amaltea, (cuerno de la abundancia). Del cuerno proceden los frutos de la huerta de Valencia. Las mujeres representan las ocho acequias del Turia: Benager, Faitanar, Rovella, Favara, Quart, Tormos, Rascanya, Mislata y Mestalla. Aunque lo piensen algunos, el hombre no es Neptuno…
La Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados y la Plaza de La Virgen fueron y son lugares especiales para mi. Desde que llegué a Valencia los visito casi a diario. A veces me siento a disfrutar un helado o simplemente a ver lo que acontece en la plaza. Siempre hay algo diferente y aun en los días donde no hay nada, la plaza desolada da abundante razones para admirarla.
Dento de la basilica siempre hay gente. No hay que dudar que es atracción tanto para los turistas como para los devotos. Yo en ella entro, me siento y admiro la belleza de su interior y encuentro paz…
Los muchos que vienen a visitar la Basilica, entran con mucho respeto y guardan el silencio. Yo me siento muy a gusto, tranquilo, meditando, pensando, orando y a veces se me van los ojos a la cúpula, que es una belleza de planta ovalada de 18,75 metros de anchura, pues me fascinan tambien los frescos de Antonio Palomino de la bóveda.
En la Basilica estoy con la Madre de Dios y tambien con la grata compañía de santos y santas que se encuentran albergados en los pilares. Me uno en pensamiento al gran fundador de la Compañía de Jesús, (los Jesuitas), San Ignacio de Loyola que tiene en sus manos un libro abierto con el lema “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam”, el lema A. M. D. G. que significa “a mayor gloria divina», o “a la mayor gloria de Dios”. Cerca está Santa Bárbara, virgen y mártir portando la Santa Custodia, San Francisco de Paula fundador de los mínimos y San Juan Evangelista que lleva una pluma y el evangelio. Son todas obras de Ignacio Vergara hechas en el siglo XVIII.
Hay una escultura mas que representa a San José de Calasanz, junto a muchos niños. El santo fue fundador de la Orden de los Escolapios. Es obra del escultor valenciano Francisco Gutierrez Frechina ( né Sueca, 19/11/1908, mort 14/09/1950) hecha en 1949.
Siempre supe que Valencia era una gran ciudad, pero hasta que mis pies manchegos no pisaron sus bellas calles y mis pulmones se llenaron del aire puro valenciano no supe lo tanto que verdaderamente es Valencia. No en balde se fundó esta ciudad en un lugar santo como la Plaza de la Virgen, pues la Geperudeta es la madre que ampara a los mas debiles, a los mas necesitados, y a los mas marginados por la sociedad, a los desamparados. Y pienso yo si acaso no somos a veces todos nosotros parte de ese enorme grupo, y como a veces siento la necesidad de un abrazo materno, acudo siempre a ella…
Sóc un artista que viu i treballa a Valencia. Si voleu veure la meva obra, us convido al meu Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera i a la meva col·lecció titulada “JaZzArt en Valencia” anant al http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155