The first video is by Jenyne, our niece. The rest are professional jobs on Youtube. Wow!!!
My contribution to the L’Art de Career (Valenciano for Art on the Street) in Picanya, a small town on the south side of Valencia. It was sponsored by the Women of Picanya http://www.picanya.org/persones/dones/activitats. There are about 50 pieces hanging from the balconies celebrating women through March 20 2022.
Here are my comments:
Vivir tus sueños (Live Your Dreams)
This expressionist piece is about living our dreams, our desire to become who we want to be, to accomplish what we want to accomplish. We all seek the path we find most attractive.
Expressionism rejects the restrictions of realism while remaining largely figurative- you can recognize the object even if it’s not realistic. It also can include abstract elements. Here there are four women, two playing musical instruments, one singing. The fourth dreams of her possibilities. Not all the figures are attractive- beauty is not a requirement for success. There are two muses in the upper left and a third on the bottom left. They inspire the dreams.
The dreams of our youth influence the rest of our life. Those of our mature years, our 30’s and 40’s, are increasingly influenced by experience. As we continue to age, we tend to become more realistic but still can have our dreams, guiding our later years.
Vivir tus sueños (Live Your Dreams)
Esta obra expresionista trata el tema de los sueños que las personas tenemos, nuestras ganas de ser quien queremos ser, de lograr lo que queremos lograr. Cada uno de nosotros busca la libertad de seguir el camino que más nos atrae.
El Expresionismo rechaza las restricciones del realismo, y por eso nos permite explorar formas y figuras con menos límites. En esta obra, se ve a cuatro mujeres, dos que tocan instrumentos musicales, otra que baila. La cuarta mujer sueña con las posibilidades. También se ve a dos musas a la izquierda y otra al fondo quienes le inspiran a ella. Las musas vuelan en su mundo, invitándonos a explorar mundos nuevos.
Los sueños de nuestra juventud influyen al resto de nuestra vida. Los sueños de nuestros días más maduros, en torno a la edad de 30 y 40 años, se ven más influenciados por las experiencias que hemos tenido, haciéndonos más realistas, y reconociendo nuestros
límites. Según vamos envejeciendo, volvemos a explorar nuestros sueños de una forma menos condicionada, ya que, en este periodo tenemos más tiempo libre y posiblemente más recursos disponibles, los sueños nos guían otra vez.
The Spanish government began allowing some outdoor activity as of May 2. It is divided by age group and you can still only get close to people you live with. Necessary activities are still subject to physical distances. You must stay withing one kilometer of your house. We will still have to rely on the internet to “share” drinks and meals.
Spain is still showing an increase in cases, just above 1% so they will be checking the statistics before further relaxation.
Valencia is not in a danger zone so air travel is permitted within the EU without any health certificate (which I believe is just a questionnaire anyway). But try to get a flight and see how that goes. We have had 5 to the Netherlands canceled. You can not get a train or bus ticket out of the country. We might be able to fly from Madrid but are not 100% certain we will be allowed to board the train out of Valencia. We normally give up our apartment to live on the boat in summer, probably not an urgent matter, as is required. On the other hand, they would be getting rid of us so why not let us cease to be potential patients and just let us through? We do not know where to turn for advice on the matter.
Food supplies and essential services have been well managed in general, as near as one can tell, for which we are thankful.
December 14, 2019
It was a bit past midnight. We were on the way home from the theater, passing through Parque Turia, when we came across this group doing some worship dancing. There is an impromptu shrine to Mary in front of which they dance.
There were perhaps 100 people in the crowd. Children were running about like it was afternoon. People were laughing, watching the dance, clapping, chatting.
Here are photos from the last day of Fallas, March 19, 2019. Included are photos of Mary in the Plaza de la Virgen covered with flowers and one or two from earlier on while they are building. Nuria and Zoe in their Fallera dresses in the first photo. We walked about 3 hours to get these photos, leaving a little after 8 am. After around noon the streets at the larger and more famous Fallas get very crowded. Most of the morning the sky was a bright blue.
A high school mate is on my website mailing list. (you can get on the mailing list on the website or PM me with your email address) She wrote, “Thanks for sharing those fabulous photos and your latest artwork. At first I thought they were small, but after several views, oh my heavens, they are huge. Is there a theme in the designs?”
Indeed they are huge. I was standing next to a small one the other day. Bugger than I am! But next to the 15 meter high ones it looks quite small. I try to get some scale in the photos to help the viewer put things in perspective.
There are multiple themes, in fact a nearly endless variety. One major theme is national and local politics, and international as well, this year more to do with Brexit and the reburial of Franco. One showed Franco, Stalin, Hitler and Trump wearing nothing but hats.
The huge one by city hall is an ode to graffiti. There are some excellent graffiti artists here. It’s stunning!
There are quite a few fallas’ that address the treatment of women. This year Spain inaugurated a hotline for domestic abuse, you dial 116. They are now addressing the matter more seriously. I did not see that dealt with immigration. Italy, Greece and Spain are all dealing with immigration from sub-Sahara Africa. Corruption is always a topic. We saw several that talked about pollution caused by plastics. There are more, these are just the ones I noticed.
A Passcalles is a major part of Fallas. The clubs, called Casals, assemble in Fallero/Fallera clothing to march through the street. Here is a short video of one group, accompanied by traditional Valencian reed instruments, called ‘dulzaina’
During the day, aside from the Mascleta in the square in front of city hall, there are dozens of smaller but still loud and impressive mini Masletas put on by the Casals. We went to ours. You can get much closer, which does not do your ears any good, but it is something to behold!
Starting late tonight is the Crema. They burn all these amazing sculptures except for one small example. It’s a lot of unhealthy smoke and aside from the late hour – they are not done until 1 am – this is why we no longer go to any of these events. There are some 800 of these afire in the city, not simultaneously of course.
Last night was the opening night of Fallas in Valencia. That event is a mascleta, a huge fireworks display. It is 10 minutes of non-stop of highly coordinated firework explosions resulting in various formations and figures including stars and spirals, rockets on multiple successive heights, culminating in a vertical mascleta some 10 stories in height that is almost pure rumble, and in fact is called ‘the earthquake.” We could feel the vibrations from across the harbor, several hundred meters away.
I do mean huge! Here it is!
Here is another illustrated small book, this one on our favorite place to live, Valencia, Spain. You can swipe through the pages with your finger on a touch screen. Enjoy!
In a bar in Cabañal having tapas with Ximo and Andea. They are great company. We tried an array of unusual tapas, thanks to Ximo’s excellent suggestions. Superb local wine. I had a great time with them in May, sometimes in bar and sometimes at Ximo’s place.
Cabañal is on the edge of Valencia, Spain at the beach. The narrow streets reflect the age of the place, which is full of many two story traditional Spanish townhouses. This is a small water color painting.