Goodbye Barcelona…I am changed!

Greta Chapin McGill - October 9, 2014

Diversity in people, culture, art and langurage grow my art like water on a flower. Barcelona has been a constant stream of stimulation and growth. In the atmosphere there is a freedom of expression I needed to soak up to continue my artistic journey.

This city is the capitol of Catalunya. There are flags flying from every balcony in support of Catalan independence from Spain. In short the people of Barcelona are not Spanish they are Catalan. They speak a language similar but not the same as Spanish and their relationship to their country is unique.

I traveled to the studio of Salvador Dali in a small fishing village called Cadaques. In Cadaques the language is Catalan and French. The people of Cadaques revere Dali – he is legend. His home and studio are reflective of the world he created. The Teatro Museum and jewelry collection is surreally indescribable. Cadaques is Dali’s world. White washed houses crawling up a hillside look like a fairy tale and I can understand the development of an expansive imagination. It is a place where thought is released without distraction. Conversation for hours over meals is normal. You are never rushed I sat at the waters edge in front of Dali’s little white house, lost in myself in my sketchbook and almost missed my bus.

I took a jet to Palma De Mallorca, the home of Joan Miro. This island paradise could not be more inspiring to paint, sculpt, write and create. Standing in his studio I gazed at twelve easels of Miro’s work. They easily fit with room to spare for long sketching tables books, chairs and objects of inspiration. A cabinet of Kachinas caught my eye and as I studied them I could see the translation of their spirit into Miro’s huge canvases. There are connections between artists and art defying miles and time. It is a connection the practice of art creates, unsaid and almost miraculous. We know each other through all times and space.

I visited the studio of Makha Diop. A painter from Senegal. Over looking the Placa Reial just off the Ramblas is his small studio. So charming and generous he shared his techniques with me and wrote them in my journal. I rode a bus on a mystic morning to Montserrat. The spirtural heart of Catalunya. I stood in line for hours to touch the hand of the Virgin. I feel I have morphed into an international artist. Spain has been life altering! Onward to Antwerp and Brussels to continue this fantastic journey. Are you ready?