La Seu

Celebrating Drawing by Jeannine Cook

I always love it when out of the blue, one learns of the celebration of the art of drawing.

Just a small entry in today's Spanish papers, but a good piece of news for all of us who think that drawing is just as important as painting. Miquel Barcelo, the highly successful artist from Mallorca, has just been awarded the Penages Award for Drawing from the Mapfre Foundation in Spain. In his acceptance speech, he talked of the fact that he finds that, " Es gracioso pensar que la pintura ha muerto y el dibujo no" -explicó en referencia a aquellos que dan por muerto este arte-. Como si muere Dios pero la Virgen María siguiese viva" ( a quote from the Diario de Mallorca, that it is somewhat ironic to think that painting has died whilst drawing survives, as if God had died but the Virgin Mary remains alive). He received the award in Madrid, with Princess Elena present at the ceremony.

Barcelo's drawings and etchings are indeed a delight with their fluid ease and grace.

Marche de Shange, la Jupe Verte  (the Green Skirt),  mixed media, 2000, Miguel Barceló (image courtesy of the website of Paola Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co)

Marche de Shange, la Jupe Verte (the Green Skirt),  mixed media, 2000, Miguel Barceló (image courtesy of the website of Paola Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co)

Barceló has spent a lot of tiime in Africa, especially in Mali, and his images capture the essence of Africa.

This 1999 etching is from his series of works from the Balearic island of Lanzarote, entitled  Lanzarote XXV , courtesy of ArtNet.

This 1999 etching is from his series of works from the Balearic island of Lanzarote, entitled Lanzarote XXV, courtesy of ArtNet.

This is another of the Lanzarote series, a wonderful depiction of dogs.

This is another of the Lanzarote series, a wonderful depiction of dogs.

I delight when an artist celebrates drawing as does Miquel Barceló. He inspires us all to keep drawing.

What is Invisible to others by Jeannine Cook

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others". This was an interesting remark, made by Roberto Polo, artist and founder of Citibank's Fine Art Investment Services, and quoted in the 19th November, 2011, edition of The Spectator by Bevis Hillier.

I found the idea thought-provoking, and was reminded of it in an unusual context. Tomorrow morning, at about 7.30 a.m. in Palma de Mallorca's magnificant Gothic cathedral, La Seu, there is a moment of pure magic.

Main Nave, Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

Main Nave, Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

At that time (and again in November) every year, the giant rose window lines up with the rising sun, and a perfect glowing circle is projected across the vast cathedral to the opposite wall, where another rose window joins in the celebration.

This huge rose window, one of the largest in the world, was created in the 14th century, in the Royal Chapel, using a Levantine design for its more than two thousand pieces of stained glass.

Rose Window, Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

Rose Window, Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

Its fleeting echo, twice a year, on the golden Mallorcan stone wall opposite, is an event that is anticipated eagerly for its amazing beauty.

The rose window's light cast on the opposite wall of the Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

The rose window's light cast on the opposite wall of the Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

These two images are courtesy of the website, Mallorcaquality.com, with my thanks.

The design and alignment, let alone actual construction, of this huge rose window is, to me, a perfect example of seeing, in one's mind's eye, what is as yet invisible to others. Its concept implied knowledge of the movement of the sun, the necessary geometrical siting in relation to the rising sun on the requisite days of the year, and an ability to calculate all these parameters and ally them with the actual building dimensions and orientation as it was being built. No computers, no cameras, no lasers. Just vision and skill.

Perhaps that ability to envision something that no one else sees and then to create something that renders the invisible visible is the ultimate hallmark of an artist, whatever the discipline. It is certainly an ability to cultivate.