Cap de Creus Natural Park, Spain
Sometimes there are minds you can’t even imagine comprehending, imaginations seemingly too warped to understand, things that seem to be but exist only when you’re imagining them.
Imagination – it comes from somewhere. Perhaps it comes from inspiration. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
There needs to be a spark and what is inspiration if the not the ignition of an idea?
Just like fire needs heat to exist, all the best creativity needs a stimulus.
Salvador Dali, the great twentieth century painter, found inspiration here on the coast of Spain.
In the Cap de Creus Natural Park in the country’s Costa Brava region, he found the shapes that would form in his mind and be realised on the canvas.
Rocks like animals, trees like people, perhaps even clouds like melting clocks?
Dali grew up in this region and as a child he would spend time along the coast. Impressions as a child led him not to become an impressionist but a surrealist.
Surreal impressions? More likely surreal interpretations of these natural surroundings.
So inspiration becomes imagination which becomes interpretation.
It doesn’t take an artistic genius to see the beauty in the landscapes in the Cap de Creus Natural Park.
Waves magically turning blue into white as they crash upon cliff faces…
Rocks jutting out in a constant distortion of shapes…
Trees cracking the sky into a thousand pieces…
Bays sheltering the sun caught on the water.
The Great Masturbator, Salvador Dali
But it’s how you interpret it all that is the mark of a real artist. Salvador Dali saw the rock in the photo below and it became the base for his work ‘The Great Masturbator’.
A random shape to any other could become a fellating female in his mind.
The walking tracks through the park are well-maintained and take visitors past the most important parts. This is particularly so in the area called ‘El Paratge de Tudela’.
It’s here that people have their imagination lightly influenced with suggestions as to what particular rocks might look like.
An eagle? Now that you say so, of course it is.
How about that one? Could it be a bull, or a horse? I’m not sure… I’ll interpret it how I want.
This whole area was once a Club Med. It’s hard to imagine but for the scattering of rusted metal skeletons that has been incorporated into the pathway designs.
These days it is a protected region. The Spanish and Catalan authorities say it is because of the natural beauties but there’s more to it than that, I expect.
Anywhere that can inspire the work of one of the country’s best artists has a special quality. You can’t bottle it but you can protect it for the generations to come who will interpret it through their own minds.
Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona tourism board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.
23 thoughts on “The inspiration of Salvador Dali”
Love the photos! I am a fan of Salvador Dali’s works. I actually registered for TBEX Spain, but circumstances deprived me from doing so 🙁 The photos reminds me of Kapurpurawan Rock Formation here in the Philippines hehe
Oh, what a pity you missed out. The landscapes along the Costa Brava coast are beautiful.
And it sounds like I’m going to have to get to the Philippines soon… you’re not the first person to mention them recently…
Pretty awesome place to get inspiration from. It inspires me to travel somewhere warm and sunny 🙂
Ha ha – some people get their inspiration for art, others to travel the world. Either way, it works!
Great post, the landscape looks really similar to Sardinia, we also have animal-shape rocks. Easy to imagine Dalì found so much inspiration there!
Are all the rocks in Sardinia in the shape of sardines?
Absolutely gorgeous. It’s amazing how he had such a different way of looking at the world.
It’s interesting to think about how each person can look at something as simple as a rock and see such different things. It shows you the power of imagination.
Thanks for the tour of the park through your great photos. As a Dali fan, I also appreciate the insights about his inspiration. I took a boat ride along the coast past Cap de Creus NP and could see how he was influenced from that perspective, too. Would love to take some trails in the park sometime.
Wow, going along the coast in a boat must have been an awesome way to see it. Although the water looked pretty rough the day I was there. Hope it was calm enough for you when you did it.
excellent article and photos !
Beautiful stuff Michael. We have a Dali museum nearby in St. Petersburg. You’ve inspired me to finally pay a visit…
Oh, fantastic! Please let me know what you think of the museum. If it’s anything like the stuff in Spain, it’s going to be pretty wacky!
What a fantastic part of Spain that I had no idea existed. We visited El Tocal NP in Spain last year – a place of fantastic rock forms but I know of no painters of Dali’s stature that have use that place as a backdrop.
It sounds like I’ll have to check out El Tocal at some point as well… the NPs are so beautiful in that part of the world. If only I had even an artistic bone in my body, I’m sure I could find some inspiration myself in these places.
I really like Dali’s paintings. Though even I wouldn’t see what he saw in those funky rocks.
I guess you can make it up, really… and then try to justify it later on when you’re a famous painter! 🙂
Your blog is fantastic (finally getting around to checking out all the cool peeps I met at the conferences). Love this post and had no idea this place existed let alone was the inspiration behind some of Dali’s work. Didn’t do any pre or post press trips but hit up the Dali Museum in Figueres and walked around Cadaqués a bit. Costa Brava is definitely a region fans of Salvador Dali should visit…
Thanks, Larissa! I was really impressed with all the Dali sites around Costa Brava. If you were a fan, you could spend a good few days seeing everything for yourself and learning a bit more about the man.
These are great inspiration to create a unique and elegant design. I wish I could visit that place too.
Yeah, great inspiration indeed. I hope you get there one day!