Art for the Winter Weary

For those of us who live in areas of the world where snow, ice and cold dominate our winters, February is the month of the year in which we especially dream of a warm and sunny day at the beach: the beauty of a fresh snowfall has lost its sense of wonder after the tenth or eleventh storm; the invigorating cold snap in the air in November and December has turned bone-chilling; and the miracle of green sprouts in spring gardens is still a very long month or so away.

As a feast for the winter weary (and the not so winter weary), this post highlights images of art work created in the sand at the edge of the ocean by San Francisco artist, Andres Amador.  Amador’s impressive pieces belong in the genre known as Earth Art, an art movement that began in the late 1960′s and is devoted to art created in nature using natural materials as a medium, such as soil, rocks, logs, water, etc. and in Amador’s case, sand.  Earth art is often temporary, is subject to change or destruction by the elements and, therefore, frequently exists in its original form only as photographs or video recordings. The best known Earth artist is generally considered to be Robert Smithson, whose 1970 striking installation, Spiral Jetty, was created with basalt rock and earth and extends into the Great Salt Lake in Utah by a distance of 1500 ft.

 Robert Smithson, "Spiral Jetty From Rozel Point," 1970


Robert Smithson, “Spiral Jetty As Seen From Rozel Point,” 1970

Andres Amador’s ‘paintings’ on sand evolved from calligraphy or hand lettering that he created on the beach with a walking stick. The current ‘earthscapes’ in sand have measured from several hundred to over 100,000 feet and can only be completed during low tide. Within minutes of finishing a piece, and often while it is still in progress, the returning tide begins resetting the ‘canvas.’ Andres has been featured on the BBC, on CNN and in numerous T.V. programs and periodicals globally. His artwork has appeared on beaches in the U.S. and internationally, with his primary canvas being the Northern California coastline.

 Andres Amador at Work, Photo by Stepane Gimenez Photography, Courtesy of the artist.


Andres Amador at Work, Photo by Stepane Gimenez Photography, Courtesy of the Artist.

 'Ribbons', Santa Cruz, CA. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta Courtesy of the Artist


Andres Amador, ‘Ribbons,’ Santa Cruz, CA. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta
Courtesy of the Artist

 Andres Amador, "Kelp at Fort Bragg," 2012 Courtesy of the artist.


Andres Amador, “Kelp at Fort Bragg,” 2012
Courtesy of the Artist.

 Andres Amador, "Clouds," Ocean Beach, San Francisco, Courtesy of the Artist


Andres Amador, “Clouds,” Ocean Beach, San Francisco, Courtesy of the Artist

Amador also provides ‘Playa Painting Workshops’ during which participants work with the artist to complete a ‘painting’ in the sand.  Public Art at work!

 Andres Amador Playa Workshop. Courtesy of the Artist.


Andres Amador Playa Workshop. Courtesy of the Artist

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