FAQ's about the Beach Murals


Find videos of me working here and interviews here.

What am I doing?
In the beach mural exploration (aka: playa paintings, beach art) I use a rake to etch designs onto the beach during the low tide. Raking exposes the wetter sand, causing a color difference between the raked and unraked sand.

How do I get it so perfect?
For the geometric designs I use a rope as a compass. the rest is geometry in motion- and its perfection is a thing of beauty to participate in.

For the organic designs, the pattern in 'grown' using principles of growth. For them, perfection is a state of such complete integration that the entire artwork seems to 'exist' as its own entity. The best unintended compliments I have received were from folks thinking the pattern was somehow naturally occurring.

Why do I do it?
The unanswerable question! Its fun. I get to be at the beach.

There is an esoteric fractal quality of being within the pattern that is being made- it feels to have relevance in other aspects of my life, of building a larger pattern from the inside, not fully knowing what is resulting.

And I enjoy wowing people with the creations, of bringing wonder and beauty into the world.

How big is it?
I have never officially measured my pieces. But judging from the size of people in them, they can go up to 300' or larger (90,000 sqft.). Generally, I go as large as possible given tide and beach constraints.

How long does it take?
I usually give myself about 2 hours of working in the space of the low tide.

How do I feel about it washing away?
For me it is more about the process and less about the result. I can be a stickler for getting something the way I think I want it- which is more goal-focused. But ultimately, when it is finished, I let it go. For me the energy and draw is around the act of creation. I know this because even on days when everything goes wrong and there's no way a 'finished' piece can result (rogue waves wash away a huge section prematurely, the sand has washed away leaving only pebbles, a parade of dog walkers shows up (yes all these have happened!)) I still appreciate the act of being at the beach doing the art.

Then there's the aspect of impermanence that has been so valuable for me to have had the opportunity to experience in such a creative way. The only constant in this existence is impermanence. In the end our lives are about the experiences we've had, not the things we have held on to. And in the face of certain erasure, in the face of our own personal, inevitable demise, the act of rallying forces on behalf of creation and beauty is a declaration of one' existences in the face of a seemingly indifferent ocean of reality. I really like that metaphor- it encourages and propels me.

Where do  I do it?
Most of my work so far is in Northern California. I have been to the Channel Islands to work as well.

Am I for hire?
I am. Go here to see my services. Or just drop me a note.

Got any more questions? Ask here.


~Andres 4/27/12
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