Artist Uses the Beach as Canvas for his Ephemeral Sand Art (Photos)

© andres amodor Ribbons

After a long winter what better time to fantasize about beaches and the sea... Here's an artist who dreams the dream full time. San Francisco-based artist Andres Amador etches large intricate and organic patterns on beaches along the coast of California.

His paint brush is a garden rake, his canvas is the beach. With these, he creates beautiful sand paintings that last only until the next wave comes and washes them away.

© andres amodor Abstract II

First spotted in psfk, we couldn't resist these beautiful and ephemeral etchings.

Amodor uses Google Earth to find the coast lines and in-lets and beaches whose shapes are interesting to him.

It's not as easy as it looks. There is serious manpower and ingenuity required. He uses a hand rake for fine lines and a larger rake for thicker lines and a stick to make outlines. The pieces take him about two hours to create. He likes to make them with other people. The huge spirals and symbols can be up to 20m (65ft) average size.

© andres amodor Torus

There are special techniques which he has invented. Some are based on the devices used by quilters. Many decorative stitches are used to create the organic effect.

As for his influences: the artwork of Ernst Haeckel and his drawings of aquatic plant life. Haeckel was a 19th century German naturalist known for his engravings of ocean life.

© andres amodor Flowers

It's a race against the tides. In an interview he explained how he prepares himself for the pieces:

I study the tides up to half a year in advance. I know how big the difference it will be between high and low tide, which determines how much wet beach I'll have. of course, the beach is always different- the sand is generally higher during the summer, meaning less beach gets wet. or beach may get washed away during the winter storms. so while I may know the tides, I can never go thinking I'll know what to expect.

© andres amodor Cells III

Amador sells prints of his work that are enchanting.

Tags: Artists | Oceans | San Francisco | Wave Power