and then it’s swept away

Environmental artists usually have some time to enjoy their creations.  If you consider calling the rock cairns I posted about art, you might enjoy them for weeks. The sand sculptures created by Jim Denevan might only have hours, or minutes.

Jim Denevanfrom Sand, by Jim Denevan

Denevan creates drawings on sand, earth and ice which are then erased by wind, waves and weather.

Jim Denevanfrom Earth, by Jim Denevan

The photo above shows his work in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in 2009. He spent two weeks drawing out the design, marking the pattern freehand, but using GPS for the four largest circles.  He widened the lines with a pickup truck and a roll of chain. When part of the lake filled up with water, the enormous artwork vanished.

Jim DenevanFrom Sand, by Jim Denevan

“These ephemeral sand drawings are performances. They emerge like a dance and become interactive public spaces when he’s done. Surfers walk over and through the elegant patterns he leaves behind. Delighted beachgoers follow the curling spiral work like it’s a labyrinth, pacing inwards and then retracing their steps. The incoming tide participates as well, and always has the last word as it erases the temporary artworks with the sweep of each passing wave.” – from

When you see his figure, so small amidst the large scale drawing, you can’t imagine how he can create such perfect forms. View more images and information on his website:


2 thoughts on “and then it’s swept away

  1. Thanks for visiting. I am amazed by environmental artists – they live in a different state of mind, don’t you think? I think we could all benefit from that kind of zen interaction with the earth!

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