sand artists circles

The Sandmen

There are some amazing artists who use the beach as their ephemeral canvases. These sculptors, drawers and etchers create magnificent works of art that get washed away by the tides within hours of their creation. The works vary in scope and size. All are amazing and beautiful.

Sand-Artists---Jim-DenevanLarge Nevada design

Jim Denevan’s art in the sand is not raised sculpture but freehand drawing. He is based in Santa Cruz, but has done sand drawings all over the world. At low tide he walks with a stick leaving designs in the sand. Each massive drawing takes an average of 7 hours and can involve as much as 30 miles of walking. It isn’t long before the tide comes in and washes away his creation. Jim is known to many as the founder of Outstanding in the Field – “a roving culinary experience”. His sand art installation in the Nevada desert was three miles in diameter. He exhibits his works in galleries.



Sand-Artists---Andres-Amador-2Andres Amador is a San Francisco native, born in 1971. He uses a rake to etch large- scale designs on beaches during low tide. He appreciates the color difference between the light top layer of sand and the dark wet sand underneath. He uses a rope as a compass and applies geometry to his designs. His creations can be 300’ or larger, and take about two hours to complete. He equates the inevitable erasure of his designs by tides with every human’s eventual demise.





(photo courtesy of Red Collie)

Byron Bay in Australia has beautiful beaches that attract sand artists. Craig Gascoigne (known as Spiralman on Facebook) is one of the best known and has been drawing on the beach for the past 15 years. He takes no money for his designs. He makes a new design every day for 63 days in a row. See a YouTube of Craig working.


Another Santa Cruz sand artist is Brandon Anderton. He draws enormous mandalas (large geometric patterns) in the sand at South Bay beaches. He left a promising career as a master electrician to deal with pain that was the result of motorcycle and skateboard accidents and a work-related injury. The art therapist at a pain center helped him discover his talent and he hasn’t looked back. He makes no money from his art and hires a drone to take pictures of his art before each design is washed away. The photographs are exhibited in a gallery in San Jose. Follow him on Instagram.