we imagine the world into being
the synthesis and ecology of elements, beings, symbols, and metaphors
Sand the earliest simplest drawing medium. Blank sand a field of innate potential. The sensuality of sand (how it feels), the color(s), textures, geology, its relation to water and wind, as remnant of earlier places, as (artistic surface, spiritual) ground, grounding.
I have been doing sand drawings since 1979. Besides single drawings and small sets, three large works of mine contain sand drawings: our love, light in the silence, and metaphysics.
My sand drawings derive in some ways from moments of study and discovery when I was a kid (and later). Seeing pictures and reading about Native American, prehistoric European, and Australian Aborigine rock art; and as a kid drawing in dirt with a little stick, drawing things on the sidewalks and curbs with pigmented rocks collected from around our house. Placing, planting pictures in the world.
With rock art, the pictures and graphic representations that prehistoric peoples have left on natural rock, one sees not only images, signs, motifs, and symbols but places as well. The "meaning" of the art is part of the place (time) (siting) where it was created (exists). Placing the artist or creator and the art as part of the more-than-human natural world. Art not separate from life. Symbols of identity and belonging in a meta-physical iconographic world of spiritual, celestial, geographical, geomorphic, biomorphic, elemental, and other relationships.
Every place in the world contains a treasury of pictures, stories, metaphors, and metaphysics, in its living animals, rocks, plants, waters, skies. These are some of the sources for the sand drawings.
All the symbols and drawings have associations with earlier (art) (spiritual) (cosmological) depictions and pictures of the world, from prehistoric rock art, early science, sacred signs; geographic and pictographic map symbols, imaginary creatures and life forms. And symbols and metaphoric processes drawn from natural history, mathematics, physics, space-time quantum field diagrams, electronic circuitry, electricity and magnetism, and from light and optics. And from my imagination.
Most of the sand drawing are composed earlier on paper at home. To draw I use a small stick - from trees in my garden grown from seeds collected by me in some of the places shown in light in the silence, or alternatively a flat toothpick. The drawings are done at very low tides, the ocean revealing blank smooth sand. Only present for a moment in the sand, the drawings are erased when the tide comes in, when the ocean returns.
I have drawn and photographed many sand drawings over 36 years, starting with my first (largest) work our love, and later for light in the silence, metaphysics, and other works.
The our love sand drawings, several hundred drawings over twenty+ years, include: picture creatures and their shared spiritual meta-physical ecologies, biomorphs, geomorphs, maps, places, scenes, worlds, travels, dreams, cosmology, and elements and other signs and symbols. In our love, sand drawings occur alone, in pairs and in open field or sequence composites.
Creating sand drawings is having a magical world view, of shared identity between self and landscape and universe. Placed in the natural world (and in electronic picture world as a part of nature), sand drawings are spirit imprints, thought-forms with energy. Inscribed, imprinted into, part of, the earth. Sand drawings place meaning, the fundamental groundedness of meaning.
Sand drawings briefly face the sky. And the stars.