Early in the morning, when the tide is out, the sand on a beach is Just So. Specifically on the foreshore, which is the bit of sand that is underwater only when the tide is high. And this guy, Amador, goes out there with a rake and brushes it a bit, creating all manner of patterns. Reminiscent of meditation mandalas, ornamental elements of a dozen cultures, sometimes words, these patterns are utterly ephemeral. However long it takes the tide to come and go once or twice is how long they survive.
I spent an hour digging through his site, looking for The Picture that would make you understand what he is doing, and how it can affect the viewer. (in this case: Me.) But I finally gave up and decided you need to go look for yourself. On some fundamental level, I feel a kindred spirit in Andres Amador. Some of his works are so very like some of mine, I can only think the act of creating these lines and forms is as rewarding to his brain as it is to mine.
They say a picture is worth 876 words (inflation, y’know…), so here is one of my sketches. Totally different scale, materials, etc, but I think you’ll be able to see what I am rattling on about here. (Click to see it bigger.)
This sketch isn’t something I had to go digging for, this was the first piece of paper on a stack of loose pages of sketches on the corner of my desk. There are pages of sketch like this oozing out of every crevice of my life. There is a certain pleasure in arranging lines against a background, especially a smooth one, that is hard to beat. I suspect this kind of work is somewhere in the overlap between meditation technique and aesthetic preference.
I was pretty excited to see that the guy teaches workshops on this, but then I realized I don’t need a class, I just need a rake. And maybe a beach. I know I would get sick of it eventually, because (hold on tight for my logical tour de force here) if this were my Thing, I would already be doing it. THEN I thought, it might be kinda cool to meet him, but then realized we probably wouldn’t have much to talk about… because most of the reward in this is doing it, not talking about it. But after that, I realized a collaboration of some kind might be ultra-fun.
Andres, if you’re reading this, let’s do something, OK?