Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Going with the Flow of the Rake

Hello again fellow adventurers!

Today at Carson Beach we were honored by the presence of professional artist, Andres Amador. When you first think of the word "artist" you most likely think of a painter, or perhaps a sand sculpting artist. However, Andres possesses a unique artistic ability that can turn beaches into magnificent works of art! The technique is called sand raking, and no, it is nothing like raking leaves in your back yard. Andres can spend hours, days, or weeks preparing certain patterns that look "natural" and flow perfectly with the beach terrain. The final result of this tenuous planning are some absolutely amazing works of art that cover large beach expanses.

The key to Andres's technique is utilizing the malleable darker sands that emerge from the ocean's grasp at low tides. In the few hours that low tide is present, Andres goes to work quickly and efficiently. Armed with sometimes a single rake, the designs he can create are quite awe-inspiring sights to see. From something as simple as intersecting straight lines to varying sized atoms scattered all over the beach, Andres's masterpieces are something that should be appreciated by everyone across the world.

After a quick introduction to his craft and a few different techniques he's learned over the years, Andres passed out rakes to each of us and told us to tap into our imaginations and create our own sand rake artwork! With a rake grasped tightly in my hand, I stepped out onto the damp Carson Beach sand, not knowing what exactly to expect. Although Andres stressed that there is no such thing as a bad design, I was a little nervous about my own artistic ability. With hundreds of ideas swirling in my head I began simply with a wavy line. Before long my inadequate wavy line had become something I can only describe as some form of "modern art" but I was very pleased with the result.

I call it...ART!
From there my fellow Harbor Explorers and I came together to create a massive mural that spread far along the sandy shores of Carson. At the end of the workshop, we rushed to complete a Save the Harbor Save the Bay mural for a time lapse video that Andres's assistant shot on their drone camera. Even with 17 of us creating our own designs, the mural flowed together perfectly, which met Andres's personal standards to the fullest. I could not have been more happy with what we accomplished as a group, and it was an amazing opportunity to learn a form of art that is not well known throughout the world. I would love to continue doing sand raking in my own time, and maybe one day I could create a mural as breathtaking as those that Andres Amador creates on a regular basis.

Until next time, keep on exploring!

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