Thursday, September 11, 2014

He turns all things to beauty





Would you be willing to create a piece of art that you knew would exist only briefly?

Would you give your whole energy to a project that you knew would only survive for a fleeting moment in time?

And would you find joy and purpose in it?

Meet Jim Denevan.

For the past twenty years, this California-based surfer has been creating sand art, not in a glass, but on the beach itself, using the shore as his canvas.


He began by creating sand designs along the rugged California coastline. But he has now expanded to deserts in Nevada, beaches in Australia, and lakeshores in Siberia.

Using only a rake and beach driftwood as tools, his designs can extend over hundreds of feet or more than a mile.  And they always disappear with the tides.

“I do it for the meditative benefits. The beach is my sanctuary.”

No one who has seen his designs – even in photos – can argue with the soulful beauty of Denevan’s simple drawings, geometric patterns, or 3-D visual illusions. Perhaps my favorite design is the swirl—an energetic spiral... moving inward.


“When I’m pleased with a composition, it’s bittersweet to see it go… But I know the next day that stretch of sand is going to be just as wonderful. And I’ll be out there doing it all over again.”

Talk about living the practice of being in the moment!

“God passes through the thicket of the world, 
and wherever His glance falls 
He turns all things to beauty.” 
~St. John of the Cross