Incredible sand drawing
Luffy Friday, July 04, 2008 ArtSpiralling off across the Nevada desert, these huge geometric shapes are an amazing three miles in diameter.
Created using only common garden implements and wooden sticks, the stunning creation is the most ambitious of many sand sculptures made by 47-year-old Jim Denevan.
True grit: US artist Jim Denevan walked in circles for more than 100 miles to make the massive piece of sand art in the Nevada Desert
Making three trips to Nevada's scorching Black Rock salt plain and taking a total of nine days, the Californian artist walked more than 100 miles scraping his designs onto the desert floor.
Denevan discovered his talent for sand art more than ten years ago when he idly picked up a stick and drew a 12ft long fish.
Since then he has created more than 600 sand drawings and walked at least 1,800 miles.
Optical illusion: Another sand picture appears to stand directly upright from the California beach where he drew it
'I just picked up a stick and started to make shapes,' he said. 'Before long I had covered the beach in animals, cars, volcanoes...you name it!'
A stranger later pointed out similarities between Denevan's work and Zen Buddhist gardens, suggesting the artist use a rake as his primary tool.
Denevan, who has exhibited his work in galleries, also compares Britain's complex crop circle shapes.
'They seem to be a bit more geometric than my designs and I guess they are planned in advance. I just turn up on the sand and start to create an image off the top of my head,' he said.
On beaches his work gets such a positive reaction that he has even found himself being told to leave it alone by strangers who don't realise he's the artist.
'I once finished a picture and was on my way home and realised that I had forgotten my jacket. When I went back, people on a cliff above the picture shouted at me to get off it. I had to shout back that it was me who had drawn it,' Denevan said.
But the temporary nature of the pieces is one of the attractions for him.
'I love to complete a piece just as the tide comes in so that in that moment it is finished and destroyed,' he added.