ABOUT BEACH WALK ART
My name is Kim Van Sandt. I walk the beach, or more specifically the shores of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Michigan and Huron, and I want to get back to Superior, but occasionally I get to walk the ocean shore too. And I have issues (don't we all). I pick up stuff. I've been picking up stuff for a few years now. As a lot of people do, I had good intentions, I liked them, I wanted to make things with those findings, preferably pretty things, artistic things. My regular life didn't leave me with much time to make things, so I gave up the regular job, and have started making things full time.
Most of my life I have either lived near the lake, or aimed to spend a lot of time there, and if no lake nearby, then I will often spend time near the river.
My artistic training is not so formal, I did a lot of art classes in high school, but most of the rest is where ever I can get it. I've been studying what I find on the internet. Otherwise, I am just a creative person. I like to make things. I used to, as a kid, draw a squiggly shape on a page, and then try to figure out what they looked like they could be, and then draw them into what I saw. Similarly, I love to surf pinterest and find constant sparks of creativity from what I see there. Even more so, I like to find things on the beach and follow what they lead me into.
The goal of Beach Walk Art is to share the peaceful nature of the beach. I aim to combine textures, colors, and objects to take the person's mind to the beach and to the mood, the relaxation, even the smile that we often find at the beach.
When I go to the beach I often feel drawn to the one that created me, created the beach, the sand, the sun, the waves, created the constant change of the beach, the peacefulness of a calm day, the power of a stormy day. So, you will find undertones of the spiritual in my work. Hopefully you will enjoy it more because of it.
Did you know...?
Why Beach Walk Art?
...that you can MAKE beach glass and MAKE driftwood? My husband and others have suggested that it might be easier if I MADE beach glass or drift wood. But if you read above you know that I value the process of the sand, the stones, the waves, that not-so-gently shapes and forms these objects. I've seen the dramatic effects on glass and wood, boat remnants, docks torn apart, and then worn into soft beautiful shapes
As for me, I won't be making driftwood or beach glass any time soon, I will still be searching for, lugging and dragging this stuff off the lakeshore as I find it. My goal is to keep it authentic, and that might also mean things cost a little more, as pieces like the one pictured above, are so rare and special, that they are hard to let go.
I may on occasion add a little to a piece by drilling a heart or other shape into it, but mostly obvious changes. I may make some adjustments to clean up a piece to make it more useable, but even then, I'm going to consider the work more valuable and special, the more I can keep it in the original shapes. I will (where it isn't obvious) try to point out when I have made changes. But please do ask questions if you wonder about the original condition of my work. You might be surprised at some of the pieces that are in their 'found' condition!
I try to keep Beach Walk Art close to organic and natural - but I don't quite make it to 100% natural or organic. A peek into my studio or work area tells you I have a lot of materials to use. Not all of what is pictured below is used in my artwork, some come from previous craft addictions and tangents. But if you were to dig around you would find lots of things I use in my art work.
Some of the more obvious materials are acrylic paint and hot glue, actually all kinds of glues. Also for the driftwood sculptures, I've used galvanized wire and fishline, some of the hardware is obvious. Occasionally I'll enhance the driftwood with a beeswax and orange oil polish, or treat stones with polycrylic. I do use tools, drills, a dremel with a million and one attachments, and a bunch of others. But otherwise, I try to keep things organic and natural, feel free to ask if you have questions about any of my work or materials.