Sharon Belknap and the Art of Sand

Published on November 10th 2021 by SNBC

Sweeping lines in a race against tides

Sharon Belknap has some serious range. She works small, illustrating Tidbits of Love that fit in your palm. And she goes big — you know, the-entire-beach big.

Sharon is a San Diego-based creator who’s found the sand to be a sprawling canvas for self-expression and connection with nature. When it’s time to start a new piece, she only has two essentials: inspiring music and her trusty “brush.”

“It’s this simple tool, this rake,” says Sharon. “But there’s a tension between myself and the sand, and when you sweep a line…[it’s] very satisfying.”

And every line is fluid, never measured; Sharon does all of her sand art by feel. She and her rake move in unison like dance partners, entranced by the music. The waves crash and foam behind her, offering both a beautiful sound and a stark reminder: Time is running out.

Sharon does move quickly — a masterpiece can take just an hour — but the ocean always nips at her heels, the tide clearing the canvas before day’s end. But Sharon digs that momentary bliss, and likes sharing it with whoever strolls by.

“I know that I love the largeness of it,” she says. “It creates a stage for people to engage with.”

Her sandscapes often shout a message of encouragement or support, like Be free; Grateful for…(you fill in the blank); Pride, only love; or the ultimate wedding anniversary note. Cruise through all of her design work, and it’s clear Sharon has no room for pessimism — all positivity.

We felt it deeply on Moonlight Beach, watching Sharon bring Ginger, Lemon & Hibiscus to life. Whether she’s making “Tidbits” or Beasts, it’s pure joy.

Check out Sharon’s website and Instagram for more.

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