Before It Melts: New Snow Art

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A post on Sonja Hinrichsen’s beautiful snow drawings from early last year was one of the most popular ever on this blog, so a recent discovery — that there are other artists out there tromping around creating elaborate snowy works of art — seemed worthy of a new post. This is Colossal tells us that UK-based map-maker and artist Simon Beck has been plowing paths with his old-school snowshoes in Les Arcs ski resort in France since 2004.

Apparently, each work can take anywhere between 6 hours and a few days to complete. He may be able to accomplish these so fast (well, at least faster than any of us would), because he also has experience in competitive orienteering, which is apparently a real sport. His orienteering experience helps him in the “precise mapping process which often begins on a computer.” Once he’s able to mark landmarks in the terrain, he begins walking out his paintings in the snow.

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Some work seems to be inspired by snow itself, or at least the replicating, unique patterns within snow flakes.

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While others are much simpler spirals.

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Responding to a question on his Facebook page, Beck said “pleasure is in the finished product, not in overcoming the challenge of setting it out correctly using primitive tools. The setting out is the boring bit, too much like my job.”

As for calling this new type of work, “snow art,” Beck seems open to that label: “A lot of people seem to call it snow crop circles, which I dislike as a lot of those who do crop drawings don’t ask permission and I don’t want to be associated with that sort of illegal activity. I don’t see any need to call is something else.”

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See more of his work.

Also, these aerial images of the massive multi-colored tulip fields of the Netherlands are worth a gander. Some patterns seem to form acres-long Rothkos.

Image credits: Simon Beck

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