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Label: snow

Friday 27th December 2013Using Winter As Your Inspiration

As we mentioned in our recent piece on the documentary Samsara, the winter months can be rough for artists. Well, they can be rough for everyone, but lack of sunlight and the inhospitable outdoors can lead us down the road to lethargy and creative blocks. If you spend a little bit of time thinking about your work and how you could use freezing temperatures as a means to experiment with something new, you'll start to realize that the things you originally saw as blocks can actually be guides that allow you to step outside your traditional assumptions.

If that doesn't pique your curiosity, then perhaps you'll find some inspiration in the stunning winter-only works of artist Simon Beck. His day job involves map-making, and he took those skills, combined it with his love of precision and turned into some beautiful artwork. Originally from Bracknell, Berkshire, he spends his winters in ski-friendly areas of France where snow is plentiful. But his artwork is highly unusual for one simple reason: he creates it entirely with snowshoes.

Sometimes walking as much as 40 kilometers over the course of a 10 hour day, Beck creates truly massive and stunningly intricate mathematically inspired designs in snow. If you've ever seen pictures of 'crop circles', you'll get a sense of what his designs are like, but on a much grander scale. Beck explains, "The biggest was about 10 soccer fields. It's a bit hard to measure, but a decent-sized project is about three soccer fields. That takes one day if conditions are good."

Once the enormous designs have been completed, he then spends time hiking to the top a nearby mountain, if one is available, in order to take pictures. If there isn't one nearby, he sometimes charters a small aircraft to allow him to take aerial pictures of his work. Because each footstep has a distinct and differentiated depth, as the sun progresses across the sky the changes in light and shadow can create some amazing contrasting patterns.

Check out an interview with Beck here, and see how he creates his masterpieces.

If that doesn't get you inspired to get outside and try something new with your art, check back with us soon for a piece on some winter-based experiments for different types of art - no matter what medium you work in, you'll find something that gets you inspired!

Posted on December 27th 2013 on 02:39am
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