For the creatively minded, snow represents a giant blank canvas for art. But often, it's limited to snowmen or other snow sculptures. Outdoor enthusiast and cartographer Simon Beck had a different idea, and over the course of a decade he has carved a path for himself (literally) in the snow art world. He creates massive land art by walking across soccer ball-sized fields covered in untouched snow. Combined with light and shadow, his geometric designs can only be fully appreciated when viewed from above.
Beck has a mind primed to producing this type of fleeting artwork. As a cartographer, he first creates maps to plan his design beforehand; one millimeter on the page represents one step on the ground. Once the planning is done, Beck takes to the snow wearing snowshoes and carrying a ski pole, among other tools he might need. Also an outdoor enthusiast, he spends long stretches of time in the snow—up to 12 hours a day—to bring his drawings on paper to life. The results transform a winter wonderland landscape into an ephemeral work of art. Not only do wind gusts and rogue skiers change the piece, but it can look completely different depending on the time of day and how the Sun illuminates and shades portions of the design.
We’ve marveled at Beck’s work before, and he's as busy as ever with his land art. After a lull in drawings due to COVID-19 restrictions, he’s back and currently creating snow art in the mountains of France. Scroll down to see some of his latest snow drawings and then follow him on Facebook to see where he’s walking next.
Artist Simon Beck walks for hours on untouched wintry landscapes to create sprawling geometric snow art.
Depending on the angle or time of day, the piece can take on a different appearance.