A man with an eye for beauty and an unparalleled sense of adventure, Simon Beck has dedicated the majority of his middle-age to his artwork. But unlike many artists, Beck doesn’t spend his afternoons in a studio or at a desk; he’s out in the wild, creating mandalas as he clomps through the snow.
The world is Beck’s canvas. He’s walked through knee-high snow in order to create enormous geometric drawings using nothing but the markings from his snowshoes. While most of his expeditions have been out in the Alps, Beck has also started venturing into new territory.
On a recent trip to Utah’s Powder Mountain, Beck created a mandala that reached 620 feet in diameter. According to OutsideOnline.com, it was the largest snow mandala ever created by one person. Over the course of two visits, Beck created 11 mandalas on Powder Mountain. He tells The Guardian, “When you have a blank piece of paper you draw on it. So drawing on a blank snowfall seemed like a natural thing to do.’
Each time Beck prepares a piece, he plans months in advance, using both a computer and mapping things out onsite. The mandalas have taken all sorts of designs, from fractals to dragons. But completing his pieces is no easy feat; Beck will often spend up to 12 hours (and 30 miles!) creating a single drawing. He keeps a stash of candy and cookies on his person for times when he needs an extra pinch of energy.
One thing that Beck is worried about? Climate change. According to OutsideOnline:
“Climate change makes things increasingly frenetic for me,” Beck says. “It means I spend hours and hours on airplanes trying to chase the snow.” Beck has worked to raise awareness about climate change through a clothing line inspired by his drawings, which helped make $20,000 for the non-profit Protect Our Winters.
Documentation of his artwork and answers to various FAQs can be found on Beck’s Facebook page.
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com and through Instagram.