Winter is both a devastating and beautiful season, with both picturesque scenes of snow-capped pines and power-outages and ice storms. The monotone colours of white and grey encourage the creation of minimalist designs, such as the snow drawings of artist Sonja Hinrichsen. With the help of sixty volunteers, the artist trekked up to Catamount Lake in Colorado, creating the immense “Snow Drawings at Catamount Lake” (2013) piece.
The artist used this project to not only show the volunteers the amazing results of combining nature and art, but to show anyone who views the images the results of such a collaboration. As the artist states, “this changes our perception of the landscape and accentuates the beauty and magic of the natural environment, and thus inspires awe and appreciation for art as well as for nature”.
Another individual who encourages creative expression in colder environments is former engineer Chewang Norphel. Though his work is not ‘artistic’, the project itself is a creative approach to combat issues of global warming that ravage his people in the Trans-Himalaya area. He has managed to actually create ten artificial mini-glaciers that supply water to 10,000 people; important especially for those living in the desert areas of that region. During the winter months, water flows from pipes into the ground so the pipes do not freeze and burst; Norphel decided to mimic this and “divert the winter ‘waste’ water from its course down the mountain, along regularly placed stone embankments that would slow it down and allow it to spread and trickle across a large surface depression…here, the slowed water would freeze and pack”, creating the DIY glacier.
The Winter season is a surprisingly perfect time for creative thinking and starting projects. Sometimes we may think of different ways to add to the aesthetics of the snowy landscape, with a few snow angels, snow people, or even intricate patterns made with footprints.
Or, winter can also inspire change, which could help the environment and future generations.
“When I found myself in the White House it was natural—and inevitable—for me to turn to the movement we called beautification (we never could think of a better word!). Because my heart had for so long been in the environment, I began to think that in the White House I might now have the means to repay something of the debt I owed nature for the enrichment provided from my childhood onward. And since my hometown for the next few years was still to be Washington, D.C., where better to start than in the ‘nation’s front yard?’”
–Lady Bird Johnson, in Lady Bird Johnson and Carlton B. Lees, Wildflowers Across America, New York: Abbevile Press, 1993, p. 12.
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February 16, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson and Mary Lasker accept on behalf of their beautification program a surprise donation of flower seeds to be used in Washington, DC school grounds, in a presentation at the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden of the White House.
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C4560-20a, public domain.
“[When I was younger] I was like, ‘I don’t need makeup! I don’t wanna wake up early; I don’t wanna care that much; I’m not trying to get a boyfriend.’ So I didn’t wear makeup, I didn’t do any of that stuff. I only started ‘cause I wanted to piss off my mom. And then as I’m becoming a person, I’m like, ‘Oh, wait - makeup is not inherently misogynistic! Just stop shitting on other girls and do what you want.’ It’s like warpaint. Everyone paints to go to war. And [laughing] I paint to go to war too – just to smash the patriarchy!” -Abby
April 6, 1965. Lady Bird plants a cherry tree at the Cherry Blossom festival in the Washington D.C. Tidal Basin.
The First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital has been meeting for several months now, and their efforts have included plantings along the Mall, cleaning old statues, and improving the Watts Branch section of northeastern D.C. The people of Japan donated 3,800 cherry trees to the effort.