Artist’s Snowcase, by Bennett Owen
Remember the angels you left behind in the snow banks when you were a kid? Remember the tractor tire tracks you made with your snow boots on the way home from school? Well, Sonja Hinrichsen does too. And she never forgot. She just got better:
“It really came out of play,” she says. The inspiration was animal tracks left in otherwise unmarked and massive canvasses of snow laid out before her in high mountain meadows. She created her first designs in Colorado in 2009. Since then, she’s transformed winter landscapes in New Mexico, Lake Tahoe and in upstate New York.
A visual artist using many mediums, she admits to “liking places that are a little difficult.” The snow drawings are eerily reminiscent of crop circles that ‘UFO’s’ began leaving behind in British wheat fields during the 1980s.
More down to earth, German-born Hinrichsen admits a passionate interest in Native American mythologies, handed down through the generations.
She enjoys the ephemeral quality of her creations. While some might remain for days, most are quickly erased by the next big snow dump. As an artist she seeks to create seductive imagery that “reaches beyond the mere beauty of art, and stimulates reflection.”
Hinrichsen plans her next outing on Saturday, February 5th at Carpenter Ranch near Steam Boat Springs, Co. Volunteers are always welcome. No talent needed, the only requirement is a pair of snowshoes. The reward is hot coffee, camaraderie and that odd sense of satisfaction that comes from being part of something so big and wonderful, no matter how fleeting.
Round and round and round she snows …