Great Winterscapes depend entirely on the vision of the artists. A few of our past Winterscape artists gave us the chance to learn a bit more about why they Winterscape, and the kind of effort that goes into creating winter art.
A Family Winterscaping Affair
Lalaine Q is mom to a pair of boys aged 8 & 13. They’re energetic, active, and love the outdoors. In other words, a perfect fit for a family Winterscaping project. For more than 5 years, her family has built different themed play structures, ranging from snowmen to slides. Recently they’ve graduated to creature creations, like a yard-spanning caterpillar. During one snowfall-rich year, Lalaine and her family had the chance to go a bit further.
“Last year we had so much snow that we made a dinosaur snow fort from The Good Dinosaur “Arlo” of Disney.”
The theme and the plan was decided upon by her sons, and this project came to life as a fun family activity on afternoons and weekends, resulting in a winter play structure for the whole family.
“We had fun building the dinosaur snow fort. It was my kids’ idea and they are very proud of it. The best thing about it is that they could climb and have hot cocoa inside their fort.”
The low-maintenance structure was used throughout the winter to climb on, around, or huddle inside the fort to enjoy hot chocolate. (We suspect many plans for future Winterscapes, or possible snowball ambushes, may have been hatched during these meeting in the dinosaur snow fort.)
While she loves watching her boys’ pride in their creation and appreciates the accolades received from neighbours & Facebook friends, Lalaine’s real joy came from the act of creating; bringing her family together to create a place of winter play.
Building Art to Light the Night
“I just wanted to make something that would look good and make the neighbours smile.”
That’s all the motivation Steve needed when he decided he was going to create a display that would help brighten up our long dark winters. You’d be forgiven for thinking the final product was a professional installation, but the spectacular ice columns and gentle lighting were the result of more than two weeks’ effort by Steve to bring his vision to life. He spent that time crafting columns, and carefully arranging them to catch the light of his LED Christmas lights and spotlights in just the right way.
“I knew what I wanted to build, I just had to come up with how to make it and go from there.”
While the one-person effort took time, the result needed very little maintenance – an advantage to using ice. The best part? Steve tells us he loved seeing people appreciate his Winterscape and was happy to show it off – and appreciates the encouragement from his neighbours to build again in the ensuing winters.
What does Steve have up his sleeve this year? Alas, not all winters are created equal.
“I wanted to build one this year and had started on it, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating, and the ice would not take… so I will skip this year and try again next year!”
It Takes a Community to Build a Village in a Day
Led by Educational Assistant Linda and the teachers at Windsor Park School in Edmonton, the students learn about getting involved in many winter activities. One they look forward to each year is creating Winterscapes, and they reach higher each year.
Linda has led the charge into winter fun at Windsor Park, inspiring teachers and students to work together as a community in fusing art & play, with snow as their mold and fun as their medium. And a leader she is – Linda tells us how she prepares the supplies and lays the plans, all in wait for the perfect snow day to activate her plan:
“I collected up pine cones and brightly coloured plastic lids for snowmen buttons and faces, cut fabric from the Reuse Centre into strips for scarves and I collected up sticks for snowmen arms. All of the materials were ready and waiting for the perfect snow day…when it arrived the teachers changed their plans and went outside to build!
At the end of the day it is lovely how the students are so excited to take their parents to see the Winterscape that they helped to create.”
Various classes at Windsor Park look forward to the winter fun. In 2016, the cute snowmen built by the Grade Three class were built all across the yard. Students from the grade one and four classes worked together to construct an ice wall to compliment the school’s front entry.
“For our ice wall the teachers sent a note home with their students explaining how to make ice blocks and what day to bring them in for the build.”
In 2017, the Grade One class planned out where to start collecting the snow from to make sure the snowmen formed a central village in the front of the school so one photo could be taken to capture them all.
Windsor Park is an active Winter school, participating in Winter Walk Day each February, and during the winter classes will skate at their community rink as well as enjoying the sleds, snowshoes, broomball equipment and milk jug curling rocks during their gym time.
We love to see the preparation, patience, and teamwork that Linda leads at Windsor Park School. We hope that each winter brings enough sticky snow to see Winterscaping brought to life with snowmen, ice walls and other creative ideas!
What’s your Winterscape vision?
From wildlife-friendly efforts like Winter bird feeders and garden grandoise, to frozen scenes of splendor or places of play, a Winterscape’s purpose and beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Don’t feel limited to just snow for your Winterscape scenery, whether it includes lights, winter-friendly plants, or splashes of colour. Whatever your vision is, bring it to life, and make sure to share it with us!
For Inspiration, make sure you check out more photos of past Winterscape creations.
And to enter your design in the Front Yards In Bloom: Winterscapes contest, follow this link: Winterscapes Edmonton