Creating art while sheltering in place.
It has been almost a year since I started Hooey Mountain and I’ve yet to post a second blog post. I was warned this would happen. Starting a new business is hard. What you want to do is create art and instead you become a salesperson, a webmaster, a bookkeeper, a negotiator, a fulfillment center and way too familiar with sale tax use forms. As ski season wound down, my plan for this Spring was to dig into some new art projects and other products beyond Hooey Mountain prints and cards, participate in some art shows, figure out my travel calendar for next year and take a breath. Then Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement turned the world upside down.
Our empty nest refilled with our two young adult children, one boyfriend (not mine) and a dog (also not mine), all of which I am loving, and I am thankful we did not downsize our house! What started out as two weeks of sheltering in place turned into eight, then twelve…. As supply chains became disrupted and deliveries slowed down, I came to the realization that everything I had been planning for Hooey Mountain was not going to happen in the timeline I had in mind. I had to pivot. As a result, I created something completely unexpected using the tools and supplies I had at hand; a computer filled with Hooey Mountain photography, an old small photo printer, a box of cotton rag photo paper, and a creative mind wanting to make art.
Our town was hit hard early, when there was (and still is) so much confusion about transmission. We lost two neighbors in the first month who were my age which was terrifying. It was time to get to work and get me out of the funk I was falling into. Eventually, as our county moved into phase 2 and then 3, I was again able to access my large format printer and start testing what would become my newest art series.
Below is the introduction to my new aptly named Cabin Fever Series.
Cabin Fever Series
What am I seeing? This new series offered by Hooey Mountain, inspired by designs from rugs, blankets and quilts often seen in mountain homes, is made up of hundreds of Hooey Mountain images from my original Skier Series as well as images from my Other Athlete Series. Brought together, they are transformed to a new art form.
Like my Skier Series of vintage toy skiers in the mountains, the viewer is drawn in by what they are seeing, often experiencing an “aha” moment where the viewer discovers the true nature of the images; from afar they make a beautiful, powerful design statement and up close they surprise and delight you with a wink of whimsy.
During the spring of 2020, I had no access to the mountains, my professional printer was closed, I really wanted to stay in bed under the covers but I also wanted to make art. Making the Cabin Fever Series was a very mindful activity; part art, part puzzle, part zen. A kind of therapy for a chaotic time. It is comfort born of discomfort.
A light bulb went on while I was sewing face masks for friends and family from scraps of fabric and thinking about when I used to sew quilts. Long before I started collecting vintage toy skiers, I collected antique quilts. My passion for them came from a family heirloom sewn and quilted by my grandmother with her mother and grandmother. In addition to collecting quilts, I too sewed a few of my own quilts for family members. When I think of quilts, I think of security, family, warmth, a gift of love, some of what inspired me to make my first “quilted” skier collage, Dream Weaver. Dream Weaver was drawn from a design concept used in a log cabin style star quilt. This first quilt design then morphed into more art that was influenced by timeless patterns that have been around for decades.
Each small Hooey Mountain image acts as a “fabric” scrap to make up the larger whole. While sheltering in place during the global pandemic, I began to piece together these photos and loved seeing them transformed into these unique new designs. Some of the Cabin Fever pieces are exclusively made from skier images, others mix skiers with bikers, hikers and or rock climbers.
Most of the small images are roughly 2 inches, and the completed works start at 37x37. So often I have been asked, “how big can you go?” With these, the possibility is limitless. These final designs offered for sale here are printed as one whole image. These designs scale great, are highly customizable and could also be fun and dynamic as a mural or wallpaper. We love outside the box thinkers and welcome a custom challenge.
All are hand signed limited editions of 5-10.
All are printed on cotton rag photo paper.
“These timeless pieces are the intersection of vintage toys in the mountains and the modern world, digitally transformed into powerful patterns that have been around for centuries. They are the perfect accent for a modern mountain home.”