Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Monika Kinner-Whalen

© Monika Kinner-Whalen

Here it is... the first installment of Sunday Spotlight where I happily introduce and brag about a local artist I know. I hope you will take the time to follow the provided links so that you can discover even more about the artist in the spotlight.

And now with pleasure I introduce to you... 

Monika Kinner-Whalen, fibre artist extraordinaire!

Monika has been an inspiration to me ever since I met her two years ago at the Friends of the Forestry Farm House Spring Art Show and Sale. We clicked right away- I think we were both happy to find another local artist, at-home mom who "blogged" and was trying to make a business of her artistic passion. Monika is extremely dedicated to her art and her blog, My Sweet Prairie, which has reached nearly 500,000 hits! What?! Crazy talk, but true! In what I think is a short amount of time (she has only been doing this for about three years) she has basically become an expert in her field and is consistantly being approached to teach workshops and classes.

© Monika Kinner-Whalen

Monika dyes her own threads and ribbons which she then uses to represent grasses, flowers, crops, and native plants. It is fascinating, don't you think, what she can create with fancy french knots, embroidery stitches and hand-dyed fabrics?

"I work by sight (no tracing or templates) and stitch it all onto canvas
 by free-motion machine and freestyle hand embroidery. 
I had no teachers for this, although it is a common
technique in the UK where fibre art is not a new idea."

And speaking of the UK... Monika was approached to have images of her work used in a book called "Mastering the Art of Embroidery" by Sophie Long, who was one of the chosen embroiderers to work on the royal wedding gown of Kate Middleton. The book looks absolutely gorgeous and I think Monika's work stands out... not that I'm biased! It makes a huge difference that she has become an excellent photographer and is therefore able to show-case her work in the best possible light.

image © Monika Kinner-Whalen

One of my all-time favorite pieces that Monika has attempted is a dress... yes, I said a dress! A Prairie Dress. It was in "Seeds" (emerging Saskatchewan artists' show) last year at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Affinity Gallery and then it traveled to Halifax for Canada's national juried quilt show later in the year. What an undertaking... and she even made shoes to match! Follow the above link to her blog and search "prairie dress" to read more.

images © Monika Kinner-Whalen

I am always curious to see what Monika will produce next. When she posts something on her blog or Facebook page I always have to take a moment to swoon, and dream of the day that one of her pieces will be mine.

© Monika Kinner-Whalen

© Monika Kinner-Whalen

Monika's Artist Statement:

"I am a dedicated fibre artist specializing in freestyle embroidery.  My creations are expressions of my love for the prairies and often originate from my own personal photographs of Saskatchewan.  I am constantly amazed by the texture and intricate beauty that can be achieved by working with threads.  I am self-taught in the areas of needle arts and photography.  Since 2010, I have been practicing, exploring, and combining these two disciplines on a daily basis.  An extremely positive public response to my work has gained me exhibition invitations, awards, media attention, teaching & public speaking opportunities, as well as commissions locally, nationally, and internationally.  I am excited to continue my work as I see my skills and art improve with each new piece."

image © Monika Kinner-Whalen

Please follow these links so you can learn more about Monika and her art:


B J Elder said...

Great blog. I'm an avid follower (and drooler) of Monika's work.

Judy Wood said...

I feel like a matchmaker! I was the one that suggested both of you to Bernie for that show. It's been a pleasure watching both of you develop and evolve in your artwork and your success.

suzanneberry said...

WOW!! thanks so much for sharing this artist with us!! amazing work!

Carli The Quilter said...

Very cool, love your paintings. I didn't click over to your shop, but what size they mostly?

Nicki said...

Thank you BJ. I'm so glad you stopped by. Yes, I think we are a couple of many when it comes to Monika's admirers!

Nicki said...

Judy... I didn't know that! You have found a second calling- matchmaker! :) Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Nicki said...

Hi Suzanne... she is good isn't she? I thought you would love her work. Glad you had a look!

Nicki said...

Hi Caroline,

The paintings in my Daily Paintworks Gallery are 6x6" (with a few exceptions) and they are each $100.00. So glad you found my blog.