* * * PUBLISHED * * * My work has been included in Pauline Brown's 'Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques' 2nd Edition, Search Press Classics UK
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Artist Review #3 of a 4 part series in the new issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine, Canada
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Stitch (UK) feature article, 'From Sketch to Stitch' Issue #105

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Winter Light

I am proud to announce a fresh new exhibition for 2017 that has been a dream of mine for some time.

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is an exhibition that celebrates the magic and quiet beauty of the season's internal and external landscapes.

winter inspired vessels by Louisa Ferguson

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is a small group exhibition featuring the work of Louisa Ferguson (glass), Judi Gay (Saori weaving), Monika Kinner-Whalen (stitchery), and Maia Stark (illustration).

Illustration / Gouche on Paper by Maia Stark

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is on display at the Void Gallery in Saskatoon until the end of the month.  The gallery is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 10 to 6, and also Sunday 10 to 4.  (Please note the gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.)

Saori weaving inspired by the Northern Lights by Judi Gay

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exhibition pieces are available for purchase at the gallery.  The reception for our show is set for Friday January 20th from 7pm to 10pm.

The Void is a small commercial gallery at 312 Ave B South.  The show is displayed so clean and perfect.  Michael Peterson is the gallery owner and he did such a good job putting up the pieces.

Shadows So Blue available at Void Gallery, Saskatoon

When originally told Michael my dream for a show that shines a light on the beauty of winter, he agreed to give me a chance.  I think he could sense my enthusiasm.  We chose January for two reasons:  1/ It's winter.  haha.  2/ The gallery is situated right where the annual Wintershines festival takes place in Saskatoon closer to the end of January.  I thought that was a perfect fit.

Then I had to decide who to ask to join me in the show.  I must say, I am so incredible pleased with the pieces included by Judi, Louise and Maia.  We are pleasantly surprised at how our respective mediums and individual pieces just work so well together.

I got to experience Winter Light over and over while teaching my workshop upstairs at creative Commons YXE.  I'm thrilled.  It's such a good feeling to walk into a room and feel what the show was meant to make you feel.  It's like when I had curated the prairies show.  That was incredible.  I realize that the experience of walking into a space full of energy for a theme is pivotal to helping the viewer connect to the vision of the exhibition.

And so - I personally challenge all the winter haters to come take a peak and enjoy the still beauty, sparkle, and whimsy of this visual art show.  Maybe you'll find a soft spot in your heart for the season?  : )

See you at the reception!

Monika, Judi, Louisa, Maia.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Super news
I've been waiting for over a year to tell you.  I received a request from a 'scout' to provide images for consideration in a 2nd edition of Pauline Brown's 'The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques' out of the UK.  How exciting!!  I sent images in and they contacted me to say that one of my embroideries was selected!!  More than a year later, I finally have the copy in my hands.  It was released only 3 weeks ago.  I brought it to my class to make the announcement.  !  : )

I really like the way this book is laid out.  75% of the book is formal embroidery instruction which is clear with diagrams and photographs and examples.  The last 25% of the book is a themed artist gallery full up with beautiful images to provide inspiration and application potential.  The themed section is divided into chapters:  People & Animals, Landscape, Floral, Abstract, Objects / Garments.  I'm in the Landscape section and very honored to be included with the likes of Alison Holt, Mitra McQuilton, Wendy Lees, Sue Stone, Trish Burr, Emillie Ferris and on, and on - beautiful work by so many.

Gosh - I have an entire page too!!  SWOON

Thank you so much to Search Press, Quatro Publishing, and Pauline Brown.

: )

Monday, 9 January 2017

First Class of 2017

This past weekend, I had the good fortune to run my 2 day workshop here at home.  I had a full class of a dozen women with backgrounds in paint, glass, watercolour, embroidery, garment and costume creation, and quilting too.  Most of the women I already knew.  It was a great fun bunch to hang with for two days up in Creative Commons YXE which is the classroom & production space above the Void Gallery.

Creative Commons YXE - great space with great light

We sketched, discussed art, played with yarn, stitched out so much colour.  We drank coffee and ate chocolate.  We dined at the Farmer's Market and at Leyda's (HIGHLY recommended).  The space was private and so bright with full rows of windows on 3 sides.

We started a little differently than before, in that it's 'the dead of winter' here in Canada.  The conditions aren't such that I can send everyone out to sketch en plein air for 2 hours.  As such, the women came equipped with their own existing photography, and they sketched from edited images on their devices or printouts that they brought along.

One person's work above.  
The whole group doing a sharing / show & tell below.

We prepped the yarns and the stitching began.

Everyone has their own style based on their sketches.

One of the participants laughed at hour the sketching takes no time and the stitching takes FOREVER.  : )

Handwork indeed is a lot more time consuming than free machine work.  I would estimate that for a 5x5" embroidery, the hand stitched yarn art takes three to four times as long as a the fine machine threadpainting in the same size.  I think many got a new appreciation for my art now that they really understand what's involved.

incorporating some needle felting

Just a note - I didn't advertise this class because I had a waitlist big enough to fill it.  I would run this class again in a heartbeat!  : )  If you are interested, simply email me to let me know you would like to be waitlisted.  I will contact when a group is ready.  : )  Monika @ MySweetPrairie dot CA

Thank you so much to all the women who spent the weekend with me making art, and thank you to Michael Peterson of the Void Gallery for making the space available to the public.

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