Clever Embroidery Series - Monika Kinner Whalen
Hello and welcome to this very popular series! This week, I have a Canadian fiber artist who hales from Saskatchewan. I've been following her blog and enjoying her growth and success with admiration.
Let me introduce Monika Kinner-Whalen!
I started hand embroidery at the age of 40. That's not very long ago. My mom was a landscape artist who did not sew or hand stitch. I just never grew up with fibre art! Sometimes I resent that. For the most part, it still feels new and terribly exciting! I bask in it.
I don't even remember how I learned my first French Knot. I guess it was either a youtube video or an embroidery instruction book. For the most part, I am self taught. I began with free machine threadpainting, and added my own 'freestyle' hand stitches for the parts that needed to be hand stitched. I quickly discovered how handwork - even just a little bit - made my fibre art so much better. Eventually, I met an older embroidery artist with a lifetime of experience. She invited me to stitch with her, and she soon became a mentor for me. Her name is Margot Lindsay, and I adore her embroidery like no other! Today I enjoy hand stitching entire landscapes. The slow craft of hand work is so very nourishing.
I have taken no formal embroidery classes, with the exception of a Needle Lace workshop through my local embroidery guild. I spend a lot of time in self-studies, learning from the 'old masters' in our field as painter would learn from their own experts. Generally, I approach fibre as art and create landscapes in a manner similar to a painter.
4. sell or enjoyment?
I embroider for my own personal enjoyment and I sell it as my main source of income. I am a full-time artist and I have to pinch myself when I say that I get paid to stitch. I love what I do, and I have worked hard to make a living from it. I find this very fulfilling. I also teach fibre art classes to supplement my income.
5 what inspires me
Canada inspires me. My prairies inspire me. Our four distinct seasons provide an everchanging landscape in which I never tire of. Sunshine and shadows inspire me. The skies and the wind... I am a nature nut and I love weather and all times of day. It's not often I feel stuck. Most of the time, I feel like I have too many ideas. I could never stitch fast enough to create everything I want. I always have more projects waiting in the wings.
Fibre inspires me. I started with thread. I could never have enough. Now I have enough! : ) I'm stashing yarn now. Variegated yarns are like paint for me - fat stitches are like brush strokes of blended colours. A single ball of yarn is enough to get my creative juices flowing!
Monika_Kinner on Instagram
There you go another installment in my Clever Embroidery Series. If you know of a talented hand embroidery enthusiast, or you are an embroidery nut yourself, do contact me, I'd love to follow your blog and profile you too!