above - Threads for the upper background.
below - How I 'eyeball it', keeping a source photo nearby.
This one is inspired by the photo I took that is the header on my 'Calendar of Events' page. I shared sneak peeks of this in progress on my FB page and had a few people know exactly where this was taken. That's an awesome feeling!
On my mark. Get set.
Let the stitching begin...
One week later...
|Prairie City, 2014 by Monika Kinner-Whalen 4.5x14" / 11x36cm|
So... this is not for sale, but it is made because of? dedicated to? (not sure of the right way to say it) Eleanor. She lives in Florida, USA and runs Meinke Toy. She is also a fibre artist. We had a conversation where she told me she wished she could come to see where I live because it looks so beautiful. We talked about finding inspiration in nature. I told her that I should go there, and help her hunt for her own natural treasures in her area. "Oh, but I live in the city," she replied. She sounded like it was so far away, or that it didn't exist for her. And maybe it is far away. (Eleanor I hope you don't mind me talking about you...) Then I asked her, "did you know I live in the biggest city in our province?" I think Eleanor was SHOCKED. She honestly had no idea. She thought I lived in a field on farm. She was quite surprised! We had a good laugh.
I grew up on a farm, and at a cabin at a lake. I lived right by the train tracks and had a giant grain elevator at the end of my yard. That's likely where my nostalgia comes from. My photos that inspire my art are taken no more than ten minutes from my house. Many are even closer. Sometimes I just have to look up. It really doesn't take much. Vacant lots can be full of local flora. It just takes some 'treasure hunting' as I call it.
So Eleanor, here is my city: Saskatoon. It's population is over a quarter of a million people in the city. 'Saskatoon and Area' is probably closer to a third of a million. Still. Here we are smack dab in the middle of the prairie, surrounded by rivers and lakes and fields. Our province also has ski hills, forests, sand dunes, waterfalls and badlands. We even have a lighthouse. Imagine that. But right in the heart of the prairie where so many people joke there is nothing to see... I find beauty. I grew up in it. I know it's there. I don't find it difficult to see at all. It is part of me. It's everywhere I look.
I have a running joke with a couple other artist friends that sometimes it a prairie lover feels just as if everyone thinks you have an ugly baby. But you love that baby, and it brings out the strongest emotions in you. You want to prove that your baby is indeed loveable and beautiful no matter what people say. Well, you know... My baby is not ugly! : ) It makes me jump for joy when my art can convince someone of that. : )
okay. Happy Friday! To those of you who think there's no beauty near you, I challenge you to go out for a walk and take a look. You might just find something to fall in love with.