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* * * Focus on Fibre Art Association * * * biennial juried competition / exhibition, in Edmonton May 3 to July 3, 2018. Reception and awards ceremony May 6. Theme: Climate Change @ Enterprise Square, 10230-Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, AB

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Monday, 7 May 2018

May for the Spirit

It's May.  May is my birthday, my anniversary, Mother's day...  May is a pretty good time of the year for me.  It always seems to lend itself to rejuvenation.  I take breaks.  I treat myself.  I get some thanks and pampering from the family which really lifts my spirit.

With spring coming so late, the prairie crocuses are just finishing off now.  I found this beautiful faerie ring while our hiking with my youngest!


The rhubarb and strawberries are popping up.  Yesterday was so hot (almost 30C) that we headed for a warm sandy city beach and put our toes in the river.  : )

For my birthday, I took a whole weekend off and did NOTHING but play around with these long awaited soft pastels.  Kings Art in Ontario had a fantastic sale with free shipping.  These are not available locally, but as I use things up, I can add to my set from Hues or Art Placement.

120 half stick set of soft pastels

I still use my shitty cheap oil pastels for sketching in prep for yarn embroideries.  About 5 years ago I received soft pastels in pan form, but I had not touched them much at all.  I felt there was too much to learn about surfaces and fixatives.  Also, I watched my mother create soft pastel landscape art for a solid fifteen years of my life.  It was excellent training, however, I fear creating the same look as her.  I like to find my own niche. So I kept on stitching.

Meticulously creating prairies with thread - making sure each colour of thread was in just the right place for nine year now full time - that has been huge in my artistic development.  Picking up pastels is just a different medium, but still doing the same thing really.  Putting the right colour in the right place.  They upside is I get to do a bit of blending.  Oh ya, and it's FASTER.  lol  Textiles are one of  the slowest art forms on the planet.

Working with pastels is just giving me more practice.  I can create and finish and learn so much much more quickly that I feel my eye is already advancing.  I took some advice about getting more impressionistic:  work quicker, don't think about it too much.  Make it again and again and you'll just learn and progress so fast.  Sage advice.  I'm on it.

I did this little one on a 3 inch scrap

and then I did another on a 6 inch scrap of red mat board

I did those after creating two 12 inch pastel painting.  Before I left the studio, I touched up this one...

I started this at a Plein Air workshop 5 yrs ago at Wanuskewin

And then I did this on a very wide piece of grey mat.  It's based on a photo I took in Manitoba.  I love this.  I love the background.

view from an ATV as we drove through the bush along a creek

All that before noon!  Wow.  If you want to peek at more pastel paintings, you can find a new IG page (Monika_Kinner_Whalen).  My textiles continue at Monika_Kinner on IG.

trying different surfaces and different surface colours

So that is my story!  I have another medium to help me practice and explore.  I'm not selling them.  In fact, I think I will frame them and decorate my own walls with them.  I have none of my own art on display in my home.  These can be just for me and because of the simplicity compared to textile art, I don't think they will interfere with my embroidery career.  I think they will only make things better. : )


Friday, 4 May 2018

Fields of Gold

It's that time again - I have work exhibited in Edmonton Alberta with the Focus on Fibre Art Association.  This year, the theme was 'Climate Change'.  Boy did that stump me.  Melting glaciers and skinny polar bears were all that popped into my head, and I thought that would be common.

I did a google search to see how my immediate environment is changing:  'climate change effects on the Canadian Prairie'.  Wow.  I learned so much... and so I'm really grateful for the push this theme gave me.

First - animals are affected.  Birds are migrating later and laying eggs earlier.  Wildlife are moving further north for food (deer and moose) because the tree line is receding north as well.  Aspens - MY FAVOURITE EVER - are dying off at a very high rate.  The result of all this is a larger expanse of farmland.  Did you know all that!?  All this, right under our noses. Making 'another prairie scene' was perfect to get my point across.  You think you know what it's all about, but you can't see the changes over time in a single snapshot. Such is Climate Change.

In this piece, I tried to show a greater expanse, receding trees and included the birds.  Of course, there are other issues with lowland flooding and lack of rain, so who knows if 'more farmland' is necessarily a workable thing or not.

So this is my entry!

fabric selection and colour matching threads

The sky is a very subtle hand dye.  I chose it because it's rather non-eventful.  I wanted the focus to be on the land.  Plus, a plain sky does not infer rain.  The ground fabric is a strip of commercial batik.  The threads - all kinds, any brand, cotton, poly, solid, variegated...

free motion machine work complete

Next, I added long handstitches in the foregound, some water lying on the field, as well birds in flight.  The embroidery is three times as wide as it is high.  I did this to give it a very endless horizon.

click to view full screen

I double matted with a cream mat, and had the perfect pieced frame for it with all the beautiful maple syrup colours.  It's under plexiglass for the show.  Here are the details!

Focus on Fibre Art Association
Juried Biennial National Textile Show & Competition
May 3 to July 3, 2018
at Enterprise Square
10230 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton AB Canada


This show has a great variety of pieces that everyone will enjoy, from hooked rug art to art quilts, felting, soft sculpture, wearables, embroidery...  and everyone interprets themes so uniquely.  I hope you get to see it!

I have a second entry in the show, but I'll save it for another post.  If you want, you can get a sneak peak on my Instagram feed:  monika_kinner

Have a great day!


Monday, 2 April 2018

Countdown to Showtime!

I think I'm done creating yarn embroideries for the show.  The next week, I will focus on completing extra threadpaintings for our Show & Sale.  Here's some eye candy to get you started!  : )



April 13, 14, 15 !  : )










If you read through the show poster, you can see the list of artists in the group that will have art for sale.  You can expect to see wall art of all sizes in a range of mediums including oil, acrylic, graphite, watercolour, ink, mixed media, batik, and fibre.  All art will be new pieces, and originals (no prints).

The event is free and the venue is wheelchair accessible.  Bring a friend! : )  We'll have live background music and refreshments.  Just a note, all art is available and must remain on display for the duration of the show.  See ya there!


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