Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big Prairie, Little Rug

It is no secret that I've done my fair share of swapping in the two and a half years since I started blogging.  I love exchanging special handmade items with other creative people all over the world, however sometimes I need to take a little break. Sometimes, I need to just haul out the visa card, support an artist and buy a special handmade item. Especially one that I know I won't make for myself, either because I'm not inclined to learn a certain craft or I don't have the skills or equipment necessary to even try. I know my limits.

A couple of weeks ago, fellow Canadian blogger Monika posted photos of her latest fibre art series, sweet little prairie rugs.  I've long been an admirer of Monika's thread painted prairie landscapes inspired by her photography. In fact, she has given me a whole new appreciation for a part of Canada with which I am not very well acquainted.  I drove from Toronto to Vancouver 12 years ago and 20 years ago I drove from Yellowknife to Vancouver via Edmonton & Calgary, however both of those trips were of the pedal-to-the-metal variety. The kind of trip where you take a picture or two out the passenger window, but don't take the time to stop and smell the (prairie) flowers.  The one impression I did retain though, was that of big sky.  The sky is HUGE on the prairie.

So I was thrilled when Monika accepted my offer to purchase this beautiful piece of fibre art. A hooked prairie scene with a big sky.

Prairie rug by Monika Kinner-Whalen
 Prairie Rug 3 by Monika Kinner-Whalen

She hooked batik and hand dyed scraps with gorgeous effect. I now want to purchase a shallow shadow box to frame this piece in and give it some presence on my wall.

Detail: Prairie rug by Monika Kinner-Whalen
detail of Prairie Rug 3 by Monika Kinner-Whalen

And just for the record, I have tried hooking. I took a fantastic one-day class with talented Vancouver artist Michele Sirois-Silver several years ago. We hooked an 8" x 8" wool rug of a colourful teacup and saucer. I was very pleased with it, but my hands didn't enjoy the process. I wasn't able to get into a rhythm with the hook and my hands just ached.  I decided that while I love hooked rugs, I did not love hooking them.

 Thank you for sharing your inspired work with me, Monika!

19 comments:

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Gorgeous! I wouldn't hesitate to whip out the visa card either!

What Comes Next? said...

It sure seems fitting to call it "Big Sky Country" - that is what struck me on our trip last summer to Saskatchewan - the rolling fields and all that sky! Monika does a fabulous job of capturing that image and feeling in her work - the little hooked rug you've acquired was one of my faves that she has posted - good for you for supporting a wonderful artisan!

Sandi said...

Beautiful piece Krista, congratulations on being the proud new owner.

Thanks for sharing Monika's lovely work and design with us.

Aliceart said...

Beautiful! Always good to support fellow artists...

Amy Friend said...

Oh, it's just beautiful! I love rug hooking. I took a class a number of years ago and Mark gave me a frame for Christmas that year even and I regret to say that I haven't used it much. This piece certainly inspires me to pull it out again someday.

CitricSugar said...

I've seen some of her work in person at a quilt show here but haven't met her. She has an incredible feel for what the prairie is.

It's a beautiful piece. And if it's not too boring with the flat, flat, flat and slower pace, come out and explore. The northern forest is beautiful though the trees will likely seem small to BCians. :-)

Patti said...

Love, love, love everything of Monika's! You are so lucky to have one of her fabulous art pieces. It will look amazing in a shadowbox too!

badlandsquilts said...

Very lovely rug...all I know of Canada is the wide prairies. I always remember the bright orange or purple graneries that were labeled Candadian Grain Pool #. (My dad wasn't so keen on painting our graineries so bright as we thought he should after seeing yours!)

Katie B. said...

Gorgeous...love the color palette!

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. Such a lovely work of art.

felicity said...

YOU got that beauty! Awesome! I looove Monika's work. Please please bring it to the next VMQG meeting? Pretty please?

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

Sounds like me and crochet, I just can't grasp it. And why beat yourself up about it when there are those who obviously have the gift, and you can buy an art piece from them. Clever!

Flying Blind... said...

It's a smasher!

Dianne said...

So beautiful Krista! Thanks for the into to a wonderful artist. It tried hooking once too, my talents don't lay in that direction so now I just admire hookers and their art. This will look lovely in your home!

Katy Cameron said...

Oh that's fabulous! My host family gave me a book when I was leaving after my year in Saskatchewan, called 'If You're Not From The Prairie' which highlighted so many things that are just not normal elsewhere lol And yes, the sky goes on forever. That's cause by the lack of hills. Anywhere. None. The 'Moose Mountains' would give you a fit of the giggles (think overgrown molehills)

Leanne said...

Yup, I cannot tell you how much I missed the big sky when I lived in Toronto. It is just not possible to explain the relationship prairie people have with the sky. We speak of seeing the curve of the earth in the distance. Although I love the mountains and the ocean too, the prairies are my favourite. Monika's work is stunning, you picked a great piece.

QuiltNut Creations said...

Absolutely fabulous!

Monika Kinner-Whalen / My Sweet Prairie said...

BLUSH...

Thanks Krista!

Gee I love what you wrote! : ) That was so terrific. Glad you feel the need to show it off! Sweet.

& all the comments too - wow. : ) Thanks everyone!

~Monika K.
Saskatoon

♥Duff said...

totally gorgeous--this piece instantly calmed me, reminding me of long car drives across the Midwest where there are no mountains, just blue sky and the hum of the tires on the road.