Artist Profile – Monika Kinner-Whalen

posted in: Fibre Art | 0
a September moonrise, 2010
a September moonrise, 2010


Homestead on Highway 7, 2010
Homestead on Highway 7, 2010

I am a self taught fibre and embroidery artist in Saskatoon, and this is my love story. I was raised on the prairie by a landscape artist who couldn’t sew.  I have relatives whom I deeply admire because of their magical abilities to sew, quilt, and cross stitch. As a girl, I loved to make things and stitch things by hand. Most of my time was spent outside, with my mother bringing my attention to the seasons, the sky, the weather, and the land. We lived on an acreage surrounded by fields. When you live on the prairie, those seasons, skies, weather, and fields are everything.
I had become deeply attached to my surroundings. It became evident when I moved away for ten years after finishing university. I was struck by homesickness in the worst way. I felt claustrophobic when I couldn’t see far. I sobbed when the looming grey skies didn’t bring the crashing, cleansing thunderstorms I had come to rely on. I saw two rainbows in ten years, and not a single blazing sunset. I mourned and I complained a lot.
There I met my husband, became a mother, and began quilting for them. I knew I had to sew. It just felt right. I taught myself to make my first quilt and I was hooked. The following year (2007) I moved with my family back to my beloved prairie. Out came my camera! (This is literally how my art career began.) I wanted to show off my homeland. I wanted to share my photos of everything I loved about the prairies in a way that would make people notice, but it seemed like everyone here was a budding prairie photographer. I didn’t want to paint because it would just look like my mother’s work. I was never drawn to any particular art medium, and so I began to sew my photos.
Read more in our Spring 2012 issue.

Monika Kinner Whalen
My Sweet Prairie
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
[email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.