A Different Perspective

Sometimes designing or quilting our work in the usual way is therapeutic and relaxing. But this can also lead to being in a rut. What to do? Try looking at things from a different perspective.

One of my favorite articles in MQU was written by talented artist Monika Kinner-Whalen. In our November/December 2015 issue Monika shares how she creates tiny yet incredibly detailed landscapes. She says ” I begin with my camera, trying to capture good compositions, particular moods, interesting values and varied color schemes. When I do my ‘treasure hunting’, I am literally looking for things to stitch…I like to see far and often try to capture open spaces on the horizon. I enjoy showing distance in my work, so I will physically get right down on the ground to include a foreground full of interest and texture. The ditches are fabulously full of flowers and interesting plants of all colors. ”

Cattails at Sunset ©Monika Kinner-Whalen
Cattails at Sunset ©Monika Kinner-Whalen

One of the things that struck me was that she says she will “physically get right down on the ground“. In essence, she’s looking at the landscape from a different perspective, one that clearly enhances her work.

From Humble Beginnings ©Monika Kinner-Whalen
From Humble Beginnings ©Monika Kinner-Whalen

This is something I’ve certainly embraced when I take photographs, and since I often use the photos as inspiration for my quilts it plays into my quilting as well. Here’s a series of four photos I took at Mesa Verde a few years ago. Note how changing the distance from this particular structure, as well as my viewpoint – down low or up very high – drastically changes the composition.

mesa verde up close USE

mesa verde view 2 USE


mesa verde view 3 USE


mesa verde view 4 USE

Pretty neat, huh? Next time you’re working on a design and it seems a little off, try taking a step back (or down) and looking at it in a different way. No doubt you’ll find something interesting.




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