Deep Dive: Shiny Streets by Katerina Mertikas

Posted by Jasen Robillard on

Artist: Katerina Mertikas
Puzzle Designer: Jasen Robillard
Dimensions: 27.5 x 27.5 cm
Piece Count: 302
Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Katerina Mertikas is a self-taught artist based out of Ottawa. Her clear passion for family and children shine through in her colourful and vibrant "naive" expressionist art. Her work has been featured regularly on cards, calendars and stamps for Unicef & the Canadian Lung Association. Her originals can be found in many galleries across the country. Shiny Streets is our second puzzle collaboration with Katerina - our first being Another Goal.


Shop: Katerina Mertikas - Shiny Streets

Lightly watermarked reference image
Note, reference images are watermarked to prevent unauthorized printing of our artist's work, as well as copycat puzzles which have become common since 2020.

Puzzle Design Notes

StumpCraft Puzzle - Katerina Mertikas' Shiny Streets Detail

The scene depicted in Shiny Streets is familiar to me, as I hope it is familiar to many of you! I grew up in small rural towns in eastern Ontario and went to high school in downtown Ottawa. Aside from the years in middle and high school when I was carpooling with my mom and sister to the school in Casselman where Mom taught, I rode a yellow mini-bus to school every day, just like the one depicted in Katerina’s art. My own 2 kids have been following in my footsteps, riding to school in a yellow mini-bus since they first started elementary school. I fondly remember naps, precious reading time and boisterous gossipy conversations in those uncomfortable bench seats!

StumpCraft Puzzle - Katerina Mertikas' Shiny Streets Detail

As the 2021-2022 school year draws to a close, I’m sensitive to the many challenges parents, teachers and our kids have faced these past 2 years. My belief is that in the face of disruption, our kids will grow more gritty, resilient and above all else remain hopeful. This puzzle is both an homage to the unsung heroes in our kids lives, and an invitation to simpler times.

Perhaps like me, you’ll find yourself reflecting back with gratitude for the many contributions that have positively impacted your life and that of our children. Thanks to:

  • the bus drivers who drove us to school safely;
  • the volunteer crossing guards monitoring pedestrians on their way to school;
  • the drivers who respect crosswalks, playground slow-down zones, traffic signals & signs; and
  • our heroic teachers who play the part of sages, guides, coaches, social workers and friends to the next generation.

Whimsy List

Multi-piece whimsies

  • 2x School buses
  • 2x Umbrellas
  • 2x School pedestrian signs
  • Crossing guard
  • Globe

Single piece whimsies

  • 4x Healthy snacks
  • 3x Rubber ducks
  • 2x Kids late for the bus
  • 2x Kids with backpacks
  • 2x Paint brushes
  • Umbrella
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Glue bottle
  • Paperclip
  • Alarm clock

You should also be able to find a few interesting character locks!

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