One of the great things about the adventure that we’re on is that we get to meet all sorts of amazing people from across Canada that are doing amazing things. One of those people is Nadine Staaf who I met back at the end of March as we were working at the same spot for the Government of Canada. It took me a little while to find out that Nadine is a very talented artist who has released a collection of colouring books. Her latest release just came out this past month and is titled Colour Prince Edward Island.
Colour Prince Edward Island is a 30 image collection of sketches that Nadine drew up after being inspired by living on the gentle island of Prince Edward Island. The other day, I met Nadine at Bonshaw Provincial Park and as we soaked up the sun and the great setting, we discussed her latest book.
What made you want to do a colouring book focused on PEI?
As soon as I knew that we were thinking of moving to PEI, which was after the first book, that’s when the idea came into my mind that I could do a PEI colouring book. In my mind, I started working on the colouring book before I even moved to PEI.
What about PEI inspires you artistically?
I think it’s the peacefulness. I’ve always really loved nature and PEI has a different kind of nature. A lot of PEI is farmland which is quite peaceful; looking out onto open space and colour.
What’s your favourite spot on PEI?
My favourite spot is normally is in the forest and without the bears it’s a lot safer than BC (where Nadine grew up). I love coming to Bonshaw to walk through the woods. Canoe Cove has become my new favourite place to swim, even though there are beautiful beaches everywhere on the Island. I love how quiet it is at Canoe Cove.
What is your favourite image in the book?
The cover, not that it’s necessarily my favourite, but because I tried to incorporate as much of PEI as I could into it without making it too much like, “here’s the lobster and the potato.” It was the first image that I did for the book and I waited on doing the rest of the book until I felt ready and inspired. To me, the cover is what Prince Edward Island resembles.
What is the creative process in coming up with an image?
A lot of the images in the book were based on photos that I had taken when we first had moved to PEI. I did a lot of research on certain Island locations through Google which helped inspire me as well.
How long would it take to complete one image?
Sometimes, one a day. Sometimes, I would work on a couple at a time. Sometimes, it would be weeks to complete one because it’s about feeling inspired and you need to feel inspired to complete certain images.
When sketching the images, do you also colour them?
The thing about colouring books is that they’re made for other people. I haven’t made them for myself.
Why do you think colouring as become so big over the last few years?
I think it’s because it’s peaceful and calming. You can zone out and put away your worries or put away your day and colour and focus on that. It’s kind of a form of meditation.
Artistically, what’s next for you?
I have a lot of ideas but I don’t know what my next big thing will be. I never thought that the colouring books would do as well as they did. I really only did it to see how my own drawings were and it took off which became a huge inspiration. For now, I’m still kind of waiting for that next moment to happen when I will know what’s next.
I do have a bigger canvas piece that I’m working on right now that I hope will be in an art show one day.
Where is your book available?
Aside from Amazon, Indigo is a great local supplier. They’re also tied into Chapters and Coles.
Purchase Colour Prince Edward Island from Amazon
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