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Polar bears and honey dill: New colouring book paints Manitoba scenes

Winnipeg artist Natalie Thiessen’s book Colour Manitoba is now available at McNally Robinson, Amazon.ca or through MacIntyre Purcell Publishing.

Academy Lanes in artist Natalie Thiessen's new colouring book Colour Manitoba.

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Contributed/Natalie Thiessen

Academy Lanes in artist Natalie Thiessen's new colouring book Colour Manitoba.

Time to dust off your coloured-pencils—or crayons—for a new colouring book highlighting Manitoba, from honey dill dipping sauce to bowling alleys and snake dens.

Winnipeg artist Natalie Thiessen’s "Colour Manitoba," published by MacIntyre Purcell Publishing, launched at McNally Robinson last week.

Thiessen said figuring out what to include in the book—which features the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, an homage to Festival du Voyageur and the lakes and trees of Whiteshell Provincial Park—was one of the best parts of the process.

“I did a ton of research around the province, I took some road trips over to Brandon and Gimli, read this book called the Encyclopedia of Manitoba,” Thiessen said.

“And basically kind of took in as much info as possible and then narrowed it down based on what would be the most iconic, but also the most fun to colour.”

That meant finding detailed scenes with an interesting pattern.

“If you’re colouring it and you don’t have a lot of artistic talent it would already look nice, so there wouldn’t be a lot of pressure on you to make it look better,” Thiessen said.

Since she worked on the book throughout the winter Thiessen couldn’t go to all the places pictured, adding that, “I had to do some guessing and get creative about it.”

The project arose after Thiessen, who graduated from Red River College’s graphic design program, got a call out of the blue from the publisher, which has produced Colour Saskatchewan and Colour Nova Scotia.  

They asked her to do the book, and she said, “yes, of course,” but hasn’t filled in the blanks on how they found her.  

“I keep meaning to ask them, but I don’t want to ruin the mystery.”

Colour Manitoba is $16.95 and in stores or online at Chapters, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Amazon.ca, or through MacIntyre Purcell Publishing.

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