Atikokan author and artist Sophie (Hajdu Hnatiuk) Fogg is sharing her sketches in an adult colouring book she created this fall.
It is the second book she’s published as her novel, “One Our Father: Protected the rest of my family from more gunshots,” was completed last year.
The colouring book is meant to accompany the first publication, with the sketches corresponding to the story of Fogg’s life, including witnessing the murder/suicide of her parents in Rainy River District back in 1956.
“The pictures tell the page that it refers to in the book, right through the book,” Fogg explained. “So I was able to do most of my family history, which is in there, plus friends.
“There are pictures of the town booming in Atikokan, of the iron ore trucks, and people canoeing down the river,” she noted.
“Some of the pictures go back to 1940.”
Fogg doesn’t call herself a professional artist, referring to her work as child-like art.
“But I’m really daring so I just put out what I can do,” she noted.
The blurb on the back of the colouring book indicates Fogg surprisingly opened the eyes of many readers in the Fort Frances, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay areas.
“Today she is a strong, healthy, well-known author and artist with the full armour of Christ,” it reads, noting she has two children, Michael and Jennifer, and two grandchildren, Amber and Emily, whose sketches appear in the colouring book.
“Many readers who bought my published book enjoyed the few black-and-white sketches I drew,” Fogg noted.
“They highly pleaded with me to make an adult colouring book.
“So in order to please my customers, I drew as many scenes as possible from my book—even revealing the true names of my characters,” she added.
“This creates a movie-like true story and if you choose, you can even have it in colour.
“Have fun painting these heartfelt memories.”
Fogg said all of the scenes she drew came from her own memory.
“In order to make a perfect picture because of the artist I am, I have to keep tracing them and everything falls into place,” she explained.
“I’m able to add things and it looks better that way,” she reasoned.
“Some took weeks just for one picture but others I could do overnight.”
Fogg said it took about a year to complete all 55 drawings. Then she self-published her work through Essence Publishing.
“People are really pleased with it,” Fogg said, referring to the reaction to the colouring book, entitled “One Our Father.”
“My family is really proud of me,” she remarked. “It’s harder than writing a book.
“The endurance it takes to do art and then if it wasn’t perfect, I had to put it in there anyway,” she noted. “And that’s the part that I was a bit nervous about.
“[But] I learned from other artists to be proud of the book because it looks more like sketches.”
Fogg said all of the art in the book is her own.
“Nobody else touched them,” she stressed. “So if there’s a mistake, it’s because I made it and left it.”
She added she’s also pretty proud of the final product.
“It’s a whole lot of work,” she conceded. “You don’t make much of a profit but it’s for the people.
“That way you produce the right thing for the public,” she added. “And people who read books or colour, it’s all healing.”
“Sophie’s done it again,” Elaine Bonnell said through Fogg’s Facebook page announcing the publishing of the colouring book.
“She’s made history come alive,” she noted. “For all you people living in the Rainy River to Fort Frances area, Sophie is making memories come alive again. . . .
“There is no better way to share your stories with your family and grandchildren than by coloring actual pictures,” Bonnell added.
“These coloring books will bring about many conversations and quality family time.”
The colouring book is dedicated to Lucille and Marcel Gouliquer in memory of Rose and Tony Gouliquer from Pinewood, Peter and Mary Hnatiuk from La Vallee, Andy and Helen Hajdu from Stratton, and Michael (Hnatiuk) Labbé from Emo.
“One Our Father” costs $20 but if you buy the novel together with the colouring book, the cost is $35.
The books can be purchased from Bonnie Logan Turriff (274-3511) and at Betty’s in Fort Frances, from Millie Witherspoon (486-3545) in Devlin, from Karen Susy Gouliquer (271-0353) in Pinewood, and at Cloverleaf in Emo.
They also are available from Marcia Cross at Run With Scissors salon and at the News Stand in Atikokan, as well as at Gallery 33 in Thunder Bay.