The Best of Chippewa Falls Volume One's guide to the riverside city » Presented by Mason Companies, Leinie Lodge, Northwestern Bank, and Go Chippewa Falls

Visual Art

Local Color: Eau Claire coloring book aimed at amateur artists

Hannah Mumm |

IN BETWEEN THE LINES. After nearly a year of photographing local landmarks, sketching, and re-sketching, Patricia Hawkenson’s adult coloring book Color Eau Claire is available now.
IN BETWEEN THE LINES. After nearly a year of photographing local landmarks, sketching, and re-sketching, Patricia Hawkenson’s adult coloring book Color Eau Claire is available now.

Need something to fill your free time? An easy way to destress and decompress? A going-away gift – simple yet meaningful – for your high school grad? Or perhaps an excuse to reach out to new neighbors to show them what your city is all about? Local artist Patricia Hawkenson’s most recent project might be the answer.

In the advent of the adult coloring book craze, Hawkenson set out to create a book of her own. Stirred by her city’s recent physical growth and cultural development, she chose Eau Claire as her subject. After nearly a year of photographing local landmarks, talking to local businesses, sketching, and resketching, Color Eau Claire is ready to hit the shelves.

When the project began, Hawkenson was cranking out a sketch a week. In the fall, a technological snafu rendered a month of work inaccessible. Instead of halting her progress, the loss enabled her to reevaluate and streamline the content. She combined her favorite Eau Claire spots with suggestions from the community to choose the book’s 40 featured locations. The first third of the book is dedicated to parks, the second to schools, and the last to local businesses.

“The schools are very important to me,” Hawkenson said. “I believe they build the foundation of the community.”

Bolstering local businesses is another driving force behind the book. As the owner of her own independent company, Expressive Domain, Hawkenson understands the value of positive publicity. By including the logos and storefronts of Eau Claire shops, restaurants, and venues, she hopes to help grassroots companies thrive.

The Chippewa Valley Museum will host a release event for Color Eau Claire from 6:30-8pm Tuesday, April 25. Hawkenson will be there to sign copies and talk about the people and places that inspired her as she completed the book. Representatives from featured businesses will receive blank sketches of their buildings to be colored and displayed, used for fundraising, or simply cherished. Guests will be able to color sample sketches of the museum and browse the book’s pages gallery-style over light refreshments. During the event, the museum’s exhibits will be open free of charge.

After the release, interested colorists can head to the Volume One Gallery for a free coloring workshop at 1pm on Saturday, April 29. There, Hawkenson will go over several techniques for adding vibrancy and texture to the book’s black-and-white lines. Students will receive a bag containing all the necessary tools and images to practice on. Attendance is limited to the first 25 people. Reserve your spot by emailing expressivedomain@gmail.com.