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Pine Island resident launches new children’s coloring book

By Staff | Feb 27, 2009

Artists on Pine Island have taken on many forms of expression and the latest to showcase her particular talent is Susan Carpenter with the creation of a unique coloring book. The book, titled “Kyler and Victoria’s Tropical Painting Pages,” depicts images familiar to the island and contains special pages dedicated to Matlacha, Bokeelia and St. James City.
The sketch pad-style book contains poster size images measuring 18 X 24 inches and can be colored using crayons, colored pencils, watercolors or pastels. Carpenter said her book stemmed from a gift she received in the mail.
“Last year, my granddaughter sent me a large drawing in the mail. When I got it, it inspired me to start drawing pictures for her to color,” said Carpenter. “She enjoyed them so much, it led me to compile several drawings in a book.”
Carpenter began her project last summer and it took three to four months to create enough work for the book, which was then released on Christmas eve of last year.
“So far it has been very well received. In fact, I have sold some of them to folks who were going to give them as gifts but ended up keeping them to work on themselves,” Carpenter said. “With such a great response I have begun work on a second book which will show images of the barrier islands and will be called ‘Paradise Painting Pages.'”
Carpenter said she is hoping to have her second book ready for print within the next three months.
Carpenter’s work has not been limited to just coloring book sketches. She recently worked on one of the island’s utility poles.
“My granddaughter Victoria and I have been working on a pole in front of the hardware store at the island center. I draw the outline and Victoria, who is only 5 years old, fills in the color,” she said. “She is having so much fun with this and she even asked if this made her an artist, too.”
The pole Carpenter and her granddaughter are painting depicts images found in the coloring book as well.
Carpenter also attributes her success to her friends and family.
“I never considered myself as an artist but always wanted to be one. I never thought I was good enough and that I couldn’t hold a candle to the other great artists here on the island. But, I received a lot of encouragement and found that everyone has a niche in the art world,” she said. “I also have had the backing of Nancy Koucky from Koucky’s Gallery and Gardens, who is responsible for designing the cover of the coloring book. I cannot thank her enough.”
The book “Tropical Painting Pages,” which contains 81 images, can be purchased at Tropical Hair Gallery, Koucky’s Gallery and Gardens, Little Lilly’s Island Deli, Julia’s Arts, Pine Island Paint and Island Visions.
For more information, call Susan Carpenter at Tropical Hair Gallery at 283-1211, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.