The coloring book, Colorful Edibles, was the brainstorm idea of botanical artist and organic farm owner, Wendy Hollender. Grounded in a desire to promote the work of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), a small committee was formed to raise awareness about the ASBA through the development and sale of products created by its members. It took about one year for the first idea, a coloring book, to take shape. Botanical illustrator Bobbi Angell signed on as Co-Project Coordinator and Editor. Graphic artist and book designer, Charlotte Staub Thomas, also joined the project. Together they created a coloring book highlighting the contemporary botanical art of 26 ASBA members.
Editor, Bobbi Angell, says it was easy to get artists involved in this project. The project team made a specific request for pen-and-ink illustrations so that they could include as many ASBA artists as possible. They received 85 submissions from 38 artists. Because they wanted to keep the book inexpensive, only 36 illustrations were selected. The illustrations in Colorful Edibles showcase the strong and diverse line work of ASBA members, and includes work from new artists along side work by more established artists, things Angell said the project team was hoping to accomplish.
Most pages of the coloring book feature a full-page illustration. Informative passages about each fruit and vegetable are included on each page. Angell wrote the passages with young readers in mind. Through her writing, Angell makes reference to the origin and domestication of each fruit and vegetable so that readers learn about the history of their food. She also includes comments from contributing artists.
Colorful Edibles is truly a coloring book for all ages. Garden teachers will find this activity book to be a helpful teaching tool because it not only explains where familiar fruit and vegetables come from, it touches upon the subjects of botany, history, agriculture and nutrition.
The project team hopes to expand the coloring book format to other books about native plants and wildflowers.
Colorful Edibles can be purchased on the ASBA website.