Book Release

Professional lumberjack publishes colouring book

Darren Hudson hopes images get people back outside

Darren Hudson and Erin Smith's upcoming colouring book cover features two lumberjacks
Darren Hudson and Erin Smith’s upcoming colouring book cover features two lumberjacks   Darren Hudson

An axe-throwing, log-rolling, woodcutting lumberjack is publishing a quintessentially Canadian colouring book.

On Saturday, the Lumberjack Colouring Book will be released in stores all over Nova Scotia.

Axe thrower Erin Smith illustrated the book, while professional lumberjack Darren Hudson was the mastermind behind the project.

With drawings of canoes, axes, and of course, lumberjacks, Hudson hopes to encourage people to get back outside.

“This is a reflection of who I am and what I stand for.”

Hudson comes from a long line of lumberjacks. He thinks his great-grandfather would appreciate his colouring book.

“He had a store, he was an entrepreneur,” Hudson said. “I think he would like it.”

Illustrating the lumberjack book

Hudson himself was an avid colourer as a child, but he left a lot of the drawings in the new book to Smith. She’s a member of Wilson’s Wild Axe Women club in Barrington.

Erin Smith throws an axe at a target. The club turns on a car's headlights to be able to keep throwing in the dark.
Erin Smith throws an axe at a target. The club turns on a car’s headlights to be able to keep throwing in the dark.   Erin Smith

“We gather once a week and throw axes at targets. Once you start, you want to try harder and do it more and more. It’s almost addictive. It releases an inner strength you didn’t know you had,” Smith explained.

“You get outside with the river bubbling behind the target. Many nights we stayed out with the headlights on the target because we didn’t want to leave.”

Smith first encountered Darren Hudson and axe throwing when her kids visited him on a Scouts Canada trip. Her kids tried log rolling, pole climbing, canoeing, and fishing during summer axe camp.

“It was so great to see them for hours each day not on their phones,” she said.

Her favourite drawing illustrates Hudson log rolling.

“He is a seven time world log rolling champion and I think we should acknowledge that in our community.”

Local book sold at local stores

Bookmark on Spring Garden Road will be selling the book when it’s released.

“We’ve always had a rack of what are now considered adult colouring books,” store manager Michael Hamm said.

Bookmark sells several adult colouring books, including Johanna Basford's popular collection
Bookmark sells several adult colouring books, including Johanna Basford’s popular collection   Emma Meldrum

“[Increasing interest] has spurred on local people to do their own colouring books.”

Hamm expects the buzz about colouring to peak and then flatten out. But Bookmark will keep carrying them, along with pencils and markers.

“I think there will always be a place in bookstores for them.”

“People are going back to more personal, intimate ways of relaxing,” Hamm explained, pointing to jigsaw puzzles as another throwback on the rise.