Want to Color?
when you were a kid and loved to color pictures of animals, birds, trees,
flowers or favorite story characters with wax crayons? Kids spent many happy
hours coloring between the lines without running over them. It was fun to decide
which color was best or to color a thing a different color instead of what it
was "supposed" to be.
Later the art critics decided that coloring
pictures someone else drew was not creative and that kids should be able to
color outside the lines, or even better, draw their own pictures. That pretty
much took the pleasure out of coloring books, and as we became older, we put
away childish things and moved on.
But guess what? Coloring has now become the new
rage. And it isn't just for children anymore. That's right; we now have
"adult" coloring books. The designs are not the simple ones we
remember from childhood, they are incredibly elaborate renderings of geometric
kaleidoscopes, floral patterns, mandalas, stained glass and ornate designs that
Can you believe coloring books are among the top
ten best sellers on Amazon? Favorite coloring books, such as "Secret
Garden" and "Color me Calm" encourage a break from other
activity. Adults love the quiet relaxation provided by coloring. The activity
seems to require just enough concentration to relieve stress, but not so much
that it becomes a burden to do.
I was introduced to the new concept of adult
coloring books by my sister. "Do you want to color?" she asked.
"I think not; I'll just watch.” Is she crazy? I wondered. But it did look
like fun, so what the heck, I might as well try it. I selected a design and some
markers and went to work. To my surprise, it was mesmerizing. Some of the
patterns were symmetrical and you had to be careful to keep the colors balanced.
Other times you had to decide what color to make a flower and what other color
would best complement it.
It becomes addictive. Once you start coloring a
design, you are compelled to finish. You can't quit a design before the picture
is complete. Some designs are relatively easy while others have very small
design elements and are difficult to color without messing up. We colored for
days on end and I posted some of mine on Facebook for bragging rights.
Once finished the pages are not really good for
much, but they do not require a lot of space, a wall to hang them (unless you
want to frame a favorite), or a place on the coffee table. The purpose is more
the process rather than the competed project, sort of like working a cross word
puzzle. It is the task of coloring that provides the pleasure.
So, I decided to get some books of my own and was
surprised to find dozens of them online – dozens and dozens. I ordered some
books thinking of coloring with my granddaughter who enjoys crafts and art. I
couldn't wait for the books to arrive, however, and decided to look for some
books at Walmart. I tried the craft section and found nothing. I struck out in
toys also. Finally, I gave up until I stumbled across the books in the sewing
section, of all places.
The naysayers still say you are not creating
because it is someone else’s design and it isn't really art therapy. I say
"Phooey!" It's a great time killer and an alternative to staring at
the computer screen. I can't wait for my granddaughter to come over so we can
get started. I may have to start without her. They don't call them coloring
books for adults for nothing, and that pattern with the butterflies is calling
my name. Want to color?