But this fall a new past time captured my attention and apparently I am hooked. And it seems that I am late to the game on this particular activity.
|My first completed coloring page.|
Come on, guys. You remember coloring - coloring books and wax crayola crayons!! For me coloring last happened about 60 years ago. A new coloring book with a fresh box wax Crayola crayons and I was set. By the time I was 12 years old I had moved on to Barbies. I never considered for one second that I would cycle back to coloring books and colored pencils at age 68.
|My second work in progress|
To start with ... these are not your childhood coloring books. These adult versions of coloring books are works of art in the form of line drawings. Beautiful drawings ... almost a shame to add anything to them. As most articles on the subject mention, adult coloring books were not on the merchandising radar 3 years ago. Now all the books stores, craft stores and even some gift stores carry them. This holiday season, the adult coloring book displays are mostly empty in my area. Totally amazing to me.
|Prismacolor Premier Pencils. This isn't the largest set.|
But someday I might spring for their biggest selection.
|Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest|
You are seeing the face of the slip cover for this book.
Of course, there are many extra tools that can be used - like blending pencils, and special erasers, and pencil sharpeners and fancy cases to carry your tools.
|Here is the actual book - the brown cover with only pen art work on the cover. |
Under the book is the inside of the slip cover.
Every detail of these books are beautifully executed.
They are very appealing without adding any color.
And, yes, I have outfitted myself with everything. I am the "tool queen" when it comes to any hobby. Anyone who knows me personally will not be surprised. But you can get started with very little in investment and have a satisfying experience.
But the real question is "Why?" Why color? Well, there is a psychology connected to this past time. You can read more about it here in this link. But from my perspective this is what I know:
- The most often heard reason is that it reduces stress. I can confirm that is true! Just like knitting, mediation or any mindful activity that refocuses and/or distracts your brain - it relaxes the mind. I can also pick up, do a small bit and easily put it down again.
- I love the artistic part of selecting colors and blending them without worrying about the quality of the underlying drawing - I am happy to leave that to the professional artist. And I am challenged to improve a beautiful artist's black and white rendering by adding color.
- Playing with color feeds that area of my brain that I always felt was deficient! My artistic efforts were always limited to pencil or charcoal. I could produce a level of realism in a drawing using line and shading. But when I attempted to layer color onto my own work, it was an epic fail. This activity allows me to play with color once again.
Recently, however, I came upon some coloring books that seemed to answer that question. Beyond the simple pleasure of coloring with a child, a fully colored adult book would be a great thing to look at with child - sort of like sharing a picture book. For example:
- Coloring books by Johanna Basford - (Secret Garden, Lost Ocean, and Enchanted Forest) have hidden items in each picture. Kids and adults enjoying hidden object picture books and games.
- Coloring books by Daria Song - (The Time Chamber, The Time Garden) actually tell a story in pictures - with a small amount of words to flesh out the story. The artist's pages tell the story of a tiny fairy that lives inside a cockoo clock who has adventures. A very charming idea presented in a high quality publication - that just happens to be aimed at Adult Colorists.
So I am prepared for a year of coloring - to go with all my other hobbies.
In fact, coloring is one of two new hobbies for 2016 - beyond knitting, spinning, weaving and coloring ... but that is for another blog post!
So what fun things will fill your new year?