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 In Art Colony, Art Process, Coloring

During the summer, when I went in to Barnes & Noble, one of my favorite places to shop on a hot afternoon, I was kind of surprised to see a bunch of coloring books on the “featured” table. No, this wasn’t in the kid’s department but rather at the main entrance. These coloring books were meant for adults!

It was a beautiful array of books, covering a breath of topics. I admired the books of florals, those containing landscapes and others on fantasy. With details and sophistication, these were definitely not our kids’ coloring books. I loved them!

My interest really blossomed as I read several articles written about the adult coloring book phenomenon. Studies have found that coloring enhances calmness from the repetitive movements, etc. and that it places people in the same relaxed, peaceful state usually attributed to meditation and similar disciples.

I have my own theories of why adults are enjoying coloring. While I agree that it is relaxing and induces peacefulness in people, I feel coloring gives people an opportunity to deal with their emotions, to reflect their feelings and their color preferences in a much safer way than having the walls painted or taking a big chance with their wardrobe. In fact, it is the pure pleasure of working with color. Selecting a perfect color, holding it in your hand, spreading it on the page, just where you want. This is a singularly satisfying experience.

In this pastel painting, I colored in all the sections of the painting.

In this pastel painting, I colored in all the sections of the painting.
“Vanity” pastel on paper, 26 x 18.

So it has been for me. The pure pleasure of holding color in my hand- I worked with pastel sticks earlier in my career- it was so dazzling, made me so excited and feel so powerful, that it sent me to my studio to merely have that experience. That my drawing reflected my limited skills didn’t bother me, it gave me a format with which to work with color, my great love.

I think that was what it did for me and I think that is what these adults coloring books do for their users. Because the picture is drawn, you have the freedom to create, without the fear of doing it wrong.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

As I looked at these books, all I saw had specific themes and were realistically rendered.  I saw none that were open in their own interpretation. No abstraction, no expressionist rendering, drawings that would leave open not only the color but also the interpretation of the piece of art they were completing,

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

So I decided to create my own coloring pages. I have begun and will be combining them into an ebook that I will be giving away to new subscribers to my list. Here are samples of a couple of pages that I have completed on this project. I hope you like them and I will let you know when & how you can claim yours.

So tell me, do you like to color? Why? What kinds of images would you like to see in coloring books?

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