One of my colleagues has been advocating the use of colouring (books) as a de-stressing / focusing activity for many years now, and it seems as though she predicted a wave of interest that has been breaking in recent weeks.
I haven’t been big on colouring for years. I get frustrated by any movement of my medium over the line. The smallest swath of unnecessary colour left by my pencil, marker, or crayon, and I want to abandon ship. There is no erasing colour, people. Once it’s on the paper, that’s it. You might be able to divert attention or obscure the error with a darker shade, but when you look closely, it’s still there. Mocking. Marring an otherwise pretty picture. Maybe that’s why I prefer cross-stitch and knitting and embroidery and appliqué in my visual arts. Fabric and strands are far more forgiving than paper and its ilk.
That being said, I adore the quills and inks I received from my darling hubby for Christmas. Calligraphy rules!
However, since I splurged on the Outlander colouring book in November and received the Unicorns are Jerks colouring book for Christmas (also from Hubby, mwah!), I decided to give it another go.
I haven’t attempted the first book yet — in all honesty, I’m a little afraid to wreck the perfection of those pages, so I’m starting with the easier stuff in the second book. Getting back into the habit, as it were. Here is what I have learned so far from my return to colouring:
It’s about thinking creatively. Visualizing and making the image appear as you want it. I do that with the textiles, as well, but colouring is faster. Even when I’m trying to take my time.
Filling in an empty space with a layer of shade is immensely satisfying, and doing so on a flat page is much, much easier than, say, taking all the pictures down, moving the furniture, washing the wall and having at it with a roller or a brush.
My children have of course noticed me colouring, and my daughter was kind enough to sketch me a picture of her own design to colour after she went to bed. Wonder what she will make of my choices?
Oh, it’s a fickle thing, isn’t it? Can’t take it off the page once it’s done. But if you take your time and do it well, it’s worth the effort, I think.