This week's blog post is written by local artist Colleen Patricia Williams.
Coloring books are no longer reserved for children. They are a great way for adults to relax and ease away the stress of the day. Research shows that coloring can be beneficial to the health of the colorer, that it can be as beneficial as meditation, as well as being a way to engage in the creative process.
Coloring books come in many different choices; there are small pocket-sized coloring books, there are large coloring books and there are coloring books that tell a story as the book goes on. These books can be colored with pencils, crayon, watercolor and markers.
The designs also range from animals and flowers to mandalas, the Tibetan designs that assist in meditation. There is an interesting side note regarding the mandalas; there is a certain religious belief amongst fringe Christians that coloring mandalas will call up demons. The mandala is a beautiful repeating circular design that most of us love and that has a long tradition in Tibetan Buddhism.
In Tibet, mandalas are often drawn with colored sands, in painstaking details. But the beauty is ephemeral; when the mandala is done, the monks then sweep it away, to demonstrate the fleeting nature of life and beauty. To watch one of these being created is a joy; the monks use their hands to dribble out the colored sands to create these intricate works of art. The colored sands on the bare floor of the temples seem to glow before they are brushed away.
While we can’t recreate that special glow, we can use the coloring book to create our own mandalas, but lasting images that can be framed or left in the book to look at later. The act of creating that mandala is the fun part!
The other designs that these coloring books come in are abstract designs, as well as designs that include flowers, birds and other animals. Coloring books make great gifts for kids, teens and adults that are hard to buy for. Include a set of watercolor pencils and the gift has the best of both dry and wet media! Watercolor pencils allow the coloring of fine details and then later, a brush with a damp paint brush to create watercolor blending and other watercolor effects.
Here at Artistic Portland, we have coloring books as well as individual coloring sheets that come with a marker for that ride home on the Max. We have different designs with more to come!