Thursday, August 27, 2015

Creating masterpieces

When I was a child, I had a box of ten crayons. I so wanted that box of 64 with built in sharpener, but my parents could not afford it. So I created with what I had. I loved to color.

When my children were small, they had color and paint by number sets, and they used felt tipped markers to color in designs printed on black felt. Not much creativity allowed, but the finished product was the reward for the painstaking fine-motor task of not letting the paints or colors blend when they touched.

Many years ago when my friend Rose was dying of cancer at age 52, I sat with her in her kitchen and we colored with crayons in individual coloring books. We were focused, together, but lost in our own thoughts, sometimes reminiscing aloud about how our children used to color when they were small. How the kindergarten teacher wrote "Needs Improvement" on their report cards when they colored out of the lines.

It was a time when we could just BE, to fill the long hours. We didn't need words to express what was on our minds. We didn't focus on the chemo and radiation, the pain and suffering. We sat, happily, together, lost in our individual works.

All the while, we were working. Working to simultaneously hold on and let go.

These days coloring has had a resurgence. It is a way for adults to relax, get lost in thought, unwind, and release their creativity. Granted, the patterns are fine-detailed and more complicated. This morning the news featured a coloring group where women gather for fun and friendship.

Seems like a wholesome and fun activity. When is the last time you colored?

Note to parents and grandparents of young children: they need lots of space to sprawl because they do not have well developed fine motor control, and staying in the lines is not necessary, so ditch the coloring books for preschoolers and allow them to DRAW not just color.


Bookie said...

I have been hearing about the medatative and blissful state of coloring pages. Have you gone to Amazon and looked up coloring books? Hundreds!!!! Intricate and various and inviting...go look if you haven't, amazing!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

You've hit a happy nerve with me---I loved to color as a kid, loved to color with my kids when they were little, and some day I'll color away with my grandbabies, if I'm fortunate enough to have a couple. I remember years ago---probably 30 or so---my cousins, my sister, and I had a coloring party one afternoon, all of us in our 20s and 30s. It was so much fun, to just sit and color and laugh together. Two of my cousins are gone now, and of all the memories I have of them, that afternoon is one of my favorites.

Pat Wahler said...

At a holiday craft event for kids, one of the stations included coloring pages, markers, and glitter pens. I couldn't believe how many parents sat down to color right alongside their kids!

I've checked out the adult coloring books at Hobby Lobby and am very tempted. Haven't given in yet, though, because I don't need another happy distraction.

Critter Alle

Tammy said...

I was so moved by the line, "Working to simultaneously hold on and let go." How lovely. I was recently thrilled to see a commercial for an adult's coloring book. I thought I was the only grown up who was sad when my little girl gave up her coloring books that I borrowed.

Val said...

I don't have time to color. Maybe that's why I's so crotchety in my old age.

When I was a kid, my favorite coloring book was The Flintstones. I had the 64-box of crayons, but I had to share it with my sister (the future ex-mayor's wife). Let the record show that those worn-down stubs with their paper ripped off were a nightmare to put back in the box.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--I love to zentangle. It's relaxing AND creative.

I think in this day and age, we need more ways to return to a simpler time. And coloring/doodling is one way to do that.

Connie said...

I like to color too. It gives me a chance to think. I've been seeing many different coloring books for adults advertised. I think it's a great idea.

Susan said...

Well, my granddaughter, soon to be three years old, and I do lots of art projects. She loves them almost as much as me. hee hee Susan

Unknown said...

My adult granddaughter suffers from anxiety and depression and just came across a coloring book designed for anxiety sufferers! What a great idea!