Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Adult Coloring Craze

Hello! I've been hearing about the adult coloring craze for quite awhile, and it doesn't show signs of waning yet. I encounter adult coloring books just about anywhere books and magazines are sold. I've heard of bookstores arranging adult coloring book parties. Coloring classes have been formed. And I've read numerous articles in which the anti-stress benefits of coloring are proclaimed. 

I have to admit, I'm amused that these products are being presented as some new thing - they're not. Adult coloring books have been around ever since I can remember. The difference now is that since so many are now being produced, there's a lot more designs out there. The hype and emphasis on stress reduction seem to be new too.

Some of the new coloring books are really cool, but since I already have some on hand, I decided I ought to use them up before I buy more. I'll show off what I currently own:

I've had this one long enough that I don't recall where it came from, possibly from a remaindered books catalog I used to order from. 

Above, a completed design from the book. 

I purchased the above book online, at a very low time in my life. I figured I certainly was in need of more power and energy. I can't say that coloring in the mandalas shaped my life in any particular way, but there's some cool designs in this coloring book. The designs themselves come from many different cultures and time periods, so this book is a bit of a world history lesson. The authors also discuss the symbolism of each mandala,  so there is some food for thought as well. 

For example, this one:

This design is called "Four-Fold Knot" and was sourced as such: "Celtic wicker pattern on a sacramentary (book for the liturgy) in the Cathedral of Rheims, France (12th Century)"

The authors explain "The forms, which might appear confusing at first, eventually, with longer observation, dissolve into two structures that are twisted by 90 degrees. Therefore, this figure is well-suited to bring about clarity and reorientation in times of confusion."

Well, I guess that's my problem - I wasn't confused when I colored this page (I know this because I dated the finished mandala, six weeks ago). But it was still fun to bring to life. 

Now older and wiser, I suppose, I approach mandala designs merely in a spirit of color-combining creativity. Thus, this purchase from a thrift store:

This kit was intact, so its book, colored pencils, decorative pencil sharpener and 80 pages of mandala patterns are all in the box. The colored pencils are nothing special, and I haven't bothered reading the book, but there's many designs to work with, like this one:

At the beginning of the post, I mentioned I haven't bought any new adult coloring books because of the ones I already own and have shown off here. However, I did buy this last month:

You see, it's not a coloring book - it's a coloring calendar! Several years ago, I had another artsy-type page-a-day calendar, one for painting a small watercolor every day. It was a lot of fun, so I thought this calendar would be in the same spirit. I'm looking forward to using it, especially during the dark, cold days of winter. A daily dash of color work will be very welcome then, I'm sure!

Here's the page that will open 2016:

This calendar features the artwork of Thaneeya McArdle. I don't know who she is, but she must have been very busy to create all the designs. There's a nice variety!

So you see, I have a lot of coloring possibilities on hand. Thus, I really should avoid the temptation to buy the coloring book featuring mid-century designs that I spotted in a local bookstore...it would be a nice change from all those mandala designs!



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