Recently there has been an explosion in the popularity of adult colouring books. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/adult-colouring-books-most-wished-for-1.3304409 Colourers (is this a real word?) report feeling calm and have a sense of nostalgia when they pick up the artful past time they so loved as a child. Mindfulness and wellness come together when we colour.
But I wonder if there is a potentially negative message underlying the professionally rendered flowers and mandala patterns of adult colouring books. By colouring in other people’s drawings aren’t we perpetuating the mistaken notion that only special people are artists?
Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to colour in your own images? How hard could this possibly be?
Maybe you think you can’t draw, but honestly I have yet to meet a person who can’t draw once they are given a few simple strategies to help them shift into art mind.
Here’s an easy to try art encounter called Closed Eyed Doodling.
With ultrafine Sharpie or a similiar permnent marker close your eyes and simply let your hand move over the page. Have fun with this as you move this way and that. Now open your eyes and colour in the shapes.
Check out how artist Max Ernst used his doodles as a jumping off point for painting. In his painting The Kiss he dipped string in black paint and laid it on the canvas. Then he coloured in the resulting shapes. How simple is that? If he can do that, so can you!
Watch this 2 year old doodle then watch her mom colour in. http://youtu.be/bIwYrhjHHJI
Finally, here are your many reasons why colouring in your own drawings is way more fun. Here are four.
- Self reflection- Drawing and painting as a regular practice helps us to see ourselves more clearly. Our feelings, sensations and notions about things are mirrored in colour and shape. When we look at our work over time we see our own patterns, our own affinities our own changing landscape emerge before our eyes.
2. Joy and excitement- When we colour in our drawings we spend more time connecting to their nuances and begin to see new aspects take form. We feel like we are in an expansive present moment. This is exciting.
3. Creativity at a moment’s notice- Drawing is a constant yet free personal companion available any where at anytime. Colouring our own images can be energizing, playful and makes daily life more fun when we grab a pen and draw whenever the oportunity arises. Last month one of my students drew then coloured in her husband’s snoring!
4. The beauty of creative fitness- We strengthen our creative muscles and feel the beauty of deeper connection with ourselves and the world.