Is Coloring Just for Children?

by Taru Fisher on January 15, 2016

Coloring280x373 I was given a coloring book for Christmas. You might be thinking “aren’t you a little old for coloring books?”

I was overjoyed to get a present like this. I have secretly wanted to color in coloring books since I was six when I had stopped coloring in part due to the boring pictures in coloring books.

Up until age 6 I had loved coloring (I was an inside-the-line colorer foreshadowing the perfectionism I am still dealing with today) and did a lot of drawing and coloring. Somewhere at that age I got the notion in my head that I was terrible at drawing (so I stopped) and that only babies colored (so I stopped that as well).

I never stopped loving colors, though, especially how they would look in an art store with pencils and pastels swirling up and down the rainbow. When I stepped into an art store I could feel my childhood excitement about drawing and art reawaken and I could feel my whole body relax into calm.

It might seem strange being calm and excited at the same time and for me it is a form of “being in the zone” or “in the flow”.

A few years ago, I realized that I needed color in my life the way an art store gave me color – the full rainbow in a river with eddies of different hues. I thought about making a quilt that I could hang on my wall or use on my bed. Unfortunately, the thought stopped there. I was wrestling with old bug-a-boos about art and my expression of it.

Enter the Christmas coloring book for adults: Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns. The book also came with a wonderful set of pens (that sparkle!). I eagerly opened my present and started to color.

I spent a blissful 3 hours on the project the first night. I wanted to go on and it was getting very late. I kept saying, just one more, and just one more.

The first picture I chose promised exactly what I wanted: an explosion of flowing color. It is the picture attached to this post.

In letting myself enjoy playing with color I realized that I want more art in my life. More expressions of my creativity in color and shapes and texture. This is art for me. Art for my pleasure. Art for my joy.

Just as exercise is a way to release stress from our minds and bodies so is coloring. As we mindfully focus on the act of coloring, choosing the colors we want to use and appreciating our picture, we let go of the thousand voices in our heads insisting we be somewhere other than right here, right now. We access that frame of mind that as children was second nature to us – being fully present.

If you’d like to experience the joy and relaxation of coloring you can check out Blue Star Coloring and pick a book that speaks to you. Or check out the large selection of coloring books at Amazon.

If you want to add in the pens (I highly recommend it. There is nothing like having a large selection of colors) this is the set I’m using: Lolliz 48 piece gel pen set. Amazon has other coloring instruments as well.

From my child to yours: “Come out and play.”

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