The shelves at the book store are full of them - in pocket size, in hard copy, with gold inserts and purple ribbons. The designs are intricate and impeccably tasteful.
Adult coloring books are everywhere.
Mainly because coloring is such a meditative, relaxing activity.
I mean, I'm guessing here. I haven't actually painted between the lines since elementary school.
Though admittedly, I too briefly fell under the spell of these artful compositions.
I got a stack of color-me-in postcards because I thought they'd serve a double purpose, but quickly found that I prefer to send them untouched, that way giving the recipient the chance to go I'm-an-adult-but-I-can-be-artsy-too all over my love notes.
I was momentarily transported back to my own childhood when this is what my parents would have us do when we got bored or needed a time out.
This was obviously before the Supernanny introduced the "naughty chair". Back in my days, we had to GO TO OUR ROOM, or color.
Just as a side note, "back in my days" means, like, yesterday.
Anyways, in school it was pretty much the same thing. Teachers used coloring not only as an educational, but also an occupational tool. Something to keep the kids busy, concentrated, and out of their damn hair.
So I understand the need for something to keep you well-balanced.
Because let's face it, adults too are moody, scatterbrained and temperamental. And they too want a time out at times. So if no-one's gonna give them the naughty chair, a coloring book it is!
But coloring is already taking the next step; the newest up-and-coming trend are nature mandalas. Which is essentially the same thing, but coloring with natural object such as leaves, flowers, grasses, pine cones, cacti... whatever you can find in your backyard or the nearest park really.
Now that I find cool. Being outdoors, exploring nature, coming up with your own designs...
Basically, I am a designer now!
I think I would have quite enjoyed that in school. Though short-lived, there is something incredibly beautiful in the simplicity and ephemerality of these natural works of art.
Loosely translated from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit, "mandala" means "circle". The circular patterns mimic Buddhist and Hindu mandalas and represent wholeness, community and infinity. We come across these shapes daily, in the sun, moon and earth for example, as well as conceptually when speaking of circles of friends and family, often associating them with a sacred space or community.
Start by laying out a center. Keep adding elements by going round in circles in one direction, moving outwards. Don't forget to have fun with it, adding unusual and colorful objects for the best results.
To create a more permanent mandala, press objects in old books, and, once dried, glue them onto a blank canvas to hang or frame. Mini mandalas can be glued into note books. Leaves and flower petals work particularly well.