Want to Color?

madalaRemember when you were a kid and loved to color pictures of animals, trees, flowers or favorite story characters? Kids spent many happy hours coloring between the lines. It was fun to decide which color to use or to color something a different color instead of what it was “supposed” to be.

Later the art critics decided that coloring pictures someone else drew was not creative and that kids should be able to color outside the lines, or even better, draw their own pictures. That pretty much took the pleasure out of coloring books, and so we moved on and creatively colored the wallpaper in our bedrooms instead.

Coloring has now become the new rage. And it isn’t just for children who scribble on walls anymore. That’s right; we now have “coloring books for adults.” The designs are not the simple ones we remember from childhood; they are incredibly elaborate renderings of geometric kaleidoscopes, floral patterns, mandalas, stained glass and ornate designs that defy imagination. Once adults become involved, simple things always become complicated.

Can you believe coloring books are among the top ten best sellers on Amazon, which shows how much trouble books are in. Favorite coloring books, such as “Secret Garden” and “Color me Calm” encourage a break from other activity. Adults love the quiet relaxation provided by coloring. The activity seems to require just enough concentration to relieve stress, but not so much that it becomes a burden to do, unless, of course, you have misplaced your eyeglasses.

I was introduced to the new concept of adult coloring books by my sister. “Do you want to color?” she asked. “I think not; I’ll just watch.” “Is she crazy?” I wondered. But it did look like fun, so what the heck, I might as well try it. I selected a design and some markers and went to work. To my surprise, it was mesmerizing. Some of the patterns were symmetrical and you had to be careful to keep the colors balanced and be sure to use a pen that still had enough ink.

It becomes addictive. Once you start coloring a design, you are compelled to finish. You can’t quit a design before the picture is complete. Some designs are relatively easy while others have very small design elements and are difficult to color without messing up. We colored for days on end. I posted some of mine on Instagram for bragging rights.

Once finished the pages are not really good for much, but they do not require a lot of space, a wall to hang them, or a place on the coffee table. The purpose is more the process rather than the competed project, sort of like working a crossword puzzle. It is the task of coloring that provides the pleasure and it gives us something to do while ignoring housework.

So, I decided to get some books of my own and was surprised to find dozens of them online – dozens and dozens. I ordered some books. I couldn’t wait for the books to arrive, however, and decided to look for some books at Walmart. I tried the craft section and found nothing. I struck out in toys also. Finally, I gave up until I stumbled across the books in the sewing section, of all places.

The naysayers still say you are not creating because it is someone else’s design and it isn’t really art. I say “Phooey!” It’s a great time killer and an alternative to staring at the computer screen.  They don’t call them coloring books for adults for nothing, and that pattern with the butterflies is calling my name.

Want to color?

©2015 – 2016

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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10 Responses to Want to Color?

  1. George says:

    You know I was just telling my wifevthenothervday I want to pick up one of those books. I think I’d find it very relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With my cartoons I still get to color all the time. I remember vividly the times father would sit and color with me when I was 3 and 4 years old. Now that was quite an expression of love by a man who did back breaking work all day. He’s 92, still with me and taking an afternoon nap at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BunKaryudo says:

    Interesting. I’m not sure how I would feel about coloring a picture. I remember doing it at elementary school and being jealous of another boy in the class because he could always seem to do it without going over the lines. I’ll bet I could stay within the lines nowadays. 🙂


  4. My husband, an artsy fartsy kind of guy, thinks it’s silly that I bought a coloring book. But it was of cats! How could I not?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. energywriter says:

    Beautiful mandala. Keep up the good work at coloring and relaxing. sd

    Liked by 1 person

  6. melvroni says:

    I think I’ll put away the computer now and dig up my colouring things…thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

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