While paging through my Wreck This Journal, I came across the “Test Page” where there are instructions to use the space to test out crayons, paints, and other art supplies. The test page reminded me of something I always did in my coloring books as a kid and now as an adult. As a five-year-old and a 34- year-old, I’ve always created color swatches on the inside cover before coloring anything on an actual page.
Yes, I still color. Even though it’s an activity mostly reserved for children, I find immense joy in the practice of filling blank spaces with color whether it be Garfield or an intricate Medieval tapestry. I love how the image changes when color is added, the smell of crayons and colored pencils, the swishing sound of a crayon going back and forth, and the feeling of accomplishment when the page is completed. The process is very relaxing and cathartic when real life threatens to turn everything black and white.
My drawer is filled with at least twenty coloring books. Some are brand new while others have been with me since I was a little girl. The oldest one I have is a Bullwinkle and Rocky coloring book I’ve had since I was about eight years old. My juvenile scribbles scrawl across half of it, right beside the pages I colored just last week. Yup, I still color Bullwinkle and all his friends! The inner child in me rejoices, (and she really giggled when I bought a new Smurfs coloring book a few months ago).
When I’m looking for a challenge, I delve into my collection of Dover coloring books which contain highly artistic plates ranging from intricate tile patterns, butterflies, Egyptian art, and complicated geometric designs. My muse is always challenged to come up with interesting color palettes to fill in all the blank spaces.
I stock a wide variety of coloring supplies and I’m always a sucker for something new. I have everything from crayons (regular, glitter, metallic, variegated,), colored pencils, markers (fat, skinny, classic, bold, and bright), Twistables, glitter glue, and metallic gel pens. Every time I sit down to color, I make a huge mess and lay out all my coloring utensils. The possibilities are endless and I love the sense freedom that comes from all those colors.
Once I’ve chosen what coloring book to play in and what image to color, I set about finding the color combinations. That means making color swatches on a piece of scratch paper or on the inside cover. After a while, the swatches make for an interesting piece of art in and of themselves.
With all the colors chosen, I let myself get lost in the moment. If the image is particularly complicated, two hours (or more) will easily fly by without my knowledge. I’m totally absorbed and the outside world just disappears. All that matters is color. No one is ever too old to bask in shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Go ahead and grab some crayons. You know you want to.
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