Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Are you wearing your green?

Today I'm going to talk about adult coloring. It's all the thing now - about half of the big sellers on Amazon are coloring books.

This is good because it means folks are unhooking from their little electronic devices and putting a little beauty in the world, even if it is a picture of a wizard or a lizard.

I have always thought I could not draw or paint, and it never occurred to me to color. But I am coloring too. I find it very meditative. It takes me a long time to finish a picture because I do it in little bits, but it is a nice break from the day's normal pace.

Here are some things to think about if you decide to join in the coloring craze:

1. What do you want to color? I have four coloring books right now, and have discovered that I like the Dover brand of books the best. Some of the books for adults look more like exquisite pen and ink drawings that are complete in and of themselves. I find I don't want to mess those up.

Colored pencil.

2. What do you want to color with? I have been using colored pencils, mostly. I finished one picture using Bic markers - but they bled through terribly. A friend loaned me some Pentel markers which also bleed through (though not as bad as the Bic). If you want to use markers, be aware that the picture on the backside, if there is one, may be ruined.

3. I bought a box of 64 Crayola crayons, but I have yet to use them. I have not used actual crayons since I was a child, so I am looking forward to this.

Here are some reasons to color:

This is my favorite so far,I think. A mix of
colored pencil and markers.

4. Coloring allows you to be present. Being present means you're not worrying about the future or what happened yesterday; you're focusing on what you are doing at the moment. Practicing presence (some call it mindfulness) is way to reset your brain. It can be meditative.

5. For people who want to practice meditation but find they can't simply sit, coloring offers a way out of the craze of the day without being passive. Since you're doing something, and will have something to show off afterwards, that makes it more "ok" than sitting and going "ommm."

6. Coloring help you to focus because you're doing something that takes a little skill, but it also isn't stressful. I find it helps me be more creative in the other ways, too.

All Bic markers.

7. Working with colors, trying to find the right one for the picture and hoping you're creating something pleasing, makes you think differently. You're activating parts of your brain you may not use often.

8. Are you anxious? Coloring can help. See the part about mindfulness/being present.

9. Using coloring tools can bring out your inner little kid. Remember those days of coloring in school, or sitting with your grandmother while she watched? Go back to those simpler times, before you grew up and had to take on adult stuff.  Coloring allows you to rejoice in just being you.

10. Think you're creative, but not an artist? Coloring helps folks who write or bake interesting pies or whatever you do to express your creativity.

11. Coloring is easy, and you don't require anything but a book and crayons. You don't need a big desk, a computer, or anything else. You don't need a class to learn how to do it. You just need to sit at the kitchen table and go for it. (It's also inexpensive: there are coloring books available for about $3, and you can buy a box of 64 crayons for about the same amount.)

Colored pencil.

12.  You can color outside the lines. Sometimes when I am nervous or haven't settled in and calmed down with coloring, I am a little shaky. If I try to color in a small area, I might mess up. But you know what? That's ok. Even if I'm using a marker.

13. Coloring is an act of self-love. We all need to make time for ourselves and devote our energy to the things that make us happy. So what if your father thinks coloring is idiotic? Forget what everyone says and do something that makes you happy. Maybe coloring isn't for you - but maybe sewing, knitting, crotchet, or some other creative endeavor, is. Maybe you can draw like Picasso but never do it. Go do it! Life's short. Forget the money and enjoy the parts that are priceless.

You can read more about coloring at


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 439th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I tried to 13 thing but found I could never come up with 13 things. Need to stretch that mind of mine... maybe coloring might do that. Have a happy St. Patty's Day.

  2. The bleeding through of the markers is due to inferior paper. There are a few adult coloring book artists that have their books printed on better paper that won't bleed through. I own a couple of them, but the pictures are quite intricate so I tend to lose interest in the ones I have. Also, I feel anxious when I color with pencils, but have not yet tried markers... perhaps that is the key. Also when I do needlework of any kind. It tenses my shoulders and hands a lot, but I have read that for many people it is relaxing. I am glad that you are enjoying this new craze. xo

  3. Do you hang them up? I have no wall space left. I have seen this pastime come and go and I used to do it but now find I don't have the patience, which I know means I probably need it! I got one for Joe and we have yet to find the pencils or pen, not to light or dark.

  4. I've done the coloring thing off and on all my life. In my 20's I started ordering mandala coloring books. That's a precursor to what they do now. My dd now and then thinks about putting out some of her art work as a coloring book.

    1. I posted on coloring again as well, "birds of a feather" :)

  5. I think these are great and gave many of them for Christmas presents this year.


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