My adventure with an adult coloring book

So you may have heard about adult coloring books.  These books contain incredibly detailed drawings that adults or kids over 10 color in most commonly with coloring pencils, though certainly you could try your luck with crayons or other means. I recently had signed up for the  Blogging for Books program, and “The Time Garden” by Daria Song popped up as a possibility for review, so I happily signed up to receive it in exchange for a review.  I figured since adult coloring books were touted for their meditative quality that maybe it’s something my patients and clients could benefit from, and maybe me too!

So there I was, with my new $1 box of colored pencils (yeah, I went all out for this…) that I’d picked up from Target, and this gorgeous book full of amazing drawings.  I was ready!  Let’s get my coloring on!  I chose one of the first pages that had a drawing of a clock and an owl and some stars and other details.  I decided not to get too caught up on what colors I thought things should be, or what they might look like in reality and just go for it (hey, that’s kind of a big deal for someone as left-brained as me).

I colored, and colored, and colored.  I think an hour went by and I was amazed at how little of this drawing I had actually colored in that time.  The detailing in the pictures was so ornate that it took a really long time to color.  I think I hung in there for another hour, after which point, I’d maybe colored 1/4 of everything to color on that page.

Yeah, seriously, this took about 2 hrs.

Yeah, seriously, this took about 2 hrs.

I’d like to tell you that I hung in there, and had a magical transcending time and space kind of experience while coloring, but I didn’t on either account.  I actually found myself kind of frustrated that I’d spent a couple hours coloring instead of doing something else that I needed to do or found more useful.  I want to say that maybe my lesson was learning to delight in the little things or in doing something that resulted in beautiful art…but it wasn’t.  All I learned is that I’m not into adult coloring books.

Here’s the thing.  When I meditate, it’s all about connecting to God and being taken on a journey to be shown something, or having questions I ask be answered in some way, or things along those lines.  I don’t consider being present to be the same thing as meditating, and I think that is where this diverges for me.  Adult coloring books help you be PRESENT, but they don’t exactly help you meditate.  It’s like yoga works for me…I am very present to the yoga when I practice it.  I was present to the coloring when I was coloring…however, unlike yoga, where I feel like I’ve moved my energy by doing something physical/emotional/spiritual, with coloring, I didn’t feel anything amazing.

I did enjoy the tiny details; it reminded me of a class in acupuncture school where we were tasked with examining the tiny details of items in nature, like leaves or grass.  If you really look at a leaf, you see every tiny little vein.  It’s beautiful.  The pictures in this book are like that leaf- incredibly beautiful and delicate.  I loved looking at the drawings and imagined how they’d make lovely framed pictures if they were colored (or without even).  So this book is amazingly gorgeous; there’s no arguing that.  The artist has undeniable talent.

So if you’re looking to get out of your own head and get present, adult coloring books could be for you.  If you’re looking for an adult coloring book, I highly recommend this one.  It’s a nice mix of fantasy and left-brained clock oriented drawings.  It’s a neat story (there are some words in it), and incredibly beautiful.  As for me, I think I’ll stick to helping my daughter color “My Little Pony” and “Mickey Mouse” coloring books with crayons.  Those are more my speed. 🙂

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