A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Therapeutic Value Of Coloring In Adult Coloring Books

A page I colored from Creative Haven Art Nouveau Animal Designs Coloring Book.

The Prismacolor pencils I used.

I recently started coloring in adult coloring books as a form of both concentration, meditation and relaxation.  There are quite a few coloring books for adults to choose from on Amazon.com, but you
need to choose wisely.  Some are the standard page size and some are small; some have printed designs on both sides of one page which is not good if you use markers and they bleed through; many have perforated pages so that you can remove them from the book after you use them; some are on thicker paper (recommended) and others on thinner paper.  You need also to decide what medium to use.  I chose Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils because the pencils can be sharpened to a fine point to color in small detailed areas and they don't bleed through the paper like markers.  I have not tested out different markers yet, but, of course, with markers the colors are more vibrant and that can be desirable sometimes depending on the design.  

As an amateur artist I find that when I make my own designs and color them it takes more planning and effort, which is great, too, but sometimes I like working with other people's designs precisely because it takes the pressure off of me and I get to focus on the color and different color combinations.  So I am recommending that anyone out there who wants a creative way to relax and express themselves try this option.  Some people might think that coloring in a coloring book is just reserved for kids, but I'm here to say that not true.  Check out the comments section on Amazon.com about whatever coloring book you've chosen to consider and see how much some people get into doing this form of creative outlet.  For me, it's a good way to learn more about color and to try out different mediums: colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor and markers.  It's also a good thing to do if you have children, a time to learn and bond together.  

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