Over the years raising my four children, I've looked for every opportunity to make art with them. The benefits are manifold, including:
1. We spend time together doing something creative.
2. Generally, art making is a quiet, relaxing activity.
3. Making art side-by-side with my kids allows me to keep an eye on them when I have projects to finish (especially useful when they are too ill to go to school but still need to be entertained).
4. It gives me an excuse to get messy and play like a kid.
|A page from Jamie Fingal's Whimsical Inspirations Coloring Book.|
As my children have gotten older, activities like homework, school sports, and even college have left us with fewer art-making opportunities. Not to mention that the kids' tastes in arts and crafts has changed.
But I think I may have found a throwback activity to unite us again: coloring.
In case you missed it, coloring books for adults are all the rage. The books are based on scenes from favorite books (such as The Secret Garden), favorite illustrators (Mary Engelbreit has one, of course), botanicals, animals, and just about anything else you can think of.
Unlike most coloring books made for children, the adult variety usually feature intricate drawings best brought to life with colored pencils or fine-tip markers than crayons.
Why have coloring books for adults become popular? Many people point to the fact that coloring is creative yet somewhat mindless; there's a meditative quality about filling in a drawing with color little by little. Coloring is relaxing, it's fun, you can do it with others or alone, and it makes you feel like a kid again!
I think the next time all the kids are home I'm going to round up a bunch of these sophisticated coloring books, put jars of colored pencils and markers on the table, and have family coloring time.
When I do, one of the books I'll keep for myself is Jamie Fingal's Whimsical Inspirations. Jamie's teacup houses, fanciful flowers, and doodled flourishes always make me smile. I could happily spend a few hours coloring in her world.
Right now, you can get Jamie's coloring book, a set of Inktense pencils, and an issue of Quilting Arts with an Inktense pencil tutorial in it, all together in one collection: Sketch, Quilt, and Color with Jamie Fingal.
And if you need someone to color with, call your kids!