It’s been beautiful weather here in Essex for the past few days, making me feel relaxed and lazy. The thought of starting up on some big projects just doesn’t appeal to me this week. So instead I’m going to have a go at one of the latest crazes in art and relaxation – mindfulness, via colouring in for adults.
There are a lot of free and inexpensive resources out there to get you started on your mindfulness adventure – I’ve been putting a few of them onto Pinterest so I can come back to them at a later date. But it’s also possible to create your own designs for colouring in and often the process of making the drawings is as important as the colouring that comes afterwards.
Draw a set of random shapes overlapping and intersecting, add colour
Draw an outline of an object and then fill with as many small lines as you can, add colour
Fill a page with zentangle doodles, then outline an object shape over the top, add colour
Use stencils to draw outlines and then add block colours
Try out free online sources for adult colouring in
Those who practice colouring in and creating drawings like zentangles explain that there are key differences between doing these mindfully and just doodling. You might doodle on the phone to someone or absent mindedly when thinking about something else, but in order to get the benefits of mindfulness, you must treat this time as meditation – really focus on what you are doing, look at each line, pay attention to which colour you select. After twenty minutes of this kind of drawing or colouring you should feel yourself relaxing and by the time you pack up your pencils hopefully you will be in a zen-like state!
Today I’m not going to have a printmaking session as I think that getting all my paints and inks out might ruin my new-found calm. Mixing inks for printmaking takes time and patience as you are looking to obtain not just the perfect printing consistency, but also the perfect shade. What I will take away from this challenge however, is the enjoyment of colours: Next time I find myself mixing up some inks for my latest screenprinting project, I’m going to really enjoy the process of mixing the colours and try and use it as a mindful activity.