the Mindfullness of Colouring In

One aspect of what I do is create art and over the last year I have fallen more and more in love with colour pencil work. It all began when, having finished a diploma in watercolour, looking for something else to challenge me I stumbled across a colour pencil course. I already had a large set of watercolour pencils and thought it would be a way to make use of these. How wrong I was. I ended up purchasing two full sets of artists coloured pencils to use instead.

At first I found working with coloured pencils frustratingly slow and tedious, the need to build up colour through laying down several layers, the mixing of colours through the use of many different colour pencils and the time it took to complete anything were all so different to anything I had done before.

Slowly but surely though I realised that while working with the coloured pencils I was practicing mindfulness. The only way I could be was totally in the moment and by being that way the whole process of creating art became one of calmness and relaxation, a mental time our as it were. So now instead of the frustration I felt at first I find myself taking every possible opportunity to sit down with my colours and experience the deep relaxation and focus that comes with them.

Last week I was in a book shop looking at the Adult Colouring Books and this being Ireland soon found myself in conversation with someone about how she found these relaxing. She told me that when she sat down with her colouring book and pencils everything else fell away and there was only the colouring. ‘Besides’ she told me ‘I can’t draw at all but here I end up with something beautiful’.

There are many of such colouring books on sale now and even a monthly magazine but I have also discovered free printable sheets available online. As I work with many clients who are stressed or anxious as well as those who are trying to practice mindfulness I am now wondering about suggesting colouring in and adult colouring books as an aid.

There is also an awful lot to be said for all of us having something that we can just pick it up and immediate find ourselves completely in the moment. So here’s to the mindfulness of colouring in 🙂


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