Coloring, at least

Around this time of year, I usually take a break of a week or so and do nothing but art. I call it the “Art Sprawl.”

This immersion usually produces some nice drawings, progress on art projects and ideas for paintings. It’s also a time to focus on a particular technique.

But I can’t do it this year, that’s for sure. My brain rejects any suggestions of drawing, and painting or playing in other mediums is just out of the question.

The one thing I can do, I found today, is color.

A dear old friend, Cindy, sent me adult coloring books. ¬†One of them is mandalas, very intricate ones, and the other is like a children’s book, richly illustrated with line drawings for coloring.

These books scared me a little, because they were so detailed. They’re for adults, after all, so they aren’t big simple forms.

But I tried a mandala today. Even though I could only do a little bit, I think it’s a good idea.

I don’t trust my brain to freehand anything. Or maybe my brain doesn’t trust me.

With coloring books, I don’t feel like it’s such an emotional investment. It’s more like a collaboration, between myself and the artist who drew the mandala.

Just moving my hand in a productive way, without having to think too much, is therapeutic.