Adult coloring books and the creativity myth

“I love coloring! The other day, when my niece was over, I started coloring along with her in her coloring book, and I really enjoyed it. I think I’m going to order some adult coloring books soon,” declared a friend recently.

“Adult coloring book? Really?” I asked, somewhat aghast. “Why don’t you try painting instead? Keep it abstract if you like. I can teach you the basics and you’re good to go!”

“No darling, I’m not good at all that.”

There is so much more to creativity than adult coloring books. Explore art journaling with me.

And this, right here, is why I believe adult coloring books have become such a huge fad.

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On my art table: Handmade Journal

 

Before I started art journaling, I was an avid journaler. In fact, I still am. There’s something about writing, about paying attention to each day, that draws me back to the journal.

The journal is a sacred place for me, which is why I’ve always been drawn to beautiful notebooks. But there’s something really special about handmade journals, don’t you think?

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On my art table: A flock of birds

Intuitive-painting-Flock-of-birds

Every evening when I return home from work, I’m greeted by the chirping of birds as they congregate in the tree outside my window. While the husband calls it a cacophony, I think of it as a council. What must they be discussing, I wonder?

The state of the weather? The shrinking green cover? The paucity of food? Or maybe they’re discussing the changing weather patterns, or the latest thermal waves they rode. Perhaps they’re trading the gossip of the day, or having a friendly spat?

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On my art table: Open to interpretation

figurative-landscape-waiting

 

Waiting. Yearning. Dreaming. Hoping.

A figure in space.

A figurative landscape.

Yellows, blues, a tinge of brown.

Hope, calm, despair and sorrow.

Looking ahead.

Turning back.

Dreams broken.

Hope springs anew.

That’s what it does – abstraction.

One image – multiple viewpoints.

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On my art table: Fearless

Fearless painting

This is one of my favorite pieces of art from this year. In fact, when I finished it, I knew I wanted to do something similar on canvas, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hope to, though, before 2016 is over!

Working on this piece – and art in general – taught me about moving into fear – a lesson on fear and bravery that I had shared earlier this year.

…life is fluid, constantly moving and shaping and stretching and contracting – nothing lasts forever.

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On my art table: Wisdom

art-journal-layout-wisdom-baloon

“Turn your wounds into wisdom” – Oprah Winfrey

Wisdom, they say, comes from living. All of our experiences, good and bad, teach us various lessons. By mining the lessons from our experiences, we claim them, own them, and make them a part of us. This treasure trove of life lessons can sustain us through the darkest times.

I created this spread with ample room to add in the most important life lessons I’ve learnt so far in my life (not all of them are pictured here). And at the end of the year, I plan to add in all the lessons that 2016 teaches me.

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On my art table {plus a how to}: Create

Art_journal_Create

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that my word for the year is Create.

This is the very first art journal spread I created this year, to remind me of my word whenever I open my journal.

And since the word is create, it’s only fair that I tell you how you can create a similar piece, isn’t it?

It’s quite straightforward, and a lot of fun!

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On my art table: Figurative landscape

Figurative_landscape_contemplate

I’m guessing by now you’ve realized that I love painting girls. While most of my girls are whimsical, I’ve been wanting to experiment a bit more with form and abstraction. This is one of my first few attempts.

I’ve deliberately left some of her features undefined, but she’s not yet as abstract as I would like.

It feels like a risk to make her disappear some more…

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On my art table: Animal guides

art-journal-animal-guide

Yesterday I told you about my struggle to draw a mandala. Today, I want to show you my first ever unicorn and phoenix drawings. Unlike the mandala, which made me cry buckets of tears, these were fairly straightforward. I got them right on my first practice run, and then I just took a deep breath and drew them out on the page.

Sure, the unicorn could use some more work – his mane looks like it’s stuck on to his body! – but for a first try, I’m pretty happy with him! And I’m totally in love with this phoenix! In fact, I recently reimagined her in another piece – you can take a look see on my instagram feed, and while you’re at it, do follow me there too!

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