• Kathy

It Can Be Hard to Color During Stressful Times

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

When the announcement came that we had to stay home for the foreseeable future I had grand thoughts of all the coloring I would get done. It was exciting to just think I could color guilt free. After all, since I can't really go anywhere I may as well do something I truly enjoy doing.

And is there an activity that I enjoy more than coloring? Silly question! So, why have I not picked up a project and started? The longer I wait, the more I feel like this duck. Pretty good looking on the surface, but below the water line I'm paddling like heck. Yep, I'm more nervous than I want to admit even to myself. I know this because I'm finding it hard to sit still to color. Instead of calming me, my mind wonders into areas I don't want to explore. Areas where there are no answers.

So I've made a promise to myself. I can either start cleaning out drawers and rearranging closets or I can reach out to a community of coloring friends and get coloring. I am writing to you now, so I guess those closets and drawers will just have to wait for another day!

If you are having a hard time concentrating on your coloring too, then consider doing the same thing. If you have a coloring practice partner, reach out and see how they are doing. Start a new practice partner challenge. If you are a member of a coloring community but you watch from the sidelines, post a note in a forum. Start a conversation about the latest project you are working on or the latest new supply find. If you don't have a practice partner, maybe it's time to consider getting one (if you do I know you'll thank me later for that suggestion). If none of that is not for you, why don't you just come color with us in the Practice Corner. Be inspired and inspire others all at the same time. I do know first hand we can laugh and color at the same time - and laughter can be such a great stress reliever too.

This is no April fools joke, April 1, the Practice Corner shifted gears. We are now studying our markers and colored pencils. Really getting to know them. Those of you that have taken just one Vanilla Arts class with Amy Shulke (www.vanillaarts.com) know that she imparts a lot of "art" information on her students. But if you are like me, you hear her words, but you keep coloring and don't stop to really absorb what they mean. As an example, I took her Chocolate Box class where I heard her talk a lot about deeper darker colors. I knew the reason was so that I could color wonderful chocolates in a traditional dark brown plastic tray. Oh geez, I did it again, I never thought about what I was doing long enough to realize that I could do the same thing with most my colors, not just brown. I now understand what she means

when she recommends we stick with one brand

of marker or pencils for a year, until we get to

know it.

And that is what makes the time you spend in the Practice Corner so valuable.

By focusing on a specific technique or tool for an entire month it forces us to think about what we are doing and we gain an understanding of the process or how something really works. We no longer have to "follow the leader" when we understand what and how to do something. We celebrate those "lightbulb" moments when we truly learn what we were being taught in all those coloring classes. And when I really concentrate hard on what I'm doing, the rest of the world can melt away for just a little while, making it much easier for me to color in stressful times.

If you don't have time to practice, but you love to color and you think this little guy is too cute to pass up, just head over to the Vanilla Arts Stamp Shop to get your own Rubber Duck! If you are up for a real coloring challenge, you must check out this amazing (Daisy) duckling.

You can see more of my coloring projects and follow me on Instagram.

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