Friday, 3 April 2015

I have Carole Blake to

thank for the fact that I have just ordered a book called "How to sharpen pencils"  by a chap called David Rees. It looks to be the perfect present for my nephew for his birthday. It may even be a good book for my brother - who shares the same sort of wacky sense of humour.
I have also bought multiple copies of a colouring book in the past year - although not for either of them. I bought Johanna Basford's "Secret Garden - an inky treasure hunt" for ill and distressed friends and for the Youngest Cat who happens to like playing with pencils.
When I told the Senior Cat I was going to buy a colouring in book for someone in hospital he looked appalled.
"You can't give her a colouring in book. Those are for children."
"Have a look at it," I told him. 
He looked and agreed it might be just the thing after all. I added pencils and a sharpener. It all cost less than a bunch of flowers that would only have lasted a week.
And yes, she loved it.
I have since repeated the exercise for a couple of other people who needed it because there is, for some humans, something soothing about the process of colouring in. It is not quite like doodling but it  still has some of that same therapeutic capacity. There may even be less stress involved as you don't need to create the design. The most stressful part would appear to be choosing which colour to put in which place. 
I have just had an e-mail telling me about the dates for a craft fair. I'll be helping a friend there but the organisers have mentioned that they are putting up a wall of  Johanna Basford's Secret Garden drawings and they want people to fill them in to make an art work. It is apparently being done with the blessing of the artist and it will be interesting to see if she comments after the event. (She has already done so prior to it.) 
It will also be interesting to see whether people do actually colour some of it in. I am sure some of them will even while others ignore it. I also wonder how they will colour it in. Will they pencil it, ink it, paint it, crayon it or paste something on? What colours will they choose? Will they cooperate with others and put in something they believe makes the coloured design more coherent? Will they think, "That's a mess!" or "That's amazing!" Will they love it or hate it or  think it is ridiculous. 
I don't know of course but perhaps it is an idea that they could take up in medical surgeries and other secure places where people wait. Give someone some coloured pencils and the picture on the wall to fill in while they wait.  If it is soothing it might bring their blood pressure down. 
And, if they don't want to do that then perhaps they would care to sharpen the pencils - always after they have read the book of course.


Jan said...

My son bought a book of adult colouring in pictures from the Book Depository. Lots of complicated patterns. Some good quality pencils. The activity has helped him through some times of upheaval in his life. A marriage breakup and very shortly after that, the diagnosis of his then nine year old daughter with acute leukaemia.

He said that working on a page allows his mind to process what is going on without his actual thinking abut it.

Carole Blake said...

Honoured to have suggested a purchase to you: hope you and the recipient enjoy the book as much as I do. And Inagree with the other commentator about the therapeutic value of a colouring book for adults. I find ironing has the same calming effect too: restoring order while providing time to think.

jeanfromcornwall said...

I've got that book squirreled away for one of those days when I need some soothing. I found it very disappointing when the children had colouring books that the pictures were very childish, so I didn't really want to pinch one for myself.

catdownunder said...

I am wondering Jan whether there are not more "secret" colouring in adults out there who find it soothing? Good for him!
Carole if you find ironing soothing you can do mine any time! I hate ironing the Senior Cat's work trousers.
Jean I saw some children's colouring in books in the newsagent before Christmas and I am sure the pictures in them have not changed since I was kid. I suppose we liked them then but they seem very dull now!

Anonymous said...

I love the title ... and suspect I would love the book too.