Thursday, November 20, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get ... Coloring

I was one of those kids who could sit for hours with a coloring book and crayons and just color away quite contentedly. (I have fond memories of the Nadine the Ballerina book my grandmother kept at her house just for me. I colored an awful lot of pink tutus.)
A while ago, having one of those wide-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night episodes, I turned on my Ipod and listened to an episode of Craftsanity, a podcast where host Jennifer Ackerman Haywood interviews various people in the crafty world. The episode that night (I chose blindly in the dark) was an interview with Dawn DeVries Sokol about her book 1,000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations (1000 Series) and her art journaling habit. I wasn't very far into the podcast when I decided I had to hunt down the book, and the next day I found it at my local book store. It's a collection of 1000 art journal pages by different people, showing a huge range of subjects and and media and journaling styles.
That got me thinking of how I miss that simple coloring from childhood, and how while I'm not the best in the drawing department, I do have a good time just doodling. The artful ordinariness of the pages in the 1000 Pages book inspired and encouraged me, too. I realized that it wasn't the artistic merit of the drawings that attracted me -- it was the individuality and personality in the pages that I enjoyed. So I put a little bag together with a journal, watercolor pencils, a paintbrush, and some markers. And I've been sitting at odd moments (in the evening in front of the tv, etc) just doodling and coloring. I'm not aiming for art ... I'm not even aiming for any content that will artistically mark my day. I'm just letting myself doodle and color.
And it has been the BEST thing. Very relaxing, I tell you. One day last weekend, I was out running errands and stopped to just sit in the sunshine on the square at the center of town and just do a quick sketch for a moment of peace. It was just what I needed.
Today, I had to spend some time hanging around Caroline's school, and I occupied myself by trying quick sketches of kids around the school. (You'll notice I'm not showing them here -- people are my worst, worst things) And even tho they weren't great artistically speaking, I had a great time.
So, here's my therapy thought for the day: Go Color Something. You'll feel better.


  1. Great minds.... I to have just recently become interetsed in visual journalling and have taken to carrying watercolour pencials and paints in my handbag en route to court. Haven't actually used them yet but....! YOu will like the Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehl. It is a sequal to the Decorated Page which I don't havebut hope Santa will bring. You know what my block is with this? I have a beautiful quilting journal which I use to stick things in and record shopping and work out meausrements etc but its pages are not suitable for wet media. Then I have another one with beautiful crea, lined pages is my write with a fountatin pen word journal. Again not suitable for wet media or even drawing. Then there is my bought especially for wet media sketchbook that I have been using for design ideas and recording from museums. I am not sure I want to make that a journal in thsi sense. So,w hat I carry around yet another notebook??? Or learn not to be so compartmentalised? I guess this weekend I coudl maybe shop for another journal and try it on for size...!

  2. ooops sorry about spelling in that last comment!

  3. Diane,
    I just love your drawings. Please do keep sharing them!!!!