Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


There are many ways in which art can be used for coping.  One of those ways is to relax and occupy your mind with something soothing and familiar.  Often when we don't feel well we want to go back to a simpler time in our lives, and be taken care of.  I remember when I was young and had a sore throat, my mom would bring me hot tea and soup, she tucked me in by the TV, and brought me my coloring books to keep me busy.

We usually think of coloring as something just for children, but it really isn't.  I work on 2 adult inpatient hospital psychiatric units.  We have groups and classes going on most of the day for the patients on various topics to help them get better. We also provide them with word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and coloring pages for times when there are no groups.  The coloring pages are the most popular.  I have asked patients why they like them. They are not demanding, they are soothing, familiar, a way to keep busy.  My favorite answer is this:  when coloring a picture, you get to decide the colors, how detailed to make it, how much to do and when to stop. Sometimes in life it feels like that is the only thing you have any control over.

If you have a chronic illness or chronic pain, you can relate to the feeling of things being out of your control. Sitting and coloring won't solve your problems, but it can give you an area you can control, and it can take your mind off your issues for awhile. If you have children or grandchildren, coloring is something you can do together. You can create your own art on blank paper.  My favorite is using colored pencils or pastels on black paper.  You can draw a random scribble, then fill in each section with a different color or pattern.  Or you can buy a coloring book or poster to color.  They come in a huge array of topics and levels of complexity.

Velvet Poster 16 Inch X20 Inch -ButterflyThe 2 kinds of coloring pages people seem to like the best are velvet posters (top picture), and stained glass patterns (bottom picture).  Both tend to have alot of detail to color, and black background that contrasts nicely with bright colors.  I have found a nice selection of them on Amazon.com.  I have selected some that I liked the best, and put them in 'SHERYL'S STORE'.   Click on either of the links above to go to Amazon's website if you would like to pick out your own coloring pages, or aything else you might need.
Easy Kaleidoscope Stained Glass Coloring Book (Dover Little Activity Books)I like colored pencils best, becuase of the level of detail possible, and the wide range of colors. Other good options for coloring are markers, which are bright and cheery, or crayons, which bring nostalgic thoughts to my mind when I use them.  It is up to you.  You can try various combinations of what to color on, and what to color with, and find what you like best. Keep an open mind.  Coloring is fun, relaxing, and a chance to be creative without having to think too much.


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