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The women, gathered at the Vance Township Library in Fairmount, are part of the latest trend coloring time for adults. The activity engages the entire brain, using both the creative and tactical sides.
With the brain focused completely on one task, day to day worries take a backseat for a while. Some say it’s meditative, and they get into the zone of creativity.
Others say it’s addicting, and they’ll sit at the table until their artwork is finished.
Recognizing that coloring has become the new fad for adults, some libraries in the area are offering special adults only coloring times. No special skills are needed; the libraries provide pictures to color, as well as the tools, such as colored pencils, crayons and markers. People also may bring their own tools and pictures.
Adult coloring books can be found in stores and online, featuring a variety of subjects. While children’s coloring books have simple shapes, the adult books usually offer intricate, sometimes psychedelic designs giving adults a challenge and a chance to express their creativity.
“It can be addicting if you get the right picture and it almost talks to you,” said Annie Winans, assistant librarian at the Fairmount library.
Librarian Bonnie Gilbert and a patron came up with the idea to invite adults to a coloring time, she said.
It’s been popular with people, including Brett McMahon of Fairmount, who is blind. Gilbert punches tiny holes along the lines of the drawings,
so McMahon can follow the outline just by touch.
Sometimes Winans will join the residents when they color, or she’ll color at home if it’s been a stressful day. “It’s very cathartic,” she said.
Artwork for fridge
The adults may stay at the library and color as long as they want, she said.
Biggerstaff, former librarian at Fairmount, has been known to get so involved in her art that she won’t leave until it’s done. Recently, she was painstakingly choosing colors for a picture of women in 1920 30s clothing.
“I don’t feel like I’m a kid doing this,” she said.
Next to her, Cook was comparing her picture of peacocks with a nearby artist who was coloring the same design. “Look what she did! She did better,” Cook said, peering across the table.
“No, it’s just different,” Biggerstaff said calmly.
“None of us are perfect and our artwork shouldn’t be either,” said Sharon Johnson of Fairmount, who was coloring an intricate design which she planned to post on the refrigerator.
She said her husband was going to throw away one of her pictures, but she saved it, saying, “I wanted to be able to show my kids.”
Crume’ said she would hang her pumpkin picture on the door on Halloween night. She might even make one for her husband’s “man cave.”
“I was stunned at the number of people who were already doing it,” she said. “It’s great therapy for people.”