Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall

Hello! Have I got an amazing book to share with you. 

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This book is simply wonderful. I have included the one I colored in, but I want to mention that both my girls, ages 8 and 10, have started coloring them too.
I decided to give this book to them when they were upset about something. 10 minutes into the coloring, and they both calmed down. Focusing and using pretty colors to fill in the wonderful mandalas in this book helps calm the mind. It worked for all 3 of us on different occasions. 

I was fortunate enough to get a copy of an interview with the author. It is quite informative, and interesting. This is what Wendy Piersall had to say;

1. What are mandalas?
Mandalas are circle drawings that have history in ancient Buddhism and today are used in art therapy, meditation and as beautiful decorative art. Monks used to take days to make mandala designs out of colored sand, then sweep the sand into the water to teach the impermanence of life.

2. Why animal mandalas?
I first drew animal mandalas when my oldest daughter was going through a phase of a deep love of animals. At the time, she wanted to become a marine biologist and I was looking for inspiration of mandalas to draw for my kid's activities websites. Years later, my editor from Ulysses Press found them and approached me to do a whole book of animal mandalas. I jumped at the chance!

3. Why should adults color? (or How can adults find coloring relaxing?)
I find coloring relaxing for several reasons. Coloring was a favorite activity as a child, so it's easy to tap into the warmth and happiness of those memories when coloring. My mother has Alzheimer's, and the nursing home where she lives also does coloring activities with their residents because it is calming, easy and enjoyable. Mostly, though, I find it extremely meditative to both draw and color mandalas. You really have to clear your mind to color them and simply pay attention to the lines and colors. It makes you focus your thoughts away from daily life and stress and on the simple process of coloring.

4. Is illustration mandalas as relaxing as coloring them in?
As I mentioned before, yes, though sometimes I get stuck on the creative process when my perfectionism kicks in. When that happens, I walk away for a while or work on a different drawing. Just like with life, if you over think things, it's best to take a break and approach drawing with a fresh perspective.

5. How often do you color?
These days I've been coloring almost daily! In some ways, it's a nice break from drawing, because I get to enjoy the art rather than work on creating it. It also feeds my creativity, because I'm starting to get new ideas for more coloring pages to draw in the future. I have to be proactive against getting burned out, so coloring is the perfect way to stay creative without having to crank out work on paying gigs.

I am thinking of purchasing several of these books and gifting them to friends and family for Christmas!  Adding a wonderful array of pencils and pens.  It is nice to find something that is both wondrous, and affordable. Not to mention good for your health!

Hugs to all of you,