In 1961 when the first coloring book for adults was published, it wasn’t meant to be colored in, instead it was a social commentary on life; a very bleak commentary. It was called “The Executive Coloring Book” and primarily showed men getting ready for work. The captions were depressing and showed a very gray look at the business world.
Today adult coloring has become synonymous with relaxation and destressing. Gone are the political commentaries through coloring pages. Today’s adult coloring books feature intricate drawings of animals, palatial settings or geometric designs. The trend resurfaced in 2012, but has only recently caught on in Maine.
Some call it a “Peter Pan” syndrome, where adults are looking to recapture some of the happy times of their youth. Others are using the pictures as a form of art therapy.
At Windham Public Library, librarian Sally Bannen has been coordinating adult coloring time for almost a year. Bring a coloring book and supplies or use the ones provided by the library to make a masterpiece. The sessions started on Saturday mornings, but have moved to the first Wednesday nights of the month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. upstairs by the large print books.
This past Wednesday, Bannen shared her love of art while soft relaxing music played in the background.
“Coloring is so popular now. We encourage people to come in to hang out with one another,” she said. It’s not just about coloring a pretty picture.
Coloring at the Windham Public Library started last March when library patron Donna Strand suggested having a coloring group. She had been coloring on her own for a while before suggesting the library start a group.
There are also phone apps for coloring, which can be fun for kids and adults. There was one the group tried Wednesday at the coloring session called Mandala Coloring app. Visit an app store for more options.
If coloring is not a passion, the Windham Public Library hosts other Wednesday night events. For more information, visit www.windham.lib.me.us.