My Kids Are At Camp So I Am… Coloring!


Yes, the kids are away at camp and I am coloring!

Apparently, so is everyone else.

When the kids were little, we used to color all the time. We would color the same page together or each take a side of the book and dedicate it to the other. It was very sweet. Those times were special: we bonded, relaxed and chatted. It has been a while since we have colored together but every time I see coloring books in the basement, I secretly want to color.

Well, now it is officially okay for me to color! In the past few months, many articles have been written about the success of adult coloring books, which are more intricate and detailed than children’s coloring books. Not only do these books take us back to our childhood, they are also easy to carry and keep around.

Coloring is part of the health and wellness trend, relieving stress and getting our mind off of everyday worries.  Everybody’s doing it.  Someone I spoke to recently told me that ‘coloring right now would make me so happy’.  Another friend said her parents have the dining room covered with puzzles on one end and coloring books on the other.


Although adult coloring books aren’t entirely new, they have only recently gained popularity. According to The Atlantic, it was in France that these books took off in 2012, when a publisher released an art therapy book that has since sold over 2 million copies.

Adult coloring books are popular all over the world. In fact, Dover Publications has declared August 2, 2015, National Coloring Book Day.

On today, there are 5 coloring books in the top 20 bestseller book list, and Crayola colored pencils, markers, and crayons are in the top 12 bestseller toys and games list.  Not surprising.

Here is what Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford has to say:  “People are really excited to do something analog and creative, at a time when we’re all so overwhelmed by screens and the Internet” (from The New York Times). Ms Basford has sold over 1.4 million copies of her book Secret Garden since it was first published in 2014.  Her two books Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest are in Amazon’s top 20 bestseller books this week. Lost Ocean, her newest book, will be out in October. (Here’s an interview with Ms Basford.)


My local bookstore has a large table devoted to adult coloring books. They come in a bunch of themes from geometric to city scenes, folk art, animals, flowers, celebrities, and tattoos. Interestingly, many of the books are copyrighted 2015, highlighting how current this trend is.  I chose one called Secret Paris by Zoe de Las Cases.


For the last few days, I have been coloring and here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • I love that my hardest decision is whether I should consider using red on a page
  • Colored pencils are more forgiving than markers
  • Outlining what I’m coloring is still a good idea
  • Orange, blue, green, and yellow are my favorite colors
  • It takes about 45 minutes to color a page

There IS one recurring thought that runs through my mind, though:

I hoarded my kids’ artwork. Will I hoard mine? I think I will just proudly hang my favorite piece on the fridge, after I sign it with my name (and age)!

P.S. After this post I received several emails and I thought I would update my post.

One reader suggested looking at Candace Lovely’s coloring book (link here). She is an American Impressionist painter, so her book feels like you are creating your own gallery masterpieces.

Another reader recommend an App like  Colorfy, for when you don’t have your books and pencils with you.

Hope you are all coloring!

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6 thoughts on “My Kids Are At Camp So I Am… Coloring!

  1. I love your visuals in this post Mary!! Beautiful! I also love the the message. I couldn’t agree with you more. Being creative is the best medicine for reviving the soul.

  2. Awesome post! I was so pleasantly surprised recently at chapters seeing the table full of adult colouring books! Had no idea about this trend. Count me in! And hell, I think I’ll even colour outside the lines. Make sure you hang up your art!!

    1. It is so much fun and, yes, I found myself coloring outside the lines and being okay with it. Enjoy!!

  3. I just purchased some colouring books and pencil crayons for my daughter in Halifax. What a perfect way for her to relax in between studying and writing essays. I would never have known about this new “fad” if it wasn’t for Mary being so current. So fun!

    1. So glad to hear you are being inspired by some of the posts. After my cousin’s daughter visited this week and I couldn’t find something to gift her while she was here, I am going to take your lead and send her a coloring book as well!!

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