A recent article in the online Atlantic Monthly noted that stressed people are using coloring books to relieve existential angst. Apparently, to supply the global demand, upscale retailers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Hermès offer adult coloring books for $160. For about the same cost, I’d rather doodle on a napkin in a wine bar and enjoy a bottle of Quintessa Red Wine from Rutherford in Napa Valley.
“Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean you need to do it,” I’m reminded of my mother’s admonishments during my formative years. “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?”
Mom wasn’t too original in her advice strategy.
But, I can’t endorse the new addiction for adult coloring. Even as a wee child I didn’t enjoy coloring because I couldn’t stay within the lines. Never have, never will. Who can sit still when there are butterflies to chase, frogs to catch, and pebbles to toss into the pond?
In the spirit of positive adventure, I tried the free online samples. The outcome was disastrous. I only can conclude that I don’t have time for this shit.
If other adults want to seek catharsis by way of colored pencils, that’s fine with me. I agree with professionals who claim that art can be therapeutic. However, I’m reminded of several artists through history who were not at peace with the universe or themselves.
Vincent Van Gogh was reported to be insane and depressed between manic bursts of creative energy. Pablo Picasso had issues as did Fransisco Goya and Salvador Dali. Famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe suffered an intense nervous breakdown and needed to stop painting for several years. And, who can forget Edvard Munch? It’s been speculated that his famous painting of The Scream was a portal into his own anxiety, hallucinations, and subsequent psychotic breakdown.
I acknowledge that millions of adults are coloring and creating works of art in an attempt to soothe their troubled waters and find inner tranquility. That’s fine with me. Just leave me alone to self-medicate with a bold Cabernet. I promise I won’t cut off my ear.