Coloring in between the lines was a fundamental skill all kindergartners had to master, but with the recent coloring book craze hitting the nation, adults have found that a little bit of coloring can be enjoyable for them too.
Touted as a way to reduce stress and anxiety – even as a way to meditate – adults are finding the benefits of the coloring craze and having fun and meeting new, like-minded people while they’re at it.
There is even a National Coloring Book day holiday held annually Aug. 2, where coloring enthusiasts across the country unite to mark the occasion. Locally, the Southeast Branch Library hosted a National Coloring Book Day Party Aug. 2 to celebrate.
At the July 28 regularly scheduled meeting of the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library Adult Coloring Club, women of a variety of age ranges filed into the PGA Tour Media Room to be greeted by familiar faces sitting at tables strewn with coloring books, printouts and supplies.
The library began offering the classes Jan. 12; a dozen people turned out for the first event. Due to the interest in the club, the library quickly decided to expand the meetings to two-times per month.
For each meeting, the room is reserved for a block of four hours, so participants can come and go as they please.
“The nice thing about the coloring group is you can come when you want, stay as long as you want or leave whenever you want – it’s not a set time that you have to be here from this time to this time,” club participant and library volunteer Gail Hilliker said. “You can bring your own materials or we’ve got all these pencils and crayons and papers, so we have a nice variety to work with.”
Fellow coloring club enthusiast Virginia Peyton attended the first club meeting and keeps coming back.
“It’s just a group,” Peyton said. “There’s no instruction, no tests or anything like that and we use different mediums – whatever we want to.” The coloring club is a great way to get out of the heat, get out of the house and get away from chores, she added.
Neither of the women said that they had a particular favorite type of scene to color. Choices range from intricate patterns to butterflies, flowers and mandalas.
While summertime travel has impacted the group’s attendance somewhat, the group has seen as many as 20 participants attend.
Adult coloring books can be found almost anywhere now. Craft stores, drug stores and even grocery stores have been known to stock adult coloring books. Peyton said that she is amazed whenever she walks into a bookstore and sees the coloring book displays peppered with everything from “Harry Potter” to “Game of Thrones.”
“There’s something out there for everyone,” she said.
Peyton admitted that when she first joined the club she was nervous about making a mistake.
“When I started out, I was terrified,” she said. “When you first lay that pen down, you think you’ve committed, but you can’t make a mistake because there’s no rule.”
Colored pencils give the most variety when it comes to coloring choices, she said, but she’s also used markers and crayons, too.
The bright and soothing colors themselves are what appeals most to Hilliker.
“I like to look back at the ones that I’ve done and just see the colors,” she said. “They just make me feel good.”
The group has even colored bookmarks – fitting for an event held at their local library – and had them laminated.
“It makes the colors really pop,” Peyton said.
The next Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library Adult Coloring Club meetings will be held Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursday, Aug. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend and reservations are not required. Supplies will be provided, and all adults are welcome.
Other St. Johns County Public Library System branches also offer coloring meetups.
The Anastasia Island Branch’s “Coloring Your Life for Adults” meetup will be held Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. and the Bartram Trail Branch Library Adult Coloring Club’s next meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
For more information about the adult coloring clubs or any St. Johns County Public Library System program, call the local library, go to the library’s reference desk, or visit www.sjcpls.org.