Color is to the eye what music is to the ears.

- Louis Comfort Tiffany

One afternoon in kindergarten a classmate picked up the red crayon on our table just as I was reaching for it. Uncharacteristically (I was one of the quiet kids), I protested rather sharply. I don’t remember what I said or whether I snatched the crayon but I know my thought was: How dare she? I need it! Anyone could have clearly seen that I absolutely needed to have the red to complete my drawing!

Despite this intense approach to colour and art when I was little, I studied science in college and eventually became a writer. Pablo Picasso probably had people like me in mind when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This statement resonates so much with me that I used it in the introduction of my devotional book, Restore My Soul, a book that features some of my first attempts—as an adult—at drawing colouring pages, bringing me full circle back to those days in kindergarten over four decades ago.

The popularity of colouring books peaked a few years ago but is still going strong. For some, it was the latest craze they wanted to be part of, but for many others, colouring touches a place deep inside them.

Colouring has at least five benefits (which I explain in more detail in this Crosswalk article):

  1. It helps us destress.
  2. It's meditative. 
  3. It uses both sides of our brains. 
  4. It transports us back to our childhood.
  5. It sparks creativity.

In case you need it, I want to give you permission to embrace your inner child-artist in the days ahead. Jump in puddles. Catch frogs. Blow bubbles. Make up silly songs. Colour! 

Below I share some fresh approaches to colouring. For those who are not interested in colouring (but also for those who are), I offer you this challenge: Each day this week, pay attention to one colour of the rainbow (
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and look for beautiful things in that colour. Or choose your favourite colour to focus on all week. Take photos, write happy thoughts, find foods to enjoy in those colours, or simply take time to thank God for the beautiful gift of colour every time you find yourself enjoying one. Make a point of celebrating the "music" colour brings to your eyes!

By the way, my favourite colour is still red. :)

P.S. Here's a short meditation that further celebrates God's creation of colour. 

Do you want to stretch yourself a little and make your colouring time more interesting? Here are seven tips, plus a bonus one. Try one, try them all... and then share your results with me, please! 

  1. Use only one, two, or three colours for the whole page. (If you use pencils, you can use shading and blending to add depth and texture.)
  2. Make the background dark and then use pale colours for the foreground.
  3. Use colours you don't like. (This is a great way to use those pencils that haven't been sharpened as much as the others.)
  4. Shade in with patterns instead of solid colour (e.g. dots, stripes, etc.).
  5. Use only black and shades of grey for a monochromatic effect. A great example of this is the image at the right. It's one of my illustrations (available on Etsy) that Ruth Wilkinson, a woman in Ontario, filled in simply with blacks and grays. The final effect is striking! I love it.
  6. Mix your media. There's no reason you can't use markers, pencils, and crayons on the same page. If the paper is thick enough, you can even try watercolour paint.
  7. Add shadows to objects in the drawing, or your own doodles!

Bonus tip: Don't be afraid to leave "white space" on the page. Not every shape needs to filled in with colour.

whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

Some well-known children's stories translated into French and spoken by a native French speaker. Great for kids... and adults too! Read along in French or English. So cute. :)

My friend Kathleen Murphy runs a home organizing business here in Montreal. She's got some great tips on her blog!

A few days ago my dear friend Patti (she's down in California) shared this blog post. I love how ties in with my comments about colour to highlight this week's opening quote (at the top of this mailing). She describes the power music has to soothe in the midst of devastating circumstances.


(n) a state of serene calmness

Last night, as I gently brushed my cat's head and back, we were both overcome by ataraxia.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincet Van Gogh

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