Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Coloring Books and Fiction Books

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Coloring Books and Fiction Books

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to share a about some grown up coloring books.  I know recently they've become a trendy thing and more publishers are catching on.  This means there are many to choose from and there's something to suit everyone's taste too!

However, I bet some of you are wondering, why would a professional artist like these coloring books so much?  That would probably be some of the same reasons I think you might enjoy them as well!  First off I find coloring books to be therapeutic because I can simply focus on filling in spaces.  I can create flat areas of color, add texture, or make gradations within the spaces, but I never have to draw up the outlines.  This allows you to A. relax and think about the things you need to see more clearly that have been percolating in the back of your mind, B. think or meditate on a particular subject, whether that's a bible verse, a book you finished reading, or some other subject that's worthy of studying, C. or it allows you to destress, clearing your mind out to focus on just the actions related to coloring.  I honestly do all three at various times.

Additionally, as an artist I find it a useful way to test out ways of using colors together without worrying if they're perfect or not on the first try.  I also find that coloring books can be a fun thing to collect while traveling.  There's a much greater variety in subjects and complexity these days than you might assume.  Below are some favorites from my personal collection, I have more, but I'm going to give you a peek at 4 of them today.  (And as always links with a ◊ are affiliate links, so if you use a link to buy items, they don't have to be the ones in this post, you help support this blog!)

Grown Up Coloring Books

The Art of Nature 

Available from ModCloth◊ and Amazon◊ this is a gorgeous coloring book.  It's probably the most decadent one on my list, but it's worth it because the pages are perforated, and the paper a soft antique white.  Additionally each image could easily be framed as home decor, with or without color.  Though you can match the colors to the ones within the room you plan to hang the image if you do color them.  We're doing that with about a half dozen of them, which fits really well in our beach themed master bedroom.





Mystical Mandala by Alberta Hutchinson

Mandala coloring books are the most popular type of adult coloring books, and the mandala itself dates much farther back in Eastern traditions connected to meditation practices.  The designs in this book, however, are more Western influenced with most incorporating flowers and the types of patterns you might see in a kaleidoscope.  This Dover book◊ is quite lovely, and the mandala designs in it are great for relaxation.  Also I've recently partnered with Dover because I love their coloring books so much!  They have fantastic deals and on average their coloring books cost $4.  They make nearly 30 coloring books of mandalas alone, along with scores of coloring books on almost every subject imaginable.  The only drawback I can think of about Dover is that most of their books have images printed on both sides of each page.  You'll see another one of their books further down in this post too!



Desert Critters by Sue Coccia

I found this book of amazingly detailed original art designs while visiting El Morro National Monument on a roadtrip in New Mexico a couple years back.  The designs are incredibly intricate and I was happy to find that she has made about a dozen different coloring books now when I checked on Amazon to get you a link where you can find this book◊.  I love how she can make animals (and bugs!) that might be unsettling to most people and render them endearing, such as the bat below.  Her books are on especially sturdy paper too, and the spine allows the book to lay flat nicely.  Since these are such beautiful art quality I'll probably be framing some of them too.  And if you don't feel like coloring in the designs she also makes prints of her work, which you can find here.



Civil War Fashions by Tom Tierney

I have to admit I really love all the big frilly dresses of this era.  This book covers fashions from both the north and south, with some of sources also being French fashion plates.  For being another little $4 Dover book this one◊ has tons of pages and pretty nice quality paper too.  I was able to use watercolors on the page shown without much warping at all, though I had to be very careful.  Additionally the paper is recycled product, as designated by the little green symbol on the top right corner of the cover.  While I may not be that much of a true southern girl (please don't make me sit through Gone With The Wind ever again!  Once was more than enough.) these costumes we associate with southern culture will always catch my eye.  Though the same women's designs were also worn in the north, and in Europe around the same time, it just gets forgotten easily.  Watch a movie like The Young Victoria◊ (which I highly recommend and happens to be on sale as I write this!) and you'll see the similar styles.


Fiction Reviews


The Death And Life Of Mal Evans


I know it's been a couple weeks since I've published any book reviews, so this week I've got 2 for you.  First off is The Death And Life Of Mal Evans: A Novel by Peter Lee.  I was given a copy of this book to review, and was really excited about it.  The premise is looking back at the life of one of The Beatles' roadies, if he could go back in time and change things would The Beatles have stayed together.  The book is really well researched and even has a timeline and possible discographies of the fictional albums that could have been.  Most of the content is songs that would have been in solo projects and such.  The whole book is a love letter to The Beatles and their fans, and it's easy to get sucked in and go right along for the ride.  While there are are fights, and other things that trip up the band in the end there's a better vision of how it could have been thanks to a roadie who poured his life into the belief that The Beatles were at their best together.



Spell Or High Water


The second book I read recently is Spell Or High Water by Scott Meyer.  It's the sequel to Off To Be The Wizard, and follows along with Martin and Phillip as they head off to a wizard convention in Atlantis.  While I enjoyed this book I felt like Meyer had even more trouble writing women than he did in the previous book.  The plot was pretty good though there were parts where I just wish it had more depth.  I did like how he developed the shell and various other ways wizards found to innovate and essentially code the world around them.  Otherwise it's another slightly nerdy fantasy book that if you enjoy fantasy and time travel you will probably be happy reading.

Thanks for reading and if you have any books to recommend let me know in the comments below!  And if you haven't entered to win my giveaway for Julep nail products please check that out below.

Love,
Lydia




You can win the 4 colors above (Lydia, Lee, Florence, and Sandi) plus a set of holographic decals by entering your information in the Rafflecopter widget below.  And if you'd like to try them out you can also use this link◊ and get an introductory box of gorgeous metallic colors free!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. I too love the adult coloring books. Every visit to the book store I oooh and aaah over them. Gorgeous.

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  2. I love the art of nature coloring book!!!

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