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Bozeman Health News

Section: Employee News

Zen and the Art of Coloring

04/26/2016

Creating art can calm the mind and stimulate the senses, but one doesn’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of working in colors. Just ask the dozen Hillcrest Senior Living residents, none of whom have an arts background, who are partaking in an adult coloring book class that began in January.

“It’s very relaxing,” said Sandra Felts, who last colored “a long time ago” as a child. She is learning to color again, but knows “no one’s going say a ‘yuk,’ at least out loud,” Felts smiled.

Facilitated by Hillcrest Marketing Manager Linda Crisp, the class of a dozen women meets every Wednesday for a couple of hours after lunch. Participants work with a variety of crayons, pencils, markers and pastels. Depending on their personal style, they carefully or casually fill in white space on coloring sheets that run the gamut from simple designs to extremely complex, either supplied by Crisp or from their own stock.

Kay DeMeritt brings her sample book each week, a notebook with a swatch of every shade labeled by name and type of every medium she works with, “so I can always find the right color,” she said. And not every space is filled with a tint. “Leaving some empty white space can really bring out the color,” said Dorothy Frazee.

While the women say they come as much to visit as to color, Crisp said the effort is so refreshing that even if the participants don’t realize they are stressed, they feel their brain shift to the quiet side when coloring.

“We do this with an eye to relaxation, even meditation,” Crisp added. “And no matter what you do, there are no mistakes, only happy coincidences.”

Categories: Employee News