Friday, March 3, 2017

Coloring Therapy

My friend Kathy - the genius behind the Daily Marker - has an amazing event called the 30 Day Coloring Challenge. The 7th coloring challenge launched on March 1st.

The objective of the challenge is simple - color something every day. Coloring reduces your blood pressure, lets you focus and eliminate mental clutter. It's good for you.

The rules of the challenge are simple - there are none. Color something. No restrictions on medium, method, color. Just sit down and be creative.

If you want to play along - use the hashtag #thedailymarker30day everywhere, and if you're on Facebook, upload your photos to the daily albums in the challenge Facebook group.

Kathy is one of those people who truly shares freely and from her heart to inspire people. Her videos are some of my favorites because she is so authentic and hilarious. This is her YouTube channel - you will be happy you subscribed if you did. Instagram is where she is the most, so you can find her feed here.

Just before the deadly stinging insects hatch here, we have a few glorious days where we can go outside and I use these days to color in the backyard.

The only perfect lighting is the sun, and so it's the only time I can truly study pigments, and I love hearing birds and feeling a breeze while I work. My neighborhood is very quiet, and so the things I hear are natural, for the most part. Except the UPS truck, which I can hear a mile off and I instinctively sprint to the front of the house for.

So Kathy's challenge is perfectly timed with our weather right now, and I headed out back to play with my pencils and a stamp I actually bought after I saw Kathy post about the woman who makes them.

They are Korean hand carved botanical stamps and they are SPECTACULAR. I have a link to the stamps below - please note that the whole site is in Korean, but if you want to order them, email her using the info here and she will coordinate your order. She is very sweet and her art is just gorgeous. After I saw the images on Kathy's blog I bought everything she had available then - I can't tell you how pretty they all are. They are on SUPER thick rubber, so I just used my hand to stamp them with - no block, no MISTI, nothing.

I stamped a few out for backyard coloring happy hour in Sahara Sand and then sat down to figure out color schemes. The first one was a complete fail, so it's in the trash :).

The second one is here. Please know it's totally okay to make ugly things and toss them :).

I did this on cold press watercolor paper (linked above) so that I could see the texture of the pencil. Normally I do super smooth pencil blending, but I love this look too.

I really believe that practice is art, so I encourage you to just sit down and play. Don't worry about perfection - as you know, I believe perfection is for serial killers.

You know where there are no serial killers? At my retreats! June is sold out - but you can sign up for a waiting list. September is open. If you join my team, you can attend the team retreat AND sold out retreats - I'll make room. And I have a retreat in November in Salt Lake before OnStage - so don't miss that one - space is limited already.



  1. Hi Lydia, just wanted to stop by and say Hi and that I received my prize package you sent me! My granddaughter and I are having lots of fun coloring stamping and coloring together! Thanks again for the awesome prize package!

  2. You just don't know how much love I have for you. This is brilliant!

  3. LOVE the effect of pencil on watercolor paper. it's almost a pointillism look. I wouldn't have thought to try that. Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. Very pretty Lydia, I don't have any really large stamps. This looks like it would be great for learning to use Copics. I find most of the images I have (as much as I love them) are smaller in detail and they don't allow for the chance to do much blending. At any rate this is a beautiful flower!

  5. Hi there. This rose reminded me of an old post or video by someone (I think it might have been GinaK) She was coloring with colored pencils and was using Gamsol. She said that you could also use hand sanitizer or baby oil to blend with. I have lung issues and I have always been leary of using gamsol (i know they say it is odorless, but it must have some fumes, right?) I even bought some. Its sitting there...for at least 5 years...i never have opened it... lol. My lungs are doing great, so i'm not trying it. I'm getting ready to try the hand sanitizer, I'll let you know what happens. I"m also going to try it on the cold press watercolor paper. My mind is buzzing with things i want to try. I need to make a list. hugs, treen

  6. I"m back. lol Ok, i thought it might be cool to get the bumpy look with colored pencils on cold press watercolor pencil, but with some slightly smoother shading and blending. Its true i have no idea whatsoever what i'm doing, but i tried the hand sanitizer with my prismacolors and my polychromos pencils. with the poly, the paper looked wet for a minute, lol, nothing. with the prisma, it did some blending, but the colors kind of mushed together and were fairly disgusting. However! And this is the really important part of the experiment, 99.9% of the germs are gone from the watercolor paper. If i knew how, I would send you a link to my instagram post. I will be posting my findings later, lol, I don't think any real scientists or artists will be knocking down my door anytime soon. I do love your rose. I love the texture and i love the look! Gorgeous! Have fun! hugs, treen

  7. You made me laugh with the comment about sprinting for the UPS truck. My husband and I are retired USPS letter carriers and swapped stories of how our "older" customers waited for us each day. Well, now that "older" person is my husband, lol.

  8. Hi I really like the way the flower is done. I was wondering did you have a long wait to receive stamp when you purchased it. Thank you

  9. very pretty! Love the graininess of the colored pencils

  10. Ha! Ha! Ha! I do know about creating ugly art and that it's okay to toss it!There is a wonderful story about an artist who started with a 20" x 30" landscape and reduced it to 2" by 5" and she sold it! I love that story because it gives me hope! LOL! :)

  11. Hi, Lydia -- I have tried contacting Dot B stamps twice through the email address on the link above, and both times the "Mailer-Daemon" reported it was inaccessible. Do you know of another way to reach her?

    1. Hi Alice - I just sent an email so I will see if it bounces - that's how I contacted her to buy them.

    2. Did the email address go through for you? I had copied and pasted it from the page you had posted, and both times it bounced back to me.

  12. Your rose is lovely and I'm glad you are getting some outdoor time!! There is a foot of new snow outside my door right now here in NH!! I love making backgrounds and sometimes, I really don't like what I created! However, I save it for die cutting and it almost always looks great! Otherwise, I throw it out and move on!!! Thanks for your great blog - always fun!

  13. This card is so beautiful. I love the colors and the thoughts behind the card. Thank you.


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