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Addax

Art Therapy: Mandala circles, adult coloring books, etc

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Addax

Not sure why it took me so long to recall the use of Mandala circles to help with anxiety and just calming our minds in general.

 

You can of course make your own mandala, but there are also mandala coloring books, or single pre-drawn mandalas you can print for free from the web.

 

Yes, I said coloring book. :-)

 

Here's a decent description of mandalas and their use: http://chaoticat.com/mandalabenefits/

 

I was always amazed how "lost" I could get when coloring in a mandala. I've heard others say the same thing. The intricate designs and choosing colors really have a way of pulling you out of your thoughts. I thought it sounded silly at first, but you really do get into it. I found colored pencils to be the best to use.

 

Try it and maybe post your experience here.

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Addax

CW! How cool!

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Yep. they were linked on one of your pages. You can fill it in and then change the colors, start over. Even print them and color by hand.

 

Here's one: computer colored mandala

 

 

 

I color it then sometimes change the colors and watch it pop.

 

Too bad there isn't an android version.....

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Addax

Love it! This might sound funny, but I really like the colors you used.

 

I use colored pencils but this computer version you posted is kind of addictive... I'm going to have to search for an android version.

 

After I posted about the mandalas and then did one I was looking around for others and stumbled upon a coloring book made for adults... I ordered it... It's not mandalas but i think it looks pretty great. It's this one: http://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Forest-Inky-Quest-Coloring/dp/1780674880/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428172808&sr=1-2&keywords=secret+garden+coloring+book

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Neat book, looks like it will be easy to get immersed in it.

 

Also found this:

 

http://tanglepatterns.com/

 

A meditative kind of repetitive drawing.

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InvisibleUnless

mandala-type art is really great.  good for meditation and expression.  i like putting on some channeling background music (whatever is appropriate to the mood at the moment) and making abstract symmetrical/geometric art using photoshop.  some of those things come out very mandala-esque, and people often comment as much.

 

adults should never be embarrassed to have coloring books---abstract and simplistic drawing and coloring is a meditative art predating examples of written language.  i think that anxiety is one of the most common traits being treated by people i know who engage in abstract and patterned art and coloring.  art therapy.

 

it always kills me when the monks that do the sand grain mandalas destroy it all to begin anew---part of their meditative process.

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Addax

Immersed! I was trying to think of that word earlier.

 

I have never heard of Zentangles... Great find!

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InvisibleUnless

cool stuff, tesselation-style art is also a good meditative tool.  i feel like our brain has a metaphorical mode of interpretation and data storage that finds abstract expression both freeing and enabling of beneficial connections and repair.  colors and shapes and stuff are essentially capable of psychoanalysis, kind of like 2D dreams.

 

theres a zentangle pattern called 'zonked'...i can jive with that.

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JanCarol

I do this!  But I'm a spoilt child and prefer all kinds of mediums to choose from.

 

There are colored pencils - but sometimes they are too scratchy unless the design is intricate.

 

Watercolor pencils and Inktastic! Pencils can be brushed with water to smooth out the marks, or do to shading and color blending.

 

I just learned about gel pens.  My favorite ones are Fiskars, they are smooth ink with a brush-like feel.  Like having a pre-loaded paintbrush.  But I have other "bought on special" kinds, too.  The glitter ones are really cheerful, I love watching the sparkles come out of the pen.

 

I buy children's coloring books, and do animals and costumes, and celtic knots (more my tradition than the mandala, but I like mandalas, too!).  I used to have a really good mandala coloring book, and it's around here somewhere but I've been unable to find it.

 

Amazon has TONS of good adult coloring books (trick:  use "art therapy" in your search term).  I've loaded up $120 worth of them in my cart, but delaying gratification until I get two home projects done (a photobook for hubby, and taxes).  Already I have about 10 books that I've bought at bookstores and "discount bargain cheapy" places ($2 a book, for Desert & Savannah animals, Forest animals, international costumes, etc.)

 

I find it very soothing, and often when I take a phone call, I will pull my coloring table (I bought one special, it's an old computer desk, at Salvation Army for $7.  It has a tray to hold my pencils or pens) towards me, and I can listen to the phone call (I have headsets on all my phones, because of deafness in the household), and de-stress.  I hate phone calls, but have too many friends who cannot wait to talk to me on the phone to refuse them.

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JanCarol

I suppose if I get bold, I can do watercolors with a brush.

 

I also find the mixing of paint - to match the color in my head - to be therapeutic, and stimulating to the spirit.

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Fresh

What a fabulous idea @ this thread.

 

I'm coloring on www.mandalatherapy.com , it takes longer than colormandala.com  because you do brush strokes with a paintbrush.

 

If I get bold (and get the printer working)  I might get some fun pens and try that.   :)

 

 

 

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Addax

Art is really such a wonderful medium. Beautiful Mandala, Fresh! Get bold! :-)

 

I suppose if I get bold, I can do watercolors with a brush.

Water colors are a beautiful medium. Your mention of it reminded me of Buddha Boards: http://buddhaboard.com . They make small ones, so you might be able to keep it in your drawing table.

 

  i feel like our brain has a metaphorical mode of interpretation and data storage that finds abstract expression both freeing and enabling of beneficial connections and repair.  colors and shapes and stuff are essentially capable of psychoanalysis, kind of like 2D dreams.

It might be fun to post our mandalas or other art along with posts we make in our threads about how we're feeling or what kind of day we're having. Like an illustration of our mood. Hmm... CW or Fresh would have to post how they did it in their posts here because I have no idea how they did it.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

See 'how to post images' in the how to use this site thread on the top forum on main page. You are not going to want to do this tho because image storage for the site is limited, you only get 500 kb per person and my image above was about 128 kb. Your avatar pics are counted against this too I believe (but not certain).

 

You can get free cloud accounts (like dropbox), upload your stuff there and post the links in the thread. That's easy to explain how to do. If you look at my post in symptoms about the electrical brain stim devices, there is a link to my purchase receipt in my cloud acct so I would not have to reduce my image storage here.

 

On mandalatherapy if you use the paint can icon, it will color in the whole block at once. When it does, you can see a few tiny white pixels that don't get colored. Interesting to note because for the site I was using, you can download the b/w jpegs, open them in windows Paint and color them using a brush of varying sizes OR use the paint can (and it leaves the little white pixels too) to fill in blocks of color so the underlying program on the website must be related to paint. In that case, different colors are available because paint has a better color mixer.

 

The link is an example of viewing an image in my cloud dropbox instead of taking up my storage here on SA.

 

Wow, a lot of artists/non artists/hackers really came out of the woodwork with just this one post..... we all should really get in the habit of posting our fave distraction techniques on this site, lord knows it is something we all use and need when wd is biting our azzes.

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InvisibleUnless

Amazon has TONS of good adult coloring books (trick: use "art therapy" in your search term)

hahah...

Wow, a lot of artists/non artists/hackers really came out of the woodwork with just this one post..... we all should really get in the habit of posting our fave distraction techniques on this site, lord knows it is something we all use and need when wd is biting our azzes.

cook up a thread/sticky, if you havent yet. a (separate) thread for sharing art or meditative images wouldnt go amiss, either, by the looks of things. i definitely advise everyone using forums to have a free hosting service so hotlinking/embedding/sharing images is easy, organized, and still supported by the boards.

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JanCarol

from naturalism (an echidna, done with ink pencils)

Echidna1_zpsammqh7lk.jpg

 

To whimsical (watercolor pencils)

tinkerbell%20watercolor_zps8q3b112t.jpg

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JanCarol

Tarot cards (Daughters of the Moon) - watercolor pencil

 

Daughters%20of%20Moon%20sample_zpsb8fqnb

 

or felt pens (Mother Pendragon, a small print out of Kansas City, MO)

 

Mother%20Pendragon%20sample_zpsvteyoj4z.

 

 

Or heraldry (also ink pencils)

 

Heraldry_zpsbnrsx0xg.jpg

 

 

I've found a good source, cheap prices at:  http://store.doverpublications.com/by-subject-coloring-books.html

 

(NOTE if any of these images offend just tell me what you don't like, I'll remove it asap)

 

I've done more - I'm working on a cartoonish Kung Fu Panda and a naturalistic ostrich baby....watercolor pencils.  I have some mandalas in my book. 

 

I LOVE gel pens, the flow of the ink is so sensual, the bright colors and sparkles so pleasurable to work with (but they bleed through some papers, so I haven't used them in awhile).

 

Share some of your relaxation here!

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Addax

Those are wonderful, JanCarol! how did you feel when you did them? So glad you posted your artwork! Thank you for sharing?

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Fresh

They're lovely Jan , nice work   :) .

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InvisibleUnless

echidnas are badasses.

 

great range there!

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JanCarol

Hey Addax - I make a lot of "mistakes," you know - you go back to childhood and when you don't color in the lines, it sort of grates.  But it's kinda like life, eh?  You just make the best of it and move on! 

 

I even have some "Crayola Crayons" that I might try sometime!

 

It helps to have good art to work with to begin with - like the Daughters of the Moon tarot is - GORGEOUS.  It's a little tense, to commit to putting ink or watercolor on someone else's art - but when it is done, if it's a good one (the echidna and the disney fairy I felt this way) it feels really good.

 

It also feels good when the colors are bright and pleasing.....for that one, the Pendragon was the more sensual.....

please don't let me be the only one to share here?

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InvisibleUnless

i have no personal data hosting website right now, and have been too sick to consider getting one up and running, but i can provide a link to a little slideshow of some of my meditative abstracts. im big on symmetry.

 

HERE is a link to where some already are. the site doesnt always function so well, and the quality isnt the greatest on there, but its a peek.

 

ive been too sick to create much lately, as well, which has been very frustrating. maybe sometime i can get a place to directly post pictures in here.

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shamaan

Damn thanks for the tip!! I have been drawing a mandala the whole afternoon , and really feel better!

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JanCarol

LOVE your work Invisible!  

 

If you are too sick to create, then just doodle on pre-made creations.  It's what I do.  I don't think I have a creative bone in my body, but it's soothing to make colors, and healing, and it feels creative, even when it's just coloring.  I used to be creative, long ago, before the drugs, before the pain, before the injuries that just made it too challenging to do woodworking or painting.  And I realize I have not the talent for it.  SO I take other people's talent and "make it my own."  Go to Doverbooks and look at all the different coloring books they have.  Maybe that's something you can do until you feel more like "an artist" again.

 

To post a picture here, you post a link to another website where your picture is posted.  I use Photobucket, which is free, and has gads of space for free.  I think I have 100's of pics up, and have used less than 5% of my alloted space.  There are other photo hosting sites, and you can choose whether you want your stuff to be public (providing content for the site) or private (just for you).

 

Onya Shaman for taking up meditating pencil and paper!  (oh sorry, that's Aussie short for "good onya," or "good for you!")

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InvisibleUnless

thanks!  i dont share much these days, but when im healthier i will try to be making more of a career out of my photography.

 

by "too sick" to create, i mean sustained activity of any sort requires too much concentration or energy.  from withdrawal, i have pseudo-parkinsons and tardive dyskinesia and psychosis that includes full loss of bodily control, in addition to all the memory/concentration/ability issues and loads of other stuff.  my mind, as you could say, has a mind of its own to boot, and i try to keep the peace.  it hurts to basically be entirely disabled when things like exercise and creating have always been freeing and expressive for me.  you probably hear artists sometimes talking about 'emotional constipation' after just a few days of not creating, so to go weeks, or months, or even years without my favorite art forms is quite painful.  for instance, i havent written more than a few lines of poetry since the withdrawal began including a full blown delusional psychosis with voices and bodily control and stuff 24/7, which was two and a half years ago, and i was finally getting closer to where i wanted to take my writing after years of practice up until i had to quit.  hopefully i can start fresh with some past experience under my belt when things are clearer.

 

i couldnt directly link any pictures because the website they are on displays them through a flash slideshow.  i had some photobucket accounts many years ago, but the website went way south and i deleted them several years ago (especially because i had no more message boards to be hosting stuff for).  i will probably be giving in to peer pressure/social convention and getting a dropbox for easy website and client sharing, but even creating an account can be too much work most days.  i think i might have a defunct 4shared account, but i dont know if they allow image hotlinking.

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JanCarol

I got that, Invisible - we all are different now to what we were then.

 

It would be hard to lack a steady hand - so maybe more of a Jackson Pollack style of coloring?  

 

My emphasis is:  the pressure is off.  This is just for pleasure, to distract you from your symptoms (if indeed, it does so - I can see in many circumstances it might not), and help you feel better.

 

Your work is beautiful!  Maybe it's a different medium now?  At one point I was madly carving pumpkins, and thought it was the "perfect medium" for my creativity.  At other times it's been guitar or piano (not so much, now).  If my hand didn't hurt - I'd like to learn to make rag rugs.  

 

I know, I know, "basketweaving" - but really - we've lost so much craftiness in the last 50 years!  (and I've lost so much in the last 40!)

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InvisibleUnless

ah, for better or worse, i have a much greater attraction to symmetrical patterns and design elements, and actually never had the dexterity or artistic talent for physically drawing shapes and patterns as such.  the images in that slideshow i linked are created through photomanipulation, usually of pictures taken specifically because of what i thought i could accomplish with them as abstract pieces instead of the fine art photos i am normally shooting.  i very much enjoy the utter standardization and pixel-tight perfection of manual rearrangement that does not rely on a steady hand or the ability to draw straight lines.

 

i did create geometric patterns as a young youth, and labored quite extensively with rulers, protractors, and compasses to get my lines as cohesive and uniform as possible before coloring with sharpies and gel pens and such (naturally the messier and more hairpulling portion).  i am reticent to pour dozens of hours into individual works that dont have an 'undo' button these days, especially with my shaking and jiving.

 

different mediums definitely appeal, but require as much or more of the manual ability...  ive made custom clothing, done some freehand visual design, worked with photography a fair bit, as well as some videography.  i play electric guitar (which was shafted by the meds, and now withdrawal, partly because my reynauds got sent into full blown carpal tunnel and partly just because of all the other aspects of withdrawal), and also compose digitally through a click-input interface since i dont have a MIDI input device and cant play keyboard or anything like that anyway.  lately ive been designing some cd album art for physical releases to sell at art shows and creating a parlor card game (sure to shock and offend).

 

i think basketweaving is bossly.  the more ancient arts like creating baskets, rugs, and blankets, in addition to stuff like abstract visual art (not necessarily separate, aye?), and culinary preparation have a more resonant calling than a lot of what people are doing these days.  thats very interesting, a madness for gourds...do you have pictures of those available anywhere?  it sounds quite fun.  my carving always suffered from the same deficiencies as my other freehanding activities.

 

im sort of a recovering perfectionist, so engaging in essentially artistic pursuits without the high standards of output that i am accustomed to can make the leisurely enjoyment more stressful or unfulfilling than not.  ive been playing some retro 80s and 90s desktop video games to relax lately---downloaded some apple and DOS emulators.  but, as with the art, my level of mental acuity, problems with eyesight and eye pain/spasms, and most especially the pain in my arms and hands from the simple tasks of typing or clicking all prevent me from spending significant time doing such things many days.  but, it seems fitting to perhaps create a thread for our respective wider artistic pursuits.  art and expression are primary ways of human healing, and i think we would be encouraged by what other people are doing to cope and communicate their situation.  i love seeing/hearing the stuff my friends and online communities create, it can be very direct and informative.

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manymoretodays

I printed one off and hope to color it in with my multicolored gel ink pens. 

Thanks for posting the links.

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manymoretodays

Poifect.......3.  I keep forgetting I am a regal lion.

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InvisibleUnless

I love everyone's work here. I hope this link works, here are a few of mine that I've done recently. Hopefully it will work!

 

http://s1109.photobucket.com/user/missy_moo74/library/Mandalas?sort=3&page=1

 

Sarah

artful.  a very "in" style right now amongst some of the younger hand-drawing artists and the hipsters.  i really enjoy the revisiting of traditional and native patterns and themes, and that it draws on more than one originating location; rather appropriate to the meditative nature of this thread.

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manymoretodays

I am a hipster...... :)

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

here are a few of mine that I've done recently

 

Oh I love #3! Colored pencil in the original? Hard to tell. The canvas and metal are silkscreened then? Or something arty of which I know nothing....

 

Beautiful!

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Addax

So much lovely artwork! So much talent here.

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Serenity23

Fresh gave me the idea to color mandalas. Before that, I had never heard of them. I find coloring mandalas or other designs to be extremely meditative and relaxing. Thoughts go in my head and they go right out because I'm focused on coloring. It helps so much with my anxiety. My husband even says that he feels calm whenever he watches me color! I have printed a bunch of free ones from the internet, and I have purchased some of the less detailed books as well.

 

The only negative is that I have no artistic abilities whatsoever, so I often get frustrated with not understanding how to pick colors, coloring mediums, how to do some of the more detailed work, etc. My OCD and perfectionism kicks in I guess instead of just having fun and enjoying the process.

 

I do also find some of the more detailed/complex work to make my anxiety worse, so I am particular about what I will color. Soft lines with simple patterns are best for me.

 

I love getting lost in coloring. It's such a simple activity vs doing something else that might make my anxiety worse if I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it perfectly, not make a mistake, etc.

 

I don't necessarily view it as a hobby. I view it more as a coping tool for my anxiety.

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