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Coloring Craze Makes the News

Coloring is HOT. Last Sunday Parade magazine featured coloring for adults with a cover article and a list of the most popular coloring books on the market.

This week's New Yorker magazine went a step further with a lengthy article examining the "Peter Pan Syndrome" - why all sorts of activities traditionally associated with kids are now popular with adults.

A few nights ago my niece Maria and I celebrated the coming of age of coloring as an art form by spending a fun evening with the coloring books that are credited with sparking the craze - The Secret Garden and the Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford.

I got out my stash of colored pencils - just the ones at home, most are in my color studio - and we settled into the kitchen nook to share some quality coloring time. The claims of stress reduction are very true!

PARADE: 50 Shades of Happy
New Yorker: Why Adults are Buying Coloring Books
Johanna Basford

Test Kitchen for Teaching 21st Century Color

Speaking of kids - I've been spending time this summer popping in and out of the VIBE of Portland art classes here in Portland, Oregon. 

VIBE is an arts and music non-profit with the mission of "Empowering Portland's Underserved Youth Through Art and Music. 

We are using the Creative Outlet Studio to test new materials for teaching color using the modern mixing primaries - cyan, magenta and yellow - instead of the classic primaries - red, yellow, blue.

One thing I've learned: Start with just two of the primary colors at a time and play with mixing all sorts of colors in between!

Another thing I've learned: Teaching kids about color and teaching adults about color have a lot in common. Keep it simple. Start with the basics. Make it fun. Play!

VIBE of Portland

Last Day on Kickstarter for Breakthrough Colour Cards

Here's a great way to play with color . . . 

Tomorrow is the last day of the Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of the first run of the Breakthrough Colour Cards + Cube.

Designed by my friend Tracy Holmes, the cards are a fabulous tool for teaching and exploring color. The full set includes 216 colors plus a DIY color cube. The basic deck of 41 cards is perfect for the classroom. 

Tracy's cards are divided into eight groups - red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, black and white. She uses a basic CMY number code instead of trying to name all the colors. The highest number is 555. There are currently just over 500 Kickstarter backers. It would be great to see the final number of backers top 555!

Tracy just announced that an additional 18 cards will be added to supplement the basic deck with the tints, shades and tones of the intermediary colors. Very cool!

Tracy has also promised to add the hex codes to the cards to make them even more user friendly.

You can support the campaign for as little or as much as you want. A pledge of about $20 USD will get you the Colour Basics deck. The premium "Color Club" pledge ($175 USD) incudes two sets of the whole colorful system.

The campaign closes at 2:00 PM EST on July 18th. The first edition of the cards will go the Kickstarter backers so get them while you can!

Breakthrough Color Cards

Upcoming Class at VIA Artistica

Next weekend I am teaching a polymer workshop at VIA Aristica here in Portland, OR.

The class is appropriate for both beginning and advanced polymer artists. Basic experience required.

Come have fun playing with color!

Trio of Thorn Bracelets
Saturday, July 25th
9:30 to 5:30
$95 includes the clay
TaborSpace, SE 55th and Belmont


The sky is bright blue and the gardens of Portland are overflowing with flowers. Enjoy the colors of summer!