Color Therapy, Coloring Books, and Finding Some Comfort

rainbow-colors-spectrumUp here in the Northeast (Comfort Colors‘ primary dye houses are in Vermont and Massachusetts) we are starved for color right about now. We seem to be stuck in the grey season between winter and something more cheery and well, colorful. (It’s no surprise that the film Fifty Shades of Grey was released in February, the often dreary color is something most of us could relate to in February.) We need some rich, deep, vibrant color.

Color therapy, under various guises, has been around since the beginning of civilization. There are records of color “cures” in Ancient Egypt dating back to 1500 BCE. Later, Aristotle did all kinds of studies on light and color mixing. Issac Newton coined the term ‘spectrum’ to describe different colors. He concluded that the color white consisted of several different colors. Albert Einstein received his Nobel Prize for his discovery of the relationship between color and matter.

Color is caused in part due to light absorption and molecular vibrations. These vibrations effect us in subtle and not-so subtle ways. Today everyone from business owners to airline seat designers knows that color can have a powerful effect on important things like productivity, happiness, and comfort.

Lately people have started seeking out these effects through coloring books. This week “Adult Coloring Books” are the topping the best seller lists on Amazon. Mind you, these are not “Adult” coloring books, as in X-rated, these coloring books feature secret gardens, enchanted forests, and magic castles.

Some folks find these adult coloring books soothing and therapeutic; others call them puerile and ludicrous. Critics of the books lament our national loss of creativity (we used to do things like paint water colors for relaxation) and liken the coloring books to other mindless activities in which we hide from our responsibilities and real life. On the other hand, fans of the books find relief from the stresses of their daily lives in the peaceful pursuit that reminds them of childhood.

Sure we all enjoyed coloring books as kids. And we fully appreciate the power color has on our moods and perceptions. But for us, at Comfort Colors, the jury is still out on the “Adult Coloring Book.” We are not quite sure if its silly or soothing. What do you think?

And where is Bob Ross when you really need him?

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