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Adult coloring on the rise

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February 17th, 2016
Al Jacobs (left) and Til Lorenz
Al Jacobs (left) and Til Lorenz

Do you think coloring is just for kids? Not anymore. Adults are taking it up in droves. 

In fact, the trend is spreading like wildfire all across the country. 

Now there’s a coloring club at Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s community in Delaware County, Pa.

As participants color the intricate designs published in adult coloring books, they tend to relax, de-stress, and recapture a playful joy from childhood. 

Coloring up a storm

Til Lorenz started Maris Grove’s coloring club last October. 

The detailed designs she saw in coloring book catalogs and local stores sparked her creativity and appealed to her love of color and her flair for interior design. 

Til and Ed Lorenz moved to Maris Grove from Greenville, Del., in 2008. Til did the interior design of their beautiful and spacious apartment home.

“I’m not much of an initiator,” she says of her involvements at Maris Grove, “but a coloring club was right up my alley.”

At Maris Grove, residents can choose from among more than 180 special interest groups and activities to participate in. And if they want to start a new club, as Til did, the community resources team helps to make it happen.

Community Resources Coordinator Jen Moser makes and posts flyers to promote new clubs. She posts information on the activities page that airs on Maris Grove’s in-house television station. And she provides additional assistance throughout a club’s existence. 

The coloring club meets in the Cardinal Clubhouse creative arts studio. 

“There’s a lot of conversation at first,” Til says. “We’re all excited to see what other people have been doing. Then all of a sudden it gets very quiet as people concentrate on their own coloring. They really become absorbed.”

Right brain, left brain, every brain benefits

Til’s creative bent likely makes her a right-brain person. She relishes experimenting with color on the complex designs. 

Club member Al Jacobs, a former math teacher, considers himself a logical left-brain person. 

But Al is also into meditation and helps at his wife Evie’s campus meditation group. His “Meditation Coloring Book” features mandala designs.

Busy every day, Al bowls and plays scrabble, pinochle, and billiards. He does line dancing and performs with the campus theater group. 

“I’m involved in so many activities that this [coloring] brain break is enjoyable,” he says. 

As one part of his brain focuses on the mechanics of coloring, the other part can meditate, work out problems, or watch softly falling winter snow. 

A resident told Moser that since she started coloring just before bedtime, she sleeps better.

The beauty of the colored designs has inspired club members to repurpose them. Til uses hers as writing paper. “I’m an old-fashioned girl who still loves to write letters,” she says. 

The designs also make lovely greeting cards and can enhance plain gift bags. Til’s daughter suggested using them as origami paper.

The possibilities are limited only by the colorist’s imagination.

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