The Coloring Well is the creation of Richard Stocker and Cathy Shap, husband and wife from Michigan, USA. The idea came about when Richard's 5 year old son, Santi, was hospitalised with Leukemia. Santi spent his days colouring and covering the hospital walls with Richard's nature themed illustrations, brightening up what was obviously a bleak time. After Santi's passing, Richard started 'Hospital Art for Kids', which enabled him to share the healing properties of colouring with other families. After meeting teacher Cathy at an art show, the couple realised how much they had in common with helping others find awareness and mindfulness through art. They went on to create The Coloring Well, a series of 3 colouring boxes each designed to help relieve stress and achieve emotional balance through nature-inspired drawings. Richard and Cathy continue to share their passion in cancer centres, prisons, treatment facilities, schools and more.
The box I have chosen to review is 'Comfort the Worried Mind', as this is most definitely me! I am a born worrier, always whittling about something or other, constantly analysing things. So, let's have a look inside the box.
Inside you will find an informative card outlining what these boxes aim to achieve and what effect the designs are intended to have on the colourist. As this box targets anxiety, there is a lot of explaining why colouring helps relieve this mental anguish, and the subtlety of what our eyes see having an effect on our thoughts and mindset.
There are 4 concertina cards, each one representing an element: fire, air, earth and water. The idea is that each element corresponds to an emotion and mindfully recognising this is halfway towards feeling better. There are 5 designs on each card, and the reverse side is covered in beautiful statements to help the colourist connect with an intention for colouring. Richard and Cathy believe that although escapism is great and necessary, to find peace through colouring you should be present in the moment.
The drawings are very organic, representing nature as it elementally is, rather than as a countryside landscape or flowerbed. If you like flowing, conceptual designs that aren't immediately obvious, this will suit you down to the ground. The abstract nature of the illustrations mean you can really let go and colour however you feel, rather than based on what you see in front of you. It certainly calmed me and it was interesting to colour something so different to what's out there at the moment. The perforated cards mean you can remove your picture to display, and you are encouraged to share with others and spread the meditative properties of colouring.
These products were given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your boxes and find out more about The Coloring Well, here.