I’ll admit, I don’t fully understand the adult’s colouring book phenomenon which has seeped into the magazine stands and all across Amazon in the last couple of years. However, that’s probably because I’ve never been able to stay inside the lines. I suppose the idea is that it gives people something to do, something precise that doesn’t take all their concentration, but allows them a break from their day-to-day, in order to regroup internally and, ultimately, create something pretty. That all sounds perfectly reasonable, and if it helps people, then why the hell not?
Personally, I lack the flair to create a painted world. I wish, I so wish, I could. But I just don’t have that talent. But I have found a loophole.
I have a paint-by-numbers kit. I haven’t done anything like paint-by-numbers since I was about ten, but here we are. It’s quite fiddly. And like anything fiddly, it promises a satisfaction upon completion that I demand it lives up to. Once it’s finished, I’ll update you.
So far, I’ve done about a third of the white-white bits. There are about eight shades of white. I’m talking about the lightest of the lot. It seemed the sensible place to start. They’re going to need a second coat because I can still see numbers shining through and that sort of breaks the illusion.
The thing is this: I’m pretty sure, if it works out, I’ll hang this thing on the wall. When people see it, I’ll expect them to ooh and ahh, and ask, “Who painted that, then?” And I will smile and tell them it was me. And as the surprise and intrigue whispers through their veins, I will admit, “It was paint-by-numbers,” and they’ll laugh and wonder how they’ve never seen this modest side of me.
I’ll know how.