When I was a child I colored, sketched and painted every day. It was a certainty. One other certainty in my heart at that time was that I’d one day be a “mom.”
Much time has passed. I’ve been so many different things along the way, and my path was often winding. But here I am today; all grown up (I think) and standing daily in the roles of artist and mother.
I think that we all can have many, many talents and varied interests in our lives, but maybe our heart’s purpose is much more focused; much more clear. I always just knew I was meant to be a mom, and meant to encourage individuality, creativity and self-love–especially in kids–through my artwork. That sounds very lofty now that I write it out, but all it really means is that I constantly try to create opportunities for others to make something beautiful, with their own unique flair, and then to own it and be proud of it.
I’ve been lucky to publish six books now, full of tips on drawing, doodling, painting, coloring and self-expression. My coloring book, A GIVING HEART, is a perfect collision of the things I truly care about. I dedicated it to my mother, who is everything I can ever aspire to be as a mom. I can still remember all of my childhood coloring books, with their randomly completed pages throughout. Those finished pages were almost always side-by-side. The left would be signed “Mom.” The right would be signed “Stephanie.” She always took the time to be with me. Always.
My hope for my coloring book is that it will give that awesome gift of shared time to other mothers and their children, young and old. I hope that the scripture and meaningful quotes will inspire some beautiful conversations and memories of sitting side-by-side. I hope that it might be just a little bit more than a book of pretty pictures. I know I will let my kids color the pages they think best suit their grandmothers, then frame and give them as gifts. Or even better, maybe they can color them together with their Grammies, and then be sure to sign their names carefully at the bottom.
In this beautiful spirit of sharing, I’ve created the following videos to highlight two fun ways to add color to pages like the ones in my book. One method involves choosing a limited palette first. Then, the colors are used one at a time to methodically fill in all areas of the page. This method is great for relaxation and for creating a finished artwork in a specific color scheme that will complement your decor.
The other method is more spontaneous. Each element in the drawing–in this case flowers–is completed in its entirety, using multiple colors, before moving onto the next. Intuition guides each choice. There is no pre-planning. Add extra fun by challenging yourself to choose colors you wouldn’t always go for. This method is great for loosening up your creativity and works especially well when coloring with another person. If you do have a coloring buddy, swap sides midway through the process to mix things up. Partner coloring is actually one of my favorite activities because the end result really represents two souls. That is so special.
I hope these fun videos have made you want to break out a fresh box of colored pencils or crayons. Time spent together sharing and really “seeing” our mamas (or our kiddos) is always worthwhile. It’s my pleasure to provide the means.
Stephanie Miller Corfee is an artist and author from Malvern, Pennsylvania, who is a proud mother of three beautiful boys, and together with her husband, considers it an honor to also foster children in need. She enjoys working on commissioned projects and portraits for individual clients, as well as licensing her work with larger companies and publishers.