I’m not an artist by any means. I’m more of a following the pattern, stay inside the lines kind of person. I’m always amazed by what people can do with a blank piece of paper or a yard of material. I was excited, as so many others were, when adult coloring books became a thing in the past year or so. Now I can color with my kids and not be limited to dinosaurs or disney princesses. As the trend has caught on, some authors and artists are starting to use the coloring books as a vehicle for contemplation, centering and as an alternative, creative way to work out one’s feelings. Tara M. Owens (author) and Daniel W. Sorensen (illustrator) have crafted a new coloring book called At Play in God’s Creation that is designed as,
“An invitation to meditation and contemplative prayer and, we believe, a gateway into deeper presence with the Holy One through the creative acts of coloring, quieting and reflecting.”
The book is full of quotes from various saints that are woven into the coloring pages in a unobtrusive way. They catch your eye without claiming it, encouraging you to read them over and over again as you color around their words.
I found it so interesting how certain motifs were repeated throughout the coloring book. Other coloring books I’ve encountered are a series of beautiful designs, clearly drawn by the same hand, but without repetition. In At Play in God’s Creation, you find one page depicting a shepherd walking at night holding a lantern while keeping watch over his sheep with a prayer asking God to keep watch over all who need assistance, hope or protection. The next page contains a close up of that same shepherd holding his lantern aloft whose light streams across the whole scene with a quote from St. Hildegard of Bingen about how all living things are sparks of radiance that stream forth from God.
Also, hidden throughout the book, are symbols Owens and Sorensen chose to represent key figures such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John of the Cross and St. Augustine. These symbols are found in almost every page, acting as guides as you work your way through the swirling pathways, celtic knots, crashing waves and rays of light.
If you like to color you should check this book out. There are almost 100 pages of coloring, prayer and reflection just waiting for you to create your own masterpiece. What is so unique about this book is that not only will you be able to hang your new piece of art on your wall, you will also have a new point of connection with God. This book is truly a call to prayer, a new way to immerse yourself in the Holy.