First Thursday: Color at the Speakeasy Gallery with Ryan Hadden 

You're never too old to color

We may not win the cover spot, but BW employees each contributed a little something to one of Hadden's (40) Thousand.

We may not win the cover spot, but BW employees each contributed a little something to one of Hadden's (40) Thousand.

During his exhibit at Bricolage last year, local artist Ryan Hadden drew designs--and he noticed something unexpected.

"The adults were coloring with the kids," Hadden said. "Even after the kids got bored, the adults were still there coloring. I know I like to color, but I didn't know there was a demand for it."

Hadden learned more about the growing trend of coloring books for adults when his wife sent him links from National Public Radio on the therapeutic nature of coloring.

"Four of the books on The New York Times [Games and Activities] Bestsellers list are coloring books right now," Hadden said, referring to Enchanted Forest, Creative Haven's Creative Cats, Art Nouveau Animal Designs and Johanna Basford's hugely popular Secret Garden.

While working full-time installing marble and granite countertops and raising five children ages 8 to 16, Hadden began designing his own coloring book. While his family watched movies, Hadden drew, sometimes getting so caught up, he'd work until 2 a.m.

Within six months, he had created (40) Thousand. He took repeating shapes and lines and used them 1,000 times each to create a larger image. Some are illustrations, like blades of grass, a tree or arrows, but most are intentionally abstract.

"If it's abstract, it frees you up to focus on the coloring," Hadden said. "Having a lot of different shapes forces you to spend a lot of time coloring as well, so it helps create that meditative experience."

The books will be for sale for $10 at the Speakeasy Gallery (850 W. Main St.) on First Thursday, Dec. 3.

NOTE:Boise Weekly is sponsoring a (40) Thousand contest: Pick up one of seven designs from the book for free during First Thursday at Speakeasy or through Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 at BWHQ--and color away. Then submit it to us before Friday, Jan. 15 for a chance to be a 2016 Boise Weekly cover artist.

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