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Paint Yourself Calm - Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour by Jean Haines Books in Review
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Paint Yourself Calm - Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour
by Jean Haines
Search Press
ISBN 978-178-221282-9
Published August 2016 - Softcover - 128 pages - $29.95

Oh my goodness, I think this book was published just for me!  I use a multitude of colors available in acrylics (I water them down to make watercolors) when I paint to try and alleviate some of the stresses of life.  In her Welcome, artist/author Jean Haines says, "Over the years I have learned that painting is therapeutic.  It calms the soul."  I agree!  The act of painting is in itself a form of relaxation (if you don't pressure yourself), and with the gentle guidance and encouragement of Jean Haines, you'll start to feel the warmth and calmness on these pages.  This is not a step-by-step painting guide, although there are a few steps here and there, it's more a collection of exquisitely calming and subtle colors, pleasing to the eye and soothing to the soul.  There aren't any sharp edges or scenes you have to replicate, instead, there are any number of beautiful colors in which to lose yourself, and a few of her guidelines (for lack of a better word) to help you get going.  Simple Landscapes; Nature's Calming Influence; Calming Thoughts; Finding Energy and Strength, and Colour from the Sun are a few categories to enjoy.  There are a few exercises to contemplate but it's not like you have to stick to what she's painted.  Even her words are soothing; peace, relaxation, simplify, solace, freedom, journey, love, energized, healing and life-changing are wonderful words you'll come across in this book.  It's a book about painting but not solely about painting.  There is more.  So much more.  Many of her ideas appeal to me, such as the ones on pages 35, 36, 49, 63, 91, 97 and 107.
Conclusion - As Ms. Haines says, "Anyone can paint."  This book is such a force of inspiration that it's hard to ignore.  Once I had read it I couldn't stop paging through it, over and over again.

book cover


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