Want to add a little color to your world? Good idea. Colors, whether we realize it or not, govern the way we live our lives. This is why we choose green lettuce over yellow lettuce and yellow eggs over green eggs. It’s why red excites us, while blue calms us down.
Studies conducted in schools since 1938 have shown that adding color to the academic environment, even changing white to oyster, reduces eye fatigue and improves attention, concentration, and healthier social interactions. The same goes for work and home environments as well. It’s a human thing.
While we don’t always have a say in our workplace coloration or the budget to convert our entire wardrobe to pastel, there is a very simple way to add color to your world: sidewalk chalk. These wonderful sticks of tiny, dyed diatoms may take you back to those sunny days of childhood, but kids don’t need to have all the fun. Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive, highly versatile, and comes in the brightest, most mood-enhancing colors you can find.
Right now, I’m looking out the window at the courtyard, which has exploded overnight into a psychedelic rainbow of flowers, suns, elephants, and balloons. I can’t tell yet if it was the work of one or more artists, but regardless, it puts a smile on my face when I come and go over the rainbow.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an “ar-teest“, the very act of drawing can be therapeutic. Even after a rough week, digging out the chalk and drawing all over everything, within reason, forces you to focus on what you are creating in the present. The beautiful thing about chalk, compared to other artistic media, is that it only takes a little rainstorm or sprinkler wash for the canvas to be cleared.
Like all the drawings before them, the ones in the courtyard right now will be washed away by tomorrow’s rain showers, and a new canvas will open up for further coloration. It’s an endless cycle of creativity. Give it a try. Draw something cheerful or grumpy or fantastical or even inappropriate. Laugh about it. Watch your mood improve. Then wash it up and start again.