Adults gather at the Polk City Library to let their creative juices flow

Marlys BarkerTri-County
Times Editor
Adults gather at the 
Polk City Library to let their creative juices flow

There was no lack of joy in the conference room of the Polk City Public Library last Thursday evening (May 19).

That’s because each one of the seven women in the room loves to color.

“Inside the Lines” is a new activity offered by the Polk City Library, and last Thursday was the third time that this group, which has involved a dozen women at different times, has met.

Library Director Kim Kellogg couldn’t be happier to offer the activity, which she and Pam Witt, assistant library director, were both involved in. Kellogg, decked out in a bright red T-shirt that said, “Yes I’m Addicted To Coloring,” is a coloring fanatic.

“I get to be creative (with coloring),” Kellogg said. “There’s no right or wrong when you’re coloring. It’s an activity where you just let your creative juices flow.”

With the adult coloring craze and the many, many books being sold in nearly every store you go into, Kellogg and Witt decided this year to invite the public in to color together each month. “We thought we’d give it a whirl,” said Witt, who last week had her mother, Alice Witt, with her. Alice was visiting from Florida, but liked being part of the activity, because she enjoys coloring.

Jerri Hughes, of Ankeny, said she’s gotten so into the coloring craze that rather than going through her books that she always sorts out for the library’s book sales, she’s been finding herself sidetracked. “I’ve been doing more coloring than sorting books for you,” she told Kellogg.

Kellogg laughed and said coloring kind of takes over. She gets it. She used to always read a book before going to bed at night, but admits that lately, she can’t remember when the last time is she picked up any book, other than a coloring book. Kellogg has so many coloring books that she carries them in a tub, along with other coloring supplies.

When it comes to what the women like to color, subjects ranged from animals and people to high-heeled shoes and New York City streetscapes.

Jane Brees has several New York coloring books that feature streetscapes on some pages, and things you’d find in the city when shopping on other pages. “They are like a walk through New York,” she said, letting the pages ripple under her thumb to show the entire book’s content quickly. Brees admitted that when she first started coloring, she had just a small set of Crayola colored pencils. Eventually she bought a little bigger box of 24, then she hit the jackpot, a set of 64, she said.

Cory Cornwall said she likes to color animals and people. “I’m an animal lover — I could leave the people sometimes,” she joked. On this evening she was working on a picture of an elephant and its trainer with all kinds of peach and red colors in the mix. Cornwell said that because she suffers from Turner Syndrome, she also likes coloring butterflies, because the Turner Syndrome Society is represented by a butterfly.

Vickie Wheeler said she recently enjoyed coloring a horse. This was one of her first pictures she colored with the group, because her granddaughter loves horses, and she plans to give it to her.

The most fun these women have during the evening is visiting, a lot of it centered around coloring ideas and different books, because that’s what adult colorers like to do - share about what they’re coloring and what books they have loved coloring in.

“I noticed one day when I was in Wal-Mart looking at coloring books,” said Brees, “that pretty soon there were a couple more women around me looking,” and eventually, she said, they were all talking about the books like long-lost friends.

Witt told the group of colorers that some other upcoming library programs they might enjoy include one on Zentangle, which is a drawing/doodling activity; and another on meditation, since nearly everyone in the room said they love coloring because it’s so relaxing.

If you love to color, watch for the announcement of future coloring evenings, especially this coming fall, when Kellogg and Witt promise to have themed coloring events for adults during the Halloween and Christmas holiday seasons. They hope to increase their coloring books and colored pencil collection and other coloring utensils, like gel pens, as they see increased interest from the public.