By Sandra Pugh
I retired the final time from a paying job 4 years ago. Retirement is something you save for all your life and look forward to the years you are working. I remember thinking the people that were retired had it made and had nothing to do: which could not be farther from the truth for most people. Being retired is a job too; it just doesn’t pay as well.
Not much has changed since I wrote retirement 101 and I am still not doing any volunteer work. The Life Story Writing class that I teach twice a month at Wesley Towers doesn’t take much preparation on my part so that doesn’t take up much of my free time at home.
I am still writing for the Rural Messenger twice a month so that is something for me to do, but writing is so easy that it doesn’t take that much time either. I have 8 stories started in the documents file right now that I add to or tweak until I think it is finished. I edit each story many times while it is sitting there in the file. Then I can proofread it and finally let it go and send it to the paper.
I am now working on coloring pages. I find a picture online that I like and copy and paste it and turn it into black and white and then print it so I can color it. There is a new category at the fair that we can enter and it is for coloring pages using colored pencils or gel pens.
So I have been looking for pictures, to give myself some choices, of animals, portraits or nature scenes. I’d like a picture that will symbolize Kansas. But I am also working on a lot of intricate ones both nature scenes and portraits. I love to do the portraits and try to get the skin and hair to look as natural as possible. I did one of my two cockers sitting in the backyard together and it was fun to get the fur to look right.
I have found out that there aren’t different categories for the coloring page entries. So the pictures of animals, nature scenes or portraits will all be placed together in one category in the fine arts department. The colored pictures will compete with oil and watercolor paintings and photography. I hope this is just for one year while they test the waters to see how many are going to enter.
I think there should be a few categories: 1. Nature, 2. Animals, 3. Anything about Kansas, 4. Portraits. I colored one picture that is a farmer hand milking cows. Cats are sitting up like dogs begging for milk beside him. One is getting a squirt of milk in his mouth. The man milking is a cute farm scene or Kansas theme.
I think more people would enter if there were 4 categories at least and we had some idea of what the judge or judges were going to be looking for. I hope there is a good response this year and they can expand on the category. The criteria for the judging should be just like oil painting or watercolors I think.
Coloring has certainly made retirement a lot easier and when I get bored I take out the hardest picture I have printed and work on it. Coloring can keep you occupied and stress-free for quite a while. I am as particular coloring now as I was a child, maybe even more so, but now I have the pencils that allow me to be more precise.
If you are thinking about taking up coloring again, no matter your age, you need to get a box of Prismacolor Pencils, mine has 72 colors. They are wonderful to work with and you can blend and shade the colors which you can’t do with gel pens or markers or the regular colored pencils.
For the blending and shading, Prismacolor has a colorless pencil that is used to blend and then seals the work so it can’t be smeared. The Prismacolor colorless or blending pencils are the secret to making a picture you color look like a photo and not a colored picture.
So enjoy the stress lowering effects of retirement coloring, I hope to see lots of pictures at the fair. To contact Sandy: [email protected]