Hello coloring friends! I am pleased to announce my newest book just in time for the holidays, Hello Retro Christmas. This book is my second "10-Minute Mental Health Moment" Coloring Book and features 40 pages of retro-inspired holiday illustrations in a square (8.5 x 8.5) format that are quick and easy to color. The paper is creamy white and drawings have subtle textural shadows in areas to create a background.
I love how these pages turned out! I took a very short break between finishing Hello Beautiful Fall and starting drawing for this book. I've felt really inspired by the concept of the mental health moment and wanted to keep up the momentum I am feeling about this idea.
I love holiday/Christmas themed decor as much as anyone but the look of mid-century mod or "retro" 60's decorations are really what I think are my jam. These kinds of shapes look great with hot pinks and teal blues along with the traditional red and green. I have colored a few pages from Hello Retro Christmas to test and they look amazing with this kind of color scheme. If you are a follower - look for these on my instagram :).
However you color these pages, my hope is that you are taking a mental health moment for yourself. This time of year can be stressful and it helps to focus on ourselves and what we need to keep our joy amongst the frenzy of food, family and finances. I feel more anxiety during this time of year than any other with the weight of expectation and try hard to remember that the holidays are really about sharing time with people that you love. Maybe you feel the same? We really don't need to have it all together in order to enjoy this time.
I wish you a most restful, peaceful and centered holiday season.
I have wanted to create a series of books that are intentional about the mental health benefits of coloring for some time. Hello Beautiful Fall is my first in what I hope will be an on-going series. My thought was to create artwork that could be colored fairly quickly - ideally in 10 minutes - along a theme. The phrase, "A 10-Minute Mental Health Moment" perfectly represents the intent of these short coloring sessions.
I like it when we use the words "Mental Health" in an overt way rather than "mindfulness" or "well-being" because these are just euphemisms for what we are actually talking about. I think it's important to de-stigmatize ideas around the treatment of (or just paying attention to one's own) mental health (ie: it's OK to not be OK).
So then, what are the links between mental health and coloring? I am obviously not a doctor but from everything that I have read or experienced myself, taking a pause to be creative in any form directs the brain to an activity that is not about what you are perhaps relentlessly thinking about. It literally allows you to let go of racing thoughts or maybe to tune into your body just for a moment. It may help make you think mainly about the application of color to the page so that whatever you might be thinking about fades into the background a little.
Hello Beautiful Fall has 40 fall-themed illustrations that are similar in art style to my other books. Nature scenes, florals and botanicals with a few animals are the main subjects (pumpkins and sunflowers!). I purposefully chose to print on cream colored paper because I like the softness and it feels like coloring a background is unnecessary. These drawings are centered on square colored pages and not overly big on the page. I'm hoping it's a comfortable amount of space. I've timed coloring many pages and I feel like you can achieve a nice page in 10 minutes. I love it because, truthfully, I'm not a great colorist. I like to color but I enjoy drawing much more so to me the shorter coloring just feels better. I can feel like I've made a beautiful page with minimal effort.
I hope you like this intentional mental health coloring book. It is my hope that it will strike a chord with some folks and perhaps fill a need. There are sooooooo many coloring books in the world to chose from. I am incredibly grateful to anyone who buys one of mine and if this particular series is helpful to anyone, even better.
Find the book here.
Happy Coloring Friends,
I'm happy to announce my newest map coloring book – The Europe Coloring Book! I've been working up to this one since completing the trifecta of North America (USA, Canada and Mexico Coloring Books). In younger years, I traveled a bit in Europe but it has been a minute (ha!) since my last trip. Portugal is the country I know best because my husband and I had the good fortune to live there for almost a year when he was doing research for a dissertation. It was a lovely time and the country and people, not to mention the food, hold a special place in my heart. We spent some time in Spain, Italy, France, Ireland and England as well. I know that I am extremely lucky to have had these experiences and feel a connection to another place that is similar to my own yet very different in many ways. This thought was on my mind as I worked my way through these 45 maps. The connection we feel to people and places far away from our own. I hope that this book brings kids and adults alike some knowledge of what makes each country in Europe unique and brings familiarity to the general location and borders. This would be a great one for homeschoolers and armchair travelers (like myself!). Happy Coloring Friends!
(Click on book cover to find on amazon)
-This book is a result of a folk art inspired peace bird that I illustrated for an instagram post in support of the Ukrainian people. It has undeniably been an excruciating month for so many. My heart goes out to all affected and I hope that there can be a resolution soon and healing can begin.
After drawing the Ukrainian peace bird, I kept going and thirty birds later...here is a new book dedicated to "modern folk art birds". This book is an addition to my "Scandinavian-inspired" coloring books. I absolutely love this kind of artwork. It is abstract and geometric in many ways but also very much about celebrating the natural world. The line art is fairly bold with small details added – but not too many so they are not getting in the way of coloring. The majority of the book is single birds but there are also a number of pages with two birds or more.
I wanted to create another book that is a square (8-1/2" x 8-1/2") format. I find this is a good size for quick, uncomplicated coloring and it has a natural symmetry which is really nice. It felt like the book needed to be a double set in order to be able to try out different color schemes.
Thank you for taking a look at my newest coloring book, Modern Folk Art Birds! I hope that you love it and find peace in the pages.
All my best, Coloring Friends!
xo – Jen
Hello coloring friends! I am happy to announce my newest book, The Plant Parent Wishlist Coloring Book is now available! This book is a companion to my original, The Plant Parent Coloring Book, which was released in 2020. It has been very gratifying to share my love of plants and have it so well received (I believe that it spurned a whole new category of plant coloring books on the platform!). The first Plant Parent coloring book focuses on the most common plants that you can find and their care (think Home Depot, Lowes, etc...) . Now that you've gotten your feet wet (or your thumb green, ha ha) you may be ready to try your hand at some of these more unusual varieties.
If you are like me, you see amazing and new plants everywhere on social media these days. These plants are on everyone's wishlist because they are gorgeous! And the best part is that most don't require a lot more care than you've already gotten used to. These plants may require a trip to a nursery or a search on Etsy to find but they are readily available. I did a fair amount of research to make sure I featured plants that are not especially rare but they may be slightly more expensive or a little harder to find.
The artwork in this book is very similar to the original Plant Parent Coloring Book but features slightly thicker lines for easier coloring and some light shading to make the shapes easier to distinguish. I also added a border (vs floating on white) that can be colored in to make the plants "pop" a little more and boxes around the "care" portion at the bottom to make it a little more useful and easier if one would like to color in these shapes.
I hope all the new and future plant parents love this book and it will inspire you to add to your collection of plant babies!
Happy Coloring, Friends!
So what is "Lagom"? Lagom (sounds like La-Gum) is the Swedish art of living with just the right balance – not too much and not too little. Similar to Hygge, Lagom celebrates finding enjoyment in simple things, like a good cup of coffee, a warm fire, collections from nature or reading a good book with a snuggly pet at your side. Obviously, I feel inspiration from all of these things because they are similar to my previous book, "Time to Hygge" but I love the twist that Lagom brings as well. It's not as much about being cozy and more of an overall aesthetic of how to live life in moderation and care for others. The basic tenets are: 1. a positive mindset 2. the importance of exercise and sleep 3. sustainability and the environment 4. simplicity and functionality of things in your home 5. imperfection is beauty (ie: leave behind the goal of perfection...it can never be attained anyway). This coloring book is a glimpse into this world and hopefullly will have you thinking about how you can incorporate a little Lagom into your life. Happy Coloring, Friends!
Check out a sampling of pages:
The artwork is fairly simple in this coloring book. Not too many tight, complicated lines and more a focus on easy Scandinavian-inspired florals and animal shapes. Light grayscale details add dimension to the line art but are not included on all pages.
What is the "Gilded Age" and "The Teensies" you ask? The Gilded Age was the 1870's and The Teensies are the 2010's! Each decade commonly is assigned a nickname that becomes representative of the era.
The ones we hear most often are "The Roaring Twenties" and "The Swinging Sixties". This coloring book is a glimpse into each time period through the lens of womens' hairstyle, fashion, style and some of the innovations of the time – like radios, telephones, cd players, all the way to smartphones.
It was impossible to fit all that I wanted to include for each page so I made them facing pages. Each decade has a border style that is reflective of design style for the time period along with iconic handbags, earrings, glasses, hair accessories, perfume bottles or make-up. Not each pages is perfectly consistent with what is included because the importance of certain items faded through time. To fully reflect the flavor of the decade I thought it was fun to include some slang phrases and little design elements that would have been similar to what you see on products.
I hope that this book is a gas to color (ha, ha)! A little google search can give you an easy way to find a palette that works for each decade and adds an extra layer of fun to the coloring!
Happy Coloring, Friends!
I must admit, I love portraits. There is a long history of portraiture in art for good reason. I think we are compelled to look at people's faces and so we connect to this artwork on different level than, say, a beautiful tree or flower.
That said, this is a new subject for me for line art (I've done painted portraits before). I've designed these illustrations so that they are not overly complex and are fairly easy for a variety of coloring experience levels and ages. Additionally, it was very important to me to show a variety of women's faces from African American to Asian to freckles and Alopecia.
All of the portraits can be made unique by how the colorist would like to interpret. I love the circle cheeks because they add an element of fun into the portraits. And of course, these women needed to be surrounded by leafy elements and a few woodland animals! These women are friends of the forest. I hope you enjoy Faces in the Forest, A Portrait Coloring Book. Please do tag me on instagram with your colored pages @jenracinecoloring. I can't wait to see them!
All my best and Happy Coloring,
Love your veg? I do too! This book is for anyone who is curious about their favorite vegetables. We are backyard gardeners and love to eat and grow interesting varieties of vegetables. It's truly amazing to see how many are available especially if growing from seed. I was inspired by my own garden, my husbands love of perusing seed catalogs and trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diet. And vegetables come in such interesting shapes and colors that they make gorgeous subjects.
This book was a pleasure to illustrate because I looked at many kinds of vegetables and learned a lot of interesting facts about each. This is not a comprehensive guide as there are many more varieties in some vegetables than could be contained on one page. I purposefully laid out each page so that you have a variety of color represented versus every variety.
This kind of coloring book is a bit different than your typical because it is informational/educational. It's helpful to look up the veg you are coloring on the web for reference and an extra bonus because you will most likely learn something new through this process!
I envisioned this book as a handy reference and inspiration for other gardeners and vegetable lovers. It could also be good for kids to learn about where in the world their favorite vegetables originate from and be inspired to try some new ones. I hope you will love this coloring book as much as you love your vegetables. Happy coloring friends!
The Happy Pattern Coloring Book is now on amazon and available to purchase! This little book is in a handy square (travel!) size and is a collection of mandala-inspired and easy to color artwork. This book has 40 pages and features florals, animals and a few fish. Many of my other books are “patterns” but this one has more connected lines that are designed to work together as a cohesive shape. I’ve wanted to do a book like this for a while and it was incredibly fun coming up with these patterns. They are symmetrical but also loose enough that they don’t need precision coloring. I like this kind of coloring because it’s relaxed and “happy” to me.
All my best,
Hi there. Welcome to my blog. I have some details about my books and the process of creating them here.