Recalcitrant (aka Turns Out Painting By Numbers Is Not My Thing)

Pronunciation: /ri-kal-si-truh nt/

Seems I have a problem with authority... or numbers“I try to paint by numbers, But nothing’s black and white for me”from: Your Sympathy by Mika

Colouring is said to bring a certain peace of mind. I really do believe it’s a form of meditation and a way of cheering yourself up.

When I was depressed, my psychologist told me it was a good idea to pick up a hobby which involved doing something that immediately gave result. For example: knitting, cleaning, drawing, some form of craftsmanship, etcetera. Anything that involves doing something and being able to see what you’ve done straight away.

From experience I can say this is true: I started regularly cleaning up my room and keeping it tidy. Basically, if my room looks great, I feel great. Because when you do something and you literally see the work you put into it appear in front of you, it makes you feel good.

Colouring is another one of my “things”. I love the smell of the pencils, I love the sound their sharp points make when I move them across the drawings, and I enjoy seeing the picture change in front of me; a dull white paper with black linings that slowly turns into a colourful burst of expression.

I say expression, because I usually colour mandalas and they’re all about how you feel and stuff.

A good week ago, however, I was in a store with my mum and I found a colouring book for adults. Which isn’t that amazing, since it’s all the hype nowadays, but the difference with this book was that it’s “colouring by numbers”. It intrigued me and I bought it.

The thing with me and my mandalas is that I spend a long time staring at the picture, imagining what colours look best together or suit the rune well. And I thought it would be a relief to not have to worry about the colours, but just to empty my mind, pick a predetermined set of pencils and go!

I honestly thought this:
a) would work for me, and
b) would save time

I was wrong on both accounts. Turns out I have a very strong opinion when it comes to using colours. I didn’t know I was this recalcitrant!
Out of the two images I did, I strayed twice. I just don’t understand how the end result can be pleasing when continuously using the same colour for bits that are close or even linked to each other. I also don’t understand why they give twenty-four examples of colours on the back of the book and then refrain from using all of them on one page.

In the end, I was staring at the pictures again, mixing colours in my head and having very very strong feelings of: “no, no, no, I am NOT going to use number five there AGAIN!”

Seriously, even Jesus couldn’t save me.

I’ve never been one to follow rules and do as others do. I don’t see the fun in that. But there’s life and there are things that don’t really matter, like colouring pages for adults with small numbers printed all over them. I thought I’d be able to let go and don’t mind. After all, I deliberately choose to be told what to do when I bought this book. But I just can’t do it the way I am supposed to.

I have to do things my way. Because that’s the only way I know.


2 thoughts on “Recalcitrant (aka Turns Out Painting By Numbers Is Not My Thing)

  1. “I have to do things my way. Because that’s the only way I know.”

    Last year I had a “fight” with my coauthor. She spent a month to write up our paper and asked me for proofreading. But I wasn’t satisfied with her writing: it reads too verbose to me, the sentences are too long and convoluted. So rewrote the entire paper cut the paper from 35 to 22 pages.

    That revision was not well received. She has an English degree and senior to me. Imagine how mad she was… We ‘fought’ for half month and she insisted on using her version for submission. Eventually I gave in—a big mistake I will never repeat.

    The outcome is rejection. The worst part: the referees’ comments were the exactly my critics.

    So doing things you way may run the risk of angering others, but at least you will not regret. For good or bad, it is the consequence of your choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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