The current enthusiasm for so called “adult” colouring-in books does not attract me very much. But I think this is probably my equivalent. For me it is a kind of embroidery painting by numbers. I started with a batik cotton panel which I bought several years ago when on holiday in western USA. I have spent the last few months adding colour by embroidering along the outlines, and filling in the shapes. I have added shisha mirrors and couched thicker threads and ribbons, before hand quilting the fish outlines to make them stand out.
Just like colouring-in, it is repetitive and soothing, requiring concentration but not much thinking. Hephzibah Kaplan, director at the London Art Therapy Centre describes it like this. “When choosing a colouring-in book … the convention is generally to keep different colours within different lines. This requires a relaxed focus where the outline is containing and the mark-making repetitive and smooth. So a bit like repeating a mantra where repetition is a means to relaxation, colouring-in is also a type of mediation.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/arts-books/colouring-books-colouring-books-for-adults-johanna-basford-millie-morotta-10464381.html)
The only problem is I have discovered it can become a little addictive!