By Laurelle Walsh
Winthrop resident Mary Kay Johnson is a fan of coloring and coloring books — and not just for children. “Adults love coloring too. It’s so relaxing,” Johnson asserts, and the act of coloring may even be beneficial to your health, as CNN reported in April.
Johnson is the author of “Coloring book: gateway to Methow Valley,” now in its fourth edition and for sale at Trail’s End Bookstore, The Tenderfoot and Pardner’s Mini Market in Winthrop; The Mazama Store; Sun Mountain Lodge; and Confluence Gallery in Twisp. The 15-page, spiral-bound book features fanciful images of recognizable places and events around the valley — the Methow Valley Farmers Market, the Balloon Roundup, the Methow Valley Rodeo, Pearrygin Lake State Park, and many others — all ready for your coloring pleasure.
The drawings are composite scenes, not strictly realistic, Johnson said. For example, to design the Carlton page she took photos of the Carlton swimming hole, the Carlton Store and the old schoolhouse, and drew a one-page scene that incorporates all of those images.
The first copies of Johnson’s latest work, “Seattle Coloring Book,” have just been printed. The book includes images of Pike Place Market, a ferry boat and jumping orca whale, the Alki Beach lighthouse, and other scenes that she drew using the same composite method.
She plans to provide the first copies of the new Seattle book to Trail’s End Bookstore, and is looking into marketing it at major Seattle attractions. Johnson has recently begun work on a Portland book, and says her goal is to keep designing coloring books. “I love doing design. I hate marketing,” she admits.
Johnson also designs custom coloring books for special occasions, such as one she did for a wedding at Spring Creek Ranch, and has created coloring pages for Carlos 1800, and Riverbend RV Park.
Samples of Johnson’s work may be viewed at her website, www.coloringbymk.com.