Today is National Crayon Day.
What is a crayon?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “crayon” as “a stick of white or colored chalk or of colored wax used for writing or drawing.” Artists have used one form of crayon or another for millennia. Early Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artists used some form of colored charcoal, chalk, or wax for their creations.
Where were crayons first used?
The first “crayons,” or wax pastels, were mainly used by artists, not children. These tools were used by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Francois Clouet (1510-1572). Encaustic paintings were described by Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D. with the oldest surviving examples being the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt. This was a common technique in ancient Roman and Greek paintings. Over the centuries, the crayon has evolved into the colored wax sticks children love and use today.
The modern crayon
The wax crayon, as we know it today, is used mainly by school children and artists. Of course, some of us who don’t fit either category still have a box around—and not just for the kiddos. (Note to self: Get a separate box of crayons for ME.) I don’t use crayons frequently, I mostly turn to my colored pencils.
Of course, sometimes I go in a different direction altogether and use a type of marker with a soft, brush-like tip.
I color to relieve stress. Sitting down with a line drawing and a handful of coloring implements can help relieve stress and focus the mind. I have more than half-dozen coloring books in my office. Most are mandalas, some are themed, a couple are for the grandkids.
With the stress of everything going on outside, now is the perfect time to rediscover crayons and coloring books. So, grab a box of crayons and a coloring book and slip back into childhood for a while. Feel free to share your creativity, I can hardly wait to see what you come up with.
And, please, stay safe and healthy.