The lockdown measures of the past few months have undoubtedly tested our nerves, but thankfully art came to our rescue in the form of some special mindfulness colouring pages curated by the web platform Milano Art Guide.

The Colouring Book – that’s the name of the project curated by Rossella Farinotti and Gianmaria Biancuzzi, founders of Milano Art Guide – is a virtual collection of black and white A4-sized drawings by a number of Italian and foreign contemporary artists, from Maurizio Cattelan to Vanessa Beecroft. Anyone can browse the book online, download the drawings for free and have fun colouring them. Now, that’s certainly a creative way to brighten the days inside our four walls.

Here some beautiful picks and links to funny drawings.

 
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Rossella and Gianmaria came up with the idea of creating printable colouring pages while looking for ways to stay creative in times of containment and cheer people up during the quarantine. They got on the phone with a number of artists to discuss the project and in just a few hours over 100 of them were ready to submit their drawings via email.

The Colouring Book was released right at the beginning of the lockdown in Italy, and quickly spread through the web thanks to word of mouth and the Instagram page of Milano Art Guide. The cool thing about this project is not just the brilliant idea itself, but also the fact that the artists somehow show their point of view on the pandemic through their artworks. From Cattelan’s iconic middle finger to Niccolò Moronato’s sinking Titanic reminding us that we are all on the same boat, each of these colouring pages subtly conveys some kind of ironic or political message. Camouflage by Ettore Favini, for example, is about movements and borders, while Pajama Party by Sardinian artist Irene Balia depicts two of our best friends during quarantine: the couch and our pajamas

 
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Another funny drawing is Suspended Run by illustrator Piero Corva, because, let’s be honest, it seems that we all turned into running enthusiasts during the quarantine. Browsing through the website, I also found some simple pages with great reminders, like Diary of a Quarantine by Venetian visual artist Maria Morganti, who provides us with a sort of calendar to keep track of our lockdown experience.

The idea of a colouring book for adults is certainly nothing new since mindfulness colouring has been a hot topic way before Covid-19. A number of studies have demonstrated that there is a clear correlation between mindfulness and the therapeutic effects of colors. Colouring the pages of a book is, in fact, a simple yet extremely de-stressing activity able to take our mind away from our anxieties. The main objective of The Colouring Book is precisely to bring some distraction into our quarantined lives by giving us something fun to do either on our own or together with our families. Furthermore, this book represents also a new, alternative way of interacting with art in a time of postponements and cancellations.

The book is a work in progress and is periodically updated with new contributions. You can browse and download the colouring pages at milanoartguide.com.