Baked potatoes, pastries, hot pies, pizza, mountains of buttery pasta, endless cups of tea and stacks of digestive biscuits, fish and chips….comfort food for a cold, wet day but, oh, the price to pay, in the shape of a thickened waist and a pair of flabby hips, symptoms of our prolonged and miserable winter. My interest in belly dancing did not originate within an amateur class taking place inside of a gym disguised as an Arab souk, no; it stemmed naturally from looking disconsolately at my winter waistline in the mirror, of a morning, of wishing the surplus covering away and swaying in response to the need to do something about it. The instinct to move rhythmically is almost certainly a primal one, born of an atavistic link to a serpentine ancestor, perhaps? Whatever, the number of warm-weather cultures that espouse this torso-driven dance cannot be incidental; Turkey, Egypt, Morocco all have their versions of belly dancing. I’m still struggling with the hip movements, have yet to don silken veils, hang rattling gold charms from my midriff or master the use of finger cymbals – who cares? It’s great fun and I’m already down to last summer’s waist size…ready now, shake for the Sheik….
The idea for a book combining colour theory and Greek mythology, which has always held my fascination, occurred to me just over two years ago.I have now launched Mythical Colouring. The majority of colouring books provide colour enthusiasts with patterns for essays into pure colour. However, even imagination requires a helping hand when matching and contrasting shades. The introductory notes and the guidelines that accompany every story serve as a springboard for the aspiring colourist.
Each story consists of two images, an A4-sized image and a smaller – though enlarged - detail from that image. Many enthusiasts may prefer to experiment on this detail before moving on to the full-sized picture. I have also provided blank squares at the outset of the book for pure colour experimentation.
Beginning with the story of a prehistoric deluge, the reader is taken through a montage of scenes from the lexicon of Greek mythology that include the pastoral worlds of Hyperion and Endymion, to the subterranean realm of Medea and the adventures of Hercules. In the accompanying guidelines, I explain how to attain the requisite atmosphere through the use of colour, and reminding the enthusiast that he or she is free to experiment.