BENGALURU: Did you know that until the 11th century, only wood was used for the construction of churches in Russia? Or that the bread played a significant role in the lives of Slavs? That, according to Russian custom, guests were greeted with bread and salt, a custom adopted from the Pagan culture where bread was considered a deity. Or how much the Samovar is weaved into the Russian tea culture? How about discovering all these nuggets of information as you colour your way around. Unearth these jewels of information as you colour your heart’s fill on the colouring book Reminiscence: A Colourful Travelogue, an adult colouring book illustrated by Alena Earath.
Alena, a Russian national who made India her home after her marriage, has come up with a one-of-its-kind adult colouring book, which, while tracing her eventful journey from Russia to Kerala through art, offers an array of illustrations you can paint and play around with.The work of two years has come to fruition with Alena self-publishing her colouring book. The book gives a snapshot of the cultures of India and Russia.
The elements from both countries are illustrated by Alena in black and white. Alena who completed her higher medical education in Russia chose art over the medical profession. And she has come up with the book hoping to do her bit to help people bust stress and relax.
“Although I am not practising medicine, I thought of how I can help people relax. Colouring process is, in fact, a kind of therapy for people affected with chronicle illness. It will help them relax. Also, colouring improves the motor communication of the two hemispheres of the brain,” says Alena.
The idea struck her two years ago when the two countries were celebrating 70 years of diplomatic friendship. “I thought of combining the elements of both the countries and created art. It is a blend of two amazing cultures. Creating the illustrations took over a year. I have also brought out several hidden facts about the two cultures by providing details about the illustrations,” says the artist.
The book starts with an air carrier on its way to India and then takes you through the major elements of India. Next, the air carrier goes to Russia, signifying Alena’s journey to Russia and takes you through her memories. “I have included all my favourite memories from Russia and everything that greeted me once I came to Kerala,” says Alena.
“The book is also for those who work all day at the office. They can come home, find a quiet place and relax with maybe just one colour pencil,” she says. She says that it was the support of her husband Manoj Earath and son Milen that has helped her delve more into art. Alena says that art is her life. “It’s all for me. I’ll be glad if it can help someone in some way or other using these colouring books,” she adds.