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Managing Stress in a Swirl of Colors

A finished painting—be it on canvas or a mere wall—certainly wouldn’t reflect all the hard work put into it for the average eye. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica are just two monumental art works that have managed to capture a worldwide following. Both have wowed audiences in their respective displays.

Like other forms of art, painting offers freedom for the artist as he or she is given all rights possible to express his or her feelings, thoughts and sentiments even beyond the canvas. But how does painting, a mainstream art form, help relieve stress?

Painting Stress Away
Being able to reach out to viewers and stir varied views on a painting gives a painter limitless subjects and endless possibilities for stress relief. “In art, the celebration of minds and souls flows,” says Fernando Doctolero, an award-winning Filipino visual artist, painter and illustrator.

Doctolero’s love for painting started when he was 12 years old, and since then, he has created a name for himself in the Philippine art circuit. Now, he has been nobly sharing his skill by teaching art-related courses at the College of Architecture and Fine Arts at the Technological University of the Philippines.

May it be a group or a one-man exhibit, he makes sure that he gives an all-out effort on every canvas painted. For Doctolero, painting allows him to fully express his feelings on canvas. “Painting is human relation. It interacts with the viewers,” he shares. He adds that painting stylized forms of figures is easier for him as it deals with cultured and free-form figures. “Although a painting’s subject doesn’t move, I try to portray figures that have movement when I paint,” says Doctolero.

Being able to express one’s feelings and sentiments could be considered a stress buster for Doctolero, who creates most of his masterpieces in a series. “Painting a series for me is like writing a journal. I recount my experiences, and it reflects on my canvas. It greatly interacts with people,” he shares.

His love for the arts is evident in the efforts he put into making his paintings, even in the materials he uses. Unlike most painters who buy their canvases from stores, Doctolero makes his own—from the carpentry needed to create the wooden frames, to the physical strength needed to stretch the canvas to make it fit. He says it’s all for the love of his craft. He goes on to say that making his own frames and canvases is also a form of exercise. It keeps him healthy and it works the muscles and joints of the body, which in a way helps rid himself of stress.

“Being able to express your ideas and rendering them to the painting relieves a lot of stress,” says Doctolero. More than just creating beautiful masterpieces, painting indeed allows a person to get in touch with his or her artistic side. Painting can be used to process emotions and distract one’s self from everyday burdens and stressors.

So what are you waiting for? Embrace the inner Picasso in you and find joy in creating your own masterpieces while ridding your self of unwanted stress.

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