UST MUSEUM Director Fr. Isidro Abaño shows his prowess as a colorist in “Color More, Stress Less,” an exhibition of his collaboration with other artists, at the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Abaño explores the psychological dimensions of art particularly its soothing qualities by highlighting the recent fad on adult coloring books. He displays an array of colored-pencil artworks on black and white illustrations—mostly from adult coloring books such as Bookware Publishing’s “Books for the Soul” and “Kulay Pinoy,” by artist Vermailene Barrios.

“Coloring is a hobby which calms and relaxes our minds,” Abaño said in an interview with the Varsitarian. “Since our eyes are easily attracted to colors, we tend to take a break from our problematic thoughts and just focus on stroking the colored-pencils.”

Other illustrations, which mostly depict Mandala symbols, religious icons and animals were drawn by artists Owen Los Baños and Mike Torres and UST physician Dante Lerma, former fine arts dean Jaime de los Santos, and fine arts graduates Red de Leon and Jacqueline Callanta.

Abaño encourages the exhibit viewers to also try coloring the displayed samples of coloring sheets.

Adult coloring books have recently become trendy since many people take to them to relieve stress. Aficionados said they could meditate while enjoying the repetitive action of the hands while coloring.

“The repeating strokes of colors with colored-pencils and pen is hypnotic in nature,” said Abaño. It makes me feel like I am enclosed in a no-worry zone.”

Along with the colored-pencil artworks, Abaño also displays informational posters discussing the know-how of colored-pencils and a chart comparing 19 brands of wax-based, oil-based and water-soluble colored pencils taken from the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil,” by graphic designer and art director Gary Greene.

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Lectures tackling the psychology of colors and its effects on human mind were held by the UST Department of Psychology chair Claudette Agnes and Psychological Association of the Philippines Clinical Division chair Prof. Grace Evangelista last April 12 and 14, respectively, at the UST Civil Law auditorium.

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