Helping people to lead more meaningful & peaceful lives

Art & Spirituality in Books & Publications

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life -Twyla Tharp

Published: December 27, 2005, Simon & Schuster

Here Tharp offers a thesis on creativity, prescriptions and exercises to help those who feel some pent-up inventiveness to find a system for turning idea into product, whether that be a story, a painting or a song. Tharp explores various creative ideas. The reader is able to develop his or her own patterns and habits, rather than imposing some regimen that works for Tharp. This is a deeply personal book, that reveals much about her own struggles, goals and achievements. Finally, the book is also a rumination on the nature of creativity itself, exploring themes of process versus product, the influences of inspiration and rigorous study, and much more.

Creative Healing: How Anyone Can Use Art, Writing, Music, and Dance to Heal Body and Soul - Mike Samuels, HarperCollins and Mary Rockwood Lane

Published: March 1998, John Wiley & Sons

Michael Samuels, M.D., and Mary Rockwood Lane, R.N., M.S.N., presents readers with the inspiring ways in which the arts (painting, writing, music and dance) can free the spirit to heal. Through guided imagery, personal stories, and practical exercises, the authors teach you how to find your own "inner artist-healer," enabling you to improve your health, attitude, and a sense of well-being by immersing yourself in creative activity. A practical and detailed exploration of the ways in which the arts can free the spirit to heal.

Art Therapy Kit: Multimedia Exercises for Creative Self-Expression - Marsha Hardaway

Published: September 25, 2008 - Walter Foster

A unique self-help kit includes everything needed to take part in eight therapeutic art sessions including art tools and materials along with a 48 page guide book. This guide book introducers readers to the benefits of the creative process such as relaxation, clarity and positivity. Marsha Hardaway gently guides readers through the steps of creating a work of art. Each section includes time for reflecting on, and journaling, the experience.

Windows into the Soul – Art as Spiritual Expression – Michael Sullivan

Published: March 1, 2006, Morehouse Publishing; 1 edition

Michael Sullivan discovered the power of art for himself in the midst of grieving the loss of a young parishioner. Ever since, he has been using simple art projects as a form of prayer and a way of helping others explore what God may be saying to them. Windows into the Soul is a practical, hands-on resource for those who want to explore this means of prayer and contemplation for themselves, approaching the process not as an artist but as a spiritual seeker. Readers will find projects in various media, including clay, charcoal, and acrylic, including not only technical directions, but a gentle guide to the spiritual gold to be mined from the experience.

Quotes on Art and Artists – by Patty Crowe and Laura Wertz

Published: April 15, 2006 - Richer Resources Publications

This book is a celebration of life through art. It is both an introduction to the world of art and a celebration of civilization's greatest artistic creations. Theodore Drieser called art, "the stored honey of the human soul." This book is a sampling of that honey.

Creativity and Spirituality: Bonds Between Art and Religion – Earle Jerome Coleman

Published: April 1998 - State University of New York Press

From the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright to the rock gardens of Zen Buddhism, Coleman explores applied, fine, and folk arts in order to uncover points of coalescence between art and religion. Drawing from six living faiths (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism), this book philosophically analyzes relations between art and religion in order to explain how the concepts "art," "beauty," "creativity," and "aesthetic experience" find their place or counterparts in religious discourse and experience. Coleman repeatedly shows that aesthetic ideas can serve as bridges to spiritual categories, as when he relates aesthetic bliss to "the peace that passes all understanding."

Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul - Shaun McNiff

Published: November 16, 2004, Shambhala

The field of art therapy is discovering that artistic expression can be a powerful means of personal transformation and emotional and spiritual healing. In this book, Shaun McNiff, a leader in expressive arts therapy for more than three decades, reflects on a wide spectrum of activities aimed at reviving art's traditional healing function.

Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go - Shaun McNiff

Published: 1 April 1998, Shambhala Publications Inc.

In this book, McNiff emphasizes that the sense of despair we feel when the "flow" isn't flowing in itself an integral part of the process of making art, lots of people who are creative will certainly find this encouraging as McNiff talks about creating multiple, small and disposable works which can contain the roots of larger pieces.

Art as Medicine: Creating a Therapy of the Imagination - Shaun McNiff

Published: 7 May 1993, Shambhala Publications Inc.

This book shows how the expressive arts therapies contain the potential for renewal in both art and psychotherapy. The author first describes the theoretical basis for his vision of art as medicine, citing the archetypal psychology of James Hillman, writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Friedrich Nietzsche, mythologies such as Mircea Eliade, Henri Corbin and British scholar Jane Harrison and others. He then discusses his methods, including interpretation through performance and storytelling, collaborative creation, and dialoguing with paintings, as opposed to talking about paintings.

Music and the Mind – Anthony Storr

Published: October 19, 1993, Ballantine Books

Rejecting the Freudian notion that music is a form of infantile escapism, British psychologist Storr ( Solitude ) argues that music originates from the human brain, promotes order within the mind, exalts life and gives it meaning. In an engaging inquiry, Storr speculates on music's origins in preliterate societies and examines its therapeutic powers, even in people with neurological diseases that cause movement disorders. Focusing on Western classical music from Bach to Stravinsky, he rejects the view, expounded by Leonard Bernstein and others, that the Western tonal system is a universal scheme rooted in the natural order.

Spirituality and Art Therapy: Living the Connection: Mimi Farrelly-Hansen

Published: Jessica Kingsley; 1 edition January 29, 2009

Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of the spiritual in healing. Spirituality and art therapy is an exciting exploration of the different ways in which the spiritual forms an essential, life enhancing component of a well rounded therapeutic approach. The contributors are leading art therapists who write from as diverse perspectives as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Shamanic. They describe how they found inspiration and guidance from spiritual teachings, and how the combination of spirituality and creativity, finds expression in using art as a healing agent with specific populations such as bereaved children, emotionally disturbed adolescents, and the homeless.

Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development – Otto Rank

Published: September 17, 1989, W.W. Norton & Co.; (1989)

This explores the human urge to create in all its complex aspects, in terms not only of individual works of art but of religion, mythology, and social institutions as well. Based firmly on Rank's knowledge of psychology and psychoanalysis, it ranges widely through anthropology and cultural history, reaching beyond psychology to a broad understanding of human nature.

The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self - Julia Cameron

Published: 6 Jun 1997, Pan Books

With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive 12-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity.

Creativity – Matthew Fox

Published: June 17, 2004, Tarcher

Matthew Fox uses nuggets of wisdom from various religions and philosophies, with Christian terminology used to express his points, the founder and president of the University of Creation Spirituality argues that we are living in a time of ecological and spiritual crisis.

Art, Crime and Madness: Gesualdo, Caravaggio, Genet, Van Gogh, Artaud - S. Giora Shoham

Published: March 2003,Sussex Academic Press

Art, Crime and Madness explores the relationship between creative innovation, deviance and morbidity. To innovate, one has to be able to view the medium and the object of creativity in a different, hitherto unexplored manner. The essence of art is creative innovation, coupled with an ability, in varying degrees, to transcend the boundaries of consciousness.

Divine Madness: Ten Stories of Creative Struggle - Jeffrey A. Kottler

Published: December 15, 2006, Jossey-Bass;1 edition

Here Kottler observes that the line between genius and mental illness is razor thin, and critics point to a long list of writers, artists and musicians—from William Blake to Sylvia Plath—as illustrations.

Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature – Daniel Nettle

Published: May 3, 2001,Oxford University Press first edition

Recent studies have shown that there is indeed a connection. Rates of mental illness are hugely elevated in the families of poets, writers and artists, suggesting that the same genes, the same temperaments, and the same imaginative capacities are at work in insanity and in creative ability. Thus the reason madness continues to exist is that the traits behind it have psychological benefits as well as psychological costs. In Strong Imagination, Daniel Nettle explores the nature of mental illness, the biological mechanisms that underlie it, and its link to creative genius. He goes on to consider the place of both madness and creative imagination in the evolution of our species.

Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament- Kay Redfield Jamison

Published: October 18, 1996, Free Press

The march of science in explaining human nature continues. In Touched With Fire, Jamison marshals a tremendous amount of evidence for the proposition that most artistic geniuses were (and are) manic depressives. This is a book of interest to scientists, psychologists, and artists struggling with the age-old question of whether psychological suffering is an essential component of artistic creativity. Anyone reading this book closely will be forced to conclude that it is.

When Words Have Lost Their Meaning: Alzheimer's Patients Communicate Through Art - Ruth Abraham

Published: 30 Nov 2004,Greenwood Press

Therapist Abraham shows how art can provide people with Alzheimer's a way to express their thoughts and emotions, when they can no longer communicate well verbally and words have lost their meaning. Abraham believes it is our moral obligation to provide elders with this tool, lest they be prematurely deemed beyond interaction. The confidence and self-esteem of elders - and that of the people who love them - can be bolstered by art therapy. This is the first work demonstrating that art is not just a means of keeping people with Alzheimer's occupied, but a profound and symbolic method allowing them to communicate.

Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Depression with Paper and Pen-Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer

Published: 1 May 2008, Celestial Arts

This book is a practical guide to using proven creative writing exercises and specific group interactions to ease symptoms of depression. It is based on the author's own struggles with depression and case studies from her successful Stanford University creative writing programme for people suffering from depression.

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils – David Bayles

Published: April 2001, Image Continuum Press

Art & Fear is a book about the way art gets made, the reasons it often does not get made, and about the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. The authors (David Bayles & Ted Orland) are both working artists, grappling daily with the problems of making art in the real world. The observations we make are drawn from personal experience, and relate more to the needs of fellow artists than to the interests of viewers.

The View from the Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World – Ted Orland

Published: April 2006, Image Continuum Press

In this book Orland argues that when it comes to art making, theory and practice are always intertwined. There are timeless philosophical questions (How do we make sense of the world?) that address the very nature of art making, as well as gritty real-world questions (Is there art after graduation?) that artists encounter the moment they're off the starting blocks and producing work on a regular basis. This is a book of practical philosophy. As a teacher and working artist himself, Orland brings authentic insight and encouragement to all those who face the challenge of making art in an uncertain world.

Depression and the Spiritual in Modern Art - Joseph J. Schildkraut

Published: September 24, 1996, Wiley; 1 edition

Integrating perspectives from psychiatry, psychology, and art history, this unique book explores the relationship between depression and artistic creativity. Inspired by a 1993 symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joan Miro, who himself suffered severe bouts of depression throughout his life, it features famous works of modern art/abstract impressionism from various schools and regions around the world.

Healing the Inner City Child: Creative Arts Therapies with At-risk Youth - Vanessa A. Camilleri

Published: May 15, 2007 -Jessica Kingsley; 1 edition

"Healing the Inner City Child" presents a diverse practical collection of creative arts therapies approaches that meet the ever-increasing mental health needs of inner city children, whose exposure to air and noise pollution, and relatively high instances of violence, crime and family pressures, is increasingly paving the way for depression and behavioural disorders. Drawing on their own professional experience in the disciplined use of music, art, drama and dance therapy, the contributors describe approaches that enable children to overcome the psychological obstacles they experience, and help them reach their full academic and personal potentials.

Sculpting the Heart: Surviving Depression with Art Therapy – Joyce White

Published: July 15, 2008 AuthorHouse

Joyce White helps readers to live for the moment and create journals. Joyce White’s surviving depression with Art Therapy is an uplifting and inspiring book and is based on the belief that artistic self expression helps people to release conflicts and problems and to develop interpersonal skills. Joyce White believe that being happily engaged in writing and art making is better than not; and secondly, living without depression, pain and anger is better than living with them. Art Therapy uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Expressing ourselves creatively does more than bring us joy.

Music and Miracles – Don Campbell

Published: October 25, 1992 – by Quest Books

Some personal testimonies from researchers, healers, and musicians about how music can change lives.

The Seven Secrets of Sound Healing – Jonathan Goldman

Published: March 1, 2008, by Hay House

Jonathan Goldman reveals in this book how sound can heal and transform, and how it may be used to restore balance. It combines the ancient wisdom of how sound can heal and transform, with the modern understanding of the science of sound, where quantum physicists echo the revelations of the sacred texts that declare: “Everything is sound!”