The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy

The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy

by Joan Stanford
The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy

The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy

by Joan Stanford


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At forty-two, Joan Stanford—a busy mother, innkeeper—discovered, to her surprise and delight, a creative process for insight and healing that allowed even her, a self-proclaimed “non-artist,” to start making art. In The Art of Play, Stanford shares her journey through art and poetry as an example of how taking—or, more appropriately, making—time to pay attention to the imagery our daily lives presents to us can expand our awareness and joy, and she offers readers suggestions for how to do this for themselves, inviting them to embark on their own journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520303
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joan Stanford is a board-certified art therapist and full-time innkeeper who has been facilitating creativity groups for over twenty years encouraging people of all ages, especially non-artists, to expand their awareness through playing with art materials. She has been recognized with the Soroptimist “Making a Difference For Women” award for an art-based curriculum she co-created and taught in local schools. Her poems have been published and her art exhibited. She lives in Mendocino, California with her husband, and offers imagination playshops and creativity retreats at their inn and wellness center. Her website is

Table of Contents

Part 1 Turning Inwards Listening

Introduction The Key: Play 17

Chapter 1 Listening 19

Chapter 2 But I Am Not Creative 21

Chapter 3 My Beginnings 25

Chapter 4 Reclaiming the Child 27

Chapter 5 Materials Don't Matter 29

Chapter 6 But I Have No Time: Meeting Our Resistance 31

Chapter 7 How to Begins: Stop, Look and Listen 43

Chapter 8 How My Life Changed 45

Chapter 9 Expressive Arts Process: Imaginative Play 48

Chapter 10 My Process: Play 56

Chapter 11 Life as Art/Life as Play 59

Part 2 Playing With Imagery: My Life as Raw Material: Poems, Images, Process and Suggestions

Missing 71

I Came Seeking 74

Seven Soul Changes 78

Integration 81

Pedestal 85

Petit Pas 89

The Invisible World 92

Seeing 95

Best Poem 98

Notions on Motions 102

Blue Moon Fantasy 104

Fusion 107

American Airlines 111

The Home Chord or Saying Goodnight to Kate 117

The Runaway Word 123

Return 126

From Where I Am 128

The Singer 134

Empty Nest/Nest Wanting Wings 138

Paprika Seasonings on Summer Greens 141

On Turning Six-"O" 144

Meeting the Crone:

Part 1 Painted Face 147

Part 2 Forest-Wise Woman 149

Part 3 Forest Crone 152

Death by Honey 155

Red 159

Air 163

To the Very Heart/Onion Heart 168

Winter 171

Care and Cleaning Instructions 174

I Am She Who Holds the Moon in Her Belly 178

I AM (CHANT) 181

Poem of Gratitude 184

My Slinky 187

Spring Breathes 189

Whisper/Moon Butterfly 194

Creativity Collage 197

Permissions 200

Footnotes 201

Suggestions for Further Readings 202

Acknowledgments 204

About the Author 205

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