EDITOR’S NOTE: My wife, Mary, and I recently had a retreat on the Mendocino Coast at an eco-resort called the Stanford Inn. The inn is run by a remarkable couple, Jeff and Joan Stanford, and Jeff is not joking when he lists the priorities of the inn: animals first, staff second, and guests third. That means the resort grounds and gardens are certified organic, the dining is entirely vegan, the staff are passionate about what they do, and if you want milk for your coffee, bring it! A lifelong paddler, I spent hours in the boathouse on the river with the boatman learning the fine points of their redwood outrigger canoes—arguably the best couples canoeing experience one is going to find. I also asked Joan about the heart of the resort, and she took me to her play shop. She wrote this explanation, which really does get to the heart of the retreat.
“The Art of Play” by Joan Stanford reflects the author’s journey within as she consumes her own reality through creative play. This is basically journaling on steroids. Her own experience of self is produced not just through essays or poetry; it is experienced through imagery with her art. Yet the sharing doesn’t stop there. Following each poem-graphic combination the author not only shares the process, she also explains her playtime. The book design is exquisite and filled with color, which makes this book perfect as a coffee table conversation piece.
Peggy Templer writes: “The Art of Play is a beautiful and very touching book. It is a compelling composite of memoir, coffee table art book, and a how-to book on healing through art therapy. The
book focuses on how to recover and reclaim the joy, unfettered creativity, imagination, and spontaneity we all once had as children, by expressing ourselves through artistic play.”
Please see Peggy Templer’s beautiful book review, in full, here:
Beverly Dyer, MSN, RN, Botanical Illustrator, reviews “The Art of Play” on her Art Prescription website. What a delight and honor to read her insights and praise!
Here is a short excerpt. Link to full book review below.
“First I really enjoyed the message and tone of this book as it aligns perfectly with The Art Prescription philosophy. I told my husband, “this is like the book I’ve always wanted to write.” A book about the healing attributes of art with fun prompts to encourage creativity.”
With thanks to Beverly Dyer!
A wonderful interview on Rare Bird Radio: Joan Stanford, owner of the Stanford Inn in Mendocino, CA and author of The Art of Play talks healing, wellness, mindfulness, and escaping the East Coast with Nadia Natali, author of Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin.
Want to hear more?
Judith Hannan in conversation with Joan Stanford
Joan Stanford is interviewed on the Winnipeg Weekend Morning Show by Terry MacLeod …
Joan Stanford featured in Zoe Yudice’s article for The Mendocino Beacon …
Using Art as a tool for healing:
Owner of the Stanford Inn and long-time art therapist, Joan Stanford, has recently published a book, ‘The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy,’ which details the healing powers of art therapy and her journey of discovering its benefits in her own life.
Joan Stanford quoted in Amanda Enyati’s article …
Adult Coloring Books: Why Everybody’s Doing It (and Why You Should, Too)
“With art therapy, you are trying to get people back into their bodies and feelings by engaging them with materials and in the process of using those materials,” observes board-certified art therapist Joan Stanford, author of the upcoming book The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing and Joy.