As with any capstone, one must have annotated bibliographies, or bibliographies. I actually decided right from the beginning that I would use the annotated version. It made the most sense for what I was working on. And, is great for reminding me what was in each book. It also is very helpful for you the reader!

I might be working on these in alphabetical order by author’s last name. I know, I know, I’m a bit OCD… but when you aren’t sure what order to go in, it works… As it does happen however, I finished one last night and had another already going, and I’m starting the next book this evening. Here is my list to read:

*Booth, Eric. The Everyday Work of Art. Naperville : Sourcebooks, Inc., 1997. Print.

*Bor, Daniel. The Ravenous Brain; How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search For Meaning. New York: Basic Books, 2012. Print.

*Jamison, K. R. Touched with Fire, Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. New York: Free Press, 1994. Print.

*Jamison, Kay Redfield. An Unquiet Mind. 1. New York, NY: Vintage, 1996. Print.

*Lamoreux, Liz. Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media. Cincinnati : North Light Books, 2010. Print.

*Langer, E. J. The Power of Mindful Learning. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1999. Print.

McNiff, Shaun. Art As Medicine: Creating a Therapy of the Imagination. Boston: Shambhala, 1992. Print.

*Rothenberg, Albert. Creativity & Madness. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. Print.


Booth, Eric. The Everyday Work of Art. Naperville : Sourcebooks, Inc., 1997. Print.

In his book, Booth explains and simplifies artistic skills, while giving you strategies to use these skills in everything you do. He teaches how to see things from multiple directions, heightening your intuitions, and to how to develop a strong sense of wonder, that will change the way you look at things. Using the most basic of art skills, Booth teaches the reader to allow art into every aspect of your life. He keeps the journey down to earth, simple, and enjoyable for even those not artistic.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, art has not always been a noun, a valuable object relegated to a museum or a ticketed event in a performance hall. All the way back at the birth of the word “art,” it was a verb that meant “to put things together.” It was not a product, but a process. If we can reclaim that view of art — as a way of looking at and doing things, a series of experiences and experiments — we gain a fresh grasp on the proven, practical ways to construct the quality of our lives”(3).

When I have a bit more time, I’d like to re-read this book. Booth makes quite a few interesting points. His writing is easy to read and understand. His writing is very straight-forward.

I can find more on him at his website:


Bor, Daniel. The Ravenous Brain; How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search For Meaning. New York: Basic Books, 2012. Print.

A lot of the writing was clearly for someone with medical and therapist/psychologist background. Although Bor offers both his research and the research of others, as well as his first hand knowledge in dealing with his wife who lives with depression and bipolar. This somewhat dry, dissertation type writing about her helped in keeping it a bit more interesting and human.

Bor interchanges “awareness” and “consciousness” as meaning the same thing; and points out that it is the philosophers that historically dealt with “consciousness” and not the scientists who have in the more recent past. He points out that Descartes was one of the first who asserted that “consciousness was an entirely personal, subjective entity, impenetrable both in the physical sciences and the minds of other people” (xi). Taking this into consideration, I feel like this is why it is so hard to find medications for those of us who are in the bipolar spectrum. Each of us is a bit different from the next. Each one is biochemically different, reacting different to the same meds, that others use quite fine. He talks of her “yellow brick road” of sorts of medications and doctors. The one with the illness gets stuck in a roller coaster of meds to level them out, and then meds to bring up the lows, and more meds to counteract the parts we don’t want.

Much of Bor’s book does not pertain to what I was really searching for however, I did get to read his first hand interactions with his wife that I do not get in my own life (or, if I do, they are skewed as if to “not hurt my feelings.”)


Jamison, Kay Redfield. An Unquiet Mind. New York, NY: Vintage, 1996. Print.

An Unquiet Mind is Jamison’s journey in living with and being diagnosed with manic depression. She describes her exhilarating highs and dark depressions, suicide attempt and her initial resistance to medication while attending medical school. Jamison has a unique perspective in her position as a Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine where she is a leading authority in the world of manic depression. Within sharing her journey, her honesty in the highs and the lows, her interactions with co-workers and family, the story is kept very real. Jamison’s ability to tell her story helps to give insight to anyone who picks it up.

This memoir is the best I have read so far on living with a mental illness. To be able to read about someone else’s experiences, makes me feel less alone, though I realize I am not. Jamison is articulate, serious when necessary, but also funny when needed. The reading was not overwhelming, even with the medical information that she includes. The part I liked the most, explains how we may feel on any given day,

“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you are high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there, It will never end, for madness carves its own reality” (67).

For anyone who wants to understand their friend or family member who lives with manic depression, or to have a better understanding about mental illness on its own, they should read this.

*(Important pages: 37, 69, 95, 181, 190, 212, 217)


Jamison, K. R. Touched with Fire, Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. New York: Free Press, 1994. Print.

In Touched with Fire, Jamison examines the relationship between artistic creativity and bipolar disorder. In reading her dissection of the relationship of  a bipolar  and a creative genius, her case studies, and her unique perspective of being bipolar, we are able to understand more about mental illness and how it inflicts itself upon the artistic. There is no way to prove at this point a direct connection between mental health issues with the creative artist. Jamison knows this would be an impossible feat. Instead, she uses case after case, example after example, her education, her career, and her own personal mental health history, to show there is a high connection between the two.

Having read Jamison’s other novel first An Unquiet Mind, I was overwhelmed when I came to this one. Touched with Fire is not an easy read, and definitely not beach material! With so much reading to do, I read parts of the book, and skimmed others. I do hope to read this one in its entirety at a later date.


Lamoreux, Liz. Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media. Cincinnati : North Light Books, 2010. Print.

With three focused themes: photography, poetry, and mixed media Lamoreux’s Inner Excavation, walks you through the process of exploring your inner self, your inner artist. Each chapter follows a simple process, giving information, asking basic questions, and practice warm up activity. Lamoureux gives clear steps, brightly colored images, and examples every step of the way. In the end, she then shows how photography, poetry and mixed mediums can be used in juxtaposition within a hand crafted or online, digital journal. Lamoureux also gives advice for furthering your process. Although there is a lot of information given, it is not overwhelming and not a cookie-cutter project. Each person uses their personal history, and can take each step as serious (life altering events) or perhaps not so serious (a new tattoo).

When we get to the first day of class, or we have to fill out a form of describing who we are, this was always my response: “I am married, a mom to three, an artist, my undergrad work is in biomedical photography.” The questions that Lamoreux asks the artists she highlights are much more intriguing. “How did you find your creative voice?” is one that I would love to hear from more artists. In fact, I am going to start asking!

Lamoreux’s book is one I am glad to have received as a gift. Once the craziness of the semester is over, I hope to work right thru from start to finish.


Langer, E. J. The Power of Mindful Learning. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1999. Print.

Langer presents well researched and convincing arguments for mindful thinking. She examines the value of knowing the right answers, delayed gratification, IQ testing, as well as learning the basics, and keeping on task.

In reading Langer’s book, I’d have liked it better if she had gone with the “how-to” approach as opposed to the “why-to” approach that she chose (3). As a Professor of Psychology at Harvard, I would have expected examples of how Langer puts her mindful ideas into practice. I also feel the book could have been written a bit more in depth, teaching us something we could actually put to good use, instead of just a bit of time wasted on a short book with out guidance. Perhaps reading her first book, “Mindful.”



Rothenberg, Albert. Creativity & Madness. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. Print.

Rothenberg investigates how great creativity and psychosis coexist in the same person. Through his scientific and clinical research, Rothenberg finds that psychosis and other forms of mental illness hinder the creative individual’s work flow. He looks at a list of historically troubled geniuses, and how these two very opposite conditions (artistic creativity versus psychosis, and how each one was able to work through their illnesses. Rothenburg also looked at what the old theories and stereotypes of mental illnesses giving the old information in conjunction with the new findings. In his efforts to give both sides of each situation he provides great details supporting or showing what information is incorrect and why. In his analysis, he writes about Emily, Dickinson, August Strindberg among others.

I find it interesting that Rothenberg works with mental illness versus artists, artists versus poetry writers. Even though Lamoreux didn’t directly speak of mental illness, she did have us look into ourselves, into the artist within us, which leaves a huge gray area as to what we might focus on. Also, they both had a central point of hands-on artwork and the written word of poetry. It’s almost an opposite in itself- words versus pictures.

“Creative people want very much- perhaps it may be correct to say they need very much–to create, partly because they have the talent to do so, and partly because of strong environmental influences that instill such strong motivation”(9).

Rothenberg wrote his book in 1990 which makes me wonder what he might write today- 23 years later.

I agree with Rothenberg when he states that there are “common psychological factors operating in varying types of creative processes in art, science, and other productive fields”(8). I have always thought that it was a bit funny that when people watched me do artwork, that it looked like it was an effortless, instinctive process. I never thought of it that way. I am always working on some sort of art in my head. Whether actively or inactive, sometimes in the shower, painting/drawing something not related, looking at pinterest, or other artistic blogs and websites. It is the process of changing around ideas, the research, the trial and error before a project comes in to it’s fruition. Perhaps for that hour, it looks busy on the outside. The brain however has been working on it for quite some time. Rothenberg declares, “the creative process always results from direct, intense, and intentional effort on the creator’s part”(9).






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