This is a topic that has become increasingly central to my well-being over the years. Initially, the focus had been on applying arts to frame goals and achievements, but over time the emphasis shifted toward art as a counterweight to the acceleration of daily techno-stress we all seem to be experiencing (see our recent discussion on the theme of “always on” for more detail).

As I researched the subject, at first I struggled to find the right search terms to inform the suggested reading list. Knowing how much patient-generated artwork I’ve seen at hospitals and clinics, I finally realized there’s an entire discipline focused on this called Art Therapy of which I knew nothing about.

Several of the items listed below came from those searches; however, the genesis of the topic for me was more spiritual if not more practical. There are two additional threads woven here: 1) art (and more broadly all the arts, for example I consider playing improv piano alone a form of communion) as integrating the creative and logic to recapture the whole of being that was always there; 2) art as a powerful counterweight to how I spend my working day focused on managing complex technology projects, that offer precious little wiggle room to apply the creative arts.

One of our discussion group members suggested we bring drawing tools and materials, so we can “draw the talk” so to speak, when we get together to discuss this topic in a couple of weeks. I can’t think of a more uplifting way to spend a Saturday morning! Here’s the suggested reading list below: