Thursday, October 4, 2018

Sculpting the Heart's Poetry Reviews

This collection of poetry is filled with poems that reveal Joyce White's secret, innermost feelings. 
She finds that writing poetry is an outstanding way of focusing on visual art of the masters. White 
states that "[e]kphrastic poetry...makes an excellent conversation between two pieces of art." In her 
foreword to the collection, White thanks Picasso, Chagall, and all the other artists whose work she 
tries to match with her own paintings and poetry. Referring to the writing of poetry as a means by 
which to confront past circumstances as a form of poem therapy, White makes the reader aware
of the close connection that there is between different art forms.

What is `ekphrastic' poetry? Not a term with which I was familiar at first glance, I must admit, but,
according to Word4Word poets ([...]), meaning "a poet's response to the direct stimuli of a piece of 
art combined with the poet's own experience in the moment. The Ekphrastic poem can be a description
of the artwork, a story that came into the poet's mind while looking at the artwork, or a poem describing 
the scene or experience in which the artwork is placed, or a combination of all of the above." Much as I 
feel about my book reviews, White writes "[t]here is no such thing as writer's block when we use others 
ideas to inspire us." Her poems in this book have been composed in response to a number of different 
artworks, which are reproduced in full pages of black and white in this volume. Such artworks include 
Renoir's By the Seashore, Picasso's Les Demoiselles, Rafael's Angels, Picasso's Girl in Mirror, and 
Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. She also includes the photograph of a collage which she has created 
from the work of Chagall.

The ability to respond to nature is of key importance to the creation of all forms of art, White finds. 
White highlights the needs of poets, which she links closely to journaling, in that both forms of 
expression allow one to capture fleeting thoughts and emotions. Her approach is summed up in her 
poem `Our Inner Poet': "When art comes to consciousness, / whether it be Haiku, epic or free verse, 
if it looks and sounds like a poem, it is a poem. "

White's poems, which are all in free verse, should appeal to all those who are responsive to both the 
visual and written forms of artistic expression. Inspirational and accessible, her poems should uplift 
your spirit and might even encourage you to start on your own personal exploration of the creative 
potential within you.

Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews

on August 22, 2010
Joyce White holds that "[e]veryone can doodle and scribble their way to wellness and joy. By climbing up, up, up, to fun, self-love, and up to the angels that want to hug us with creative possibilities." White is a Christian and a keen believer in helping oneself to emotional health through any creative way that one can, whether it be art making, journaling, writing poetry, or countless other means of positive self-expression.

White explores the importance of dreaming, and provides a number of exercises which we can use to heighten our senses. She encourages us to live in the moment, and stresses the importance of letting the symbols around you choose you. Quoting leading experts on art and a number of religious leaders, White encourages us to believe in the healing capacity of meaningful activity. She produces a number of her creations on her computer, whereas others she does by hand. And she makes clear that you don't have to be an expert. As White writes, "Spontaneous imaging does not require talent, time or planning ahead. Anyone can draw on the computer." She finds a use for many different objects, even going so far as explaining how all paper can be recycled to make Paper Mache projects. (As someone who tends to discard a lot of paper, I need to take that one to heart!)

Skilful in a number of different media, White has the insight, gained from personal experience, to realize how art can lift one out of depression. She provides a self-quiz which allows one to work out whether one is suffering from the symptoms of depression. And she makes no bones about her coming from a line of depressives--she freely tells of how, despite suffering from bouts of depression, her family as a whole has been able to grow with joy and love. Not that she comes from an untroubled family background--far from it, as her parents were divorced for many years, but even so, as she readily admits, she was able to give them both care during their last days on earth, comforting and nursing them in the comfort of her own home.

Surviving Depression with Art Therapy is filled with numerous full-color photographs of White's own clay and other work. The text radiates joy, and should inspire anyone who has ever had the slightest yen to start experimenting with any material which can be molded to give voice to one's spiritual search for meaning.
on August 26, 2008
"I am an ordinary woman living in an extraordinary, imperfect world."

This phrase sets a poignant beginning to a poignant masterpiece full of humor, honesty and reflection. All of us struggle with depression at some time or another, whether it be from losing our job, or financial burdens we are unprepared for, or some other crisis which steps in and takes control of our lives out of our hands. Depression is one of the most sinister diseases in the world, because it is one that we consider to be ordinary. Yes, of course we're going to feel sad. Yes, of course there are days we're going to feel like we're hanging on to control by a very thin thread.

Guess what? There's no of course about it! No one says that you have to feel that way. You can find an outlet for your depression that allows your heart to heal and your mind to clear by transforming your feelings into a tangible expression through art.

Sculpting the Heart takes you on a personal journey through depression and the healing powers of creative expression. Whether your medium is writing, sculpting, painting or music, creative expression can release the tension and frustration that build up inside your mind and release you from the bars of depression back into the freedom of the real world.

4 people found this helpful

on July 31, 2010
This is Joyce White's 4th Edition in Sculpting the Heart Series. Her uncanny ability to create a poem from a painting or sculpture is quite amazing as well as different. Reading her translations of life through her poetry became quite a journey for me as well as an eye-opener as I saw aspects of life through the eyes of another.

Here is my favorite (and is it oh so true)

Turning Into Mom

I hear my mom's voice many
Mornings when I roll out of bed, her
Eyes looking back at me in the mirror,
Both of us crying a little,
It was our habit to refer back to
Minutes, weeks, months, or years gone
By, when forced to keep doing, as
Opposed to enjoying each other,
When we sat eye-to-eye, we were
Estranged, waiting for our bodies to
Stop hurting, and our minds to stop
Accusing and excusing,
But now that she is deceased, I try to
Simplify my twisted feelings by trying
To forgive and forget, and remember
Our anger at the world did not
Compromise our love.

on August 27, 2008
What a brilliant book this is. I think it would make a very helpful and caring book to a friend or family member fighting depression.

I love the whole idea of creating art to help heal. What a wonderful idea. This book was very interesting, well written, great quotes that made one ponder, and looking at the art pictures made it a five star book.

This book will help many people live happier lives. I believe it is very inspirational, in that, others will create their own art. Thank you to the author Joyce White.   See all her reviews.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sculpting the Heart Biography

Sculpting the Heart Reviews


I was raised on the Mississippi River and spent much of my time alone. I used the new television Pop's bought for comfort, friendship and learning about the outside world. I worked as a legal typist most of my adult life until my hands refused to work for me. Depression is just not sadness. The constant Stress wears at our muscles until we cannot type, walk or dance. I learned to use my imagination when I want to do the impossible. My inner child waltzes through poetry, runs like the wind, and keeps me sane in a world gone mad. Writing and making art put me in touch with my inner artist who was choking to create a new me, a happy, self-achieving me. I've been slowly and quietly growing and changing into the person I've always wanted to be, a writer, a poet and an authority on surviving depression with Art Therapy. 

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