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Art Is a Way of Knowing Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (April 11, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570620784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570620782
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

An art therapist and member of the art therapy faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Allen gives excellent instructions on using image-making as a way to understand personal fears, dreams, and identity while giving us a look at her own life and image-making process. Especially useful for nonartists, Allen's text explains which art materials to purchase and how to begin a drawing or sculpture. Led into the field by the mother of art therapy, Margaret Naumburg, Allen tells the story of her life and struggles: coming to terms with her mother's death and her father's alcoholism, finding and understanding her feminine side, dealing with a loss of tenure and a change in professional identity. Through it all, she shows how image-making has helped her to understand herself, her emotions, her relationships, and her dreams. Allen has produced a wonderful book for anyone, artistic or not, who is interested in using art to know more about himself or herself. For public and academic libraries.
Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Washington State Univ., Pullman
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Allen has produced a wonderful book for anyone, artistic or not, who is interested in using art to know more about himself or herself."—Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Washington State University, Pullman, Library Journal

"Art Is A Way of Knowing has a practical, hands on, and experiential feel to it. It is like a guide book or a manual for those interested in self-exploration through creative activity. Allen persistently invites the reader to join her. I found her to be an encouraging and competent guide."—American Journal of Art Therapy



"Finally, a self-help book that is true to the passionate and turbulent movements of the soul in the process of creation."—Shaun McNiff, Ph.D., author of Art as Medicine

More About the Author

Pat B. Allen, Ph.D., A.T.R., is an author, artist, art therapist, and teacher who connects to the Creative Source through art and writing. Her two books - Art Is a Way of Knowing (Shambhala 1995) and Art Is a Spiritual Path (Shambhala 2005) - explore the borders between art, psychology, spirituality, and social action. Author of numerous professional articles, Dr. Allen lectures and delivers workshops throughout the country using the Open Studio Process which she has developed. Her artwork has been exhibited in a wide variety of juried and invited exhibits.

Dr. Allen has been a Registered Art Therapist (A.T.R.) since 1977. She earned a Ph.D. in Art Therapy from Union University in 1986. Dr. Allen served on the faculty of the Art Therapy Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1988-2011. Dr. Allen was a co-founder of the Open Studio Project in Chicago and founder of Studio Pardes in Oak Park, IL, where she provided a community art space for herself and others to explore the creative process, and from where she directed the Facing Homelessness Mask Project.

Her current interest is in researching creativity through close study of nature and she is at work on a humorous novel about the resurgence of feminine energy in the evolution of consciousness. She divides her time between Oak Park, IL and Ojai, Caliifornia.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The book is filled with her own original artwork,and it is a very open,brave art indeed.
C. Smuckler
The interesting thing to me is how making your own art can reveal deeper meanings in your life -- the real value of art-making -- understanding and meaning.
Michelle Pettit
As an Creative Arts Therapy Masters student this book gave me more insight and hope about the field then anything I was told to read for class.
rebamaesuperstar@hotmail.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By NewYorkGal on March 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Pat Allen gives an informed and moving account of her personal experiences and how art used therapeutically has helped her work through different life challenges. However, being an artist and pursuing the field of art therapy I found her approaches and explanations a bit simplistic and not challenging for those already initiated in the use of art materials and techniques. A section for those with art backgrounds, or a follow-up book, might be helpful in this regard. A good pick for beginners, but not for those already conversant and comfortable with techniques and materials. Her resourse lists are helpful and informative. I would have liked to see works by patients of Ms. Allen's also included, with comments. This might have made the reading more challenging and interesting.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By rebamaesuperstar@hotmail.com on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Pat's book is well written and full of personal and artistic exercises. She represents an oppertunity for art therapy to move out of the HMO structure and back to peoples every day lives. As an Creative Arts Therapy Masters student this book gave me more insight and hope about the field then anything I was told to read for class.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "kate_s" on November 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
A very moving and effective book with seamless ties between art therapy and personal experiences - this book easily reaches out to anybody, artist or not, therapist or not. It's for the common man and its honesty and fluent accounts make it extremely accessible.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Pat Allen is a truly gifted individual who describes activities to help us connect with our deepest questions and our answers. For many years she has studied and refined ways to make this connection with herself and the others she has worked with. After just participating in a workshop with her where we did many of the activities included in Art is a Way of Knowing, I know for myself that she has clearly laid out ways of learning important truths about ourselves and healing from the pains of life. I look forward to using them so I can live a more centered life and be more effective in my work with others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia F. Davidson on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Art Is a Way of Knowing
Do we want fine art or fine human beings? Are we brave enough to do our own work with imagery or will we continue to feed off the work of others? I am a working Expressive & Creative Arts therapist, in a prison psychiatric hospital, and I found Pat Allen's book to be a revelation. She traces the thoughts and emotions emanating from our images, dreams and artworks by sharing her realizations as she created paintings, masks and sculptures. It is rare to have any 'professional' take such risks; to reveal their deepest feelings, doubts and struggles with their work and to take on the establishment, in their field. I am grateful for her courage to 'go there' and for the resulting imagery which resonated deeply with me. Her honesty, about her journey, has helped me understand what is going on in the hearts and minds of my patients, as well as myself. Many issues are just too difficult to articulate, and working with images is crucial for reaching the places within where genuinely positive changes come from.
I believed I 'couldn't draw my way out of a paper bag', yet I was astonished to see how many images poured out of me, as I followed our graduate course work using Pat Allen's chapters as our guiding text. Her insights have also shown me how to become a more active participant in my inner life, instead of a passive observer, and this has taken me past some blockages.
In the USA today (2010)half the population is on anti-depressants, avoiding the very work this book advocates doing. Dare I say, there are far fewer negative side affects from following the course of 'treatment' in this book. The expressive & creative arts (music, poetry, art, etc.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Pettit VINE VOICE on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Art therapist Pat Allen writes about her journey of using art and image-making as a way to understand herself, to grow and to change -- a way to understand fears, dreams, and identity. This book is a personal memoir, direct and honest, about challenges Allen found in her life, and how making art tempered her understanding of these challenges. Allen shares her experience...the reader can take the interpretation from there. Ultimately understanding the value of art as a personal value is an important lesson of this book. What drives us to create? And what do our creations do for us? One thing they do is to make visible unconscious thoughts and feelings. Making personal art brings them to light so we can muse on them, learn from them, and understand ourselves better.

Allen's book pushes me to keep on keeping on! For so long I've wondered about how to adapt what I make so others understand. Now I'm learning that has been the wrong question and challenge. This book was part of my realization of what Art is Really For -- for learning about myself -- for a message to myself -- a personal magic. Art can and does change the way we live our lives. The interesting thing to me is how making your own art can reveal deeper meanings in your life -- the real value of art-making -- understanding and meaning. Initially symbols may seem to mean something, but Pat Allen gives examples in her own life which show how understanding and living through the experiences of our lives change they way we perceive the meanings of our personal symbols. That's the great and wonderful thing about the symbolic language of images. ... A direct and candid look at one artist's experience of making art...which can inspire all of us who are driven to make things, and which can help us to better understand why. In many cases the answer in our artwork will come later, in time, when we are ready for it.
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