Holistic – All encompassing; considering all aspects of the individual (intellectual, spiritual/emotional, physical
During our first art class, we drew inspiration from young Vashti’s struggles in The Dot by Peter Reynolds. We practiced art for the sake of doing art; something that probably most of us haven’t done in a long while. Maybe even since grade school ourselves.
After having the book read to us, we were set free to experiment with and explore the materials available to us at the time to create with. We were all sitting at one of four tables, and on those tables were poster board and creation tools. There were markers, pencil crayon, scissors, patterned paper, small round stickers. We each got down to work on our own little portion of the page, not really bothering to stop and collaborate much. We coloured and stickered and drew until we were told to stop and present our work to be subjected to a “non-judgemental critique”. We took turns pointing out other groups’ work and giving it a neutral critique, something that we either liked or found interesting about it. Too bad that I forgot to take a picture of ours because I thought it was really interesting how we all chose to interpret the mini assignment in a different way.
After we finished with our non-judgemental critiques, we were told to create something individually that was inspired by the story that we had just read. Naturally, I thought of pointillism since the book was all about dots and I remembered an art assignment we had done in elementary school to create poinsettia’s completely out of coloured dots around Christmas time. Combining my pointilism idea along with my love for cats seemed like a no-brainer at the time, so I started dotting away the basic outline for a cat. I decided to make it look like my cat, Ravage Rumbletum, otherwise I’m sure she’d see it, be offended, and plot to destroy it (and me).
We ended the class by being told to reflect on the day’s activity and what a “holistic art experience” was. We each wrote one page to be handed in the next class. It was interesting to discuss intellect and creativity as being non-proportional. We discussed how we tend to judge ourselves in terms of how creative we are, but research shows that creativity can be practiced and improved. It is an interesting notion that I have less chance of exploring my creative thinking the more structure is laid out in front of me.