Monday, June 25, 2012

2012: Project 2: Matisse Drawing with Scissors

Our project today went slightly better than the last one. However, there is an interesting dynamic now that the girls are getting a bit older. My older daughter didn't want my younger daughter looking at her project. So I had to put a board up between the two of them. *sigh* It's always something. But both of them finished the project today and I'm very pleased with how they turned out. I think they enjoyed it so it was a success in my book.

Our artist today was once again Henri Matisse. We created "Egyptian Curtain" projects last year and this year I came across two things that inspired us. First, I received a FABULOUS set of books at Christmas this year: the Smart About Art series. These are amazing books for grade school kids. Each book is set up as if a student is writing a report on the artist. The "child author" takes you briefly through the major events in the artist's life, the themes in the artist's work, the colors used, and more. Very elementary, yet informative. I HIGHLY recommend these books. Today, I pulled the Matisse book down from the shelf and read the last half of the book to the girls. This portion of the book discussed Matisse's health struggles later in life. It described how he resorted to using scissors and making wonderful paper collages when he could no longer stand to paint for hours. He would cut the paper and instruct his assistants where to attach them to the artwork. Besides this lovely little book, we were also inspired today by this post at Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists.

I showed the girls several images of Matisse's cut paper work:
Sorrow of the King, 1952
Polinesia, The Sky, 1947
Panel with Mask, 1947
They each had their own set of construction paper (an entire pad of construction purchased at the Dollar Store!!), a clear glue roller, pair of scissors and their art journal.
I told them they could make anything. They could try making an ocean themed collage like those in the post on Mrs. Knight's blog or they could go on their own and make anything they wanted. But I told them I didn't want it to be a "real" picture of something. This was my way of letting them know I didn't want something literal. They asked if they could draw it out first with pencil on the construction paper. I told them that I thought it would be neat if they just used the scissors, but if they felt they needed to draw it out first that would be okay. They both decided to just use the scissors. ;-)
I really like these next two pictures because they really show how into the process they got:
Ella had to stand she was so into what she was doing. And below, you can see paper all around Lily. Sort of reminds me of the photo of Matisse that I showed the girls where he has paper all over the floor by him. :-)
And here are their finished masterpieces:

Above: Entitled "Jazz" by Ella. She told me all about her rainbow color theme. The aliens are dancing. The very top purple circle with the little rainbow colored dots is a disco ball. The rest of the top half she said was just white space and she wanted to fill it so she just placed the paper how she wanted.

Lily decided to call hers "Candyland". Do you see the candy corn on the lower right side? The other smaller orange triangles are baby candy corns. The hearts are candy hearts (like conversation hearts). There's a candy cane. The purple shapes are chocolate eggs and the red circle is a cherry lifesaver. Oh, and the pink squares are strawberry Starburst. Isn't that awesome?!

You know what I loved about the girls creations? They both truly knew exactly what they were doing as they went along. They both picked a theme completely on their own, not influenced by me; not influenced by Matisse's artwork themes (other than Ella calling hers Jazz....Matisse did create a book of art called Jazz). These were truly their own art ideas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that!


  1. Well done! So glad my post was helpful to you and your girls. I love the way they used the negative space in their compositions. My two kids are getting older too, 11 and 15, and pretty much scoff at any artistic endeavors I suggest. Fortunately, they both love drawing, when it's their own idea. ;)

  2. If I can figure out how to copy/paste Ella's piece onto an email I plan to send it to all our Jazz friends.

    The projects you do w/the girls absolutely tickle me especially since they're getting mini art history lessons w/each new one.

    Great job Holly!