Saturday, March 19, 2011
Henri Matisse made his famous collages from white paper hand-painted with specially pigmented gouache. (He was sick, so he had an assistant prepare the paper. The pigments Matisse selected were the same pigments he planned to use when printing the book.)
Henri Matisse wrote: "The paper cutouts allow me to draw with color. For me, it is a simplification. Instead of drawing an outline and then filling in with color - with one modifying the other - I draw directly in color... It is not a starting point, it is a completion."
Henri was is also revered as a beloved painter, but his paper cut outs add another interesting chapter to his life. I show the work of Matisse to my fifth graders and then teach them body proportion. I focus on the Icarus picture of Matisse's. Next students cut out shapes out of paper in 3 colors and glue to a background. Next they cut a figure out of black paper inspired by Icarus. Last they cut out a few shapes to glue on top.