Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Matisse Paper Cut-Outs

Most of the art projects we do really give the kids an opportunity to use their own creativity. That's sort of the point, right? But now that they are getting older, I wanted to start to use some projects as a little art history lesson. We've done a bit of this in the past (like our Father's Day Pop Art prints), but I generally try not to give too many restrictions to a particular art project. So this was really something different for them.

One of Cami's favorite books is When Pigasso Met Mootise -- a cute story about the relationship between Picasso and Matisse. So we decided to start our art history with Matisse. I've always loved his paper cut-out works and I thought it would be a different medium for the kids to work with. Matisse painted the paper he used in his cut-outs, but we had a bunch of colored paper and decided to use that (check out Art Bar's Painting with Scissors project to see a great alternative).

I used MoMA's website about a previous Matisse exhibition as the primer for our lesson. And then we got going. They started out super into it. But when we got to actually cutting the paper, they both had a difficult time. Cami's scissor skills weren't up to creating shapes like those Matisse made. And Kane just didn't want to make those shapes: "I don't like to follow rules," he said. (Shocking, I know. God bless his teachers). But I explained that the point to this particular project really was to learn about Matisse's technique -- not just make whatever they wanted. And as I sat there and cut shapes with them, they got more and more into it. They figured out how they could make similar shapes even if they weren't exactly the same as Matisse's (although I do think they ended up using more of mine in the end, which was fine).

After we had a great big pile of cut-outs, we used large pieces of white paper and went to town gluing on the colored pieces (both the colored and white paper were from IKEA -- it's a great paper pack to always have on hand!). I found cutting the shapes to be incredibly therapeutic and I think we'll add cut paper to our list of regular art projects! Maybe even in their own shapes next time ....

p.s. can you tell by their outfits that it was a snow day? Kane chose to stay in PJs all day and Cami rotated through her entire closet and dress up bin -- we caught her as Athena for this particular project.


rachel said...

Great post! My kids love "When Pigasso Met Mootisse" too! Little Loft offers an art history class for kids:
Art History for 4-8 year olds
Sundays, 10:30-11:45
This drop-off class explores the history of art by introducing famous artists and guiding children in practicing their influential techniques. Each class incorporates books about the artist and examples of their work. Min 5, max 10.
$180/six week session, plus one make up week

Not-So-SAHM said...

Thanks, Rachel! I just visited Little Loft for the first time last week -- such a great space!