Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Matisse Lesson

Continuing on with our artist studies...next in line was Henri Matisse.

Here are a few of the books we checked out from the library: Matisse by Ellen Sturm, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Henri Matisse by Mike Venezia, and Henri Matisse: Art for Children by Ernest Raboff. There were SO many others about Matisse at the library we haven't read yet.
We also read When Pigasso met Mootisse by Nina Laden and...

A Magical Day with Matisse by Julie Merberg.

We also used the Matisse Art Activity Pack, that I've had for years. There is a book about the artist's styles and mediums and descriptions of his different works. It also included stencils and paper to create art based on his concepts. They have these activity packs for many different artists.
That was one of our projects - making art by using cut-outs. When he was older and had trouble standing at his easel, Matisse began cutting out shapes from paper and gluing them on paper. He apparently spent hours trying to get each piece in the best spot so I encouraged them to take their time and not glue anything until they were absolutely sure. (He helped make decoupage popular.)
They all worked really well together on their projects...
until Dash got frustrated at himself and crumpled up his page. Here he is, realizing the error of his ways and trying to smooth it back out. He always gets very mad at himself when he (thinks he) "messes up." He is frustrated when it's not as good as he wants it to be, and we have to help him find ways to curb his temper.
Tornado started out making a night sky, then it somehow turned into Mickey's Clubhouse. I thought it was great.

We also talked about how Matisse was known for using bright, bold colors. He didn't fit in well at art school until one of his teachers took an interest in him. That was Gustave Moreau, and he encouraged him to be who he wanted to be. Matisse and his group of artists were nicknamed the Fauves, which is a French word for "wild beasts." Some people were so insulted by their use of color and brave choices they wanted to destroy his paintings. We practiced making pictures using bright, bold colors, too, as opposed to the dark colors that Matisse had been directed to use in art school. Then I told them to make their own paintings exactly the way each of them wanted to make them, not based on anyone else...because that is probably what Matisse would have wanted them to do. :)