Lucy and I are so excited to take part in our first Kids Get Arty Challenge! It has been an amazing experience!
In order to begin the challenge, we had to decide on an artist so we headed to our local art museum looking for inspiration. Luckily, they had a Henry Matisse exhibit going on that Lucy was immediately drawn to!
We walked around the large gallery taking photographs and commenting on each piece of artwork with Lucy unable to resist making a few echoing sounds in the large room. (Admittedly, it was a great room for making echoes.) Then we sat on the benches in the center of the gallery. Lucy got out her sketchbook, while I browsed the Matisse books the museum had made available.
Lucy began by drawing shapes from her favorite pieces. She loved writing the titles by them as well. Later, she came up with a game. We were to each secretly draw shapes from the one piece of Matisse’s artwork. Then, we had to look at each other’s and try to guess which piece the inspiration came from. We did that for quite a while!
Later, we headed downstairs and were pleasantly surprised to find a very inviting area set up for making art from paper cut outs like Matisse did. They had a magnetic wall with magnets where many other designs and shapes from previous visitors had already been displayed. Nearby were some children’s art books, paper scraps and scissors so we could get started creating some cut outs to add to the display. Lucy could not get enough of this! We made some collages together and some on our own. At one point she commented, “I’m an artist. Anyone can be an artist. You just have to be creative.”
She had us end with creating a tear art paper flower she had seen in one of the books nearby~ (You do the center, Mommy, and I’ll do the petals.)
After releasing some energy, we headed off to have lunch together, talking about ideas we had for our art project.
Once we got home, we read some more about Henry Matisse online, mostly about how and why he created his artwork from cut outs. We learned he had become ill and painting was more difficult for him so he decided to substitute scissors for paint. He would use scissors to cut large and interesting shapes from painted paper. He called this “drawing with scissors.” He would usually cut the shapes out freehand and save both the piece he had cut out and the remaining paper. He would then use those pieces to create art by arranging and rearranging them on his studio wall. Once he was satisfied with his creation, the collage of cut paper would be permanently glued down to some type of canvas or paper.
We also stumbled across this old video on youtube of Matisse making some paper cut outs~
After seeing his artwork and learning more about him, we were finally ready to get started making our own artwork inspired by Matisse!
Our Matisse Inspired Artwork: Paper Cut Out Collage
- various colors of paper for cutting
- one large sheet of paper to serve as the canvas
- glue stick
- paint and brushes (Optional~ If you want to paint your own paper before cutting)
How We Created Our Artwork:
1. We decided to start by making our own painted paper. (This is completely optional. You could just skip this step and use colored construction paper). We got out some white sheets of paper, paint and brushes. Then we began mixing paints until we found colors we liked and then painted the sheets of paper, letting them dry overnight.
2. The next day we looked at some of the photographs we had taken at the museum. We noticed the bold colors Matisse used and described the shapes we saw.
3. Then we got our dry, painted paper, various colors of construction paper and scissors. We each chose some colored paper to use and got busy cutting various shapes. I loved listening to Lucy as she cut out shapes~
- “Look! Mine has lots of lines in it.”
- “I’m going to cut out squares and design with it.”
- “Look at me! I’m making a hill!”
- “I wonder what would happen if I folded it into a ball and then cut it. Let’s see what it would look like! It looks like the sun!”
- “I like to fold the paper and then cut.”
4. We played around with the shapes over in over, rearranging them until we were satisfied with what we had created, just as Matisse must have done in his studio. Lucy~ “I wonder how I should put it. There.”
5. Then, we glued each piece into place on our blank canvas to complete our masterpieces!