Matisse is one of my favorite artists to introduce to young kids. Bright colors and exciting shapes make his work easy for kids to relate to and fun to use as inspiration!! Cut paper is a medium that Matisse is well known for so these Matisse collage’s are a natural.
These Matisse collages are a fun way to let kids try their own hand at “drawing with scissors.” While you use up some paper scraps the kids can sharpen their scissor skills and get some practice putting the elements of art into action.
Read about Matisse…
We started by reading the book Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter. (Check out this post for a lengthy list of books about artists! There are more books about Matisse there!) It has some nice examples of his work and an easy to follow synopsis of Matisse’s life. I think it’s worth noting with the kids that this style of paper collage was done later in Matisse’s life when his health prohibited him from doing many things. Creativity trumped physical ability in this case!
Matisse collage materials…
Now it’s time for supplies. Materials needed were pretty simple; an assortment of paper, scissors, and glue.
Making old art into new art…..
I love using art to make more art. Make sense? Using papers that kids have made during process art experiences gives new life to those papers. Projects like shaving cream marbling, marbling paper with kitchen oil, and chalk prints are the perfect things to cut up and use again.
I think using old art work to make new artwork emphasizes the fact that it’s okay to sue things in a way in which it was not intended. Artists do that. Also it teaches that art isn’t always precious. Make art, use it, make more. it’s a good cycle.
We briefly discussed the difference between organic and geometric shapes. First I gave the kids a larger black background paper, some precut (geometric ) pieces of construction paper and patterned tissue paper. They glued these down to create a background or a base for the organic shapes to come!!
As of now, the kids didn’t have scissors! Giving them only what they need at the moment helped keep them on track!!
Now for the fun part- scissors!! The kids doing this project ranged from kindergarten up to second grades so cutting these free flowing organic shapes inspired by Matisse collages was no easy feat!!
While they cut we (I) talked about holding scissors still and turning the paper as they cut. One child figured out how to cut a spiral shape and then he got to teach the rest of the class!! So fun when a student becomes the teacher!
This was a one day project, start to finish. It was fun and I love the fact that the kids walked away with a little knowledge about a famous artist!
Share your Matisse collages!
Check out how we made the pretty textured paper in our Matisse collages in this post about chalk printing!