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Henri Matisse: Colorful Paper Cutouts

 

Today's Snack: Use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes in bread, bologna, cheese slices, lettuce, and whatever else you can use for a shape sandwich.

 

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Supplies:

Colored paper | Scissors | Gluestick

 

Henri Matisse (pronounced "On-ree Muh-TEESE") was a French artist who was a master at using colors and shapes to make people feel things. He didn't believe that art has to be realistic, or that everything in a work of art had to be recognizable, like a photograph. Instead, he used colors and shapes to make impressions and suggest what his picture was about.

 

He was born in 1864, long before the days of TV and video games. One day, when he was sick, his mother gave him a paint set to keep him busy. He loved it! That launched him into a career as an artist.

 

 

He was known for using wild and vibrant colors. Artists like Matisse were called "fauves" (pronounced "fawves"), a French term for "wild men." Before Matisse came along, most art works were in more subdued, less wild colors.

 

Matisse was also known for very simple art work - at least, it LOOKS simple. But it really isn't. He went through a very complex process to try to get the exact colors and shapes that his mind could "see."

 

Earlier in his life, he painted. But as he got older, his art work was most often paper cut-outs. All of the walls of his home were covered with his drawings and paper cut-outs held up by pins. Matisse constantly switched the cut-outs around until he found the perfect composition, or format.

 

Matisse died in 1954 and is counted as one of the most important artists of his time.

 

Now take your scissors, different colored paper, and a gluestick, and make your own Matisse-style cutout picture!

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Art 07 2010

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