Last Saturday the Yale Center for British Art held its first Exploring Artism of the new year at the Chapel Haven location. The program focused on the paintings and style of Henri Matisse.
We began our session by talking about the different art supplies and shapes Matisse used in his artworks. HERE is the warm-up activity we used. After understanding the difference between geometric and organic shapes, we had the opportunity to make our own shapes with paper and markers.
As part of our warm-up, each participant was given a large cardboard rectangle and tasked with painting the background of their future Matisse-inspired composition. After each participant had painted their background, the artworks were left to dry as the group looked at different materials and shapes that Matisse used.
Using the iPads, participants were able to use an app created by the Museum of Modern Art called “Art Lab.” One of the activities in the Art Lab involves “cutting” shapes by tracing them with your finger, and then using those shapes to create a digital composition. HERE is the link to the MoMA Art Lab App.
Next, we watched a short video of Matisse assembling one of his artworks. HERE is a link to the YouTube video.
Next, we looked at some examples of the cutouts that Matisse often made with his scissors and examples of some of the artwork he created with those shapes. Participants were asked to identify the shapes as geometric or organic. What colors were present? How many colors? How do you think the artist made this? The group concluded that Matisse was able to “paint” with scissors.
Each participant then returned to their cardboard painting to attach some geometric and organic cutouts to their composition. Each participant was given 5-10 different colored sheets of paper, a pair of scissors, templates of Matisse-like shapes to trace, and some pre-cut shapes for participants with difficulty tracing and cutting. Using glue sticks and paper, each participant created their very own Matisse inspired artwork!