We just read this great children's book called, Matisse the King of Color by Laurence Anholt. While you may already be familiar with Matisse, his famous cut outs, his beautiful, playful paintings, his outrageous use of color, what you may not know is that he also had a very big heart....
In 1948 he commissioned and designed a chapel for his friend and former nurse, Sister Jacques-Marie, whose convent was too poor to have a chapel. At first the sisters were appalled by the work he was doing, the chapel was in no way traditional, but as time went on his vision and generosity seems to have won them over. Today you can visit this Chapelle du Rosaire du Vence in France.
For more on the chapel - check out this video by the BBC to get a glimpse into this beautiful work of art and when you're finished, scroll down for a lesson plan!
Now to the fun part, after watching this video and/or reading the book with your child you can get to work on some cool art projects. Today I have two suggested activities for you: Matisse stained glass and Matisse wall drawings.
Matisse Stained Glassgather
various colored tissue paper or cello sheets
contact paper or wax paper
: Start by cutting paper into squares. Then from these squares make different shapes. Remember there is no "right" shape, so whatever shape develops, is perfect.
: Once you've cut out all the shapes you want, arrange them onto the contact paper. Or if using wax
paper, you can glue or tape the shapes on.
:Display. For contact paper you can simply cut the piece off of the roll and stick it onto the window.
For wax paper, pull the wax paper until you have enough to fold the piece over on itself without folding the cutouts. Then simply tape it closed and tape it to a window.
: Matisse often listened to music while making art, what music would you like to listen to while we
work on this project?
:What do you think of all the bright colors and shapes Matisse liked to use?
How do they make you feel?
:If you got to decorate a room for someone you loved, what would it look like?
Matisse Wall Drawing
: large piece of paper or cardboard box that is light enough to hang on your wall
: packing tape
: yard stick or long stick
: Begin by tapping the paper to the wall just above the height of your child. Then tape the marker to the end of the stick.
: Invite your child to draw, on the paper using the marker on the end of the stick.
: Join in - set up your own work space and join your child in the process!
: What's it like making a drawing like this rather than on a piece of paper on a table or easel? Is it harder? Easier? More fun?
: Why do you think Matisse drew on his walls like this?
top image: By Henri Matisse (scanned from book) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons