The World of Matisse

This semester, Red Roomers are delving into the worlds artists create by looking closely at individiual artists’ bodies of work. The first artist we are exploring is Henri Matisse, and we are beginning with his work with cut-outs.  In preparation for this, we began by exploring individual colors, and working with pattern blocks to create images with discrete colors and shapes.  We then moved on to using unifix cubes to create patterns and talk more about color.

“I was making stars, lots of stars! I used diamonds.”
“I was making stars, lots of stars! I used diamonds.”
“It’s a cake! It’s a birthday cake! ... It’s vanilla (white), It’s blueberry (blue)!”
“It’s a cake! It’s a birthday cake! … It’s vanilla (white), It’s blueberry (blue)!”

A goal of ours is to help Red Roomers become comfortable looking at and talking about art.  Working with art is about looking closely, thinking critically, as well as engaging witg feelings and expression.  Young children accept art and enjoy it for what it is.  To encourage children to talk about art, we ask open ended questions such as: what do you see? And what makes you think that? to help expand and build on their thoughts.

To begin, children have been looking at two pieces by Henri Matisse: Polynesia, the sky and Polynesia the sea.  The children spoke clearly about their ideas, identifying specific shapes that represented certain things, captured the movement, and the depth of color.


“The birds that fly. They flap their wings. The dark blue, there is a bird in the dark blue. Flying stars.”-Max

“Birds they are flying. It’s dark in here. It’s pointy, four pointy pieces.”-Harriet


“Beluga in the water. Leaves, a butterfly, grass, windy.” -Evan C.

“Airplanes, water, stars, shapes, white.” -Enzo

As we continue to look at Henri Matisse’s work and talk about what we see, the children will experiment working with two simple materials themselves – white paper and gouache, to create their own paper cut-outs.  Henri Matisse transformed paper and paint into a world of plants, animals, figures, and shapes.  We look forward to seeing what our Red Roomers will create!

RR Blog 4 (2)

RR Blog 5
Leonardo and Max paint sheets of papers in an array of colors.

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