Dear Eagles Parents,
This past month the class has been learning about Henri Matisse. The children have created three pieces inspired by his famous cut outs. We have read the Eagles many books about Matisse’s life and art. The children seemed particularly fascinated by Matisse and his work. Matisse referred to his cut outs as “drawings with scissors.” He was confined to bed and a wheel chair during the last years of his life. With help from his assistants, (who painted large pieces of paper for him) Matisse cut out geometric and organic shapes and arranged them on large paper. This was Matisse’s way of bringing beauty inside (something he learned from his mother). He was inspired by nature and his past travels.
Facts and feelings about Matisse:
Where did Matisse live?
What did Matisse do, what was he known for?
“He made art” -Chloe
What kind of art?
“Different types” -Quincy
“Painted and he colored and ripped and cut paper” -Nicholas
What do you think of his art?
“I love it, they look like they are dancing” -Quincy
“It makes me feel like they are in movement and loving each other” -Lilya
“Happy. He helped other people by making art for them” -Luna
“I really like them because he added the cuts” -Jillian
“It makes me happy, I see dancing” -Julian
“Loving each other in their hearts” -Gracie
“Everything comes alive!” -Devon
“I like the colors” -Nicholas
“He learned from his mom about beauty” -Gracie
“His art teacher said he will never learn to draw, but his mom said he would.“ -Nicholas
The Eagles created collages inspired by Matisse’s work. Collage offers children the joy of gathering and picking the shapes they will be assembling. It strengthens their fine motor muscles as they cut or tear the paper, squeeze the glue, and manipulate the shapes. Collage provides a sensory experience. And, the children are able to express themselves creatively. Each collage is an individual piece of art.
The Eagle’s said their collages made them “feel happy.” They saw “coral” “seaweed”, “flowers”, “leaves” and “hearts” in their collages. The children asked if we could make more, so they also had the opportunity to make collages at Mountain Lake park. Wonderful discussions took place as they picked out their shapes and put them together.
Often, after completing artwork we gather around the work to give out compliments. Each child has the opportunity to compliment a peer’s artwork. This strengthens their language skills, public speaking skills, and it teaches kindness.
The next project the Eagles worked on involved geometric and organic shapes. We discussed the sharp edges of geometric shapes and the soft curves of organic shapes. We noticed that shapes found in nature are usually organic. Matisse’s cut outs often combined both sharp and soft shapes, which created a beautiful contrast. The children cut out organic and geometric shapes. The Eagles drew their April Self-Portraits and then added their cut out shapes to them.
Looking at their Matisse inspired self-portraits:
“They make me feel good “ -Nicholas
“They are being kind to each other” -Chloe
“It makes me feel like they are loving, all smiling faces” -Lilya
“They are all so colorful” -Quincy
“It looks like they are laughing” -Jillian
“It’s like they are dancing” -Julian
“I felt nervous when I was making mine. I was not sure about it. But, now when I look at them I feel relaxed” -Luna
“They look like princesses and they love each other wherever they go” -Gracie
“It looks like I am standing in a circle and singing songs to my friends and I am giving them lots of hugs. I feel happy when I look at them” -Lilya
“It looks like all of the compliments are being nice to each other. It makes me feel happy.” -Chloe
“I just want to paint” -Devon
“I feels like they love everyone in the class and they like are all singing songs together” -Gracie
“It looks like they are all painting, it makes me feel good” -Orlando
“They look like they are in a pool. They make me feel loving” -Greyson
Our artist study of Matisse was a wonderful introduction to art history. The children learned that we can all have different interpretations as to what we see in art. I encourage you to take your child to see some of Matisse’s work at the SFMOMA, DeYoung or Legion of Honor museum when it feels safe to do so.
Last week our caterpillars arrived. The Eagles have been documenting their development in their caterpillar journals. And, making their predictions as to when they will form their chrysalises.
Ms. Amy & Ms. Rocio