"Drawing with Scissors"
"Seek the strongest color effect possible... the content is of no importance."
At the age of 71, Matisse became very ill. After surgery and a long time in bed, he was confined to a wheel chair. He could no longer paint so he turned to collages with a technique that he called “drawing with scissors.” He would cut pieces of brightly colored paper that were then arranged onto large sheets of white paper and glued down.
Matisse’s collages often filled an entire wall!
To paint with scissors, we started with a piece of 9" x 18" black construction paper and many colors of brightly colored and white copy paper. I like copy paper because the colors don't fade like some construction papers do, and it is easy for younger artists to cut.
We examined several of Matisse's collages and found lots of different cutout shapes: starbursts, splashes, splats, spirals, waves, zigzags, wavy lines, and simple organic shapes like humans, birds, animals, fish, and leaves. The goal was to take one's time and cut out interesting shapes; then to arrange both the positive and negative pieces within the composition.
Drawing with scissors is so much fun! It can be done by anyone, young and old. Matisse made his collages throughout the last 12 years of his life, until he died at the age of 84. His collage works are some of his most well known pieces.
|"Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs," Tate Modern exhibition (UK), 2014|