Henri Matisse was a 20th century French artist who loved color, shape and pattern. Later in life, he created abstract collages using brightly colored paper and free-form shapes. Matisse called this "painting with scissors"! Third graders explored his technique with exciting results.
First, students selected a colored background paper and smaller rectangles of contrasting colors.
Then, they cut free form shapes in each rectangle. Wow! The scraps were beautiful shapes too!
After these new shapes appeared, students needed to arrange them on their paper. This took some time and lots of thought! Only after the artists found appealing arrangements did they carefully glue each shape.
Then, students hung up their collages and stood back. Much discussion was heard. "What do you think"? "Do my shapes balance"? "That color doesn't contrast enough... I can't see the shape."