Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Inspired by Henri Matisse

Have you ever wanted to take an online class but didn't know where to start or which one to take?  Let me heartily recommend Studying Under the Masters - Becoming the Apprentice hosted on the Jeanne Oliver Design blog.  I've been looking forward to this class ever since it was announced - It just opened today and what a treat!
There are 9 teachers and each week one will "apprentice" under a master painter - learning their techniques, their history, etc. and will share it with us!  This week is Henri Matisse.
With my Matisse coffee mug at my side I was ready to start my adventure (in the interest of total honesty the mug is my mother's but since I stole/borrowed it from her about 2 years ago with NO intention of returning it, I feel as though I can refer to it as mine - feel free to visit it any time you want, Mom).
I cut 4 pieces of sketch paper to 6" x 9" and painted them in solid colors.  TIP:  Use those old catalogs you receive in the mail as mats while you paint.  When you've finished painting just tear out the catalog page and you  have a fresh one underneath.  I use catalogs all the time when I am using gluestick, etc.  No clean-up - just wad up the paper and throw it away!
Adirondack paints are a favorite of mine since they are so matte.  I used a smallish brush so I could dip it right into the bottle - another mess saver!
I'm usually so picky about painting but really tried to loosen up and make fun patterns.  One of the many things I learned today was Matisse's love of pattern and how it is reflected in so many of his works.
The flower pattern was my favorite so I set it aside to use on another project.  Flipped over the other three patterns and drew organic shapes on the back which I cut out with scissors.  When Matisse was older and could no longer paint he did what he called "painting with scissors" and constructed amazing paper collages.
I combined his love of pattern along with the organic shapes to make my idea of a Matisse.  I had limited time to play and was itching to be creative so this was just the project for me.

Funny how there can seem to be a "right way" for the image - at least to me. This one is flipped from the first one and seems upside down to me.  What do you think?


marde said...

Great fun! I have yet to begin my Matisse explorations, but yours are certainly inspiring!

Odd Chick said...

What a fun blog! I'm taking the class too but haven't had time to get started but you've definitely inspired me to begin soon!

coco.nut said...

it's really funny - for me the first one seems upside down and the last picture feels "right"... :o

anyway - the final pictures are great!

Jessica Sporn said...


Kimberly Jones said...

I agree the class is amazing! I love your Matisse-inspired patterns and shapes!

Kim Andersen said...

Cool ! This would be awesome for the middle school kids I work with

Anne said...

Wow, Michelle, I like your Matisses. (Because I really love the pattern part of this Matisse-study-thing!) The first one is the right way up. There they walk...
Thanks for sharing.

Coreycor! said...

I like the middle shape- my personal name for it is "child in trouble"