It's always great when a book is not only entertaining to read but also provides inspiration after the reading is done. I love reinforcing the ideas we have read about in story time with a fun craft. Today, we read Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winter, and it inspired us to create some scissortastic art of our own.
Henri Matisse was a famous French painter during the first half of the twentieth century. His painting were known for their avant-garde nature and colorful composition. Late in his life, he became very ill and would remain bedridden. His physical state left him unable to paint, and instead of giving up on art entirely, he just changed his way of thinking. He swapped his paint brush for a pair of scissors. Instead of applying oils to canvas, he cut out wonderfully abstract and color rich paper art.
Without leaving his bedroom, Matisse created a world of color and form that surrounded him with happiness.
"You see, as I am obliged to remain often in bed . . . I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk. . . there are leaves, fruits, a bird."
The craft for this book is the best kind of craft - the kind that takes almost no prep work or special trip to Hobby Lobby. All you need for this is construction paper and scissors, possibly some glue or tape. Henri called his paper cut out collages gouaches decoupes. To make your own, just take scissors in one hand, paper in the other, and cut free form shapes (Matisse's have a sort of frond like plant shape.) There is no wrong way to shape them. We created shapes in a variety of different colors and scales. We arranged and glued ours down on white poster board, but the possibilities are endless! Put some sticky tack on the back of each shape, and let a toddler stick them on a window. Make a baby mobile by attaching them to a coat hanger with yarn. These collages made Matisse happy, so do with them what makes you happy!