I don't know about you, but I cannot throw a piece of paper away unless it's smaller than a jelly bean or chewed up and spit up. I think as art teachers, we art "gifted" with the ability to see possibilities in just about everything, so it feels likes a crime to throw something away if it could be used for another purpose. It might be some kind of hoarding disorder actually: everything I use, I'm always thinking, "that would be perfect for this project" or "I'm sure the kids would love that!". The other day, I was buying hummus and made my decision based not on flavor or brand, but on yes, the container!(It was a beauty, my friends... it had three deep wells!) Ok, I think you get the picture!
So, my paper scrap box was overflowing and starting a nice little trail on the floor, as if it were trying to reach up to us to beg for it's use! Something had to be done and quick! It was time for Matisse to teach these kiddos how to use scraps!
To introduce Matisse, I found this neat interactive website, that I walked through with the kids to point out how he uses color and pattern. The kids loved that Matisse made his paintings with the intention to make the viewer feel as if you were sitting in a comfortable armchair.
For this lesson, we first drew our self portraits making sure to draw everything in bolder shapes that could easily be cut out. Next, we cut apart our drawing unto three parts: hair, face and neck, and body. We then traced those three pieces onto three different colored scrap paper and reassembled to create our colorful self-portraits. I tell the kids that anything they want to add to their piece needed to be made out of paper, which is definitely a challenge! They also were instructed to consider the background of their pieces.
I just adore how the personalities of each child shines through in these self portraits!