Friday, January 21, 2011

Matisse Goldfish Still Lifes

When I was in art school, a professor went around the room asking each of us what artists inspired us. He winced and grimaced at some of the answers he got, Nagel comes to mind (yes, this was the 80's!) One person offered Picasso. He answered something to the effect of, "of course, that goes without saying, Picasso has something for everyone." I think the same of Matisse. His body of work is so broad and vast, there is surely something for everyone's taste. I think he is a wonderful artist for children to be inspired by because of his fearless use of colors and patterns. This week my classes looked at Matisse's Goldfish painting. We also looked at some of his other paintings that showed his bold use of patterns and color. We followed a direct line drawing lesson to create our fish bowls. From there the children (Kindergarten - 3rd) used oil pastels, watercolor and acrylic to create their pieces. I think they are lively, bright and bold - very Matisse. (For the record, my answer was,"El Greco, Paul Gauguin and Georgia O'Keefe", but of course I adore Matisse)
My older children did the same lesson but used Phyl's method (from There's a Dragon in My Art Room) of setting up a real still life for them to use for inspiration. I will post those soon. Thank you Phyl!


  1. Cool backgrounds! So lively It's interesting how a couple of the kids made the background show through the clear bowl too. I've tried a few times to have pet goldfish in my classroom but "Matisse" and "Picasso" (what we usually name them) always end up swimming sideways and I have to bring them "home".

  2. Looking forward to seeing the older kids' work! These look great.
    I would have answered that professor with these names: Matisse, Kandinsky, and Janet Fish. And Ansel Adams. And my sculptor-grandfather Harry Levine.

  3. These are SO beautiful. Lovely project.


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