Its morning tea time and I am greeted by the playful “les betes de la Mer” by Henri Matisse. I love the colors. I love the shapes. I love their little yellow frames. And I love the theme because, of course, as you know, or maybe you didn’t, but do now, that I love all things mysteriously oceanic–great and small, friendly or scary, animal or vegetable
And I LOVE Matisse and can’t get enough of his amazing cut-outs. The MOMA Museum of Modern Art had one of a kind exhibit of these unique art pieces in 2015—They collected and unified Matisse cut-outs from all over the world–from museums and private collections. I regret missing it.
I bet you’ve heard of Matisse but maybe you didn’t know this about him:
“. . . .at the time Matisse was creating works of art with paper his new art form was often ridiculed and not taken seriously. Today they are considered to be among the most treasured works ever created. It is a reminder that opinions of “experts” about the quality of art frequently change throughout time.”
Matisse described his new art as being “closest to who I really am as an artist.”
He began this phase of his work in his sixties after he was diagnosed with cancer and was confined to a wheelchair.
Matisse: “I didn’t expect to recover from my second operation but since I did, I consider that I’m living on borrowed time. Every day that dawns is a gift to me and I take it in that way. I accept it gratefully without looking beyond it.” ~
Matisse used many shapes and colors to channel his creative pleasure: Large and small bulby shapes, spikey parts, swirls and shapes of sea animals and nautilus shells, and the human form mostly the female form.
He created all these beautiful shapes of nature with gobsmacking color and with the dramatic and playful use of black and white.
These later paintings or “cut-outs” are distinctive for their forms and patterns and repetition of patterns.
Some of Matisse’s shapes in these paintings are clearly recognizable like the pink horse; some are pieces and parts of shapes in nature such as oak leaves and shells.
My experience in working in Matisse’s style was that it was like building a puzzle–And I needed to use the left side of my brain more than a usually do when I construct a painting. And I usually don’t feel like I’m constructing a painting but with this one I REALLY DID.
Matisse’s suggestion to “Look at life with the eyes of a child is a common refrain of wise teachers from most cultures and traditions.
Here is my “Matissey” which I call Le Jardin De La Mer. It’s a large piece a 2×4 canvas. And it was a lot harder than it looks–I can tell you that.
It does complement the two Matisse prints and spread the fun into my living room.
Have I told you lately that I love you?