Henri Matisse – Painting with scissors


After a difficult surgery, French painter Henri Matisse could not stand by his easel any longer. So what did he do out of his bed? He started his famous “paintings with scissors”. The virtual walk through “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2015) lets you explore highlights from his work digitally. I also recommend MoMA’S wonderful digitorial about Matisse’s cut-outs, his technique and assistants with rare images about the working process.

To make a Matisse inspired bowl with children, cut many many leaf or coral shapes out of coloured construction paper. Create own forms, following Matisse:

“My curves are not crazy.”

Fix a balloon in the size of the wanted bowl and apply a layer of wallpaper paste. Now add cut-out by cut-out and stick them around the balloon. Finish with a last layer of paste and let the work dry completely. Finally burst the balloon and pick up its pieces.


Henri Matisse inspired paper bowl by me, based on an idea by Katherine Mengardon, photo by Ilona Habben for ELTERN family magazine