Henri Matisse


After a difficult surgery, the French painter Henri Matisse had to stay in bed most of the day and could not stand by his easel anymore. So what did he do? He started to what he called “painting with scissors”. If you want to know what it was, enjoy a virtual walk through the exhibition “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York here. Beautiful, don’t you think?

To make your own Matisse inspired deco bowl, cut many many leaf or coral shapes out of coloured construction paper. Feel free to create your own forms, following Henri who said

“My curves are not crazy.”

Then fix a ballon in the size of your wanted bowl and apply a layer of wallpaper paste. Now add cut-out by cut-out and use the paste to stick them around the balloon. You will have the strongest result if your paper shapes are overlapping a lot. Finish with a last layer of paste and let the work dry completely. Finally burst the balloon and pick up its pieces. Your bowl should be ready!

If you like to learn more about Henri Matisse’s cut-outs, we recommend you this wonderful digitorial by the MoMA here.

Henri Matisse inspired paper bowl by Friederike Fankhänel, based on an idea by Katherine Mengardon, photo by Ilona Habben