Each year for the last 4 years I've been teaching adults and teens with cognitive disabilities a six- week art program. Each week I come prepared to teach them a new art concept, technique, or learning about a specific artist. For the next two week I'll be taking a look back at some of my favorite lessons (that I've taken pictures of-- I didn't always bring my camera).
For this week I was excited to share with the participants about the life of Henri Mattise and specifically the art he created out of paper. After he was diagnosed with cancer he used a wheelchair and was often confined to his bed, "The cut out was not an renunciation of painting and sculpture: he called it “painting with scissors.” Matisse said, "Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated.” Moreover, experimentation with cut-outs offered Matisse innumerable opportunities to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment: "You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk... There are leaves, fruits, a bird."
I was happy to share his art with my students and demonstrate how we could paint with scissors.