Matisse and Fish

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July issue of atTree was dedicated to Henri Matisse and Fish.

What could you find there? You could learn about Henri Matisse and his colorful and bold collages. You’d find out why he made them, what else he did, why he used such bold colors and more. You would paint, collage, draw and glue a lot of different fish! You’d make a 3D aquarium, musical fish and learn about mosaics. You’d have fun with tangrams and a lot more!

If you want to get this issue, you can subscribe to the magazine and you’ll get this one (and 11 others) instantly!

If you are putting together an art docent lesson dedicated to Matisse, I’d recommend the video where you can watch Matisse work in his studio: see it by clicking here.

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More art ideas? Click here to get started!

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Or you can have the kids play a Spot-the Difference game with Matisse’s art by clicking here.

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Warm & Cold landscapes with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

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When we were talking about warm and cold colors last week, we visited one of my favorite German expressionist painters: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

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We have learned about German expressionism: about the way the artists painted emotions rather than reality, how they distorted or exaggerated objects and used vivid and shocking colors. We talked about all the emotions they were trying to capture, from anxiety and fear to peacefulness. We even mentioned Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (click here to watch this 1920s marvel)!

We explored Kirchner’s landscapes and looked how he used warm and cold colors to express his emotions.

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Then we looked at pictures of different landscapes for inspiration.

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Then kids got a big black paper and used white chalk pastel to sketch their landscape. Then they divided it into segments and started coloring them in. They used only warm colors for the land, cold for the sky – or vise versa – but did not combine them. When they were done (it took them a little bit over an hour) I sprayed it with a hair spray to help the chalk pastels stick to the paper. Stunning results, don’t you think?

Warhol’s animals

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Today my Little Artists learned about Andy Warhol, Pop Art and the Factory! The last couple of weeks we have talked about colors and today we focused on colors in animals. We found an animal for each color and then looked at Warhol’s paintings/prints to see how differently they looked.

Each child then chose one animal print to decorate and color and got four copies of it – to really see the difference. We traced the animals with sharpies, added patterns or shapes and then colored them with different crayons. It was a very easy project and it was very interesting to see how differently the kids approached the project. It was fun!