21 Mar 2020


Self-Isolation: Day 1

I realised I have rather neglected my blog recently. Normally on a Saturday I would be out and about, but as we are staying indoors more, we will all have more time to think, and reflect on things. Sometimes there really isn't anything we can do when we find ourselves in situations beyond our control - But what's important is how we respond to the enforced situation.

I have recently been researching paintings of ladies by Henri Matisse for a project I am doing. I started thinking last night about Matisse and how he found himself faced with an enforced change, in his case it was due to ill health, however he ended up having to alter what he did and ended up creating a whole new art-form.

When Matisse became bed-ridden due to cancer and failing eyesight in his latter years, he could no longer paint, so he started to find ways that he could continue to create art. He moved away from oil paintings and started using paper and scissors. His new medium was merely derived out of the situation he had found himself in. Standing for hours and working on detailed oil paintings with a fine brush had become difficult, but he found that using gouache painted sheets of paper and a pair of large scissors was achievable. This gave him to freedom to create compositions with his cut-out papers, and he could achieve all this from his bed. With the help of assistants who would pin the artwork to the walls, he then had the freedom to move and rearrange the cut-outs to create different compositions. 

Through his 60s and into his mid 80's Matisse created hundreds and hundreds of big, bold paper cut-outs from his bed and his wheel chair. He called it 'Painting with Scissors.' As his eyesight got worse the paper-cuts got larger, until he was creating paper cut-out installations that would fill whole rooms. Matisse was known to have said of his newfound medium: If he couldn't get out into the world anymore, he would re-create that world in art.

While we all find ourselves indoors more, maybe we could take a leaf out Matisse's book and see if we can turn a bad situation into a more pleasant one. We could all fill our homes with art, colour, creativity, music, anything that brings us joy and happiness. If we have to be in this situation, we may as well make the most of it and experiment, play, create, etc.

As Matisse said:  "There are always flowers for those who want to see them".





Cut-Outs as art installation

Matisse's Jazz Cut-outs

To read more about Matisse: his life and his work, Click here
This is just a mere snippet of his work

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