|Last month we saw art everywhere. Today we'll
talk about how that art was made. Color, shapes and lines are just
as important to an artist as his tools and materials. Let's
examine color and how artists use it with shapes to make
Thoughts on color that may be used throughout
- Imagine how to describe color to a blind
person. The shape of a color often gives us different feelings
about that color. For example, red can be a sign of danger in
a stoplight or it can be a sign of love in a rose or heart.
Green can be a sign of joy and hope in spring or cold and
depressing in the decay of moldy food.
- Are the colors and shapes harmonious or
contrasting? An harmonious composition can include contrasting
color if the colors and shapes are in harmonious proportions.
Contrasting colors stand apart so we see a difference between
them and have a feeling pf change and visual movement. The
contrasts can be light and dark or warm and cool. Opposite,
complimentary colors on the color wheel vibrate against each
- Think about warm and cool colors. What color
combinations do you see in nature?
- Are the colors pure or grayed (intense or
- Color Wheel Palette, Graphic.
- The Old King, 1936, Georges
Roualt, French (1871-1958) oil on canvas, Carnegie Museum of Art,
Pittsburgh. Reproduction print.
- Felt Board and Shapes, Materials for
|Use the felt board and shapes to
recreate the "Old King". Talk about the
colors using the color wheel palette. Does the Old King
remind you of a stained glass window in a church.? Why is the
Old King carrying flowers? Why might they be white?
- Flower Petals, , Henri
Matisse, French (1869-1954) paper on canvas, Collection Galerie
Beyeler, Reproduction print.
|Matisse cut shapes out of brightly
colored paper. What do the shapes and colors suggest.?
He carefully placed the shapes, repeating
shapes to create movement and pleasing composition.
Matisse uses lines as lines and shapes as
shapes - playing with the variations.
Henri Matisse was the leader of the Fauve
movement and one of the most creative French artists of
the 20th century. his early years in Paris were spent working
in the studio of Gustave Moreau and in copying the old masters
in the Louvre. The development of his style reflects the
influence of contemporary artistic currents. Finding
Impressionists' and Divisionists' use of color limited,
Matisse forged ahead until his artistic vision reached its
logical conclusion in fauvism. The exaltation of bright color,
arrayed and controlled in simple flat areas, found expression
in a wide range of subjects; still lifes, interior scenes,
odalisques, and portraits. Criticized in France, Matisse found
encouragement in the patronage of Gertrude Stein and the
Russian collectors., Stchonkine and Rocosoff, who helped gain
recognition for his work. Matisse settled in Nice in 1917 and
continued to explore the possibilities of light and color.,
deliberately and eloquently reduced to their essentials.
Examples of his meticulous method are to be seen in his
careful pen sketches whose sharp clean lines result in
spontaneous purity. Bedridden after a serious operation in
1941, Matisse began to experiment with brightly-painted paper
which he cut into imaginative shapes and arranged in vivacious
compositions. The culmination of Matisse's creative activity
is visible today in the Dominican Chapel at Venice, for which
he designed everything from the stained glass windows, the
liturgical objects and vestments to the tiles on the roof and
the cross on the tower. The total effect of the stark white
walls with black-lines drawings opposite shimmering blue-green
windows is one of a radiantly spiritual serenity.
(See also Grade
4 Lesson 5 for more Henri Matisse)
- Iris, 1954, Morris
Louis, American (1912-1962 ) Reproduction Print
|How many shapes can
Are they formed by the colors or the lines?
Name the colors. Are they grayed or bright?
Do they remind you of a flower?
Explain how this picture is different from
Matisse's "Flower Petals".
How does this painting make you feel?
- Color-aid Paper
|Use this paper to show the variety
of colors you can achieve by mixing red and blue. Which colors
have more blue? More red? Matisse used similar paper for his
- Black Iris, 1926, Georgia
O'Keeffe, American (1887-1986)
| Born in Wisconsin, O'Keefe
studied in Wisconsin, Chicago and New York. She never painted
the human figure, concentrating instead on close-up views of
flowers for which she is best known. These paintings reveal
elemental shapes common to many natural forms. Nature offered
forms or shapes that could be removed from their original
context and made into art. Clean contours and smooth shapes
and simplified forms - Black Iris magnifies each
(See also Grade
2 Lesson 4 for more Georgia O'Keeffe)