Tag Archives: Henri Matisse

Cut Out Creativity – Henri Matisse

Almost two and a half years ago, I ran a guest blog series on here called Heroes. In all there were a dozen contributions to the series, many of them still get searched for and read, and this one about Mrs Van Gogh is my personal favourite.

The most read post in the series is one about the inspirational artist, Henri Matisse, and it is to him I return today.

Cut Out Creativity

As he aged Matisse became ill and could no longer paint. You could forgive him for calling it a day and sitting back to admire his vast catalogue of work in his twilight years. And you wouldn’t need to.

Confined to his bed, Matisse continued to create great art using cut outs. Some of his most famous and stunning work was created in this final phase of his life.

Matisse snail

The cut out works are often very large. The Snail, shown here, is almost three metres square. It’s part of the Tate collection and I think it’s simply beautiful. This tiny image doesn’t begin to do the picture justice. What it shows me is that excellence doesn’t need to be complicated.

Adaptability

I love Matisse’s work. And what I love most of all is his adaptability. I imagine him thinking, ‘Can’t get out of bed to paint anymore? No problem, let’s make cutouts. I can design and cut them and my team can arrange the pieces just so’. Matisse’s drive to adapt in the face of adversity is inspiring, what a creative leader.

What heroics could you and your team achieve with a little of Matisse’s adaptability?

This One’s For You

Tate Modern is running a major exhibition of Matisse’s work this year, starting in April and running through to September. I’m excited about this and intend to visit it often, and here’s where you come in. My membership at Tate is a plus three, so if you would like, we can visit this exhibition together – with you as my guests. Would you like to join me? If you would – please just add a comment to this post, and we will work on the dates later.

Heroes – Henri Matisse

La Musée Matisse

This is the first in a series of posts about heroes. If you have a hero and you would like to write about them in a guest post for this blog, just drop me a line and we’ll take it from there.

On a recent trip to the Cote d’Azur we visited La Musée Matisse, a beautiful building in Cimiez, Nice, dedicated to the creative genius Henri Matisse. It was a stunningly hot, sunny day and the red plaster coated building shone gloriously (I attempted to capture some of that brightness in the above sketch, an early picture from my learning to paint experiment). My wife Carole introduced me to the work of Matisse several years ago and we’ve long been looking forward to this day.

Matisse female portrait

Matisse female portrait

The museum contains all kinds of wonder. Paintings, sculptures, models, drawings – fabulously simple, beautiful drawings. Their simplicity hides years of practice.

The scale of some of Matisse’s works is awesome. The wonderful Dance II commissioned by the Barnes Foundation is a triptych mural 15 feet high and 45 feet long.

Later in life, Matisse designed stunning stained glass windows for a small chapel in Vence. They flood an otherwise white space with beautiful blues and yellows.

As he aged Matisse became ill and could no longer paint. You would forgive him for calling it a day and sitting back to admire his vast catalogue of work in his twilight years. And you wouldn’t need to.

Confined to his bed, Matisse continued to create great art using cut outs. Some of his most famous and stunning work was created in this final phase. The Snail is almost three metres square. It’s part of the Tate collection and I think it’s simply beautiful. This tiny image doesn’t begin to do the picture justice – please go and see it for yourself. Excellence doesn’t need to be complicated.

Matisse snail

Matisse snail

I love Matisse’s work. And what I love most of all is his adaptability. I imagine him thinking, ‘Can’t get out of bed to paint anymore? No problem, let’s make cutouts. I can design and cut them and my team can arrange the pieces just so’. Matisse’s drive to adapt in the face of adversity is inspiring, what a creative leader.

What heroics could you and your team achieve with a little of Matisse’s adaptability?

Postcards From the Edge #3 and #4

We visited La Musée Matisse in Nice. I’ve long been fascinated by Henri Matisse’s seemingly endless creativity and I’ll come back to this and what I think we can learn from the great man when I have more time to write. For now I want to share two more postcards I have painted. They are both different views of the musem building. I hope the recipients enjoy the cards when they arrive.

La Musée Matisse - Front View

La Musée Matisse - Front View

La Musée Matisse - Side View

La Musée Matisse - Side View