“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

Matisse said that he was never truly expressing himself until he started to work with collages.

Samantha Friedman – Author
Cristina Amodeo – Illustrator

One day, the artist Henri Matisse cut a small bird from a piece of white paper. It was a simple shape, but he liked the way it looked and didn’t want to throw it away, so he pinned it to the wall of his apartment. But the bird looked lonely all by itself, so he cut out more shapes to join it. He didn’t know it then, but he had taken the first step in creating a new form of art, one that would soon transform the walls of his studio into a blooming, vibrant garden. By Samantha Friedman, with illustrations by Cristina Amodeo and artwork by Matisse.


Listen to artist Cristina Amodeo read Matisse’s Garden

Images from “Matisse’s Garden”

Matisse discovered a new technique for making art – using paper and scissors…..and his imagination!

Make a Matisse art project by cutting out lots of colorful organic shapes, and then layering them to make an interesting collage.

“The Snail” 1953, Henri Matisse

Materials:  scissors, glue stick, large piece of dark colored paper, a variety of brightly colored paper.


1. Take your scissors and cut out shapes from the brightly colored paper. They can be any shape you like.  Use your imagination.
2.  When you have made a pile of brightly colored shapes take your large sheet of dark colored paper and start creating  your picture.  Arrange your pieces and glue your shapes.


Resource:  Matisse Exhibit at the Tate Museum.