Saturday, December 6, 2008
For his cut-outs he used paper that had been hand-painted with gouache, laid down in abstract or figurative patterns: 'the paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour... Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it... I draw straight into the colour'. The colours he used were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.
Drawing with Scissors
Decision made. The week goes on. A sense that things will work out, better perhaps than can be imagined.
The Matisse touring exhibition Drawing with Scissors is in town. Lucky us.
In the local museum the lithographs on the wall glow, vibrant and joyous. Red. Blue. Yellow. Flowers. Leaves. Women. The art of an elderly man (Matisse started working with gouaches découpés or cut-outs late in life) in a wheelchair, eventually bed-ridden, using a pair of scissors and coloured paper to create. Assistants would prepare the paper and pin the cut-outs on the wall for him. The imperative was so powerful.
Outside, the winter sky a deep, intense blue. Like one of his nudes. Evening now and the mental image remains of the old artist sitting up in bed, cutting shapes from sheets of paper.
Strong colours, bright and clear and true.