Each of us worked separately on our pieces with no reference to what color things should be, other than value. After each person's section was complete we pieced them all together to create the final image (pictured below). In the end, not everything matched up and it was a crazy mash-up of colors but the process of getting there was more important than the end result. This project, or variations, could work for any age group. A Matisse cut-out piece would be perfect for elementary students, especially those in the intermediate grades who have a better understanding of space and shape. With younger students who are less adept at recreating artwork, the process would be just as fascinating and the end result even more chaotic. For older students, those in secondary, the image could be more complex (a photo or photorealistic painting) or less defined (an impressionist painting) or they could have smaller pieces. The variations of this project is endless and with each variation comes a new challenge.
Les Codomas comes from a larger book of prints called Jazz. When it was commissioned, Matisse set out to make a book of color images about the circus, but later he began incorporating other subject matter and motifs. While many of Matisse's cut outs are non-objective works of art, this piece is an abstraction. The Codomas were a famous trapeze act depicted in Matisse's piece as the two yellow figures flying through the middle. The bars on which they swing are depicted coming down from the top of the image, and the black and white grid beneath is their safety net.