Matisse: Drawing with Scissors

Today’s blog is inspired by the work of Matisse and the touring exhibition ‘Matisse: Drawing with Scissors’ which is currently on display at the London Print Studio until June 11th.

The exhibition lithographic showcases prints of Matisse’s famous cut-outs which he produced in the last years of his life. He produced these works in his eighties, using paper that had been hand-painted with gouache, cut out then laid back down in abstract or figurative patterns. Matisse said ‘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’.

We also loved these images of Matisse’s studio in Nice c. 1952 and have been inspired by his bright and bold colours.

The exhibition is well worth a visit and we were inspired by the colours we saw to source a few items inspired by Matisse. Take a look at our picks below to find out how you can introduce some colour into your home, subtly, for the Summer months.

We found this beautiful removable wallpaper on Etsy by Kate Zaremba Company. Designer Kate Zaremba works as an illustrator and surface designer in Washington, she’s inspired by her childhood career in film and theatre as well as her trips to art galleries. We love the sense of play and creative imagination in her designs that comes from these influences. Take a look at the wallpapers below which have been inspired by Matisse’s cut-outs. Her wallpapers are self-adhesive, so easy to apply and remove. This is great if you’re looking to add some Summer colour and brighten up a room temporarily! 

The cushion below comes from Coverture & The Garbstore, who have a lovely shop in Notting Hill. They chose not to stock big brands and instead focus on independent and unique labels. This cotton cushion with a Matisse inspired print is designer by Bobo Choses and would add instant creative colour to your sofa or bed. They’ve also designed this fun beach towel, shown bottom right, if you fancy taking something colourful on your travels this Summer!

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at The Royal Academy of Arts

‘Painting The Modern Garden’ at The Royal Academy of Arts is undoubtedly one of London’s most stunning exhibitions of 2016. We visited last week and were truly taken aback by the beauty of the paintings on display. While Monet is at the centre of this exhibition, there are works by Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Matisse and Klimt to name a few. The exhibition promises to help you see ‘the garden in art with fresh eyes’ and its doesn’t disappoint.

Interestingly the natural garden subject seems to have enabled many of these avant-garde artists to work with a greater freedom than before, freeing their palettes and their brushstrokes. Throughout he exhibition you are greeted with Monet’s stunning gardens until ending in a grand finale; Monet’s great pastel coloured waterlily paintings.

The exhibition opens with a beautiful comparison - Monet's 'The Artist's Garden in Argenteuil' (pictured below left) is placed beside Renoir's painting of Monet painting in the very garden in Argenteuil (pictured below right). This sets the tone for the exhibition, an affirmative statement about the impact Monet had on his fellow impressionists and hints that he influenced not only the garden subject matter but the act of painting en plein air.  

There are some beautiful works by a less famous name, Spanish artist Santiago Rusinol. His paintings are more structured than the Impressionist works on display and convey spectacular modelling of light, like this work below which evokes the brilliant glow of sunset. 

We thought it would be lovely to also share with you some images of Monet's garden in Giverny. These are the gardens Monet spent nearly forty years in his house in Giverny, a period many argue were his most creative. In 1883 he and his family rented the house with its 2 acre land and by 1890 he had saved enough to buy it and the surrounding land. As an avid gardener himself, Monet worked alongside his gardeners and created precise designs and layouts for his garden's planting, resulting in a stunning display. Over time he built up the land, eventually buying a water meadow which he plated up with water lilies. These became the subject of his best known works and the water meadow is now one the garden's most popular features.