Dear Cleo 18 11 06


Dearest Cleo

It has been a long week and it is only Tuesday, how are you finding it? I forgot to ask if you enjoyed your firework party but I am sure you did. I didn’t have to go to any galleries to do this one as I went to the exhibition several years ago and have a well thumbed copy of the catalogue and I have done a lot of reading around the subject.

Figure 1 Icarous by Henri Matisse

You may remember this one from our visit to Pizza Express, I don’t know if it is still there because I stopped going when they took Quattro Formaggi off the menu.

The best internet site I found for a description of the Cut Outs was the MoMA one which describes Matisse’s process in some detail, the link is in the Bibliography below.

The challenge was to make a cut out, I made several and I have been making them for a couple of weeks now. I don’t have any studio assistants to paint the paper for me to cut out, so I decided to make one a week from the Sunday Times Magazines from solid blocks of colour I could rescue from the week’s issue. I intend to continue with this so don’t be too surprised to get an update in the future.

Figure 2 ST Number 01 Collage on A5 card

This one reminds me of a Cubist chair, let’s not forget after all that it was Picasso who invented collage.

Figure 3 ST Number 02 Collage on A5 card.

With this one I was concerned with what was in front of what and how the colours and tones indicated recession and depth.

Figure 4 ST Number 03 Collage and Sharpie on A5 card.

As you know I don’t watch TV, but the TV listings in the magazine look like subtle tones if you squint a bit or look from far away enough.

Figure 5 ST Number 04 Collage and Sharpie on A5 card.

Still fascinated by the tones of the TV listings I found it interesting how the colours float behind and within and in front of the tones and how the minds eye conjures up 3 dimensions from a flat surface.

I had no preconceived ideas of which way was up, that they all became portrait format is the eventual way that the collages suggested when they were finished. There may be a deep unconscious reason for this, no doubt a critic of the future more schooled in Freudian theories that I will be able to explain this to everybody.

Well dear, that is the first four weeks over, but I can feel this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, look for the sign of the cut paper and we will see where this takes itself.

Just as an aside I noticed something else, If you are going to have a blockbuster exhibition or write a book about art and are stuck for a title, start with a colon and put some words either side of it, its not about art unless it has a colon.

My love as always


Mickos xx

Gallery visits

Tate Modern.  Matisse: The cut outs

Tate Liverpool.  Works to know by heart: Matisse in Focus


Buchberg,  K. (2014) Matisse: The Cut Outs. London: Tate Publishing

Elderfield, J. (1984) The Drawings of Henri Matisse.  London: Arts Council

Flam, J.D.  (1978) Matisse on Art. New York : E.P. Dutton

Essers, V. (1987) Henri Matisse: Master of colour. Koln: Tachen

Neret, G.( 1996) Henri Matisse: Cut outs. Koln: Tachen

Internet Research

Matisse, H. (1908) Notes from a painter. At:  (Accessed on 14/10/18)

MoMA (s.d.) The Cut outs At: h  (Accessed on 14/10/18)

Tate Modern (2014) Henri Matisse: the Cut outs. At: (Accessed on 14/10/18)

Tate Liverpool (s.d.) Works to know by heart: Matisse in Focus. At: (Accessed on 14/10/18)