MMATC Group Rainbow Accordion Book: Red


RED: Beth Power: http://www.naturalinspirations.blogspot.com

MMATC (Mixed Media Artist Trading Cards) is a Yahoo! group of artists based in the UK. I was pleased to be accepted into the group late last year, though I’ve only just this year been able to make my debut, joining the group’s Rainbow Accordion Book swap. The idea is that every month participants each makes a card based on one colour of the rainbow and sends it to one of the other participants.  The first colour to interpret was red, being the outermost colour of a rainbow (visible to the human eye). All 7 colours achieved, we each make up the cards we’ve received into an accordion book.

The images here are the front and back of the beautiful card sent to me by artist and textile student Beth Power.  Check out her blog: Beth’s Natural Inspirations.  (Not to be missed on the blog is the display of paintings on feathers).

Beth told me that in part her inspiration for Red was a piece of artwork by textile artist Ann Small which she came across in the book Layered Textiles: New Surfaces with Heat Tools, Machine and Hand Stitch by Kim Thittichai.

I decided to seek out a group of Mail Art artists based in the UK after participating last year in Kat Sloma’s  international postcard swap. I got such a buzz from the sending and receiving of art postcards.  It’s important to connect up with other creatives as art-making is a solitary pursuit and can be isolating and lonely. Going out and looking at other artists’ work is a must, for inspiration, for replenishing one’s well of images; but swapping small pieces of art is arguably better because it’s more than just looking. It’s tactile and you can see the materials, textures and techniques close-up and – it’s yours to keep forever.  And owning might just be a sensory perception – receiving gifts of art certainly brings on a sense of abundance.

Creating with a group of practising artists/craftspeople also means learning new techniques and materials.  For instance, my interpretation/contribution of Red for the Rainbow Accordion Book introduced me to fabric paper. All cards for the accordion book were to be made from fabric paper and a recipe was provided.  I’ve made paper in the past, but fabric paper was a new concept. It involves gluing soppy muslin to a sheet of soggy tissue paper. Painting or dyeing the fabric/paper is also an option. I made a large sheet using three layers of acid-free artist’s tissue paper, of which I had a large wadge. I painted the muslin red.  (By the time I’d finished I looked like I’d taken part in a chain saw massacre!  And so did the cat, who, right at the very end, decided to jump onto my table and plodge across my newly-made sheet)!

In my next blog I’ll post my own Red artist’s card and describe how I made it. It was quite a learning curve, especially because my background as an artist is in Fine Art, not textiles but I had to find a way of putting this card together so that at the very least, it survived the postal system.

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer, Proofreader/Copy Editor
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