Whether you've reached this blog willingly or by force I'm happy to have you here.
ersi marina's workroom is always open to the public, even when I am not in. Sometimes I need to sleep.
And to paint.
And to play with my four cats.
My name is Ersi Marina and I live in Spain though I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece. I kept it all very Mediterranean.
This blog is a means to share my work and snippets of my life, as well as to be in contact with you all. I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Monday, 26 September 2011

a long path with pauses - update

'A long path with pauses' is the English title of one of my handmade books. The original is in Spanish (Largo camino con paradas) and this is not the first time I post an entry about it. 'A long path with pauses' is supposed to be a short, conceptual summary of the path I've followed in my life and, in a strange way, it can also describe  my activity when blogging, updating my website or listing work on Etsy. I like taking things easy and pausing enough to think and feel.

I made a couple of changes in the interior pages and I finally created the front and back covers. The slideshow here has been updated and the finished object is now on sale in my Etsy shop.

Creating the covers took me a long time and I felt a huge relief and pleasure when I came up with this solution. Both are coated with a special, lovely batik fabric that I bought from FabricFascination on Etsy. My thanks to her for her beautiful items and for her generosity in offering discount coupons to her customers. In fact, this wasn't the first time I used her fabrics to coat book covers. Some months ago I was commissioned with an agenda for a young girl and that was also coated with a lively fabric from FabricFascination:

I was also delighted to see that Alisa Golden, whose publications on making handmade books are my main source of inspiration, included my name with a link to my website in her 'Around the World' link list on her blog. I'm very proud of that, thank you, Alisa!

Thanks for dropping by and may you all have a creative week!


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

it's not an encyclopaedia but...

I have been mumbling about my handmade books for ages -or for months, it doesn't really make a difference. Actually making a decent presentation of them online has taken so long they could be encyclopaedias!

I spent the last two and a half days scanning whatever was left to scan, editing the photographs, posting the items on my website paintafeeling and creating slideshows on Flickr for a better view of the books. Last evening I created a new section in my Etsy shop and listed one of the books without further delay: 'The Wind Went to the Fare'

Ok! Now I can finally write a blog entry to sum it all up.

This book has lots of texture so do click to view the slideshow full screen, you'll be able to appreciate the details much better.

Last spring I started exploring a new (to me) artistic path: the creation of Artist's Books. The term 'Artist's Book' describes a book made entirely by the artist. It is hand-painted, hand-printed, handwritten or collaged by its creator. Of course, living in the computer age, we cannot discard the use of a printer in the process but this does not change the basic fact that it's the artist who carries out the entire process of creation.

Artist's Books are paintings, drawings, collage sheets, text books and pieces of sculpture all in one. It can't get better than that!

They make beautiful, original and unexpected gifts, and they can be kept folded and tied up or unfolded on a shelf or a table.

I owe almost everything I know on the creation of Artist's Books to Alisa Golden , a teacher I've never met but who managed to thrill me with her books written on the subject: Making Handmade Books (LARK CRAFTS) - Expressive Handmade Books (Sterling) - Painted Paper (LARK BOOKS). And no, I am not Mrs. Golden's agent, this publicity is completely free and a result of my appreciation. She will probably never know about it.

This particular item is one of a kind. I couldn't make another identical one even if I wanted to. A large-size abstract painting on paper, with the additional work of designing the book, creating the illustrations and writing the text.

'The Wind Went to the Fare' is an 8-page accordion book plus the front and back covers. It all started as a painting experiment with acrylic gesso. I wasn't even sure I would use the painted sheet for anything in particular. The final result appealed to me very much though. I had a 44.5 x 60.5 cms (18 x 24 inches) Stonehenge paper blotted with white gesso (I used a coarse sponge to apply it) and painted over with lively yellow, red and magenta acrylic inks. I had to do something with it!

The chaotic gesso strains and the vibrant, random paintstrokes suggested a cheerful, colourful site swept by a strong wind. 'A fare', I thought and the idea stuck. So, in a way, I didn't consciously lead the bookmaking process here but was instead led by it. Fun!

Probably influenced by the theme, the only graphic content that came to mind strongly resembled children's illustration. I decided to respect the book's demands even though I am not an illustrator, and this is the final result.

White acrylic gesso, acrylic inks and graphite on 250 gsm, 100% cotton, velum finish Stonehenge paper. A 2.5 cms (1 inch) wide red silk ribbon to tie down the storm :)

The book's pages are held together with acid-free, archival linen tape used in bookbinding.

Accordion book, 8 interior pages 13 x 18 cms (5.2 x 7.2 inches) When completely open, the book measures 104 cms (41.6 inches) wide.

Two commissioned artist's books are in the making and I am soooo glad neither of my customers is in a great hurry! I hope I'll have time to photograph them properly before delivering them, so you can see what they are all about.

Have you read this impossibly long post? Are you actually here? Thank you for your interest!


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

she'll dance to Columbia, SC!

What's in a post? If Shakespeare were alive today he would have lots of funny stuff to write about. Romeos and Juliettes falling in love online, a Midsummer Netmeeting's Dream or maybe Ophelia drowning in a torrent of emails.

Ok, my apologies to Shakespeare. If he were alive today he would probably sue me for my banality!

There's something important in this post for me today though, because I made my first sale on Etsy :)) My fair Ballerina will be dancing her way to Columbia, SC.

If you check the date when I opened my shop you may be surprised to see it was on 12 December 2008. Well, it didn't really take me that long to start selling. My shop was inactive for over two years and I started listing items again on 17 January 2011. I knew sales would be slow to come because I really don't have much time to dedicate to my shop but I admit that eight months was more than I anticipated. May my example serve to encourage other artists that have beautiful works on Etsy and are still waiting for their first sale.

In case my customer follows my online adventures to this blog, I would like to thank her for this very special purchase. To show my appreciation, I'll through into the package a couple of A5 postcards of her choice, a surprise bonus that I hope she'll enjoy.

And I will probably include a 1 postcard bonus to all future purchases. I'll write a special blog entry to announce it and I will also trumpet the news in my shop, of course. (I re-listed the item, since it's an open edition archival print.)

So there. I really wanted to share the news with you :) Thanks for dropping in and have a beautiful evening!


Sunday, 11 September 2011

I just checked and I'm still breathing


Who am I greeting, I wonder. Does anyone remember me at all? Having given it some thought, I decided to plunge headlong into my blog and write a new entry. I'm still breathing, I can still type.

Now I realise that my words may convey some sort of danger to my ability to breathe. Nothing of the sort. My health is good, thank you, dearies, and my head is still on my shoulders. And apparently, after a long, busy summer at the Exhibition Hall, my capacity to concentrate is slowly moving back into my head. I hope it stays there.

Two handmade books are almost entirely scanned and photographed, a new painting is on the way (it will be titled 'The chorus' but don't tell anyone yet) and I enjoyed a few days roaming the county with a friend who came to visit. Being uncharacteristically optimistic, I hope I'll be able to post a slideshow of the new books before Wednesday. The painting won't be finished before Tuesday so, for the time being, I am posting some pictures I took during our drives and walks through the countryside.

This is the sixteenth-century Chapel of our Lady of Mercy, about 16 kms (that would be 10 miles, thank you) from the village where I live. It was a glorious day and I think it shows in the picture. I wish that lil' cloud in the middle of the sky were a bit larger and a bit more impressive but we can't have everything, can we?

This gorgeous place is only about 5 kms (3.5 miles) from my house and it is called La Pesquera, something like The Fishing Place. I've never seen anyone fishing in the river but many (too many) people go there to bathe in summer. I took this shot on Tuesday 6 September and, as you can see, the area was blissfully deserted.

I love this picture! It is a close-up view of the river. Do click on the image so you can see the larger size. The colour contrast between the sunlit spots and the shady area was so striking! Warm, bright yellows and cool cyans and even some blues. Nature is a terrific artist.

An even closer view of a spot that looked exactly like an abstract painting. (It takes a photographer's eye of course to see it, eh-em, eh-em...) I bathed in the green 'pool', the water was neck-high and delightfully refreshing.

Driving to the end of the dirt road that follows the river upstream, we found this amazing hut built in the recess of a natural cave. Someone actually lived there decades ago! I was fascinated by the colours on the rock: iron-red, soot-black and a green I can't identify. Here is a close-up of this newer abstract 'painting':

I took many more pictures but I think these few are enough to share the beauty of the area with you. What do you think?

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