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.

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!


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