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, 30 July 2012

living in greyscale

I am trying to take a much-needed mini holiday. A three-day holiday, to be precise. August will also be a busy month for me, since I will work 5 days a week in the Exhibition Hall while continuing my tasks for Karen's 'An Embroiderer's Ledger' course and starting to elaborate my Flag for Peace for the 2012 Project.

I sneaked away from my holiday relaxation however to say hello and post some more photographs from Beceite, where I live. Just a few days ago I wrote an entry with some black & white shots from Barcelona. Today's entry is dedicated to Jack Oudyn, a fine artist and a dear online friend.

This is Beceite as seen from my balcony, the largest wide-angle shot I can get. The village's history dates back to the Roman times, when it was called Mirabilis. During the Middle Ages the Arabs coexisted with the Christians here and the name 'Beceite' derives from the Arab 'Abu Zeit'.

The belfry of Santa Ana, a small fourteenth-century chapel near the entrance to the village. I walk past it to go to work. I took this shot from a narrow, almost-secret path that is a shortcut to the Exhibition Hall.

This shot is from Calaceite, a village 28 kms from Beceite. There are 18 villages in the area and all of them still have the Medieval air about them.

This detail could be from anywhere but it's from around here, I promise.

Part rock, part water. I took this shot on the banks of river Ulldemó, a very popular spot to go for a swim in summer.

And this is the Pena Reservoir, about 4 kms. from Beceite. A lovely walk along a narrow country road through olive groves, almond orchards and vineyards will take you there. When you come to visit, that is!

Some of the photographs have been 'cyanotyped' digitally. I felt the bluish tint reflected their essence better.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

putting it in black and white

I used to live in Barcelona. I left the city in May 2005 and moved to Beceite, a lovely village in a beautiful rural area in Northeastern Spain. I don't really miss the hassle of the city but when I came across some photographs I took at the Port of Barcelona years ago I felt a pang of nostalgia. That's me taking the picture on the upper left centre. It's a reflection of the seaside walk on the glass panels of the Maremagnum building. Or my self-portrait, if you prefer it.

One of the roads circling the port facilities. Some digital postwork. Memories of a bright spring morning.

More reflections on the glass panels, even of a distant cable car tower on the other side of the port.

And a composition that attracted my eyes when I decided to look down a bit :)


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

late? who, me?

I'd really like to include the sound of trumpets here because I'm so thrilled. I have finally been able to finish my first week's tasks for Karen Ruane's 'An Embroiderer's Ledger' online course, that started a month ago and has already finished!

This is the double spread with the corresponding exercises: a source image (I chose one of my pop art fractals), three colour samplers (made with watercolours, embroidery threads and soft pastel sticks), a reinterpretation of the palette in a completely different design, an altered palette and the original sampler interpreted with hand stitches.

You can see the entire source image on the far left. I decided to name this Ledger 'Better Late Than Never' for obvious reasons.

This is how I started, with my fractal, a colour palette made with the computer and my first stip of colour samples. I used what I have come to call 'the thing' to mark the page for the stitched sampler. I own a tool whose name I have completely forgotten. Can anyone help me out?

And these are my embroidery threads for the project, right next to the palette. Some of them look quite different in the photograph, not so much in real life.

A closer view of the first samplers and a printed copy of a strip of my fractal. The entire image is on the left page of the spread, as you can see in my first shot.

The entire spread was great fun to work on but I particularly enjoyed this part. I thought that since the computer-generated fractal is so geometrical and high-tech, I could reinterpret the colours creating a more traditional, decorative design. All the colours of the sampler are in it though the proportions have varied a bit -or a lot.

Though the e-course if over, all the instructional videos will be availabe indefinitely and Karen will also be there to answer questions and clear any doubts. Studying with her is a wonderful, fun experience. I started with the 'Embroider, Embellish, Create' course in May and this is the second class I am taking with her. And even though my work here is so different from my other projects, I continuously find inspiration and ideas to use in my art. Like the fabric beads that became 'roots' in my recent work for the group exhibition.

I am already imagining how I can apply what I learn in the Ledger course to... an artist's book, maybe?


Friday, 13 July 2012

strange flowers blooming in July

I walk by this bush twice a day and never noticed the strange variety of flowers it produces. A carnivorous one, maybe?

I took a closer look and it looked right back at me.
I tried to touch it and it spit.
Loved the aqua-green spots on it.


Monday, 9 July 2012

opening evening photos!

Is it Monday already? Don't answer that, I know it is. I dreamwalked my way through the weekend after a quite exhausting week of preparations for the exhibition opening on Friday 6 July.

It was a great success! I took many photographs but most of them won't do at all. The Hall was crowded and I mostly got pictures of people's heads and backs. I think it must have been about 100 people and that's saying something for an art venue that is not very large.

I managed to have quite a decent view of the crowd here. That's because many of them were gathered around the vernissage table, just behind the wall to the right.

I took this shot after most vernissagers (sorry!) had moved away. I barely had a bite. Nasty of them.

Everybody was busy chatting, laughing, commenting on the art, wining and dining. Nobody cared to pose for me. Oh, well...

A sneak peak of the first visitors to arrive. They got a chance to see the works of art calmly and thoroughly.

And then they started gathering...

I love this view of the Hall. This is our reading area, with a large, comfortable sofa to lounge on with an art book.

Another small crowd in front of the Exhibition Hall. It was an inside/outside kind of event.

The lady on the right is me, trying to explain what my work is all about.

The lady at the centre is me. What was the big joke? I can't remember. I always improvise my presentations at the openings so I probably said something funny. Verba volant...

This is the little bridge leading to the Exhibition Hall when it's not crowded with people. Very homely, isn't it?

And this is the view from the entrance: a fourteenth-century stone bridge, a gravel path leading to the Hall and luscious vegetation. This is what I see every time I go to work. I hope you enjoy it too.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

between art and nature

Hello everybody. I hope I can manage a short entry before running off to the Exhibition Hall to receive the 250 kgs/500 pound stone sculpture. I think I should take some pictures of them taking it down the entrance steps. That should be worth seeing!

In the meantime I am posting a few photographs I took last evening near home. Just to show off my surroundings a bit more. It does feel like showing off, because I admire them so much.

That's the building where I live, an old paper mill turned into apartments, and that's my tiny balcony overlooking the river. The two windows to the left of the balcony belong to my place too.

Some image editing obviously took place here. I thought the white vignette could convey the feeling of strong heat, a bleached-out sky and a hazy atmosphere.

An old house and a bucolic group of trees. Most of the grass has turned yellow by now. What looks like snow on the distant mountainsides is actually sun-bleached dust.

I never know the names of the plants but I loved this streak of magenta against the dark green background. That's a fig tree, that much I know!

If I could swim in a sea of leaves, I would. Even hopping from leaf to leaf would make me happy.

Tomorrow is the big day. Exhibition opening at 20:00 hs. They called me from a local radio station this morning to interview me live. Gosh, nobody had warned me! But I think it came out just fine. Stay tuned for news on the opening night.


Monday, 2 July 2012

setting up the exhibition

This is my third post in a week and I really shouldn't be blogging right now but I do feel like sharing some photographs with you all. The upcoming 'Roots' Exhibition is all set to go! I only need to take care of some minor details (like placing a 250 kgs / 500 pound stone sculpture!) but the rest of it is done. Four of the sixteen participating artists spent the day yesterday setting up the exhibition and I took some photographs of the process. My own work, finished and in place is among them. We are opening on Friday 6 July at 20:00 hs. so if anyone happens to be nearby, please come see us, have a glass of wine (probably more), chat, laugh and enjoy the show.

This is my work, titled 'sometimes, outside'. It has to do with my cultural roots. I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece, but have been living in Spain for many, many years. I uprooted myself in a way and grew new roots outside my country. Thence the title and the hand-printed text on the scrolls, that literally says 'sometimes - we throw - roots - outside'.



A close-up view of the work above the scrolls. I used waxed baker's twine for the sprout-like threads shooting up outside the paper backing.

The entire upper part set against the wood boards. They are old and worm-eaten but the boards have been treated against the wood worms and are now safe for use. I love the marks the worms left on the surface!

And my fabric bead roots resting loosely on their own wooden board. They also hang with baker's twine from the main piece above.

I can't resist sharing this photograph, because it was like a moment of revelation and we all stood gaping at it. For a few minutes around seven in the evening the sun came in through the window and its rays lit my work in an almost mysterious way. The whole thing glowed. The white paper came to life and the strings hanging down looked like strings of an arcane musical instrument. I really felt like the Chosen One for a few seconds! 

With the permission of the artists, I am showing you some photographs of the working team. I was one of them but I don't appear in any of them. I love taking pictures but I hate having my picture taken. This is José Manuel Aragonés, the sculptor who is still working on the 500-pound stone sculpture, trying to figure out where to hang a set of photographs.

And this is Lluís Ribalta, another sculptor gone light technician. Hang on in there, Lluís, or you'll fall off the frame!

The sweet Silvia Sanmiquel taking a pause. Yesterday she announced she is pregnant, congratulations, Silvia! She is participating with an installation of rastas made with her own hair!

Silvia's hair installation and Laia Vaquer's photographs finally in place. Laia is posing naked, laying in a nest of real tree roots. You'll be able to see that clearly if you click on the image for a large-size view.

I do believe Lluís saw the light yesterday :) Behind him hangs an oil painting by Ingrid Tusell, a female figure asleep in a 'womb' of roots.

Ana Carreras, painter, was also taking pictures of the men and women at work. I think she took one of me but I don't have it yet.

And a forged-iron sculpture by Mónica Naudín, a slim sweet girl you'd never guess she is a blacksmith! Pity she took away so quickly I didn't have time to take a picture of her.

After the opening I'll be able to photograph all the works and - hopefully - all the artists, so I can present them to you. I hope this entry hasn't been too long and boring. Thank you for reading all the way down here!

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