welcome!

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.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

paper, rust and the Old Country

I am running out of titles for my work with rust but not out of inspiration. At least I think so. This past week has been very fertile, I spent several hours a day working on my rusted papers and put aside all distractions, even the Internet. I was offline for three whole days! When I turned on the computer again my Inbox was crammed with messages that fell off the screen and scattered all over the floor. I managed to read most of them. The rest I picked up without even trying to sort them out and I am now thinking of creating some visual poetry sheets with the broken lines :)


This is paper #6, just three washer marks and scant traces of a rusty wire. I feel much more comfortable with few marks and shapes to work on from. I enjoyed discovering that my work evolved of its own accord and slowly moved towards different solutions and materials. I love being surprised by what I do.


A detail of paper #6. I'm really fond of that portion of curved line in between the seed stitches.


Another detail of the same paper. The clean background not only shows the details better but also leaves space for thought, I think.


Paper #7. At this point, I deliberately used few rusted objects and trusted the result to suggest how to go on. I hope you like this one, because it's one of my favourites.


Shredded scrim and a few french knots. I did use some acid-free glue to secure the scrim in place, I was afraid that moving the paper and probably rubbing it against the rest would eventually turn the scrim into an unseemly mess.

I used an incense stick to burn those holes into the paper, first time I tried this trick!


Paper #8 took me to yet another direction. I used white gouache on some areas and my running stitches are quite orderly. They remind me of a listed notebook page though I was not aiming for this effect -or any other specific effect either. It was one of those little surprises that delight me.



I think the white colour creates an unexpected contrast that somehow makes sense anyway.


Paper #9 and yet another novelty, the addition of some colour through the paper dots. The long vertical lines of thread are made with shreds of sack cloth.



My paper #10 is almost finished but not yet ready to post, a few minor details are still missing.

So this is my work with rust on paper so far. All pieces are 25 x 17.5 cms (10" x 7") and I think they have a title: 'Old Country'. I live in a rural area in Northeastern Spain, known for its quaint Medieval villages and traditional ways of life. Agriculture is still an important economic activity here and visiting the area is a bit like taking a trip to the past. Rust also speaks of old things so, in a way, what I have on these papers are the traces of age and the passage of time.

Our local group of artists, called 'Roots', will be holding an Art Supermarket every weekend from 6 December to 5 January. The idea is to sell small-sized artworks at an affordable price. So I thought that my series of 10 rusted papers would be just fine for the event and the title 'Old Country' is the link between these pieces and the place where I live.

I'll have to make ten larger pieces too, A3 size tops. I haven't decided yet whether they will be rusted or just painted, I need to take a couple of days off to think about it. Or rather to let the work think itself out. This is the best way to get nice results.

Let's see if anyone will be willing to pay for my rusted thingies!

15 comments:

  1. Hi Ersi- Your "rusty thingies" are quite beautiful (so, of course, people will want to purchase them!). I love how you let the papers speak to you and let you know what they needed. You have a very sensitive eye (and ear) and I do like that you didn't get too carried away with adding too much. They are like little poems. Thanks for sharing them and your process.--Julie

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    1. Dear Julie, calling my rusty thingies 'little poems' is such a huge compliment, thank you! I do try to 'say more with less' and though my work is a long way from being minimalistic, I feel that simple compositions allow the viewer to participate more, to make their own interpretations and complete the image with their own thoughts and feelings. I am happy to see that this dialogue of sorts is established with you and my other blog friends.

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  2. I have loved the last two of your posts Ersi. Completely drawn to the marks you have made with rust but even more so, the direction in which you have taken those by adding your own marks. Like Fiona, I love seeing where this rust journey takes everyone.

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    1. I sighed with pleasure viewing your latest work yesterday and I sigh with pleasure reading your comment now, Susan. Thank you so much! I do feel as if I were on a journey, a very exciting one, and though I'd love to know where it will take me, I don't really care. The journey in itself is so delightful and meaningful. It doesn't happen every day, does it?

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  3. These are superb Ersi! I can't tell you how much I love them. My fingers are itching to add stitch to my own eco-prints, but I have two books to finish first (although maybe I'll treat myself when I get the first one finished...)

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    1. A big rusted and embroidered thank you, Amanda! With a little silly heart on a corner :) It seems that once we start embroidering, we can't get rid of the threads any more. I'd love to see your stitched eco-prints and I wonder if you'd consider adding some stitches to your books.

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  4. Ersi, these are so lovely! As I look at each I think "this is my favourite" but then I see the next, and the next. The delicacy of each is amazing and you really do have the knack of knowing when to stop. Just delightful, and I'm sure they will sell.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carol! Every word you've used makes me happy. I think this new line of work will take me very far, I've found my own vein of precious metal. And if delicacy is one of its virtues, I couldn't feel more proud!

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  5. Superb work Ersi. You have great compositional skills and I'm sure they will be snapped up at your exhibition later this year. I've never tried "playing" with rust and love the gutsy results in your work. I will try to fit in some experiments when I get home from my little holiday.
    Hope your larger works work just as well.

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    1. Hey, Jack, so happy to see you here! And thank you from the heart for your generous words. Composition is usually the path that guides my work. In the past I tried hard to dispense with it but informalism, as much as I admire it, is not my thing. I wish you do start playing with rust, it's a fun playmate and I know you'll make the most out of it.
      My larger works are still at the pre-thinking stage, I can't 'see' them yet. I hope the muses will help.

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  6. I love the combination of colours and textures. Very subtle, very nice

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    1. Thank you! 'Subtle' is an adjective I appreciate enormously. My work process is usually very slow, I can't believe I finished ten pieces in just a couple of weeks. This rust lust is very inspiring :)

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  7. I keep coming back to look at these pieces. The subtle marks entice, entreat, entrance and enthrall me. Your simple compositions are exquisite and inspiring and leave me quite awed.

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    1. Now I'm awed too! Thank you. I read your blog entries on rust so many times before I felt brave enough to give it a try, your work has been a source of inspiration for me. I'm thrilled that you like my work and I'm about to fly off my seat to go rust some more!

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    2. Rust away! To have been a source of inspiration for you makes my heart sing. It's all about playing, experimenting, exploring and loving what you're doing.

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