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, 28 April 2012

more work in progress

Being in progress is ok, right? Better than being static? Better than not being? This is a piece I started two months ago but wasn't able to finish. Other things came up, I got distracted, I distanced myself emotionally from it and there it is. Two months have gone by and it is still in slow, lazy progress.


It doesn't even have a definitive title yet, I just named the file 'walls'. Because these rectangular forms are meant to be walls and this piece is meant to be the first of a series dedicated to structures, buildings - urban and not - houses, homes, dwellings. A series of white-on-white pieces with an occasional touch of colour. I hope I can keep it minimalistic and understated. I say 'I hope I can' because sometimes things get out of hand, as was the case with the days we never had. However, maybe I managed to put into that piece all my over-sweet, over-stated itches and now I am free to move on to a less visually busy sphere.

My 'wall' series also has to do with me, my personal history, my way of relating to the world. In this case, this will probably only show in the style, not the content. 'Home' es very important to me and, to my great surprise, I've had many. From Greece to Spain, from childhood to adulthood, I've made my home in 12 different houses or apartments. Are they really as many as they seem to me? Would I have preferred to spend all my life in a single home? I was much more adventurous when I was younger and the idea of travelling and getting to know new countries and places was too much to resist. If anyone had asked me back then how would I feel about knowing 12 different homes I would have said 'Fantastic! 120 would be even better!' I am more settled down now.

But I have always carried the idea of 'home' with me, a set of imaginary walls of sorts that delimited my personal space. A well-lit, warm and cozy place to be, a friendly ghost of one single home. So it has to be white on white, right?

I'm still not sure why I added the threads but I know there is a reason. Is it just formal, to break the rigidity of the straight lines and rectangular forms? Or do they have a representational purpose too? They could represent a tree, drifting smoke or even some roots? There I go again with my roots. They are not finished yet, by the way, though I did make considerable progress there. I hope I'll be able to show you the completed artwork soon.

As for my walls... well, I'll finish them too and hopefully add to the series. I have the preliminary sketches, now it only takes time and patience to explore my artistic homes.

paintafeeling

Sunday, 22 April 2012

roots in progress

It is a quiet Sunday afternoon, mostly cloudy but not nearly so cold as these past days. I have spent the day at home, working on my new piece for the upcoming group exhibition. As I wrote in my previous post, all participants will have to create an artwork based on the idea of Roots.

I really prefer cloudy days when I work at home. They are less distracting, more reflective, in a way. It's easier for me to gather my thoughts and listen to my feelings when the sun is not screaming 'come out here and play'! And roots is such a rich, interesting concept to work on. It has to do with nature and vegetation but also with our cultural and emotional roots, our origins, our home. Being a Greek who has lived half of her life in Spain, I am particularly drawn to this second meaning of the word.

The word. Language. The cultural root of humanity.

I considered making a three-dimentional object, a small installation of sorts, that would look like a book and would contain words. That could also be a box-like container of real roots. I thought about the history of words and language, of the oldest forms of written expression and also of the oldest materials people used to write on. Paper, parchment, papyrus...

I could also have considered the roots of our teeth (hey, why not?) but the idea really doesn't appeal to me.

I wish I had some pieces of parchment at hand but I don't. And I don't feel like waiting to get them, so I went on using the materials I do have. Handmade paper, book pages, notebook pages, some strings of yarn and twine, some thin twigs. Twigs can easily look like roots. I discarded my original idea of creating a collage and started rolling the pieces of paper. I hand-stamped some words on some of them. A cascade of scrolls started forming.


I also had some pages torn out of a book written in Chinese, at least I think it's Chinese. I haven't the slightest idea of what they say and really, neither the language nor the meaning are important here. They are just roots coming from another culture, mysterious and hidden. Just like tree roots.


Everything here is still provisional. The scrolls have been formed but they just lay on the paper and may be moved - or removed - at any moment. The yarn and twine are not even there yet, I still haven't decided on how to use them. They will probably interact with the scrolls somehow and go on downwards to hang freely below the lower edge of the paper.

The hand-stamped words are in Spanish and they say: 'sometimes - we shoot roots - on the air'. This is a free translation, since the exact Spanish phrase (sometimes we root outside) sounds different in English. I did however print the word sometimes in English too, it is deliberately half-hidden to the viewer, and I may go on to finish the sentence in English.

Roots in progress. I'll show you the finished piece when it's ready. The good thing is, several hours have gone by and I still like it :)

paintafeeling

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

shop, on vacation - me, full speed ahead

A couple of days ago I tweeted about closing my Etsy shop temporarily. No sooner said than done. I'm not sure when I'll open it again and, to be sincere, I'm not even sure if I'll open it again.

My Etsy experience has been very contradictory. I enjoy browsing the site and discovering new art and artists/artisans. I have found lots of beautiful and very inspiring creations there. And I really enjoy making treasuries under a certain theme, be it colour, type of work, concept, whatever. But spending my days on Etsy... that I don't enjoy. Having the obligation to check back several times a day, the duty to comply with Teams terms of membership, the requirement to go through my Activity list so I can keep up-to-date with everything and everyone that interests me is just too much for me.

Obligation, duty, requirements... They leave very little space for free time, free thinking and free creation, so I pulled down the blinds for a while.

I, on the other hand, am not on vacation at all. There are several projects ahead and I am looking forward to all of them. Lets see:

1. On Saturday 28 April the Exhibition Hall will open again! I'm very happy about this, because it was such a shame that this beautiful, unique art space remained inactive. We will only open during the weekends but after four months of complete close-down the weekends sound fantastic!


As some of you may remember, the Hall used to be a paper mill and the building dates from the 1700s. It has lots of character and is very warm and welcoming.


This is a view of a broken paper press and of the old (and out-of-use) freight elevator shaft right behind it.

2. I am currently participating in a group exhibition featuring works of many artists living in the county. I wrote about it in an older post. The exhibition runs till Sunday, 29 April. And the next one is already in sight! It will also be a group exhibition with about 12 to 14 participants and we will all create new work around the idea of 'Roots'. That's the title of the exhibition, that will open on Friday 6 July and will run till the end of August. Best months of the year as far as visitors are concerned! We will each participate with 1 or 2 artworks (that still has to be determined) and I am already sketching ideas.

3. My Contemporary Embroidery online course is starting on 1 May! Can you imagine the 'tangle' of roots and threads taking shape in my head? I fully intend to create a mixed media piece incorporating fabrics and embroidery and I am so excited about it! It's as if I had a whole new world in sight.

4. I will soon try my hand with water-soluble oil colours. I've worked with oils before, they are not really my favourite medium, but I am very curious about these water-soluble oils. No turpentine, no pungent smells, no alergies! (I am not allergic to turpentine but many artists are.) I think a commission will come my way soon and I may just use these oils to paint it. It will be slow work, I haven't used oils in ages, but the painting won't be very large so that will make things easier.

5. While I decide what to do with Etsy I will be driving traffic to my blog and my personal website. The latter probably needs some redoing, I'll have to look into it.

Ok, and now I'll stop before I start feeling overwhelmed by the very things that thrill me so much. Thanks for coming by!

paintafeeling

Saturday, 7 April 2012

oh, baby baby, it's a white world...

Hello everyone! It's been some time but then you must be getting used to my on-and-off blogging by now. Today I felt like sharing a bit and, if my cat allows it, I'll proceed to do so. (She is seated on my lap and continuously reaches out with her paw to get my hand to carress her! She is purring like an old motorcycle too!)

It's Good Friday today in Spain but I have to work. Remember I used to manage an Exhibition Hall that closed down due to budget restrictions? Well, we opened for Easter. I am at home right now, lunch break, siesta break or whatever. But instead of lunching and napping I felt like saying hello :)

I am pretty sure by now that I will soon be changing quite a few things related to my artistic work. My previous post was about enrolling to an online course on Contemporary Embroidery and I have been browsing the net like crazy lately, looking for textile artists. I found many, and some of them just took my breath away with their creations. Like Elodie Antoine, whose work I saw on I Love Belgium


Elodie uses traditional lace-making techniques to break all the traditional rules and create fantastic industrial-era structures and shapes. I think the tools she used here are called lace bobbins though I may be wrong. Don't hold it against me if I am, ok?


I'd never imagined that I would love some high-voltage towers or nuclear energy plants in my house!

I also made a wonderful discovery on Pinterest: the contemporary textile artworks of Karola Pezarro



A completely different perspective and one that I feel closer to. Artworks that are paintings, embroidery and installations at the same time. The one below even incorporates calligraphy, another form of art that I admire.


So what does the title of this blog entry have to do with anything? It has to do with my almost-obsession with white: white papers, white fabrics, white embroideries, white ink. I am continuously sketching ideas and compositions for future work and it's all white on white. No wonder I fell in love with Karen Ruane's work. She will be teaching the online course on embroidery and her creations are so exquisite!


So, did you think white on white would be very boring? Think again! Even the background is white here and yet the embroidery (on fabric and paper in this case) stands out in all its elegance and beauty.


It's too soon to tell you what my own works will look like. For the time being, the idea is to use fabrics, paper and other materials that may serve my purpose for each composition and create pieces that would  also be embroideries / paintings / sculptures / installations. I even want to use them in my handmade books. My head is full of ideas and for the first time in a long time I'd really, really love to have a workspace separate from my living space. And from my cats!

paintafeeling
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