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.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

out of the blue


 Folegandros, Aegean Sea, Greece

We were having a perfectly reasonable autumn weather, as reasonable as the weather can be: cool temperatures, cloudy skies, quite a lot of much needed rain, sudden patches of intensely blue sky, trees going from yellow to copper to rust, sunsets on fire. Nice! Then suddenly winter was here. Heavy leaden clouds racing and rolling nonetheless, a considerable drop of temperatures and an icy wind that gives no respite.

Lefkada, Ionian Sea, Greece

So I downloaded a lovely ice-covered landscape to my desktop and (logically?) started thinking of summer. Bright blue skies, warm nights, inviting seas and boat rides. My best summer memories are from Greece and so are these photographs.

Herakleia, Aegean Sea, Greece

My favourite Greek islands are the very small ones, the lesser known ones, where you will find a reasonable amount of tourists (am I being too reasonable today?) and some good solitary stretches of sand to sunbathe.

Corfou, Ionian Sea, Greece

While still working on my white [paper] on white [paper] series, I decided to take some time off to show you what my summer memories look like. I have already finished seventeen out of twenty white pieces and have started working on the packaging. I gave myself some extra work (being reasonable again) and started making boxes with balsa wood for each piece. I think they will look nice. My next blog entry will be all about them.

I love winter, by the way, much more than when I was younger. I appreciate its reflective qualities, the sweet warmth of home while the weather rages outside, the quiet. There's beauty in gray.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

white [paper] on white [paper]

I am working like mad on my pieces for the upcoming Art Market, opening on 6 December at 19:00 hs. If anyone is in the area, I would be very happy to meet you there. If not, the link will take you to the brand new website of our artists group 'Roots'. In fact, it is so new that the only thing you can see there is the poster announcing the event.


My original intention after finishing my rusted paper series was to create another series of 10 larger works, also on paper. It is, after all, my favourite media. But several days and a new group meeting later I changed my mind. I was unable to create larger size works that could sell at a low price. I started three different ones and finished none. As you can see by the poster, the Art Market will be an informal event designed to attract visitors who are willing to buy affordable art as Christmas gifts or simply for themselves. So I decided to create a series of 20 smaller works instead.


I used khadi paper for the backgrounds and slightly lighter handmade paper for the shapes. I varnished the not-exactly-round paper concave shapes with resin spray to harden them. And I used an upholstery needle to punch the little holes onto the background.


Another design using fabric leaves. I am playing with different kinds of design to please a larger audience. Hopefully.


Yet another design. The embossed element is on Italian handmade paper, cream-coloured and very elegant.

Thirteen of the twenty are finished already, seven more to go. Next week I'll have them photographed properly and I will post the whole series here. A problem I haven't solved yet: packaging. I probably need to make boxes to protect the raised surfaces. And they will have to be very simple and easy to make or I'll run out of time. I thought that even cellophane boxes could be fun but I haven't been able to find any of the right size.

All background papers are 21 x 9 cms (8.4" x 3.6") and creating these works is fun and very pleasing. Now to find a title for them.

P.S. Jennifer, Julie, this is not a sneak peak of my submissions to the Roy G Biv challenge centered on white, though I may well include one of these pieces when the time comes :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

lucky violets

And lucky me! I was the winner of Julie B Booth's fun and beautiful fabric hand-printed by her in lovely violet hues! I won it in the draw that Julie holds each month among the people who participate in the Searching for Roy G Biv challenge held by her and Jennifer Coyne Qudeen


This bunch of anything-but-violet flowers is for Julie, who will make me a bit richer in fabric beauty. Thank you, girl!

Jennifer is wondering whether to add White and Black to the challenge, as well as other colours: 'There are other colors to explore - such as black, white or black & white. What do you think? What other colors would you like to help look for? Should metalics be on the list - gold, silver, copper. Ooh! Just imagine the patinas that copper could bring...'

Yes, definitely yes to all of them! Roy G Biv is not a challenge to explore just one colour but also the wide variety of its hues, the difficulty to know where blue ends and violet starts, for example, the ability to combine colours and hues in a beautiful way, the decision to use complementary colours to create contrast and some visual drama or to play with colours of the same tonal range to make a subtler visual statement.

I always enjoy participating and I hope Jennifer and Julie will decide to take the challenge a few hues further. I'm challenging them!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

who said violets are blue?

This is my entry to the 'Searching for Roy G Biv' Challenge hosted every third Thursday of the month by Jennifer Coyne Qudeen and Julie B. Booth. Julie will be giving away a won-der-ful cloth printed by her, so good luck to everyone who participates!

I missed the Indigo challenge last month. I just couldn't find any indigos anywhere, it turned out to be a very difficult colour. November's hue is Violet though and I do have some of that! I am posting today, because I won't be home tomorrow morning and I'm not sure at what time I'll be back.

Sikinos, the Aegean Sea, Greece

Violet can be bluish or reddish. Most of my shots lean to the bluish side. The shot above is of a lovely street in a tiny village on the island of Sikinos at dusk. Almost no details in the darker areas but isn't the sky lovely? And the whitewashed walls are bathed in the unltraviolet light of the late afternoon.

Near the coast of the Ionian Sea, Greece

I took this shot while traveling along the western coast of mainland Greece. I just had to stop the car and take a picture. Those isles have no name, as far as I know, they are uninhabited and dry. Aren't they photogenic though? And those distant birds gracefully obliged too.

Near the coast of the Ionian Sea, Greece

Same evening, further down the road. The moon is as round as it can be. Tripod used in all instances.

El Far, La Garrotxa, Catalonia, Spain

Back to Spain. It's not early in the morning or late in the evening, it's just about noon! But the heavy fog shrouded everything in a violet mist. It was February, alt. 800 mts (2,400 feet aprox.)

El Far, La Garrotxa, Catalonia, Spain

Same place, same time, a slightly different angle. It was terribly cold and I had to take off my gloves to handle the camera. Brrr...

What's in a name?

Some kind of thistle? I'm so ignorant when it comes to the names of the flowers and plants. The violet splash on the background is plain, simple shadow on a rock. The impressionists were wise.

Violet pansies in June

I knew the name of this one! I feel a bit redeemed.

Violets are almost blue...

And these, me lovelies, are violets and I couldn't very well leave them out of this post, could I?

I changed the header of my blog. Since rust went straight to my head, I thought it was only fair that it go to my header too. Like it?

Friday, 9 November 2012

volcanoes and gift packages

I've been a bit of a slacker in my blogging lately. After two very enjoyable and creative weeks that produced my 'Old Country' series of work on rusted paper, the muses took a break and left me struggling with my larger-sized papers. We started with a staring-down duel: I stared at the papers and they stared back at me. I lost that initial stage of the fight and decided that there shouldn't be a fight at all, if creating became a struggle, I'd better just let go for a while. Chicken! Sneered the papers. I disdainfully dropped some dark watercolour stains on them and put them away. Just for a while.


Unwilling to produce images of my dueling and splattering, I decided to share some photographs of volcanic soil taken near Olot, a small town in Catalonia, Northeastern Spain. The area is known as The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park and it is very beautiful, among other things for its colourful soil.


The colours change depending on the time of day and the weather, and those high crater walls are quite spectacular.


A tripod, a zoom lense and a patient photographer (that would be me, thank you) searching for distant details.


Passing clouds, change of light, change of colours. Photographer gaping, release cable clicking, friends impatient for lunch. Who cares about lunch? Click. No, I'm not hungry. Click. You go. Click, click.

In my previous post (I just clicked forward to today) I posted a couple of photographs of my packaging idea for the December Art Supermarket. I got some very useful comments suggesting that I needed to include my details on the packaging. Oh, woes! I was happy with my rather simple decorative solution and I'd rather not overload the envelopes with too much information but you're probably right. My details should be on there somewhere.

My card will be inside each envelope and I also thought I could throw in small prints of some of the details, so that customers can use them as gift cards if they want.






Now I think I will simply stamp my details on the packaging using white ink, so it stands out and also matches the white paper strip folded around the envelopes. How does this sound? Nice? Poor? Bleh?
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