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, 13 March 2014

elements - a new line of work

I just announced a new line of work and the doubts are already circling over my head. Will I be able to continue? Creating has become very hard. Garibaldi's death, added to the thousand and one problems that daily life generously provides in Spain, weighs greatly on my mind and feelings. Hard as I try, there is a sense of ending tailing my actions through the day like a faithful ghost.

elements I
heavyweight handmade paper - Kozo paper shreds - watercolour - embossing

I am well aware that we are not supposed to dwell on unpleasant feelings and events in our blogs. On the other hand, I see no purpose in lying, in wasting precious efforts to create a false reality that will disguise the truth. The truth that also explains why I've fallen so far behind in reading your blogs and appreciating your works. I'm sorry for that, I'll try to catch up. I will try.

I have piles of torn papers on my table, little painted failures, unconvincing sketches, meanigless trials. I start out each morning full of hope and give up in the afternoon with a deep sigh. I don't throw anything away, just in case. I do wonder though if my little 'ghost of ending' feeds on the energies wasted on those papers. There's something suspicious about them, they lurk in plain sight, they are greedy and demanding. Papers demanding meaningful work. The other day I cut my finger with an edge and paid a tiny tribute in blood. What else do they want from me?

'elements I' is the only valid work I can show for these past 12 days. I wanted it simple and simple it is. It is inspired in my WIP for the 3 territories contest and I like it quite a lot. The name 'elements' may refer to the compositional elements used or, better still, it can be interpreted as an abstraction of nature or of out basic thoughts and emotions. In this case, the elements were not against me, methinks.

I increasingly find myself attracted to Japanese aesthetics, as many of you do too, I know. After reading and re-reading 'Wabi-sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers' by Leonard Koren and 'In Praise of Shadows' by Junichiro Tanizaki (these books are a bit worn by now), I recently started Donald Richie's 'A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics'. Simple books, easy to read. But oh so difficult to understand in depth. We need to understand the philosophy of a different culture that, in many delightful ways, is opposed to ours. Learn how to push our logic out of the way to make room for intuitive perception. Even maybe embrace the little ghosts of ending that gnaw at our souls and papers. In praise of ghosts. The Japanese principles of humility, imperfection and the unfinished -don't they imply the acceptance of death?

I miss you, Garibaldi. Stop gnawing at my papers. Create with me.


  1. Hello Ersi Marina,

    I understand this weight upon you. It is hard to produce when it is there. I think it is extremely healthy that we share both good and bad in order to make sense and truth of our existence. Thank you for sharing both. Once again, you are like Alice free falling down the rabbit hole, not knowing when you will land! Treat yourself kindly as you would a special friend, listen to what your heart is saying, give yourself space and time.

    1. Such a lovely comment, thank you, Robyn! Commenting on painful, disorientating experiences is usually tough and I appreciate it. Thinking of myself as Alice falling down the rabbit hole put a smile on my face, any resemblance to Alice is quite an honour. I am trying to listen to my heart and take heed of its advice, against the warnings of my head. At this moment in my life, I'd say heads are highly overrated :)

  2. It's a terrible feeling when you don't know if you'll be able to continue on a creative journey you have begun, for whatever reason. I can empathize with your sense of discomfort & uncertainty, as I also experience them at regular intervals. My tendency is to retreat, to loosen connections, but it actually seems much healthier to express/share them - if anything so you can receive some support. I see all of the work you've done as a positive thing - nothing is wasted in the studio, as it's all part of the learning/creative process. And you never know where something that seemed like 'nothing' might end up one day. But maybe it's a good time to get out of the studio for a spell, and enjoy the signs of spring and wait for some 'answers' to come to you.
    I like the 'elements' that make up your lovely "elements I" piece. (The zigzag reminds me of sketches I make when I'm figuring out an accordion book!) I hope you find the will & desire to make more.
    I agree with Robyn - be kind to yourself, as a friend would be toward you & you would be to a friend.
    I hope the week ahead holds more hope & serenity...

    1. I sensed great support in your comment Lisa and I do thank you for that. Your words and the very fact that you took the time to write in length moved me. Yesterday I did what you suggest here, I got out of my studio and walked aimlessly along country paths. Everything was wonderfully sunny and peaceful. Some of it seeped through my skin and into my soul. This morning I started yet another 'element'. I stopped halfway through because I felt I would ruin it but I may just be able to finish it this afternoon. That would make me feel so wonderful! I appreciate your good wishes. xx

  3. E - this is simple and beautiful work - a fitting way to honour the memory of G. Go well and go with the simple beauty. B

    1. Thank you, Barry. One of Garibaldi's favourite games was to snatch away my scraps of paper when I wasn't looking. He had his own, particular way of 'embossing' scratches on paper. I'm so pleased you like these 'elements'!


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