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.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

sea mosaic and spring folly

As I mentioned the other day, there were two more gelli prints awaiting to be finished so I could show them to you. They belong to my 'green period' prints, since I created them to use up the excess paint I had poured onto my palette.

'sea mosaic'
single gelli print, graphite and collage on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper

I've been deliberately more careless with my brushstrokes and even added a touch of painting on the dried print. It's the narrow whitish band in the middle, painted with white acrylic. I used a palette knife to create the relief that may be seen as a surf line. The mosaic on the right is a collaged piece of paper that I painted a long time ago.

'spring folly'
single gelli print, rubber stamping and graphite on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper

Extra-careless brushstrokes here and a mistake I decided to endorse. The printed area was supposed to be centered on the paper but I didn't place it correctly on the gel plate. These papers are smaller than the plate, so this mistake was bound to happen at some point.

The small grungy square on the lower right side of the print was stamped directly onto the paper using the flat 'bottom' of a rubber and a grungy black ink pad.

The urge to go back to the greys and grey-blues is quite strong but I am resisting it, I don't know for how long. There's something more I need to do with bright colours, though I won't find out what till I actually do it. I've been eyeing my little bottle of bright red liquid acrylic with wonder and, as we all know, there's no telling what red is capable of.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

painting with a gelli plate

Am I becoming a single-issue blogger? Don't answer that, I know I am, going on and on about my gelli prints and how much fun I am having with them. Though there is something more than fun to them.

Gina, a lovely blogger from Tasmania, featured my prints in her blog the other day: Gina's eye - Visual Artist. I was really delighted with the feature and it was a great surprise! Thanks again, Gina, for your generosity. There are many interesting features as well as Gina's own works of art and poetry in her blog, hop over to see for yourselves.

gel print and random brushstrokes with india ink
on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper

Through my gel plate I have access to a technique I had scarcely tried before. I am not a printer and I don't have a press. I never seriously studied printing techniques and the few things I knew, I had forgotten by now.

Till the plate was served to me.

What started out (and still is) a game seems to be opening up many new possibilities. In fact, I have made very little progress since I started. I am exploring the options at my own pace, which is usually slow. I feel free when I am not pressed for time or results and creativity can only come from freedom, I think.

I didn't use a brayer for any of these prints, I applied the acrylics with a wet brush. There is a tricky balance between using too much water (it almost happened on the blue background here) and too little. With too little water the colours remain too opaque and cover the paper completely. In exchange, you can use that to create a thick brushstroke texture that prints flat on the paper but retains the bristle details.

You will be able to see all that clearly if you click on the images to enlarge them.

double gel print and graphite
on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper 

As you can see, I started experimenting with more colour and less delicacy. This particular print makes me want to giggle, not sure why. It doesn't necessarily indicate that I started following a different path or style (or does it?) but it's certainly a different step on my way. Black and red and blue? Not my usual colours, too bold a contrast for me and yet, I'm very fond of it.

single gel print and graphite
on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper

I pulled this one as a vertical print but then looked at it horizontally and found myself neck-high in a field of tall grass. I liked the feeling and worked from there. A gelli print nature of sorts.

single gel print and graphite
on 150 gsm Stonehenge paper

Still surrounded by tall grass and a few unidentified vegetables. I mixed too much yellow-green-blue in this case and had to pull two more prints to use up the colours. They are not finished yet, so expect yet another post on gelli printing. Moving towards mixed media though, thinking about different combinations, larger sizes, whatever. Oh, dear. I'll be needing an A3-sized gel plate soon!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

japanese dish

Here's me again with my gelli prints. I just can't stop printing, apparently. There are a couple of serious pieces I need to do but I keep postponing them. I have become a gelprintingplateaholic! (Ok, that almost sounds like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I'm very proud of it.)

Note: I had to embed these images from my Flickr photostream because, for some reason, Blogger showed the backgrounds gray and I hated that. As a result, I cannot centre the images. No problem, right?

Japanese Dish
gelli printing and graphite on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper

This single piece took me two days to finish. Fitting the two colour templates together was extremely difficult for me, I had to throw several trial prints away. Eventually, I started asking myself why on earth I suddenly wanted such a perfect print and the only answer I could come up with is that I needed to create at least one smooth, non-blotty, non-bleedy print. I finally managed it.

the perfect print

As you can see here, the forms and lines match perfectly. I had triumphed! But I had also killed the work.

Perfection is not very interesting, is it? No blobs, no play, not a hair out of place. So what could I do to bring my Japanese Dish back to life? I needed two days to figure it out. The final result is the first image. I think that thick, wavy line did the trick. That and a couple of tiny dots on each side. Of course I could always change my mind tomorrow and think it's worthless but I probably won't. It's finished, it's simple and it may well be the last perfect print I'll ever try to pull again.

I titled it 'Japanese Dish' after this fractal that I created a long time ago. It's probably my absolute favourite of all the fractals I did back then. The forms for the print were taken from this fractal, though simplified.

The Exhibition Hall will open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I'll be working there from 11:00 - 13:30 and from 17:30 - 20:00 in the evening. I'll probably be able to go online there for a while but, in case I can't, enjoy your Easter holidays!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

gelli printing continues

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend and your preparations for Easter, those of you who celebrate it. I believe all three Easters (that sounds really strange) coincide this year.

Acrylic paint and graphite on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper.
The slight colour bleed around the lower part of the print was intentional.

This is a short blog post to share my two latest gelli printing experiments with you. They are twins, in a way. Playing with positive and negative space though bending the rules a bit.

Acrylic Baby Blue paint (you babies rock!) with a couple of drops of black. The resulting grey has a subtle bluish tinge that I really like. Again 250 gsm Stonehenge paper.

The hand-written word on the upper left means nothing, I just added a bit of asemic free calligraphy to the work. I also added water again to the acrylic paint and applied it to the gelli plate with a brush to create this bubbly, random texture.

On a sidenote, something strange has been happening lately with my blog. Pageviews are going up by the hundreds, I have no idea why. Nevertheless, it's a real pleasure and I thank all those anonymous viewers who spend some time in my corner of blogland. Thank you, guys!

P.S. I am strongly tempted to experiment a bit with crazy colours. You have been warned.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

gelli printing experiments

About 200 years ago I bought a gel printing plate. Ok, I'm exaggerating, it was probably only 150 years ago. Apart from toying with it a bit to see how it reacted and whether it was an alien or a deep-sea gelli plate, I didn't do much. Other things got in the way.

Mixing colours on the gel plate with a very wet brush. The water won't stick on the plate and, as a result, it creates these stainy textures that I really like. The colour bleed outside the templates was deliberate.

Then just a few days ago, while working on my 'elements' series, I felt I needed a break. Take a load off. I opened one of my many drawers crammed with different kinds of paper to take out some humble photocopy paper sheets and suddenly there it was. My gel plate, neatly tucked in its casing, peeping at me from the bottom of the drawer.

I only used acrylic paint here but applied it with a brush. I wanted the brushstrokes to show. Why this unexpected green? I don't really know, it was unexpected.

You can imagine the rest. I forgot about my plans to draw and doodle and do some impressive mark-making experiments and started printing instead. These simple prints, no busy backgrounds and high contrasts. After pulling a couple of trial prints on photocopy paper I decided to use 250 gsm Stonehenge for the rest. Printing paper after all, it takes the colours much more gracefully.

Oh, I didn't use the gel plate for this one. I stamped a distressed-ink pad directly onto tracing paper. The actual work looks better than the scanned version.

The pale blue-grey and light green squares were printed following the rules. I spread the acrylics on the plate with a brayer and pulled two well-behaved shapes. But it's me. I couldn't leave well enough alone.

This one is a combination of gel printing and ink pad stamping. The pad fell off my hand and onto the paper leaving a mark that I tried to incorporate into the composition. I believe this is called 'accidental art'.

Trying my hand with gradients in the ochre shape. A (deliberately) poorly coloured brayer in the violet one.

I pulled this one today, the latest but not last in the series. I want to further explore the texturing possibilities and the unorthodox use of watercolour.

I confess I started experimenting before reading a single entry in the Printing with Gelli Arts blog. They are in no way responsible for my skewed interpretarion of their technique. They are entirely responsible for this beautiful, fascinating method of creating prints without a press.

EDIT: I replaced the original JPG files with PNGs and the grayish overlay has disappeared. Phew! This is what my prints really look like.
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