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, 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.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

goodbye, Garibaldi

My dearest cat Garibaldi died on Friday 28 February at ten past three in the afternoon. He was 15 years old. He was born in my Barcelona apartment in March 1999 and spent his entire life with me. He basically died of old age.


He started feeling sick last Tuesday and after that it was a quick way down. I stayed with him till the end.


I haven't been able to do much these past days, nothing creative anyway. I feel very sad and I miss him enormously.


Photographing my cats has always been very difficult, because they get up and come close to the camera as soon as I take it out. Sketching them is even harder but sometimes I manage it.


Garibaldi is now resting under this almond tree in bloom. The spot is not far away from home. Be happy wherever you are, my love.
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