845.684.4206 debra@debracortese.com

Pine and oak trees overlooking the Delaware River inspire nature patterns for clothing, home decor and tech products

Original photo of the pine and oak trees that inspired Debra’s new bark patterns

My studio view overlooks these magnificent trees and the Delaware River in Narrowsburg NY. The visiting buck was a big photo bonus! - ©2013 Debra Cortese photo

Both the pine and oak bark patterns that are featured on clothing and home decor products were inspired by my love and curiosity for the variety of textures and colors of my surroundings. The models for this new design were actually the mature pine tree, the tall one behind the canoe in the landscape photo, and the hand-holding couple of oak trees that stand like guardians on the bank of the Delaware River just outside my studio window.

The trees and the surrounding plants (along with my gardens) serve as hosts to many creatures depending upon the time of year. In spring and summer, this particular pine tree is often inhabited by a hive of honeybees. They return each year to a long, narrow crevasse in the tree’s west side. I haven’t yet tasted their honey but am quite certain a visiting bear delights in his visits to this tree!

The colors and textures of the bark on this glorious pine tree were best captured with macro photography which I intently reviewed to select a most appealing detail section for the pine bark pattern. I’ve added images of several of the most popular ‘Pine Bark” products that are available from my Society6 shop. 

I hope you enjoy the texture and colors of my tree bark designs. I certainly enjoyed creating them!

3 Oak Tree Bark Patterns by Debra Cortese
now available on clothing, accessories, tech and home decor products

click on images for product descriptions, options and pricing

Sammy cat ‘models’ for Taurus Giveaways

Cat models for Taurus Giveaways by Debra CorteseMy cats are great when it comes to posing for product photos and they are always eager to pose if treats are involved. Pretty sure Sammy Cat had just consumed his first round of treats and is looking for more in this photo.
I realize his ability to focus and stay in one place is limited to at most, 2 minutes, so have to shoot quickly and be content with the best photo out of the 3 or 4 good ones. This is definitely a fun part of my work and the cats usually love the extra attention.

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAYS

This is the second month that I’ll be giving away two of the new Flower of Life Astrology Design products and this month the giveaways are again, the popular Tote Bag and Metal Travel Mug. Each one features the bold, earthy, TAURUS design which represents the current alignment of planetary influences during the April 21 through May 20 time period.

The actual drawing will happen on Friday, May 12th at 9 am EST and two names will be randomly selected. Next, I’ll notify each person – ideally through email, but if necessary due to the preference and popularity of social media, I’ll contact you through your Facebook or Instagram account.
Once you respond and I have your confirmed shipping address, I’ll announce the winners and get your Totebag or Travel Mug in the mail!

You can ENTER HERE by email, or if you prefer using your social media accounts you can find the TAURUS GIVEAWAY instructions on:

INSTAGRAM:  https://www.instagram.com/debracortese/


FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/debracortesedesigns/

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YAY – beautiful spring day here in Narrowsburg, NY!

I think the cascades of bell flowers popped out all at once! Not sure what this bush is officially called, but it is right along my walkway and outside the cat door.


Lilacs are one of my childhood favorites and this gorgeous little bud is growing right next to the giant pine tree on the edge of the lawn overlooking the Big Eddy of the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, NY.

 

It was almost like I could feel the tiny buds and blooms stretching to face the warmth of today’s glorious sunbeams. Of course I went out with camera in hand. Nature was calling and I couldn’t get outside fast enough. Pretty sure I shot over a hundred photos and will be processing them over then next few weeks. There is an entire new series from today’s inspiration and I can say that it will be quite different from what I’m posting today 😉

~ Debra

Turtle Art for Riverfest 2016 Narrowsburg, New York

Turtle painting for Riverfest 2016 Poster Art Auction

Honoring Turtle – a symbol of Mother Earth

 

For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of watching a very determined Snapping Turtle climb the rugged, tangled bank of the Big Eddy along the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, New York as she makes her annual birthing journey. This is a tedious and lengthy step-by-step process to lay her eggs in a familiar and not so safe location. She begins her climb at the first light of dawn and once she reaches her nesting ground, she begins clearing away the grass and digging a hollow nest in the dirt. Then, for what can be hours, she slowly lays her eggs by alternately rocking and stretching and turning and gently pushing them into the prepared ground. When the last egg is released, she carefully spreads and tamps down the dirt over the nest and slowly makes her way back down to the river.

She never returns to check on her offspring. They are on their own, left to the forces of nature to decide their fate.

2014
I have my calendar marked for her arrival during the first or second week of June and again in early September or even into October for the hatchlings to emerge. Sadly, they rarely make it out of their nest alive. The first year I was completely naive and thought I would protect them from getting crushed during the lawn mowing. I put a small circle of sticks and netting around the perimeter of the nest area as a marker for the mower to avoid. It was more like a come hither beacon for a band of night-stalker skunks that made a raucous feast of the fresh little eggs. I was in tears the following morning when I saw the shrivelled shells and smelled the nauseating stench of skunks.

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2015
I had read a lot about predators of turtle eggs and this time, I spent a few hours constructing a reinforced and very grounded chicken wire cage much larger than the nest perimeter. I waited patiently throughout the summer and once it was close to the earliest hatching time, I checked the nest morning and night every day. Another month passed and still no baby turtles. I read some more and learned that they could take up to 120 days if the weather conditions were not as favorable. By the end of October, I removed the cage and gently scraped the nest area. Nothing was there, not even a chip of an eggshell. This time, a different breed of stalking, nest robbing villans must have attacked from underground.

DCortese_TurtleEggPROTECTIONcage

 

 

 

2016
I’ve learned that perhaps the best I can do is to patiently watch, imagine and hope for the survival of the baby snappers. I’ll continue to watch the calendar and check the nest – which does again have a simple fence marker for the lawn mower to go around, but like the Mother Turtle, I have to be patient and allow the laws of nature to determine when and if these turtles make it to the river alive.

Mrs. Turtle returns on June 5th, 2016 to the same spot on the riverbank to lay her eggs and leave them to the whims of nature for the third year that I’ve been observing this. I dearly hope these little turtles have a chance of survival. The skunks and apparently tunneling creatures are very fond of fresh turtle eggs :-( ©2016 Debra Cortese www.debracortese.com

Mrs. Turtle returns on June 5th, 2016 to the same spot on the riverbank to lay her eggs and leave them to the whims of nature for the third year that I’ve been observing this. I dearly hope these little turtles have a chance of survival. The skunks and apparently tunneling creatures are very fond of fresh turtle eggs 🙁

Turtle Painting for 26th Annual Riverfest Poster Art Auction

When I received the Call for Riverfest Poster Art, I knew I wanted to honor Mrs. Turtle but first, I wanted a different kind of information, the kind that resonated with Her and the River and all of the elements of nature that intrigue me every day when I look out over the Big Eddy. Turtle is an ancient creature with some serious history and mythology.  I wanted to paint the meaning, the feelings I have about Turtle. What resonated with her energy and felt true for me as well? I sketched for several days until a few designs felt promising.  I read more about snapping turtles and I looked through old photos and notes. I’d forgotten about “Turtle’s Bad Day” a startling, too-close-for-comfort, food chain experience during my last visit to Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades and, I realized that Turtle has been one of my nature guides for many years. So I reached for ‘Animal Speak’ by Ted Andrews knowing I would find mythical and relevant information that would help me align the painting and my feelings with the energetic patterns and symbolism of TURTLE…

“The Turtle – is one of the oldest reptiles and thus has one of the most ancient mythologies surrounding it. Turtle is a symbol for Mother Earth, for longevity and for awakening to heightened sensibilities.” – Animal Speak, author Ted Andrews

In the mythology of the Far East, Turtle’s outer shell represents the heavens and the shape and patterns on the shell underside are a symbol of earth.

Turtle represents wisdom, longevity. She is slow and steady, predictable, reliable, persistent.

A symbol of Mother Earth – divine feminine energy

Turtle is a shore creature – living in the water and on the land. Shores are associated with doorways/passages to other dimensions and Turtle is sometimes called ‘the keeper of the doors’.

The markings/sections on many turtle shells number 13 which is associated with lunar calendars and the alternating annual cycles of 13 full or new moons which correspond to female cycles of fertility.

Turtle is a reminder to listen carefully and ask: What am I not hearing or seeing?

Andrews also writes: ” turtles are opportunistic. When Turtle shows up in your life it is usually a reminder to pay attention or you will miss opportunities.”

RIVERFEST2016_Turtlepainting_DebraCortese12X18X72

Turtle painting by Debra Cortese for the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Annual Riverfest Poster Auction.
Sunday, July 24, 2016 is the 26th Annual Riverfest event that takes over the entire length of the Main Street

business district in Narrowsburg, New York. A total of 60 original artworks will be auctioned to the highest bidders
in this immensely popular event which benefits the Delaware Vally Arts Alliance.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL OF THE POSTER ARTWORKS FOR THE 2016 RIVERFEST AUCTION

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Photos of the Narrowsburg Honey Bee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival River Rock Bee Childrens Art and Crafts

Based on my love of nature and a lifelong recurring relationship with Honey Bees, I absolutely wanted to bee part of the first Narrowsburg Honey Bee Festival. I contacted Joan Santo of Narrowsburg Fine Wines and Spirits as soon as I heard about the festival and volunteered for the Children’s Arts and Crafts project which turned into one of the most enjoyable honeybee experiences to date!

A huge thank you to the gentleman who volunteered to take many of the images of the children’s project and also to Courtney and all of the parents and grandparents who assisted with the stripes, glue dots and googly eyes… River Rock Bees ruled the day!
So.. here are my favorite photos from the first Narrowsburg Honey Bee Festival on October 10, 2015:

click for larger image

#Narrowsburg Honey Bee Festival

click for larger image

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

click for larger image

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival photos by Debra Cortese www.debracortese.com www.gallerynumbernine.com

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival photos by Debra Cortese www.debracortese.com www.gallerynumbernine.com

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival photos by Debra Cortese www.debracortese.com www.gallerynumbernine.com

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival with Carrie – facepainting and Debra – art and crafts

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#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

#Narrowsburg #HoneyBee Festival

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