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

Red-Shouldered Hawk in Golden Morning Light

Looked out over the Delware River to the perch tree about 8:30 this morning and saw this golden glow on a Red-Shouldered Hawk that was surveying the Big Eddy landscape. Never cease to be amazed and inspired by my surroundings… by nature!
– Debra

This gorgeous bird of prey was glowing in the morning sun on the popular eagle perch high above the Delaware River. Apparently surveying the Big Eddy for breakfast options. I am so blessed to have this daily view. Took the photos still in my cozy zebra robe and before first cup of coffee because I know too well that a photo opp like this can be gone in seconds.

Hope you enjoy this bit of my morning wildlife inspiration. And here’s the article where I learned a bit more about Red-Shouldered Hawks: http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/species/spotlight/redshouldered/

Two more photos – a bit blurry, but remember, no coffee, still in wakeup mode and the hawk is flying off the branch…

Ice Jewels

click image above for slide gallery

Bright shiny objects just call to be photographed. After dumping the block of ice that had frozen in my garden wagon, I noticed the sparkling lights and winter colors and of course, could not resist a few photos and then patterns/reflections – voila! Ice Jewels.
The slide gallery shows all six of the designs that are derivative artworks from that wagon full of ice.

You can see four of them (framed and ready to hang or giftwrap) at the 12th Annual Art In Sixes holiday show at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance 37 Main St. Narrowsburg, NY (Great Holiday Shopping at this event which features 168 artists and over 500 works of art!)

As you may know I also represent other artists via the virtual Gallery Number Nine and just want to add that six of us have work in the 2016 Art In Sixes show – the others are: Philip Jostrom, Tamara D’Antoni, Louis N. Pontone, Ramona Jan and Susan Miiller. And, of course you are invited to see all of our art online at Gallery Number Nine.

 

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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What story will you be telling in 10 years?

Oreo's morning walk-hunt along the Delaware River

September 2014 Oreo out for his morning hunt along the Delaware River

I’m writing from my studio with an absolutely priceless view overlooking the Big Eddy on the Delaware River. Early on this September morning I woke to the sounds of geese practicing their travel honks and flight formations.  The fish were joyfully leaping out of the river and a small flock of ducks was out for their morning swim. The warm sun and cool air carries the message that the autumn transformation is approaching quickly. I can already see hints of color on trees across the river. The cool weather is energizing and of course with the sights and smells of autumn is the sense of urgency to complete garden and yard tasks before… winter arrives.

But today, with the fresh air and nature sounds so prevalent, I’m feeling energized and in a bit of a planning ahead mode. I’ve known for the past 2 months that I want to refocus on the creative work that I love and to be honest, I’m finally very concerned about the story I’ll be telling over the next 20 years.

Nature is and has always been my source of inspiration.

5 Ducks, Morning Swim, Delaware River

Another September photo of ducks our for a morning swim in the Delaware River

Golden Autumn Glow out my studio window

Golden Glow Delaware River Narrowsburg NYI’ve been more than behind in posting on my own site. Have been downright absent since JUNE!

But, in my own defense, I have been very busy helping clients with their new websites and social media/pr.
What I did continue to do was share on social media and today I am delighted to say that this image of my million-dollar view has been getting a bit of share-attention on twitter. Enough to get me to write a short blog post 😉

Thank you to all of the people who have already shared this image on Twitter: @DelBayBliss, @DSchvejda, @valentin_tintin, @sexymissy34, @francisjean6, @JosephSapia, @theWeatherboy, @NWSNARFC, @jesstutt, @dcbat, @rolypolypunk, @Frackingfrei_DE, @kevinpflug, @VieraPhill1ps !

This image is available as a fine art, archival print on paper or canvas in your choice of size at friendly, reasonable prices 😉
Contact me at: debra (at) debracortese.com

Art Salon at Mildred’s Lane

I’m more than a bit behind in my posting, but wanted to share a few images from the outstanding art salon at Mildred’s Lane from last Saturday, May 31st, 2014.

and click on the next image for The Band at Mildred’s Lane

click here to see slides of The Band at Mildred's Lane

 

Mildred’s Lane Art Salon – May 31, 2014

Keynote Speaker : Mary Jane Jacob

Live Jazz/Blues in the field with musicians, Rusty Lewis, Doug Vanderhoof,
Alastair Gordon, Kevin Vertrees, and Bob Lohr
Host: J. Morgan Pruet,
Bonfire Design : Amy Yoes with Paul Bartow.
Guest Chef : Cheryl Edwards, 2014 Digestion Choreographer

photos by Debra Cortese 

 

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees…”

I wonder if the snow loves the trees DCD LewisCarroll quote Dela

I’ve wanted to create images combined with nature quotes for many months and today, I just completed the first one.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees” is an image of Oreo, one of my 5 rescue cats looking out over the Delaware River during the recent snow storm, Nika (NEE-ka), from Greek mythology; the goddess who personified winning or victory. To see all of the winter storm names and their meanings, click the linked type to open the list on the Weather Channel’s page.

This beautiful Nature Quote is from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll:

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
You can find more nature quotes online of course, but Goodreads.com has already compiled a terrific collection!

If you are interested in having a print of this new image, please visit my Etsy Shop here. If you would prefer a different size print, or perhaps a framed version, send an email to me at debra@debracortese.com and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

I’m anxious to work on #02 now…

Please share this post and if you are so inclined, like it or tweet it or pin it to help share the beauty, power and magic of nature!
Share buttons should be just below this line.

 

Restocking my shop on Etsy with fine art prints

I’ve been processing images for days and will now begin the tedious but very valuable process of listing each fine art print on my Etsy Shop. Stay tuned to see many updated images, new images and many old favorites. I’m sorting through hundreds of images and setting up collections of wildlife, florals and coffee art to get this shop back in business. Expect this will be another never-ending story 🙂

Here are a few preview images of what I’m working on:

Woodstock Squirrels at Bird Feeder by Debra Cortese   Mother and Faun Sharing Late Afternoon Bird Seed Snack - Debra C   Praying Mantis on Porch Post by Debra Cortese

 

I’ll post again when the shop is stocked!

Enjoy nature 🙂

 

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