845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

Flower of Life Energy Paintings, Patterns and Honey Bees

As long as I’m still breathing, I’m here to learn. Every day, something old is new again or more specifically, every day I see the connections and alignments of past experiences as they integrate into my present story of life. I’m constantly assessing experiences to learn how the energy of thoughts and actions affect life situations. I consider myself a life-long student and prefer to focus on what I do want as opposed to what I don’t want.

I’m always eager to learn more about the hows and whys of bee-ing*.

Last year, I returned to a painting/design style that has always intrigued me and began creating art and designs that incorporated geometric shapes of nature. (the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb in particular). The Flower of Life is a design that is found in many cultures throughout the ages. It embodies all sacred geometretic shapes and is considered the visual representation of source energy. All alignments, connections, shapes, sounds colors, tastes, feelings, sights, experiences are physical reflections of source energy – all emanating from a divine source as represented by the Flower of Life. You can read more about this at: The Ancient Flower of Life by Drunvalo Melchezidek,

or watch this Youtube video by Spirit Science which presents the information in a much more succinct and entertaining format.

painting by Debra Cortese


(*Bees have been a recurring and significant part of my life experience and they are a major element of life on planet earth – far beyond the pollination of all of our foods, but that information will be shared soon. Suffice to say, the tiny winged creatures represent the physical manifestation of a search engine beyond Google’s wildest dreams!).

“The Honey Queen”, an original acrylic painting on canvas measures 24″ x 24″.
is not for sale because I am quite attached to it/her.
Fine art prints on paper or canvas are available – click here.

Contact Debra for price and shipping details.

Our 4th swarm of Honey Bees!

Bees move in again!

Over the past 4 years we’ve been host to a hive of honeybees 4 times! Twice in the past two months with the most recent on June 29th! The first time was in 2007 when they made a new home in the east wall of my bedroom. Next was in 2009 in the west wall of the same room. Third time was just two months ago under the eave of the kitchen on the south facing side and now they’ve moved into a precarious location on the north edge of our property. At least this time the walls are not buzzing 🙂
Just past noon on Wednesday, as I was preparing lunch, I glanced out my kitchen window and saw a spinning swirl of tiny golden blurs. An all too familiar bee swarm. Just to be sure, I went outside and the loud hum of a few hundred bees confirmed that I was witnessing the 4th hive moving in to our obviously, very bee-friendly property. I mentioned this to several friends who almost unanimously said, “the bees are trying to tell you something”.

My friends know me well and of course the first thing I did was find my copy of “Animal Speak”. I’ve been rereading the Bees chapter of Ted Andrews’ book, Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small which opens with a statement about bees being longtime symbols for accomplishing the impossible. I can certainly appreciate that!

Andrews’ book includes exercises to interpret most any animal encounter and I’ve begun to realize a huge presence of bees (not always pleasant) in my lifetime. Here are some of the messages I’m finally getting from these often misunderstood little buzzing miracles of nature:

1. Community and working together is vital to sustain a society (a business, relationships).

2. Bees have been mythical symbols throughout history. In Egypt they represented royalty. To the Celts, the bee symbolized hidden wisdom, and in Hinduism, the bee can represent Vishnu, Krishna or Kama, the god of love, depending on the context and interpretation. An interesting post from Thomas Worrel’s notes on “The Symbolism of The Beehive and The Bee” at the Mill Valley Masonic Lodge website.

Because of the number and location of bee colonies that have moved in with us here in Miami, I’ve become acutely aware of the plight of one of our most industrious and vital creatures. In terms of crop pollination and food supplies bees are a vital component and because of the greed factor and mass, monoculture farming methods that depend on heavy pesticide use, the bee population is rapidly dying off. These pesticides are not only killing the bees, but are also poisoning our foods, water supplies and the very earth/dirt that formerly provided the essential vitamins and nutrients in our foods. For more information on this topic, I recommend “FRESH” the movie and suggest regular visits to your local, organic farmer’s market.

3. The geometric, six-sided construction of the honeycomb (home, nursery and food storage areas for bees) is a hexagon, a sacred geometry symbol that represents the sun and all energies associated with it. (hmmnn… I’ve been slowly working on a series of new designs incorporating sacred geometry and astrological symbols with my signature nature’s energy images).

4. It’s time to contact Mike Price of Bees-n-the-Keys again! Best bee rescue and relocation expert in South Florida!

5. Although by now, I’m thinking I should at least consider the option of beekeeping 😉

Blue birds, honeybees, glowing royal poincianas & art for licensing…

new tropical flowering tree designs by Debra Cortese

I’m swirling around in colors and nature since returning from Surtex. So many ideas, collections to edit and create.

Seems my love of nature and creatures was quite demanding for a couple of weeks… there was the 3rd honeybee relocation, then the blue jays had a riot in the back yard (and I don’t blame them a bit) because the cats were in their wild-thing-hunting-mode and killed a baby bird. I corralled all cats, locked them in the laundry room and with big tears of sadness and frustration, buried the little feathered one.

Next on my schedule was a trip to Pinecrest Gardens to photograph a peacock so that I’d have better reference material for the expanding collection of peacock designs. I did hear and then see the peacock, but had to find someone to get me closer to the bird to get the photo I wanted. Mission accomplished to some extent, but I still did not have the ideal pic. Back to the drawing board and photoshop!

Before leaving for Surtex, I was invited to participate in this year’s annual Tropical Flowering Tree Society ‘Royal Poinciana Festival’ exhibit – which I confirmed yesterday and immediately started working on new designs for this. I did complete several and even have a new bag design ready, but will not be able to produce it in time for the event on June 13th. So, realized I could put a few designs on products in my Cafepress shop. If you are attending the festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on June 13th (heard Joe Donato is playing that night ;-)… I’ll have a sampling of mugs and journals with the new Royal Poinciana designs Plus, many of my nature’s energy design bags and royal poinciana prints.

Here’s my new home page design – more aligned with my focus on art licensing.

That’s it for now… need a break before moving to next projects 😉

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

click for larger image

#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

The Honey Queen

This HoneyQueen Bee and Flower of Life acrylic painting on canvas by Debra Cortese is only available as a fine art gicleé on canvas or paper. To read more about Debra’s fascination with Honeybees, click HERE. canvas or paper 12 x 12 on paper $90.00 USD 24 x 24...

Narrowsburg HoneyBee Festival Kids Art Projects Available Online

HoneyQueen_DETAILCan’t attend the Narrowsburg HoneyBee Festival on Saturday, October 10th? The Honey Queen is sorry she won’t get to see you in person, but, you can still enjoy some of the HoneyBee Art Projects. Just click here to download your favorite design, print it, color or paint it.

Plus, if you feel like sharing it, post a picture of your art on the Narrowsburg Honeybee Festival Facebook page or add it to the comments on this blog post.
BEE sure to tag it with your name and #Narrowsburg #HoneybeeFestival.

Coloring templates for children and adult activities during the October 10th Honeybee Festival in Narrowsburg, NY. templates and activities by D. Cortese - artist/curator for Gallery Number Nine.com

Coloring templates for children and adult activities during the October 10th Honeybee Festival in Narrowsburg, NY.
templates and activities by D. Cortese – artist/curator for Gallery Number Nine.com

Narrowsburg HoneyBee Festival Art Projects

If you can’t attend or missed the Narrowsburg HoneyBee Festival Arts and Crafts for Kids (of all ages) you can still participate from home.

Just click on your favorite HoneyBee Art Project below to download it as a standard letter size 8.5″ x 11″ pdf template, print it and color with your favorite crayons, paint or markers.
AND… we’d love to see your unique work of Honeybee art, so please share it on the Narrowsburg HoneyBee Festival Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/HoneyBeeFest
DCortese_2HONEYBEE4flowersCOLORtemplate72i DCortese_HoneybeeCombCOLORINGpage72i

Flower of Life 8 inch template for creating your own Mandala. By connecting points within the flower of life pattern you can create all of the shapes of sacred geometry. This template has been created for the purpose of creating your own Seed of Intention or as a personal meditation on anything that you would like to manifest. Focus on the details of what you do want to feel, see, be as you color the patterns and designs that flow through your hand. https://debracortese.com/sample-seeds-of-intention/

Coloring templates for children and adult activities during the October 10th Honeybee Festival in Narrowsburg, NY. templates and activities by D. Cortese - artist/curator for Gallery Number Nine.com


The Honey Queen detail of painting by Debra Cortese

detail of "The Honey Queen" painting by Debra Cortese

The 3rd and final Opening Reception for the TRIAD ART Exhibition with Debra Cortese, Karen Deilke and Pamela Palma is on Saturday, July 21st at VALMAR ART, 4150 SW 74th CT (in the Bird Road Art District), Miami, FL 33155.

Debra Cortese is exhibiting her new series titled, “Seeds of Intention”. Each piece is based on variations of a Flower of Life pattern and represents a positive meditation for the future of humanity in cooperation with nature’s energy.

“The Honey Queen” painting honors one of the smallest and most significant creatures on our planet, the bee. Cortese has dedicated this painting to long-time beekeeper, Mike Price of Bees-n-the-Keys as well as other compassionate beekeepers in Miami and all around the world.

Coconut Grove artist (and Founder of the Coconut Grove Drum Circle), Karen Deilke is exhibiting her vibrant and expressive “Hot Tropics” paintings.

Miami Beach artist, Pamela Palma is exhibiting her evocative fiber art works that incorporate uncommon materials including shredded one-hundred dollar bills, the delicious color interactions of hand dyed yarns, and textural elements.

Live Blues with Miami guitarist, Rob Moore – all at VALMAR ART during the monthly Bird Road Art Walk on Saturday, July 21st starting at 7 pm.

Triad invitation with more details here.

Valmar Art, 4150 SW 74th Ct, Miami, FL 33155

Foster Puppy and Honey Bee Invasion

Rescue puppyNature’s Energy is definitely speaking loudly to me in the past couple of weeks. First, I’m in the right place at the right time to help rescue an adorable little puppy. I’d been helping a friend reestablish his community newspaper (I’m the production department) when he found the little guy crossing a very busy 4 way intersection in North Miami. Pup was covered with very large fleas, filthy dirty, and his ribs were clearly defined so we knew he had not been getting any tlc. He spent the first night at the office and then I brought him home, got him cleaned up, de-flead and well-fed for a few days. A friend of the friend said he’d take him for a pet, but never showed up. So, he’s back here, living the life of a pampered prince among the 7 stray cats that have now designated us as their servants. Good news though, I posted his picture and info to the Rescue communities and instantly got a response from Robbie at www.sabbathrescue.org  Robbie sent the info around and withing the next 24 hours I heard from several people in the chain that Melody of Ethical Bull Breed Rescue and Referral of Florida  had a place for him already. Problem is, he’s a pit bull puppy and it’s illegal to own him in Miami-Dade County. So, the little outcast must move north to Broward or Palm Beach and that’s right where Melody is located. So, sometime next week, we’ll arrange the trip and little Jeffrey (couldn’t hold my daughter back from naming him) will find a new home with a woman who already has a pit bull and she works at a doggy day care. I love when this works out for the best! …He's happy now!Last year's bee invasion on SE wallNow, about those HONEYBEES…I pulled in the driveway on Wed and there was this cloud of buzzing, swarming bees just making their way to the southwest corner of my bedroom. I live in a old wooden house and it has more than a few places that need some work. Needless to say, the bees knew this was an ideal place to relocate for 3 reasons: first, access was easy; second, they already knew (through the cosmic bee grapevine) that I wouldn’t exterminate them but instead would call Beeman  http://www.bees-n-the-keys.com/  to come to their rescue. Third reason is because they had done this before only last year and on the opposite wall of the same bedroom! (different swarm, but probably same ancestor bees).Capture the QueenHoney bees are a vital part of our food chain. They are the only natural pollinators of our fruits and vegetables and since so many natural habitats are being developed for human use, and people seem to think they should kill all creatures whose homes they have usurped, extermination is unfortunately, the most common method of bee removal.Bee SmokerI’ve checked with the Florida extension service, and Bud Grant is the state bee inspector that I’ve talked with about this. Haven’t met him in person yet, but I’m happy to say that he agrees it is in everyone’s best interest to relocate and save the honeybees. Bees-N-The-Keys
Now, this little operation takes Beeman a few hours or so depending on the size and location of the hive and how long it takes to capture the Queen. Plus he drives up from Key Largo.  Got here before 8 am and I think he was finished around noon. Even though the bee invasion is a nuisance and it does cost  to have them removed and relocated, I have to say that Mike is the most knowledgable and interesting character to watch and learn from. He coaxes the bees out of the hive as if he were soothing a little baby. Calls the Queen by the name of Momma, the workers are ‘girls’ and even the drones are treated with gentle vacuuming and handling. Last year, Mike used his bee smoker to relax the girls before vacuuming them into the bee box. I have a lot of pictures of the process and notes too. This man truly enjoys his work, (or ‘dance with life’ as Mike Dooley called it in a recent “Thought from the Universe”.) It had been a stressful week, but by tonight, I’m seeing the light again and it is not a train ;-)Here are a couple of pics of the puppy and the bees. No honey this time, but last year they’d been in the wall for long enough to have some great tasting honey. Comb and all. You can visit Bees-in-the-keys online and order honey from Mike (maybe produced from my bees of last years relocation). Tell him I sent you. He has a unique, Forest Gump way about him. Very refreshing, especially for Miami! Beeman and Puppy playing 

Notice: All artworks are copyrighted by Debra Cortese.
No reproduction without written permission. All rights reserved by the artist.