845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

Shifting Totems

“Shifting Totems” art by Debra Cortese
opens April 6th at Narrowsburg Union
in 5 Gallery Art Exhibition

Golden Autumn Riverbank Totems

White Beard Bridge Guardian Totem

Rock Totem Bridge Guardian

I’ve been an artist/designer and avid nature lover for a long as I can remember. I grew up in Narrowsburg in the 50’s and 60’s and returned to the area in 2013 where I quickly became entranced by the ever-changing views of the Delaware River. My studio has an expansive view of the Narrowsburg Bridge across The Big Eddy* and I’ve been photographing and documenting this ever-changing landscape for six years with a focus on the rock formations and their reflections.

The impressive rocks above and deep below the river surface are natural palisades that not only provide the structure that guides the flow of the river, they also protect an ancient energy portal that I perceive as a multi-dimensional stargate. The portal aligns with specific energy patterns, usually moving in spiral vortex patterns that are momentarily visible during aligned periods of the dance among the sun, wind and clouds. These seem to be fleeting moments, but I sense they are energetically aligned to allow the River Totem Guardians to present themselves in force during the opening and closing of the portal gates. This is a protected gateway for multi-dimensional travellers. I imagine that the presence of Rock Guardians has always been a necessity.

The Opening Reception for ‘5 Gallery Art Exhibit’ is on Saturday, April 6th, 2019 from 5 to 8 pm at the Narrowsburg Union Gallery, 7 Erie Ave, Narrowsburg, NY 12764. This exhibit runs through May 18th. HOURS: Monday – Saturday 8 am – 8 pm. Sunday 8 am – 5 pm.

The participating artists are: Nancy Wells, Debra Cortese, Claudine Luchsinger, Gregory J. Pelly and Blake and Jessica Barroso. This exhibition is curated by Brandi Merolla.

* The Big Eddy is the widest location on the Delaware River and the Narrowsburg Bridge spans the narrowest and deepest area of the River.


To view the current Shifting Totems Collection, click HERE.


Laniakea video and astrology info for the week of January 14, 2019

Sharing this video after reading Eric Francis’ PLANET WAVES astrology info for this week. You can read the full article at: http://planetwaves.net/astrologynews/190114-mm-159.html

“This is a good week to get shit done. Make sure it’s what you want to do the most.” ~ Eric Francis







Transitions – small blue paintings repurposed

Original Transitions - 4 small blue paintings by Debra Cortese. Art as healing therapy.

The real background story is that it took me 10 years to rediscover these small blue paintings and to fully understand the power I received during the painting process and again as I was re-creating new, repurposed designs from these forgotten mini blue squares.I knew then that I needed to release the anxiety and weight of impending foreclosure. I knew that painting always allowed me to lighten up and play and focus on the colors or shapes and forget the woes and burdens of being a responsible adult – at least for the duration of the painting session.

I am now in a place where I can share this. Instead of hiding in shame over the experience of losing our home, I am finally able to process and understand what happened and how it helped my art and life move on to new stories.
I also learned how to appreciate the gifts in life challenges.
They are dramatic and powerful catalysts that can move us to create a new version of our own life story if we choose to let go and move toward what is wanted.

In 2009 I received notice that our Miami home was no longer worth half of what it was mortgaged for and of course, I was still legally responsible for paying the full amount or foreclosure proceedings would be inevitable. As a self-employed artist/designer, my financial situation was often in flux and dependent upon the economy which was quickly spiraling into something I had never experienced before. All around me people were ‘losing’ their homes. I watched the neighbors across the street being physically evicted from their home with only a few belongings thrown out towards the street and then, they were literally locked out of their own home. This vision terrified me and I was determined that we would not experience the despair and humiliation of being thrown out of our own home.

Transitions repurposed art print image by Debra Cortese

T.R.A.N.S.I.T.I.O.N.S – r e p u r p o s e d –

The first (top) image shows the original small blue paintings that calmed my mind and helped me through the financial foreclosure crisis in 2009. You can see my post from 10 years ago HERE if you enjoy reading, or stay on this page for my repurposed art therapy 10 years later! Time does heal emotional and physical wounds, but having a creative outlet works miracles for me 😉 The images below were each created from sections of the original Transition paintings. The new pattern versions carry an energy that is full of joy and inspiration to continue on my path. My intention is for every product that features these designs will also share creative, successful, joyful energy waves with you. <>

Reflections on the Edge of Anxiety repurposed design by Debra Cortese
Waves of Temporary Tranquility repurposed art by Debra Cortese
Yellow Blue Reflections Safe or Trapped?
Yellow Blue Reflections - Open - Vulnerability or Freedom?

Ocean Blues pattern makes it to Spoonflower Daily Favs list

I am delighted to have my ”Ocean Blues” pattern featured on one of Spoonflowers Daily Favs page! This nature-inspired, repeat design was created from a detail section of a photo of a Man-o’-War that I encountered on South Beach during my Miami days. The colors of this venomous sea creature reflect the ocean blue-greens, frothy white waves and sunset coral pinks.
Ocean Blues is available as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap in addition to the home decor products from Roostery.
See all of the options from my Spoonflower shop at:

Curious about a “Man-o’-War – check out NOAA’s info on this venomous sea creature at:

The upside of watering a friend’s garden…

click images above for larger views

I’ve been watering my friend Jane’s flowers in between rains and am thoroughly enjoying this opportunity to get away from the techie side of my day and bask in a different locale of nature’s energy.  These red berries were practically shouting (via their sunkissed glowing) to be photographed! They are large bushes or trees (I haven’t properly identified them yet) that don’t need watering, but they were definitely ready to be photographed!
The three images above are detail sections of the large, full image which you can see below.

~ Sunkissed Red Berries – from the new, “Jane’s Garden” collection by Debra Cortese Designs ~

Links to art prints, home decor, tech products, fabrics, gift wrap, and more are on the bottom of the
Red Berries Page – click here

You can follow Debra Cortese Designs on Facebook and Instagram

After the storm…

After the storm…
On Tuesday, May 15th, my beloved Pine, a summer hive for wild honeybees, and one of the two majestic Oak trees that I photograph almost daily, were snapped and hurled into the air and through my living room window and roof, terrifying me and my four precious cats. The broken trees came through the window in a matter of seconds and thankfully, I had already made it to the kitchen and out of their deadly path. Very happy to be alive and sharing these images. Now.. the cleanup and rebuilding begins. I’m guessing it will be at the least two months before I will be able to be living and working again in my very powerful and beautiful place along the banks of the Delaware River.

the view as it was before May 15 storm