845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com
Snapping turtle laying eggs along the Delaware River outside Debra's studio window.
“Every June since I’ve lived along the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, NY, Mrs. Snapping Turtle has been laying her eggs in the same spot. Have yet to see any hatchlings but am delighted when she arrives. It takes her a few hours of digging, laying and then covering the nest. I’ve written more about her and the experiences of waiting for the baby turtles in this blog post.
~ Debra


Debra exhibiting at the annual art licensing show in New York

Nature entrances me. The harmony and patterns, symmetry, geometry, vibrant and soothing colors, the protective camoflage for flora and fauna, healing energies, medicinal properties, the intricate beauty…

Everything on our planet shares a core energy, a vital life force that animates and supports all growth and renewal. In nature, when this energy is balanced and uninhibited by human interference, the flow is smooth, perfection exists. When I am truly in touch with nature, the feelings I experience are incredibly magical, full of wonder and joy!

My art is about the experiences I have with nature. It’s my voice to share these stories and expand the awareness of our incredibly awesome and beneficent planet… our Mother Earth.

Mrs. Snapping Turtle art for 2016 Riverfest Poster by Debra Cortese
This mixed media art – for the DVAA’s Annual Riverfest Poster Auction in Narrowsburg, NY, was totally inspired by Mrs. Snapping Turtle and her annual visit to lay eggs along the Delaware River.


American Bald Eagle outside Debra's studio in Narrowsburg, New York
HoneyQueen image - Honeybees are barometers of the health of our entire world.


original photo of Praying Mantis at artist's home in Kingston, NY

One of the original models for Debra’s Mantis Hearts pattern!


I was first aware of Nature Spirits as a child playing in the woods and streams of my family home in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Then, in the early 70’s I read about the existence of nature spirits at the Findhorn Garden in Scotland. Fascinated by this story of miraculous transformation, I began to experiment with communicating with the plant devas while gardening and hiking in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. I read voraciously and learned that nature spirits have existed throughout time in almost every culture around the world.


You can see many of my early
‘Plant Spirit’ images HERE.

Most of my art is created using a combination of photography, traditional and digital painting. I enhance and subdue the balance of light, contrast and colors to work an image into the most authentic expression of my experience.

Praying Mantis inspired nature pattern Business Tote bag by Debra Cortese.
Ducks return to a Golden Big Eddy - Delaware River, Narrowsburg NY - photo by Debra Cortese
Debra Cortese Children's Art Projects at Narrowsburg Honeybee Festival


nature pattern design inspired by the Praying Mantis pets that Jenna had in Kingston, NY
This is a detail of a nature pattern that was created for Debra’s handbags. It was inspired by the praying mantis family that hatched and entertained the artist and her daughter for an entire summer in their Kingston, NY home.


Delaware Valley Arts Association
floral artists interpretretations of visual art

River Rock Guardian mixed media on canvas by Debra Cortese
I’ve been entranced by the Delaware River and in particular, the giant rock cliffs and walls that guide and guard this major body of fresh water that is home to all kinds of creatures. I began to see the totem figures in the rock formations after living here and photographing the same view more than a thousand times. The shapes and shadows change rapidly throughout the day depending on the angle of the sun, cloud formations, and the velocity and direction of the wind. As I’ve looked back over the images that I took before I was seeing these powerful totems, I knew they have always been there. These are the guardians of the river.


Cecile's floral interpretation of Debra's Bridge Rock Totem art
Cecile Lamay’s incredible floral interpretation of Debra’s Rock Totem canvas.