TOTEM Nature Art " Ferns and Avocado Bark Devas" by Debra Cortese
I wanted to create a custom background image for some of my new blog pages and since I didn’t really have a specific image in mind, I experimented with many variations of nature’s textures and colors from images taken in my back yard. The deep contrast and texture of the bark on our avocado tree was one of my first choices. The energy of the bark is powerful, serious and grounded.
I tested several versions of the bark texture with different flowers and leaves, however when I added the fern frond, which is a prolific character accenting many areas of our back yard, it started to feel right!
Reflecting or mirroring images is one of my favorite techniques in revealing the hidden magic of nature’s energy. You never know what you will actually see when the pieces come together and this time was exceptional! After sizing, layering, adjusting shadows and opacity and putting them all together, a center column of totem devas appeared. Now, this is often exactly what happens however, the images in this piece are profound to me. Their appearance and positions tell a story about the forests (perhaps a bit of fortune telling) and the importance of global connections and interdependence of ALL living elements.
What do you see?
Yes, I am a nature lover. I am soothed, balanced, energized and inspired by plants, trees, leaves, and flowers. I love cloud watching and delight in hearing the early morning bird songs, and in observing the industrious work of honeybees and spiders. Even snakes are welcomed as they tend to the removal of some critters that would otherwise gorge themselves on my rows of tasty vegetables.
Looks like a China Bear?
Here are a few sample Totem Devas and if you click the images you can view larger versions. I welcome your comments and am especially interested in hearing your insights 🙂
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 😉
I’m really getting into preparing design collections to exhibit at Surtex in May and am pleased that so many of my existing artworks can be updated and reworked into coordinating designs, patterns, silhouettes and borders! Also am definitely appreciating my graphic design and print production background. Always knew it was an advantage, but it really does give me a big edge for editing and adapting art for the licensing business.
Below are a few images of the creative process (Note: My favorite part, inherent in every step, is actually feeling the magic of nature’s energy as I’m working with the images)!
Here’s the original photo that all of my Orchid Cascade designs are based on:
“Photo taken by Debra Cortese at 2008 Orchid Festival
atFairchild Tropical Botanic Garden”
One of the first designs was ‘Orchid Cascades Reflection’ which has become
one of my top selling Cortese bag designs:
The last image shows the latest adaptations of Orchid Cascades – for fabrics,
gift wrap, journals, mugs, calendars, cards. I’d love to have it on a shower curtain!
© 2008-2011 Debra Cortese/Nature’s Energy Cortese Designs
Rainbow World Peace pattern by Debra Cortese
I’m now fully immersed in preparing to exhibit at the Surtex show in New York in May.
I wrapped up my flight and hotel reservations this week; have intensified my pre-show research, which now includes daily reading, listening and re-listening to Art Licensing ASK calls, show set-up and marketing webinars and…production of my art licensing portfolios is my TOP priority!
it feels sooo right and good to focus 😉
I ordered and read art licensing guru, Tara Reed’s “How to Maximize Your Time and Investment in Trade Shows” in one night and am re-reading it as new questions come up. There’s a lot to do and getting the art into shape for a licensing portfolio is a different presentation than a gallery portfolio.
I’m reworking many of my existing designs and creating new holiday and themed collections for categories that fit my nature’s energy styles.
I’m really having a blast creating new nature’s energy patterns like the top image which is called Rainbow Women World Peace Pattern and below is my Rose Garden Pattern based on the best roses I’ve ever had in my Miami garden earlier this year! The third image is an abstract pattern based on the beautiful red and pink frangipani flowers that adorn so many south florida gardens.
Rose Garden pattern by Debra Cortese
Many of these will become handbags and matching scarves for my Cortese line and of course, I’m envisioning them on shower curtains, table linens, tableware, home decor, cards, calendars, all kinds of fabulous products that people buy because they are attracted to the color or design on the product! Creating art that sells products is exciting!
Surtex, along with the National Stationery Show® and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair® is located at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The show runs from May 15 to the 17th. It is a Trade Show, so you’ll have to be registered to attend and please do look me up –
Cortese Designs in booth #644.
Frangipani Red Pink pattern by Debra Cortese
NOTE: I only recommend products and services that I personally use and believe in. I have an affiliate account with Amazon and I may earn a commission on products that you purchase from following my link. This is another way an artist/entrepreneur is able to earn money and continue doing the kinds of work I love.