Shark Valley April 2010 Blue Heron detail -photo: Debra Cortese
Finally got around to taking a few hours away from my cave (home office/studio) and went biking with friends in Shark Valley in Florida’s Everglades. Shark Valley has a wide, paved 15 mile loop through some of the most spectacular river of grass that you can find in the Everglades. It is home and mating and nesting grounds to all kinds of birds, reptiles, plants, flowers, trees, butterfiles, bees, turtles, and I’m sure more that I’ve yet to see.
My friends were focused on getting endorphins revved up and I knew I was there to breathe in as much of nature’s energy as I could take and get as many photos as possible. Consequently, in the time they rode the 15 mile loop and circled back to find me (I baked cupcakes and they were in my car, reassurance that my friends would not abandon me, considering their fondness for cupcakes;-) I had only progressed to mile marker 4. But, I had over a hundred shots. Absolutely entrancing to me to feel the sun on my face, hear the bird calls, what sounded like 20 pound bull frogs and see so many beautiful creatures in their natural habitat (although I always think how tame they are and it must be because they are accustomed to seeing humans on a daily basis).
Shark Valley Everglades "turtle about to be dinner" - photo: Debra Cortese
I got to see, and photograph, woodstorks up much closer than I’d ever seen them before. Wasn’t really sure what they were at first. Looked like ancient creatures, big, bearded birds. And lots of herons or that’s what I’m calling them until I do a bit more research. I’m including a detail of one blue heron and will be posting full, edited images within a few weeks. But, the end of the day was definitely the ultimate photo op…. I stopped for one last picture (or 7 or more) of some birds starting to nest in a tree very near to the parking lots. There was a very large alligator below the birds and near the edge of the path so I started to shoot a picture of the gator and after the first click, I heard a LOUD CRUNCH SLAP sound and while my mouth was dropping open kept shooting as the gator chomped down on a very large turtle. This all happened in just a few seconds. Think I’m still a bit shaky from being so close and witnessing what I usually only see on nature tv shows. I was shooting with a new to me, but very old camera, so the quality is not what I’d hoped for but these certainly show the action.
Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Bite 1" - photo: Debra Cortese
Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Bite 2" - photo: Debra Cortese
Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Dinner" - photo: Debra Cortese
Do visit our incredible nature areas, national parks, and preserves, but please remember, even though the alligators appear to be tame or friendly looking, they are wild, free creatures and are very capable of snapping a big turtle into pieces with one swift chomp!
Shark Valley Everglades "Thistle, Bees and Nature's Energy" -photo: Debra Cortese
UPDATE: You can now share this story and photos on your wall!
“Turtle’s Bad Day” is available in an open edition, signed, archival print.
Matted size is 18 x 24″. Price: $90.00
I’ve been learning with artist, Tara Reed and she has partnered with Paul Brent. Today, I’m working on updating and improving my art for licensing web pages and listening to Tara’s interview with Paul Brent.
It’s a free online audio file and every time I listen, I get another piece of information that is moving me forward. I’ll be contacting a very special referral next week and my web pages must be in tip top shape for this! SAMPLE FLOWERS AND TREES ART PAGE HERE
Listen & Learn to license your art at AskPaulBrent.com
Learn more about coaching with artist, Paul Brent
Wrapped up the Miami Art Marketing Salon last month with an exceptional group of over 20 Miami artists and, as promised to them and myself, I am now returning to my longtime goal of licensing my art and designs.
As I work on this, I’m also documenting resources and experiences so that I can share with fellow artists in the fall. Still not sure how this will come together, but know it will happen!
To begin, I’m in the final stage of getting my images together, appropriately sized, and online on a new section of my website: AFL Art for Licensing by Debra Cortese. Still a lot of tweaking to do, but the basics are in place. I’m definitely interested in creating custom art and design because that is what stimulates my creativity the most, plus, I believe this is the ideal combination for creating work that sells products for the manufacturer (or licensee). As the artist, I’m called the licensor.
I have many years of experience in graphic design, advertising and marketing from my running my own agency in Northern Vermont, but the licensing field has its own structure and while my experience is definitely an advantage, I still need to learn all I can from artists that are already licensing their work.
Tara Reed and Paul Brent are two that I am most impressed with. In addition to licensing her own work, Tara offers many resources on her blog and website that I highly recommend. Her writing is clear, concise and very attuned to artists.
I’ll be writing on this at least once a week and if you have any questions, please post in the comments section. AND…I’d love to hear from other artists about your experiences licensing art!
My sister sent me a link to “Rescue Ink” and I’m not sure if you have to be a New Yorker type to appreciate this, but it is definitely worth a visit if you are a pet and animal lover. What a great presentation and great work these guys are doing! Biagi is a friend of Diane’s (my sister) and she’s been rescuing animals her entire life thus far. Way to go Di! It runs in the family… must be something those Italian grandmothers put in our food 😉
Read more about Rescue Ink in this April 12, 2008 Newsday article.
Be sure to click on the link for more photos – guaranteed to bring a smile.
DEBRA CORTESE.COM – photopaintings
Cortese Nature’s Energy Design HANDBAGS
Art Journals, Shirts, Hats, Cards, Magnets and more at my CafePress Shop
Another image in my Nature’s Energy series of Mango Salsa images.
‘Mango Blue Bath’ was created from an original photo of the mango placed in our bird bath.
The same one our cats seem so fascinated with! Yesterday, Bandaid Kitty (so named because of the band-aid colored and sized of the tip of her tail) leapt smack into the center of the bath in hot pursuit of a formerly splashing mocking bird – who thank goodness was much faster than the splashing kitty! Nature is not always as peaceful as I’d like.
‘Mango Blue Bath’ is available in custom sizes on fine art paper or canvas. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 305-665-2528
visit my website at: www.debracortese.com