845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

The History of Miami Beach Project KICK-OFF Party April 22 at Art Deco Welcome Center

Did you get the tickets and the costumes? I can’t wait to see the live preview of
Miami Beach – the MUSICAL at the KICK-OFF Party for Arts at St Johns
History of Miami Beach Project.
There will be decadent delights from different decades
(made by Val of Sandbar Lounge with organic veggies from The Market Company)
plus drinks made with organic Prairie Vodka.
I can’t wait to play the Miami Beach Trivia games by Seth Bramson
(hope you’ve read his books about Miami Beach ;-), oh, and there’s
a Celebrity Look-alike contest and I heard something about Magic Sand Bag Treasures.
Wonder what they are?
A Silent Auction too with all kinds of art, vintage jewelry, Marlins tickets, super
Gold’s Gym memberships, Cortese Design Bags
(heard Debra created an Art Deco and Flamingos design  just for this event!),
Miami Food Tour, Art Deco Pillows by Dorit Norgaard, Paintings by Rosie Brown,
Pauline Goldsmith, Elizabet Chacon, an Arts & Business Council of Miami membership,
a Biscayne Nature Center membership, Jewelry by Deborah Ruggiero,
vintage pink glass bowl, vintage vase, incredible handcrafted masks by Barbara Donachy
and more items coming in every day!
Better get YOUR Tickets today!
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: www.artsatstjohns.com or call 305.613.2325

Kreativ Blogger Award – The Power of The Blogging

A Kreative Blogger award has recently been passed to me by fellow Miami artist, Rosie Brown and I’m honored that she chose me to receive it. I’m also delighted that it was presented to Rosie by Monique Lassooij. Both artists were participants in an 8 week long Art Marketing Salon* that I facilitated at the Windisch-Hunt Gallery in Coconut Grove, FL in 2009, and, in passing along this award, they are affirming the value of social media marketing as one of the most effective marketing tools around today: blogging!

Since I’ve become a bit of an information addict, I couldn’t do this without a little background research. I quickly found reference to the original ‘Kreativ Blogger’ post and requirements for nominated Kreativ Bloggers. I believe they have been edited and abbreviated over time and cyberspace.

Kreativ Blogger originated in May 2008 in a post by Huldas Verden as noted by Clay Garden author in this April 2009 post:
“Finally I found that it was started in Norway by a blogger named Huldas Verden.”

When the Clay Garden post was written in April 2009, the author’s Google search came up with 712 entries for Kreativ Blogger.
When I searched today, Feb 28, 2010 for ‘Kreative Blogger’ awards, Google comes up with 23,200,000 entries! Hence, the power of blogging!

Here are the requirements that I found, and am passing on to 7 fellow Kreativ Bloggers (names and links to blogs at the end of this post):

The Kreativ Blogger award comes with the following requirements:
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Seven things about me that may be of interest:

1. I’ve always loved nature and art and just knew this was my path in life.

2. I did, and still question, my choice of life experiences and have finally come to terms with accepting that whatever happens, as long as I pay attention and learn something, I can move forward.

3. I’ve been married 3 times – divorced twice and widowed. I have two amazing daughters that I’m very proud of. My third husband died when my youngest daughter was 4. I’ve been a single mom for the last 14 years and must say, I really don’t enjoy being the responsible adult all of the time.

4. Self sufficiency is admirable and it gets the job done, but the ability to ask for help and help others empowers everyone.

5. Travel is now high on my to do list. My youngest daughter will graduate high school this year and she has plans for college so the timing is right for me to go on my walk-about. Thus far, I’ve only been out of the USA to Canada. Mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, deserts and cities all around the planet are out there, full of fabulous nature creations that I’ve yet to see and can’t wait to photograph!

6. You really do teach best that which you need to learn, and actions do speak louder than words.

7. I truly believe there is magic (healing, restorative power) in the energy of nature and that is what I hope to share with my art.

Sample of my nature’s energy photo-digital art: “South Beached Man-O-War Reflection”

MY KREATIV BLOGGER NOMINATIONS ARE:

Alyson B. Stanfield http://www.artbizblog.com/
Tara Reed http://artlicensingblog.com/
Eric Francis http://www.planetwaves.net
James Echols http://www.soulofmiami.org/
Tom Falco http://coconutgrovegrapevine.blogspot.com/
Heather Allard http://www.themogulmom.com/
Catrien Ross http://www.energydoorways.com/category/blog/

* Art Marketing Salon is a group or community, guided, do-it-yourself workshop with all materials provided by Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach. I highly recommend Alyson’s book, “I’d Rather Be In the Studio” and signing up for her newsletters which are full of valuable marketing information for artists and business people alike.

NOTE: I only recommend products or services that I have experience with, believe in and support. When you click on a link in this blog and make a purchase, I will receive a referral commission. This is one of the ways an artist can earn a little extra income and support her family!

“What if funky, confusing, lonely, gray days…”

Magic Window photo/digital painting by Debra Cortese

"Magic Window" photo/digital painting by Debra Cortese

Just had to share today’s “Thought From The Universe” (via Mike Dooley.)*

“What if funky, confusing, GRAY, Lonely days were just
part of a “system” that,
in turn, created BRIGHT, RICH, H:-)PPY, FRIENDLY days?

What if they were just meant to give deeper elements of
your creativity a rest?

What if they were deliberately crafted holidays, of a sort,
devised by your inner psyche to relieve you from the pressure
of artificial expectations?

Would you still bemoan them, wonder what’s wrong with you,
or fear that they’ll never end?

Or, would they kind of tickle you pink?

You party animal, you –
my daily “Note From The Universe”*

PS: “I knew “tickle” would get your attention!”
.

* I only recommend products or services that I have experience with,
believe in and support. When you click on this link and make a purchase,
I will receive a referral commission. This is one of the ways an artist can
earn a little extra income and support her family!

Guest Post: Plants as Memory and Doorways to our past

 

by Carol Hoffman-Guzman, Founding Director of Arts At St Johns, Miami Beach, FL

Plants bring remembrances to me about my father and mother, my grandparents, special places I have lived and visited, and various adventures and projects. I like the smells and textures of plants. Some people like the sweet smell of flowers; I like the strange and musky smell of plant leaves. When I meet a new plant, I pick a leaf, rub it around with my fingertips, and then crush it and bring it to my nose to sniff. Some plants are waxy to the touch, others are fuzzy.

I remember the way the plants shine in the sunlight at different times of the day and the way that they look in different seasons — what happens when the heat is heavy or the rain intense. I have heard that the Impressionist painters were well aware of the color changes that occur in a landscape at dawn and twilight.

On my mother’s side of the family, plants and crops were an integral part of the family’s life, from the Ozarks, to homesteading in Colorado and New Mexico, to small urban gardens in Denver, Colorado. My Grandfather Homer and Grandmother Connie were born and married in the Ozarks, where they farmed (see marriage photo).

However, life in the Ozarks was tough and eventually they threw everything on a flatbed railroad car headed west to homestead on a farm in Yuma, Colorado.  Then they moved to Clayton, New Mexico, where they lived in a soddy or dugout (see photo below).  The family returned to Colorado in the mid-1920’s before the Clayton area was struck by the 1930’s dustbowl.

My grandparents took plants and gardening with them wherever they lived, even in urban Denver, where they retired. It was a comfort in an alien setting. Grandpa Homer transformed the back yard of their home into a huge garden. He had picked up the art of crop rotation and composting and applied it to his small garden.  Homer grew the best tasting tomatoes in the neighborhood, beautiful radishes, and a whole variety of squash included pickle squash. Homer had many “girlfriends” up and down the block because he would take surplus vegetables and hand them out to the women of the house.

I think that my mother Maree also found comfort in small gardening. Although my father Carl was a city boy from St. Louis, he soon learned how to plant gardens and raise chickens. We had chickens when I was a baby, and some of my clothes were made of chicken seed sacks. We had a huge garden outside of Chicago in a suburb called La Grange Park. It occupied the whole vacant lot next door. This is where I remember picking beans, peas, strawberries and the best tomatoes. We later had smaller gardens bordering our lawns in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (the school mascot in Wheat Ridge was the farmer).

I soon forgot about plants when I went to college at Cornell in upper-state New York and graduated in archaeology/anthropology. However, in graduate school at Columbia University in NYC, I began working with the department’s archeologist, and I studied the plant remains that he had brought back from a mountain cave site in Colombia, South America. This was an extremely early site, where corn was still being domesticated. The preserved cobs were not much bigger than the flowering seeds on stalks of grass. Also in the site were remains of squash that originated down in the lowlands in the Amazon basin. This squash indicated that there was communication and trade between the people in the highlands and lowlands.

Here my love of plants began – not plants for plants’ sake, but plants as key elements in human history and culture.

Skip forward to the highland meadows of Arroyo Seco, just north of Taos, New Mexico. Here came my next introduction to the importance of native plants, from the most unlikely source — a Japanese exchange student. For one of our innumerable neighborhood potluck dinners, our Japanese guest offered to make a stir-fry dish. As we tasted her delightful concoction, we asked where she had purchased such unique vegetables. “In the field,” she said. For us, the fields were full of weeds and grass, nothing more. She had made a meal of them.

Years later, I moved to Denver. Here I noticed that the local Vietnamese community would flock to roadsides and our local parks — again to collect the succulent greens that the average gardener would cut or poison.

In Taos and Denver, I had begun doing fiber art — woven, crocheted, patchwork, and stitched pieces of 3-dimentional pieces of art. The “in” thing at the time was to dye your own wool or yarn. Most of the dyes were chemical, purchased from afar; some were highly toxic. So instead I started to see if I could replicate what the indigenous had done in many parts of the world – dye with local plants. I would go into the vacant lots near my house in Lakewood, Colorado (not far from the infamous Columbine High School) and experiment with weeds – the colors were wonderfully rich in greens, yellows, and browns.

Today I look at the importance of plants in human history — the intersection of plants and people.  Instead of saying, “we must preserve and save our natural environment, for the sake of nature,” I instead say “saving our plant environment will help save ourselves.”

My husband and I have a small log house on the northwest side of Lake Okeechobee, where I am growing whatever will grow – usually the native plants win out. Here is a great photo of me in my garden.

  But here is a better one if you have never met me. I am making some Hot Green Papaya Salsa, from papayas that I rescued after one of the many hurricanes that touched our other home in Miami in the last several years.

 Carol Hoffman-Guzman

NOTE: We would love to read YOUR plant story and welcome your comments as well as images. Please post in the comments section and if you have an image to share, either post a link to it or send it to commonroots@plant-spirits.com 

You will be notified when the post is approved.

 

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