845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

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?

The power of letting go

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The past few months have been full of emotional attachments to people, places and things as I prepared to let go of my home in Miami; leave my daughter and friends; and return to my childhood hometown to start over yet one more time.

Once I was able to release my emotional attachments and stories about my possessions, especially my antique Steinway piano, everything else began to fall into place, albeit this place still seems to be in another dimension, or alternate reality. *

Time for full disclosure…

Our house/home/property which was in my opinion, absolutely perfect for our family and friends, and for me, became one of the heaviest possessions I’ve ever become attached to as well as the defining factor in my life thus far. It was pretty close to my dream home. After 8 years, the yard, gardens and neighborhood were just perfect but it had become painfully obvious that I could not recover from the financial distress that is overtaking much of the world’s population and I finally just stopped trying and accepted the impending foreclosure.

On Monday, November 19th, my home was sold through the foreclosure auction process of Miami-Dade County and on Wednesday, November 21st, I left Miami and headed back to Narrowsburg, the small town in the Catskill Mountains of New York where I lived as a child. My sister and Mother are living there in the home we grew up in and my Mom has had multiple strokes and needs around the clock care. My sister has her own business and I could be helpful to both of them, plus the obvious, I’d be damn close to homeless in Miami under the present circumstances. So… I sold everything that I could, gave away even more, packed my Honda mini van to the roof complete with 5 furry felines and all of the art and supplies I could jam into the van and at 12:06 pm pulled out of my driveway and did not look back.

My eyes were filled with tears and I had to stop frequently because I was sobbing and could not see through the tears. I managed to make it to Jacksonville that first day, and already, the mechanical challenges of Mercury retrograde had alternate plans for me. My intention was to drive for 3-4 days and get to my destination safely and without delays. The reality is, it took me a full week to make the trip due to multiple mechanical problems with the van and the consequent delays in getting parts.

*(note: I started writing this post on Dec. 1 and emotionally, was not yet ready to share because the emotional chaos, depression, and shame were too raw. As I progress in the new version of my life, the painful stuff is fading and easier to share. I’ll continue with a bit more of this story in hopes it may help others in the chaos of the financial manipulation of our lives. And I do believe that while I am ultimately responsible for my choices, I was/we all, are victims of predatory lending strategies.