845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees…”

I wonder if the snow loves the trees DCD LewisCarroll quote Dela

I’ve wanted to create images combined with nature quotes for many months and today, I just completed the first one.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees” is an image of Oreo, one of my 5 rescue cats looking out over the Delaware River during the recent snow storm, Nika (NEE-ka), from Greek mythology; the goddess who personified winning or victory. To see all of the winter storm names and their meanings, click the linked type to open the list on the Weather Channel’s page.

This beautiful Nature Quote is from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll:

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
You can find more nature quotes online of course, but Goodreads.com has already compiled a terrific collection!

If you are interested in having a print of this new image, please visit my Etsy Shop here. If you would prefer a different size print, or perhaps a framed version, send an email to me at debra@debracortese.com and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

I’m anxious to work on #02 now…

Please share this post and if you are so inclined, like it or tweet it or pin it to help share the beauty, power and magic of nature!
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Beauty, power and mystery of nature. China Bear top of the nature totem

click here for larger image of Debra Cortese's TOTEM Ferns and Avocado Bark art

TOTEM Nature Art " Ferns and Avocado Bark Devas" by Debra Cortese

click image for larger view of the Totem Core

TOTEM Core

 

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.

click image for larger view

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.

click image for larger view

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 🙂

 

Wine, Food and Art pairing (South Florida)

photo: Schnebly Winery
Just read the latest Schnebly Winery newsletter and they’ve included an article on the annual “Dinners in Paradise” at Gabrielle Marewski’s Paradise Farms. This is a lovely, local, organic farm that’s renowned among top Miami chefs for providing the best in microgreens, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, edible flowers and more.

This season Paradise Farms is donating 16 Ready to Grow garden beds to 16 public schools through The Education Fund for their Plant a Thousand Gardens Collaborative Nutrition Initiative.

photo: Paradise Farms/Miami Victory Gardens

Schnebly Winery provided the dry Avocado Wine and their signature Category 3 Hurricane Vino for the Common Roots art exhibition that I co-curated with Arts At St Johns and I’m a definite fan of the Avocado Wine… surprisingly similar to a delicate chablis!

Paradise Farms is normally a private space, but during the “Dinners In Paradise”, you have the opportunity to come in, take a tour, enjoy a delicious meal and help a charity all at the same time!

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ART?

It all relates. My art and custom designs are all about sharing the magic of nature’s energy. We are what we eat, drink and believe. There’s magic, memories, and balance in growing a garden, harvesting your very own vegetables and fruits and then preparing them and ideally, sharing a meal with friends and family. Bonus: here’s my Zingy Mango Salsa recipe!

Common Roots – in art and nature

Water Garden Bridge at Miami Beach Botanical Garden by Debra Cortese

Water Garden Bridge at Miami Beach Botanical Garden by Debra Cortese

Just a week to go until we hang the Common Roots art exhibition. I’ve worked on many art exhibits before, wearing a variety of hats – as artist, curator, gallerist, host and event coordinator. This has been one of the most enjoyable, cooperative events to date!
I officially met Carol Hoffman-Guzman, Founding Director of Arts At St Johns early this year during the annual Taste of the Garden event at Miami Beach Botanical Garden where we briefly chatted about art and an appreciation of plants. Carol mentioned a particular ongoing project she was working on called “Plants without Borders” and I said I’d be interested to learn more about this and the programs at Arts At St. Johns. Several conversations later, we discovered many areas of common interest concerning art and plants and then Carol invited me to co-curate what would become this “Common Roots” art exhibition. I was delighted because when it comes to plants – the beauty of flowers, leaves, trees; the use of plants for medicine, clothing, foods, building materials; the mythological stories, characteristics and creatures, cultural connections, recipes, gardening, the ‘energy’ of all of nature and how intrinsically our human lives are affected by our green allies, I am eternally fascinated! Plus, I knew this theme would attract many of Miami’s most talented artists and that we would be curating not only art but an exceptionally vibrant, multi-cultural story of the essence of our South Florida “Common Roots”.

Porterweed photo by Debra Cortese

Porterweed photo by Debra Cortese

As the process developed, Arts At St Johns invited artist, Winsome Bolt (Winsome Design) as co-curator and Steve Woodmansee as project scholar. We received over 90 art entries from 36 South Florida artists. Because we were jurying digital images and working on multiple platforms, we had a few software communication program challenges, but with a little help from our friends, we managed to review every artwork that was submitted and then processed them through several rounds of voting.

Lantana photo by Debra Cortese

Lantana photo by Debra Cortese

This is always a critical and sensitive part of the process. First there are the basic qualifications that were presented in the original call: The artwork must depict, refer to, or be constructed from native plants of the South Florida and circum-Carribean regions. Media: painting, photography, graphics, fiber art, sculpture and multi-media art. The artists were required to submit images in specific sizes and file types, along with id information and an entry fee.

Beauty Berries photo by Debra Cortese

Beauty Berries photo by Debra Cortese

In one case, the artist submitted images via email, but no id, contact information nor entry fee. This art was eliminated even though the art itself would have qualified. A few of the artworks did not meet the criteria of native plants, not even representational of plants nor with any accompanying information to substantiate the relevance as abstract representation of native plants. And, there were also space and size limitations that affected the final jury selections. That said, we are excited to present the curators selections of artworks from the following artists for the “Common Roots” exhibition:
Deborah M. Mitchell * Deborah Weed * Dee Clark * Elizabet Chacon * Evelyn Mitchell * Flex Maslan * Irene Sperber * John DeFaro * Linda Apriletti * Marian Wertalka  * Marilyn Valiente * Mark Diamond * Mary Catello * Miguel Paredes * Natasha Duwin * Nelson Viera * Patricia Roldan * Patti Black * Paula Turk * Perri Cox * Rosa Gallardo * Rosie Brown * Ruben Martinez Chamizo * Terry Arroyo Mulrooney plus artworks by the curators: Winsome Bolt, Carol Hoffman-Guzman and Debra Cortese

In addition to the art exhibition and evening reception, there will be two morning events with Steve Woodmansee. On Wednesday, October 7th from 10 am to noon, Steve will host a discussion about regional native plants, and on Saturday, October 10th, also from 10 am to noon, he will talk about coastal native plants.

Sweet Almond aolysiavirgata photo by Debra Cortese

Sweet Almond photo by Debra Cortese

The Exhibit Reception for ‘Common Roots’ is on Tuesday, October 6th from 7 to 9pm. Schnebly Redlands Winery is providing Avocado and Native Fruit Wines to accompany a variety of locally grown vegetable nibblers which will be donated by Claire Tomlin of The Market Company (hosts of the outstanding Green Markets all around South Florida).

The “Common Roots” Exhibit is located at Miami Beach Botanical Garden at 2000 Convention Center Drive on Miami Beach, Fl 33139 and it runs from Monday, October 5 through Saturday, October 10th
Miami Beach Botanical Garden hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.
Admission is FREE to art exhibition and to Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

For more information on Arts At St. Johns and its programs, visit their website:
Arts At St Johns

NATIVE PLANT INFORMATION:
Native Plants for Your Neighborhood
http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantlist.asp

EVENT SPONSORS:
Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Dade Community Foundation

Paredes Publishing

PK Graphics

The Market Company

City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs

Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs

Common Roots Art – Arts At St Johns album of artworks for this exhibit

Common Roots Event Invitation and Exhibition Details

Steve Woodmansee Plants Without Borders

Ghost Orchid Angel digital art by Debra Cortese

A personal note to the artists:
I would like to thank every artist that submitted work for this project including those whose work was not selected. It is important not to be discouraged and to continue to create new work, refine your style, expand your skills, pay close attention to details of the submission process and if you are not sure about something, don’t be afraid too ask for clarification.

Fairy habitat at Miami Beach Botanical Garden

UPDATE on Common Roots Exhibition:
Congratulations to all participants and thank you for everyone’s help with this event.

Special kudos to artist award winners:

Marilyn Valiente – Jurors Award

John DeFaro – Award by Fellow Artists

Paula Turk – Audience Award

Deborah Weed – Miami Beach Garden One-Peron Show Award

The Art of Intuition and Readings


Card readings have been familiar to me since I was a very young child. My maternal Grandmother was the one with the ‘gift’ for telling people’s fortunes using a regular deck of playing cards. Her intuitive abilities were apparent when she was a young lady, still living in the old country (Italy), and it was a gypsy fortune teller that recognized Grandma’s gift and mentored her until she was confident and capable of using her gift, along with the cards, to read for friends and family members. By the time I met Grandma and was allowed to observe her readings, she had honed this art along with all the classic drama of a matronly Italian Grandmother of the 50’s. I was duly impressed. Grandma was magical and just a bit scary to a 5 year old, but the magic part was always the best! So, in my continuing fascination with all things magical, informative and fun, for the past almost 5 years, I’ve been using an intuitive, user friendly, do-it-yourself website for readings along the lines of Grandma’s. It will never be the same as her dramatic presentation, but is perfect for checking in and learning how to ask the right questions. With that said, Click here for a FREE Tarot Reading, and let me know if you find it helpful, entertaining or post whatever your comments are on the subject of card readings. I’d love to hear your opinion and experiences on this subject.

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