Thursday, April 30, 2015

Island of Misfit Animals

It seems The Crooked Little House is the island of misfit animals, from Buddha with his partially missing ear, Erb with his paralyzed front leg, my blue jay with no tail and now my robin with only one leg. I watched him perching in the wild cherry tree. This isn't a very clear pic, but you can see he appears to use his left wing for balance, just as a tightrope walker uses a balance pole. But all are welcome here...and loved.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Midday Perch and Preen

I watched this dove in the mimosa tree as she perched and preened, stretching her wings and craning her neck. I did sketches of all the positions she adopted, and I got some good photos. This cloudscape was painted on April 22.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

V is for ...

Violets are my favorite flower. A friend gave me a large clump of them for my garden last spring, but sadly they just withered away under the summer sun. But I have just noticed there are now two bunches that have appeared in the same area. Though I'm not a flower painter I couldn't resist using them for the letter V.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Alligator River Spring Portrait

I found this beautiful European Starling posing for me at Alligator River Refuge last week on my way home from setting up my show. I can never drive out that way without pulling in for a peek; always finding something amazing. I am quite pleased with how this came out. I managed to capture a bit of the colorful sheen, and I think I succeeded in getting the proper amount of white specks to give an impression without overdoing it; tough bird to paint and get right.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just passing through madam.

These are terrible pics since I had to shoot through the window on a gray day, BUT I was excited to see this Rose Breasted Grosbeak at the feeder today. Because the juveniles and females look alike, I have no idea who this is. They are migrating through our area now, and I am honored this one stopped by The Crooked Little House for nourishment. I feel a painting coming on!

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015
Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last of the Winter Warblers

I was so fortunate when I came upon this wee warbler. He sat above me for a long time, allowing me to sketch him and take some photographs.

I'm as pleased about how the branches look as I am about the bird. With this series, Between Heaven and Earth, the branches and other bits like leaves or bugs represent that tie to the earth. So I am trying to put as much effort into this part of the painting as I do the main subject.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No Willpower

I should have been inside finishing a painting, framing one for a donation, filling an order and cleaning the house. But today's sky was just too good to pass up. This is what happens in the spring on my island. Clouds arrive on a regular basis, hover over The Crooked Little House and call my name. Being as addicted as I am to a good cloud, I always answer.

This was painted, "en plein air" at 2 pm facing WSW.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boat-Tailed Boys (and girls)

I tend to love all the birds everyone else despises. From the greedy starlings to the grackles to the cow birds and house sparrows. Just because they don't have the "manners" we wish they would adopt doesn't make them any less beautiful or valuable than the hummingbird or bluebird or cardinal. It's nature after all; we are born with the traits inherent to our species.

One of my favorites of these misaligned birds is the boat-tailed grackle. They are bold, loud and quite beautiful with their iridescent feathers which are so difficult to capture in paint. But what I truly love to watch is when they puff themselves up and let out a screech exclaiming to the world, "I Am Bird! Look how big and important I am!" I ask you, how can you not admire one with such self-confidence?

This beauty held his branch and kept his neon-colored eye on me the whole time I was sketching.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Monday, April 20, 2015

Show Season

Here we are again; show season. I spent this morning in Washington, NC hanging my show, Between Heaven and Earth, at the River Walk Gallery on Main Street. The reception is this coming Friday between the hours of 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm. If you happen to be in the area, please stop in and say hello. This gallery is a visual treat with spectacular artwork and the nicest people.

AND coming up in May is the Miniature Show at Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, NC. Another not to be missed event. This one can also be viewed online at their website:

Here are my three entries. I'm thrilled to say two of them have already been purchased. But my Blue Jay is still available and looking for a good home.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Cloud Dance Finally Worked

Finally, after a winter of flat, gray skies, my beloved clouds are returning. The last two days have offered me gorgeous cloudscapes to paint. It was invigorating to get back outside, paintbrush in hand and lump in my throat, as I try and hope I can capture the fleeting images.

I'm quite pleased with this one. Here's my resident cardinal who watches every move I make, set against a plein air cloudscape from two days ago.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Friday, April 17, 2015

Buddha's Beryl

Growing up in New England, I spent many days with my brother and my children hunting for crystals. I remember one day we dug some gorgeous beryl crystals. A large one sits on my work table along with some Picasso stone.

Buddha has become very attached to this beryl crystal. I find it interesting that the astrological sign related to beryl is Leo. Thought you'd enjoy seeing a few pics of Buddha with his beryl.

Keeping an eye out for anyone (like Erb) who might want to take over his spot with the beryl.

No threats in sight. Maybe all will be well.

Finally safe to take a nap with my beryl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April at The Crooked Little House

My wonderful friends, John and Chris Riddick, brought me gifts of colored wings in the shape of dragonflies created by John himself. Some of you might remember the heart and spider sculpture he made for me. These fancies dot my railings under the pergola. I wonder what the real dragonflies will think. Will they be jealous of the vibrant colors?

Look how my vigorous trumpet vine has pushed its way between the deck railings! Of course this means I can't replace them now. But what would I rather have; new deck rails or a living companion that produces gorgeous, red trumpet-shaped flowers? I'll bet you know what my answer is.

The trumpet vine is exploding in leaves, all of which grow larger every day.

I spied this "itsy bitsy" near the front door, about 2 1/2 feet above the welcome mat. 
She was enjoying a late brunch.

Honeysuckle has appeared, startling my alligator!

Flower buds now dance with the wind on my wild cherry tree.

Soon my cherub will be covered in vines and blossoms, playing his flute for the hummingbirds.

A new set of bamboo wind chimes lull me to sleep each night.

And new stories unfold at The Crooked Little House under the watchful gaze of my resident cardinal.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pleasure Palette

I have always loved seeing how other artists work; the tools they use, their studio, etc. One of my favorite things in my studio is my palette. It's an old butchers tray, rather large and very messy! I rarely clean it; at the most, wiping a clean work area with a damp paper towel suffices. There are too many good mixtures on this tray to wipe them away.

At times, my palette looks like its own work of art. Sometimes, when I'm demonstrating, young children will wrinkle their nose when looking at it while others want to stick their fingers in it. I always let them, sometimes to disapproving looks from their parents. And I have had people admire it so much they've actually asked me if it was for sale!

So here's a close up of my palette. Don't you just love the intensity and the varied colors? Can't you just see all those small creatures just waiting to be loaded onto a brush and transferred to my paper?

Friday, April 10, 2015

New Site!

For anyone interested in viewing my whimsically illustrated letters, I have set up a new site. I will post each letter as it's completed. Prices are listed and you can choose from those shown or contact me about ordering a customized one for yourself.

Please visit:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back to the Book

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015
I finally got a chance last night to work on my "Between Heaven and Earth" book.

I was eager to work on this spread, highlighting some of the creatures that inhabit that space in the wee hours of the night while we remain earthbound in our beds dreaming of flight.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

O is for ...

O is for whatever you like. I happen to like my octopus. I'm working my way through the whole alphabet but not in the regular order. I'm just jumping to what strikes me in the moment.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Show me a letter T.

I have always been fascinated with old illuminated manuscripts. So recently I've been working on some illuminated letters. This letter T was done for my friend Todd. I am now taking orders for original, customized letters when you want that personal gift for someone special. The finished paintings are small in scale, 5 inches by 7 inches,  making them not only affordable but able to fit anywhere you have a small space.

For additional information or to order your letter, contact me at:

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015