Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Repeat

I know most of you have seen and read this before but I wanted to post it again.

This time of year there are so many art shows to attend where you will be offered one-of-a-kind pieces of work to purchase for yourself or as a gift. Each one of these artists has devoted hour upon hour to learn their craft so they can share it with the world.

On behalf of all of us, I thank everyone who has ever made a purchase, attended a show or admired a creation we have poured our hearts into. Selling a piece is great; it helps pay the bills. But for me, just seeing someone light up or laugh out loud when they see my work can be enough to bring a smile to my face, letting me know I accomplished what I had set out to do, share my passion.

So thank you to everyone who has ever laughed at my work, read my blog or Facebook page or purchased a piece of my art.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Foiled Again

I had every intention yesterday of getting out of the house early so I could get the errands done and get back to the studio. Every second is crucial between shows this close together. Time must be spent restocking and that means producing more of some items. But once again I was foiled, by a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and I found myself sitting on the floor near the window in my pjs, ten feet away from a gorgeous bird, sunning himself atop my pergola.

I've always had these beauties at The Crooked Little House. One can usually be found around two in the afternoon sitting in the pine tree looking for an afternoon snack of dove. Occasionally they will sit on the pergola, but only for a few minutes. But yesterday, he stayed for 25 minutes, plenty of time to sketch and photograph.

I ended up leaving the house at 10:30 am.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

That's a Wrap

one of my charms
Well, the first big show of the season is over. I slept like it was the night before Christmas, not a mouse or cat stirred or at least I didn't hear them if they did.

This was one of the best shows ever, and I want to say how much I appreciate all the work the volunteers did at the church. It takes an enormous amount of effort to put on a show of this caliber, and they did a splendid job. I also so appreciate all the people that attended and stopped by my booth to spend their hard earned money on my art. I am so grateful.

I met fabulous people; a lot of them knew of me so it was great to meet my collectors face to face. I also saw some friends I haven't seen in ages, and I met and made some new ones.

One of the greatest things about doing a good show is that you learn so much, if you're open to it. I have learned that you have to be flexible and offer new, exciting work. No one wants to see the same thing over and over each year. Some artists blame slow sales on where they are placed or have other excuses other than the fact they have been doing the same thing in exactly the same way for years. You don't have to change WHAT you do, but HOW you do it might make all the difference.

a portion of my booth
This year I offered my work in a jewelry line; still my whimsical images but a new medium along with the old standards of cards and originals. I found certain jewelry items didn't work and others were incredibly successful. So now I know what and where to put my efforts. As I said, a great learning experience.

Now, off to the studio to create more work for this coming week: two more shows!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Packing Up

a small portion of my set-up
Today I am spending every minute packing up all my wares for a two day show. Set up is tomorrow at noon. I forget how much work it all is. My back is already aching and I haven't even loaded the car yet. Will I still be able to do this in ten years? Is it worth it? Absolutely YES.

I love show season. I have such fun creating my own portable shop, fiddling with new ways to display merchandise, table cloths, all the little extras that hopefully will set your display apart from all the others. Your success doesn't just depend on the quality of the work, you must first get customers to stop and come "into" your booth.

Yes it's an enormous amount of work; building inventory, physically lugging everything, hoping it will all fit into the car. This year I splurged on a Magna Cart. This thing is fabulous. It is a handcart that weighs only 7 pounds, sets up in seconds, and folds down to a flat few inches. And it can haul 150 pounds.

The benefits of killing yourself for a couple of days you ask?  You meet fabulous people which may turn into serious, dedicated collectors, there's usually great food at these events, and best of all: all the money you make comes home with you! Give it a go if you've got the stamina.

Monday, November 16, 2015

H is for ...

I thought this might be an appropriate image to post today.

H is for ...Halo.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I love working within a theme. Even if I'm only doing a small piece, I like the focus a theme can bring into the work. I have a big show coming up this week and have decided to offer some bracelets adorned with my charms. I thought a theme for a couple of them would be fun to offer.

Here are two charm bracelets; one for the girl who loves the beach and one for the cat person. The fun thing is, customers can purchase additional beach or cat charms sporting my art to add to the bracelets.

Beach Blues


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bathroom Beauty

I stopped by my favorite antique shop recently, Southern Soldier Antiques in Nags Head. This shop has the warmest owners and best offerings ever. As I walked into the second room, I felt someone staring at me.

I turned around, looked up and saw the most beautiful woman in a flowing gown holding a large blossom. She quickly averted her gaze but I knew she was secretly hoping I'd take her off the shelf, away from the dragon chandelier which I was also tempted to purchase. and take her home.  I did. She is made of chalk ware and rather tall, (and I'll say this quietly), quite heavy.

She now resides in my main bathroom where she can forever admire herself in the mirror while holding her flower which I filled with crystals. I have promised her, no dragons will share her space.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Lesson Learned

Well, it finally happened. After a career spanning many, many years, the unthinkable happened. I had always said that people who love art are honest people. I have let art lovers take my work home with them when they didn't have their check book handy or just didn't have quite enough cash on hand.

So last month I did a show in Hertford, NC, one of my favorite shows actually because the people are so nice and welcoming. I had my French souvenir bracelets with me and a grandmother, well-dressed I might add, selected one of these bracelets for her granddaughter. It was a bit too big so I offered to take it home and resize it for her, send it back and if she was pleased she could send me a check or return the bracelet, no problem. I was not in the least concerned since I have done this before with no problems. It was a gift after all. I even paid the shipping and added a lovely note.

Weeks went by and no check or bracelet. I sent notes and called to no avail. It's safe to say I will never see this bracelet or my money that I work so hard to earn. The thing is, this was a favorite of mine and it looked so lovely on this sweet girl.

So thank you Arlene for teaching me not to be kind and trusting. When you give the bracelet to your granddaughter, I hope you think of me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holly Days

It's that time of year again, first show of the holiday season. If any of you are visiting the area, this is a fabulous show with top quality artists and craftsmen. Here's all the info along with a look at the painting I've donated for the silent auction. The beautiful part of this show is that all the money raised goes to our local charities. Come say hello if you can!

My silent auction donation is of a hummingbird I sketched at Alligator River.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daily Rituals

Today was a day of frustration; computer issues, car issues, but most annoying of all, the phone call to my insurance company. We've all been there - trying to connect with a real person and being told your wait time will be a zillion hours. You know if you hang up it won't be any better the next time you try so you might as well settle in for the long haul.

One of my daily practices has always been to sit quietly for few minutes of meditation in the morning while I do an intuitive drawing. (Hey, I am an artist after all.) I use these drawings to answer questions  and just to give me a heads up for what's ahead each day. I have always believed there are forces we can connect with to help us through this journey, whether you call it God or some other name, I do not think we have to go it alone. I find this is one way for me to connect to that force.

I close my eyes and when I feel ready, I begin to draw with my non-dominant hand and stop when the time feels right. I then gaze at the drawing and see what it wants to tell me. I do these drawings in a sketchbook, marked with the date and notes. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to see what the meaning was and sometimes it's as plain as the coffee cup sitting in front of me subliminally saying, "Drink Me."

I have been asked over and over to share some of these drawings. So at the risk of being thought of as just another crazy artist, I'll open my sketchbook for you. This morning, while tethered to the phone, I did my daily ritual. Here's today's drawing along with some others from past notebooks. You might want to give this a try.

Today showed a person fishing from a boat, perhaps fishing for answers which is what I was doing. Eventually I "caught" my answer and was satisfied. (This was done on the insurance envelope and pasted into my book.) An elephant also appeared with a sickle and the letter F. This is the third time an elephant has appeared this week so there must be some significance. The elephant stands for wisdom, power and royalty. We'll see how this plays out.

You can read the notes from later in the day on this next one. It makes perfect sense though I didn't see it at the time I drew it.

I have left my notes off of this one because of the nature of the issue. I had drawn this in the morning and felt uneasy all day. It looked like someone in a hospital bed with a lifeline of sorts. I later found out someone close to me had been rushed to the hospital unexpectedly and died a few days later. I am sharing this to ask you to open your mind and give this a try.

I find this one extremely interesting. I had been trying to decide whether to drive down to an event on Hatteras Island or not. The road is tricky and if it should rain heavily there could be problems getting home. The weather report told me all would be fine but after this drawing I decided to pay attention and stay home. You can tell from my notes, it was a good decision. Night brought a brightly shining moon and high tide, and there were big problems on the road.

So the next time you feel blocked or want to try something a bit different, sit quietly and give this a go. I've been asked to draw for other people and have had stunning results.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Here Be Dragons

Many years ago, I did a large painting called, Kimono Dragon. Get the pun? It ending up finding a home with a family in Hawaii where they hung it in their tea house. I received photos of the painting in its new home and it looked so perfect there. So I decided to do another Kimono Dragon only on a much smaller scale. Here's a look at the steps involved.

I like to begin with the layout and getting the background and collage elements placed. These are handmade Japanese papers fashioned after kimono patterns. The text and illustration are from a dictionary published in the mid 1800s.

Next, I add some details in pencil.

The finished painting in watercolor with colored pencil highlights. It's hard to see but the whole kimono has metallic gold accents.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Glimpse

I'm a private person, a bit reclusive, preferring to share my intimate life with a select group of friends and the wildlife that resides at The Crooked Little House. I do however feel close to you, my readers, especially those that have followed me from the beginning and also visit my Facebook page.

Many of you have been curious about The Crooked Little House since I've shown bits and pieces of the yard and hill in the past. I've avoided showing much of the front of my house since too many people I don't know end up on my doorstep and under my pergola, having discovered where I live and eager to see where my little adventures take place.

But I'm feeling bold today. I came across a pic of my little home while clearing out some files. So I'll share that with you. Perhaps you'll be disappointed, expecting something more glamorous, or maybe you'll fall in love with its personality and essence as I have for many years.

 The Crooked Little House.

And for those of you who would like to keep up with my daily happenings, please go to :    and Like my page!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

First Come, First Served

I hung the first suet cake of the season this morning, and look who was patiently waiting on the pergola for breakfast. This cake won't last long.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2015