Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Moonlight Sail

Here's the finished painting. The moon snail boat rocks gently on the waves while a gentle wind pushes her along. Fish leap over moonbeams and the lantern bobs up and down casting a glow on the crest of a wave.  It's a perfect night for a sail. Want to join me for a ride?

Copyright E.M. Corsa  2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Moonlight Sail, step 2

Now I have adhered my chosen papers including the flock of birds which are known to 
fly at night; at least they do at The Crooked Little House.

I wanted the papers along the bottom of the painting to make one think of flotsam and jetsam being tossed about in the waves. I love to combine unexpected elements in my work so I've added a vintage fish from a necklace and a piece of old chain to the mast. 
Then I applied some silver threads, whipped by the wind
around the sail and extending over the waves.

Moonlight Sail

I get a tingle all over when I begin a new painting. There are no limits and no disappointments as yet so anything goes. I mull over the subject, play with the composition, choose the papers I want to use to accent the work.

This piece begins with a moonscape I had painted en plein air on May 16th at 8:45 pm. I was mesmerized by the moon and softness of the sky that night. If I hadn't been painting, I woiuld have jumped into my moon snail and gone for a quick ride around the bay.

So I chose that moonscape as a backdrop and pulled one of my moon snail shells as reference along with my papers; Japanese paper, woven metallic ones, etc. Now the fun begins as I piece it all together. If you look carefully, you can just make out the moon snail boat.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Time to Ponder

Anyone who knows me knows I would rather be outside, puttering around the yard, rather than doing housework. So this cooler, cloudy morning was just perfect to get outside and pull some weeds, cut grass and think. It's been a difficult couple of weeks, my son in Orlando, my youngest son relocating farther away, a brutally hot, outdoor show which gave me the gift of a terrible case of poison ivy and a friend whom I am concerned about.

So as I puttered, I was thinking how everyone always says they wish they could do something to help, but inevitably they don't do anything. My friend is going through a stressful time. I cannot take over her duties or relieve the stress. But what I can do is be sure she is taking care of herself. So, lousy cook that I am, I am going to prepare her a couple of home made meals each week when she works late through our busy tourist season. My thoughts are, preparing a meal will be one less thing she has on her plate to do. And hey, no one has actually died from my cooking...yet.
So when your friend is tired or stressed or overwhelmed, do something, bake something, write her or him a letter, just do something!

So after the thinking I stood quietly, emptied my mind and just listened and watched. The Crooked Little House robins perched in the wild cherry tree; youngsters I think, so full of themselves. My squirrel too was eyeing me from the same tree. And Mama Wren constantly made food runs to the bird house where very loud peeps emerged. And my bravest squirrel posed on the railing.

Life is still good.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sizzilin' Show

I just came off a two day show. It was held in a beautiful area with other fantastic artists. People purchased my originals, feathers, charms and shrines. I was of course very grateful, especially when customers purchased Earth Angel charms for my fundraiser for the Orlando Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit. The temperatures were the hottest we've had; in the 90s. I was quickly reminded of why I don't do outdoor shows anymore.

The highlight of the day for me was when a young man, perhaps 14 years old or so, stood reading my son's blog while his family members shopped. When he was done he looked at me and said. "I don't understand how someone could this." Why was this the highlight of my day you ask? Because it gave me hope. If this sweet boy could feel that, that means there are many, many others who must feel the same way. Perhaps their generation will have the courage to actually do something to make a difference.

I cried a lot during these two days when people wanted to talk about my son. Sure wish I had had a Octotini!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Brothers, I Mean Fathers Day

My brother John and long time partner Sharon.
My sons' father pretty much was out of their lives before they even hit double digit birthdays, other than some occasional weekend visits. Once we relocated to NC, he never visited once, and phone calls were few and far between.

When I look at my two remarkable sons, one of which you have become all too familiar with this past week, the credit doesn't go to his father. A good portion of it goes to my brother who stepped in to give my boys a wonderful role model. So today, even though I had a fabulous dad, I am thinking of my brother John.

He was the one who took my boys digging for crystals, had us join him to go camping, fishing, and a million other things I could name. My brother John is perhaps the most generous and kind person I know besides my children. I miss him terribly. He lives in New England and I live on an island in NC. We talk a lot but it's not the same as being able to hug him.

So John, Happy Father/Brother/Substitute Dad Day. I Love You and thank you
for always being there.

My brother John and myself with my dad.

John and myself with our dog Tuffy on the skating rink my dad made each winter for us.

I believe this was Easter Sunday, off to church.
At Rocky Neck Beach.

Josh, Sharon and my brother walking our beach in Kill Devil Hills.

Friday, June 17, 2016

This is my son.

This is my son. He is an incredible human being. Please take a moment; watch his tears and listen to his words. It's not just the victims that suffer. Thank goodness for each and every doctor, nurse, technician, policeman, fireman, all first responders and all the other people that came to the aid of those innocent young victims with compassion and love.

Please, be kind to each other. Do not judge anyone. All life is precious. And if you want to help, visit my other blog to see how.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Never Forget

My son was one of the surgeons in Orlando on that horrible night. He worked with the best of humanity, treating innocent people that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had written a moving post on his Facebook page, perhaps to help himself, perhaps to help others see what it was like. He didn't realize so many people would see it. It ended up being shared over 300,000 plus times. The post has now been removed but I will remember it forever; his blood-stained shoes, the sounds of a nightmare and the fact that it will live in his heart forever. This is tough stuff for a mom to grasp.

But it makes me think of my Dad. He never knew my boys but I have no doubt how he would be feeling right now. His blood runs in my son's veins. Part of Josh's courage, compassion and love came from him. So once again I show you my Dad's sailor cap perched atop my favorite sea creature. My children's initials are in this painting too. It's called, Inked.

We should be incredible proud Dad.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Desire Met

There is an artist I have been admiring for some years now. I have never had the opportunity to meet her in person. We tried a few times but our schedules never seemed to sync up. Until last night.

My artist friends, John and Chris Riddick were here for a visit this weekend and their friends, Amber and Branden drove up from Hatteras Island to see them while they were staying at my house. Amber happens to be the artist I have been so eager to meet. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had in a long time.

One of the perks of artists getting together is trading work. Amber paints on feathers. I know other people do this but I have never seen the skill or choice of subject matter executed as beautifully as through her hands. I saw a feather of hers a while back that I fell in love with. I can't recall why I didn't purchase it at the time but I didn't. Perhaps I didn't have the extra money. So last night she arrived at my house, feather in hand, since we had talked about a trade and, yes, it was THE feather I had been pining for. It is a snake, cottonmouth I think. I personally like snakes and this feather is just remarkable. Amber and Branden chose two of my pocket shrines to take home.

Now John as you may recall always brings me gifts of his work because he knows I'm crazy over it. I especially love the work with religious icons and symbolism. But this time, we are trading. John and Chris lost their beloved dog Windy recently so I am going to do a portrait of her in exchange for this lovely Madonna. I have always had a special place in my heart for Mary, and here she is surrounded by hearts, holding her rose and draped with Tiffany blue.

I so love young artists. They have all my respect. Unlike many of the artists my age, they haven't "given up," just painting what will appeal to the tourists. I truly believe if you create what's in your heart, there will be a market for it. And these four artists are proof of just that. They are still excited and inspired, even if the end result isn't what they had hoped for. Being an artist is also about the process, maybe even more so than the finished piece. These four people are true artists. I urge you to visit their sites. The easiest way is to go to my Facebook page:  and scroll down to my Liked By This Page. Then click on these two listings: Red Tail Arts and Black Market Metalwork. You can also acquire their work at SeaDragon Gallery in the Waterfront Shops in Duck, NC and at Yellowhouse Gallery in Nags Head, NC.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sea Fans

Does anyone remember the old church fans? It was a simple paddle fan that could bring a breath of a breeze to your face inside a packed church hosting hot air and perfume. These fans were a God send, helping to keep people from fainting during a long winded service.

I've spent many a night outside under my pergola wishing for one of those fans. And I have a two-day outdoor show coming up where the only shade and cool air will come by way of the oak trees I'll be positioned under.

I so enjoy creating new ways to use my work. So I decided to make my own fan with one of my sea themed images. And I found people liked the first one I made so much, I'm making a batch to sell at the show. If anyone's ever been to the Outer Banks during the summer you know what I'm talking about when I say heat and humidity. So now, look me up and get one of my Sea Fans to take to the beach with you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Here's the finished painting. Hope it was worth the wait.

Copyright E.M. Corsa  2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Step Three

Step Three is all about the brave elephant. I layered my watercolors and worked in some Nupastels; sometimes blending with my finger and also adding water and working them with a brush. I love these semi soft color sticks because there are so many exciting ways to use them. They add a touch of a little something extra to my paintings.

The final step will show the mouse and a few additional tweaks to the elephant. The finished painting will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Step Two

I recently acquired some beautifully woven metallic papers and this was my first opportunity to use one of them. I selected a gold piece and along with other torn, hand made papers, I adhered them to the painting. I wanted to work with a limited color palette and these papers work perfectly.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


A few weeks ago, a man asked if I had any elephant paintings. I've done a few in the past and they have all sold. So I got to thinking, why not muster up some courage and tackle some new subject matter - like another elephant. I have lots of pics from spending quality time with the elephants and giraffes at the Norfolk Zoo "behind the scenes" thanks to a couple of fun zookeepers.

So this painting is called Courage; not for the mouse but for the elephant. Pliny the Elder is credited with first saying that elephants are afraid of mice. Most people take this as a myth, but Myth Busters did a segment on this topic and found that elephants are indeed startled by mice.

I will share this painting in steps since many of you have said you enjoy seeing the process.

I realize it's a bit hard to see but I began with a simple sketch and floated in my background colors.

Friday, June 3, 2016

One is the loneliest number...

Being an artist is a lonely business. If you work at a home studio as I do you can go for days without seeing another of your own species. The children have grown and gone and I am no longer part of a couple which leaves me with two cats, and they are not very good conversationalists.

I have friends of course, but they don't always understand what life is like for me. I cannot just drop everything and spend the afternoon having coffee and chatting. And I work a lot. With the studio in the house, I am constantly drawn in, even in the middle of the night.

But part of what makes this life so wonderful is a group of three other women that are also artists working at home. We meet once a week to discuss marketing, share new work, plan shows and just talk art. It revives me, inspires me and I would be lost without them.

Yesterday we celebrated two of their birthdays. And despite all the cake and coffee and gifts we still gravitated to the subject of an upcoming show.

The reason our group works is that it is a priority for all of us, no excuses. It's every bit as valuable as getting a new account or buying supplies. So here's pics of my three friends at my dining room table: Mary Ann, an abstract/collage artist, Lee, a watercolorist and mural painter and Belinda, who does the most incredible work with markers.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fancy Felines

Now that the heat and humidity have set in, the windows are kept closed most of the time. This does not sit well with Buddha and Erb who usually spend the majority of their day sitting in the bedroom window watching the birdbath and sniffing the breeze. They have a lot of toys but are bored with every one of them. So what's a parent to do you ask? Let them play dress-up of course.

Here they are, dressed as catfish, complete with adornments.

But whatever will I find for them to do tomorrow??????????

All Artwork Copyright E.M. Corsa