Friday, July 29, 2016

Quick Change

Even on these sweltering hot days and nights, I try to spend a little bit of time outdoors sketching. Even though my finished work is mostly whimsical, it's still based on reality. Plein air sketching keeps me in training; learning to work that eye to hand connection quickly without getting bogged down with too much thought about how something "should" look. Rather I find this helps me get down what is really there, teaching me to see properly and pick and choose the essence of a subject. I always come back inside refreshed and excited that I have captured a moment in time never to occur again.

What the following sketches have taught me is how fast the sky changes where I live, all in a matter of minutes. I began looking at a monotone sky with some interesting formations beginning. A few minutes later, change along with a cacophony of crow overhead, followed by another interesting look. Then just like when Dorothy stepped outside her tornado tossed house - color from the slant of the setting sun.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Best Surprise Ever

I took quite a few pics and I think he's had enough.
Sometimes, out of the blue, you unexpectedly have a perfect weekend.

Late Friday night, my oldest son Josh, yes the surgeon from Orlando, showed up at my front door as a surprise. The house was a mess as was I but he didn't seem to care nor did I. All that mattered was that I had a chance to hold him close after not seeing him for a long, long time.

I had been worried about him after all he went through in Orlando. The pictures I saw of him made me so sad and concerned about his well-being. But for the next two days, I got to have some good talks with my son, stuff food into him in an effort to fatten him up a little, and let him sleep in without being disturbed.

There is just something about when your grown child is at home, sleeping peacefully under your roof, that brings the utmost in comfort to a parent. For a while, all is right with the world.

So now he is winging his way back to his home. I had one last chance to take one more selfie with him. So even though I have no makeup on, am squinting from the sun and this is perhaps the worst pic of me ever, I will share it with you. Just pay attention to the handsome man in the photo not the old woman next to him!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ships, I mean Paintings in a Bottle

I have never been content to just create a painting, frame it and hang it on a wall, though of course my main source of income is derived from doing just that. But every so often, I like to break with tradition and find ways to exhibit my work in other formats. After all, not everyone can afford a large painting and some people just don't have any more wall space.

You've seen me offer handmade books, watch back charms, pocket shrines and jewelry, fanciful feathers, all showcasing my whimsical images. Companies have licensed my work for a variety of items; wine labels, clothing, home decor, stationary, etc. But what thrills me the most are the things I can make myself, from start to finish; those one-of-a-kind items that no one else will have.

So after a really crappy week, I decided to explore an idea that popped into my head recently. As a child I was always fascinated with ships in bottles. My parents would buy little ones for me and my brother while on a beach vacation. There was just something about holding it in my hand and taking it with me, placing it wherever I liked in my room. One day it might sit at the dressing table, the next it might be placed next to my bed where I could gaze at it and dream of the beach while drifting off to sleep. I think that's what I enjoy most about my pocket shrines, the ease of which they "travel" from one location to another.

So if a ship can reside in a bottle, why not a painting? I am now making original paintings on my antique maps and charts, inserting them into glass bottles and topping them with vintage jewelry bits and pieces. I have developed a process which ensures a good fit and allows air to circulate. And of course, before sealing the top into place, I add a little surprise inside. I will debut these at my next big show in three weeks with my ever growing inventory while I wait for the next light bulb to go off.

My sailor octopus and ghost crab.
A flamingo feather is nestled into the bottom of this painting in a bottle.

All Art Copyright E.M. Corsa 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

More Chaos

I have a huge collection of antique charts and maps. Because they are from the 1800s, the copyright has expired, and I am free to reproduce them onto a good paper and paint on them. The design work can be intense so once again it's that fine line - controlled chaos.

I love bees and frequent this subject often, I haven't seen many bees on my rosemary bush this year so I've painted this queen. Hopefully she can lure some others to come for a visit.

Queen Bee   Copyright E.M. Corsa  2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Mid-Morning Bird

This mid-morning bird got two worms!
I do not enjoy mornings. I'm okay by 10 or so, but I don't usually rise till around 8:30 or 9 am. The cats know enough not to bother me before then. I will not answer the phone if you call or unlock the front door if you should show up at my house without a call first, tsk tsk!

Mind you, I am not lazy. I am a night person, that odd being preferring to work late into the night or early morning. And despite all my friends and family telling me I "should" get up earlier (they can't give me a legitimate reason though) , I still manage to get the worm.

So leave us night owls alone. It's quiet, no phone calls or knocks on the door. It's when we do our best work. And when we take a break, it's to wander outside and star gaze or marvel at the moon. Try it yourself sometime, you might like it.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Stars of Hope

You may recall that my son was one of the surgeons that dealt with the horror in Orlando recently. As you can imagine, he struggled with his emotions for many days after. I'm sure some of you even saw the video interview with him that just broke my heart. I can never watch it again.

But just as he said in his post, the best of humanity always shines through and here's a perfect example. The Stars of Hope Organization made stars for Orlando and now Orlando is helping to make some for Dallas.

But these stars were created especially for my son. It is wonderful to see him smile again, and it's this wonderful organization that helped bring joy back into his life, and mine.

Here's my son holding the stars that were made just for him.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Wonderful State of Being Wet

I rarely take a day off, especially in the summer when I am incredibly busy filling orders, making trinkets, and creating new paintings. But last Thursday, I broke my own rules and took the day off. I felt just like this duckling, splashing around in the water with three friends, only the pool was a bit bigger.  It was a perfect day off!

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Saturday, July 9, 2016

All Life Matters

I am once again going to brag about my child, this time it's my youngest who recently moved to Memphis. He attended a candlelight vigil last night organized by Black Lives Matter. It would have been easier for him to stay home and keep unpacking but he chose to attend and show his support in his new community. Please, I beg of you, don't confuse the message of this vigil with what occurred in Dallas. This event was for ALL lives lost recently, way too many. I have raised two wonderful human beings. Hopefully you can all say the same. No, this is not my son, just another wonderful young man.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Controlled Chaos

I was once told my work was the perfect example of controlled chaos. I wasn't sure how to take that. But then she awarded me the Excellence Award. Best compliment ever!

So here's a new piece of controlled chaos called, Goddess of the Sea. I'm showing it to you unframed and framed. It was a bit of a gamble to place it in this frame, but I'm quite pleased with it.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Happy Fourth of July to my three friends that were born on this holiday - Mary Ann, Pete and Judith - all firequackers!

copyright E.M. Corsa

Friday, July 1, 2016

Feel Good Moment

I am always so very flattered when a fan sends pictures of my work on their walls. I don't think they can possibly imagine how wonderful it makes me feel. Sometimes I doubt myself and wonder if I should continue painting my silly little animals. Then I'll receive something like this and I feel restored and inspired once again.

Thank you my friend. And I love your wall color!!!