Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Element of Air

I was born on February 29th. No, I'm not telling you the year though I will tell you it begins with the number 1 not 2. This makes me a Pisces, a Leap Year one at that, and as you all know, that is a water sign. So why am I so obsessed with the realm of Air?

Birds, insects, anything with wings pulls at my heart strings. My work has reflected this passion for years as you can see by my sketchbooks from years ago. Yet I do not yearn to sprout wings and join these creatures. I am content to stay grounded and watch. I stand transfixed whenever an osprey soars overhead. When I hear the honking of migrating geese under a full moon in the middle of the night, I rush outside with no thought of the fact that I only sleep in a t shirt and underwear and the neighbors might be up and about too.

When I was little, I used to ask my mother what my shoulder blades were. She would lightly run her hand over them as if checking for herself before stating, "That is where your wings will grow." Did she see in me this passion already growing at a young age?

So here I am, older, and still studying and painting my favorite subjects - birds and insects. In fact I have a solo show booked for the Spring on insects. Just recently, I finished making a collection of fabric wing brooches. I continue to paint my Air Angels, produce my "specimen" bottles of insects and create my pocket shrines with insects and birds playing center stage.

I read constantly about the folklore and myths of winged creatures. Divination by watching birds is known as orthomancy and for years, people all over the world have predicted the weather by taking note of a bird's flight pattern and call. Birds have long been considered messengers of the gods. Even the Old Testament says, "The birds of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature will tell the matter.

Even though I don't enjoy flying myself, I did date two pilots. One man flew A10s, the warthogs, and now flies one of the big commercial planes and the other had a beautiful Cherokee. I recall flying at night in that tiny, metal bird and I will admit it was enchanting. Even my oldest son has his pilot's license. So I am assuming my romance with wings of all sorts will continue through the rest of my life.

I may be a water sign living on an island but about two miles up the road is where the Wright Brothers made history imitating a bird.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Allow me to brag once more. That's my son, third from the right.

How did I get so lucky to have this compassionate spirit in my life? 
The Gods smiled upon me when he was born.

The episode will air in September.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I have a lot of friends that have gone through, or are going through, difficult situations; medical, financial, mental anguish, etc. I too have had my share. Most of you know I went through a serious case of cancer 7 years ago. I mention this, not for sympathy but to celebrate the way most of us manage to adapt and continue on.

While photographing some Swallowtails flitting through the buttery, late afternoon sun, I noticed many of them had tattered wings, some quite severe. Was it a sign of age? Was it an escape from a deadly attack just as I had managed to escape my foe? How do they still manage to fly so gracefully? Are they afraid they will have to be strong and survive again in another situation?

It made me think about how sometimes we put so much emphasis on what's gone wrong we forget about what we still have left. Nature adapts beautifully, whether it's in animal form or human animal. Despite their tattered wings, they fly gracefully, sip nectar and delight my senses. They live in the present moment. Yesterday is over and tomorrow doesn't exist.

We could learn a lesson here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

She's Got Legs

The Crooked Little House just teems with life year round. And I was so pleased to receive news that my series of insect paintings will be having their own show next Spring. So of course that means taking lots and lots of pics since I only work from my own photos.

Now one might think I need to leave home and explore the swamps and forests over the bridge, but I find The Crooked Little House provides all the reference and inspiration I could ever want or need. I have never been a fan of travel. A couple of days away is fine but I am a nester; I enjoy being home and watching all the drama that unfolds on my own barrier island.

One of my favorite sayings is embroidered and hung by my front door. It says Bloom Where You Are Planted. I couldn't agree more. Like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

That being said, I've been watching this little girl for a few days now. Tonight I caught her enjoying her dinner while her boyfriend watches from above, hoping for a leftover.  I have big plans for this little lady.

All Photos Copyright E.M. Corsa

Friday, August 19, 2016


All I can say is, no matter what the day has brought, right now all's right with the world. Wishing you some moon magic too.
August 19, 2016    9:45 pm  SE

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In Balance

Night Work
Life is all about balance don't you think? Setting priorities, making time for a little fun while still fulfilling your other duties. I am amazed at what we all accomplish in a single week or just in a single day.

To make a living as a full-time artist requires a lot of work and a lot of balance, at least for me. I was not destined to become famous, selling my work for thousands of dollars a painting. Like most of us, I plod along, grateful for any sale no matter what the price. I offer watercolor paintings that take a lot of work, not necessarily time, but lots of effort in getting things just right. Do I sell every one? Of course not. So back to balance.

In order for me to continue to do what I love, I offer smaller treasures that are more affordable. I leave the studio for a day or two to participate in a show. I work with shops that buy wholesale. And now I have opened an Etsy shop. Instead of this adding to my work load, I find it refreshes me to switch platforms occasionally. I spend my evenings making cards, charms, tags, and my days are spent working on the creative end when I'm rested after a night's sleep. And all those smaller card and charm sales allow me to keep being a full-time artist. Plus, my work gets out to an audience that might never have found me.

It's all about balance, making time for all of it. I must be doing okay because even with a new shop and 7 more shows this year, I managed to take a couple of days off this summer during my busiest time. I think I've got it down.


* If you'd like to check out my new shop:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bumble Dreams

I don't think I've ever told you about my love for bumble bees. On those rare mornings when I get up early and take my coffee out to sit under the pergola, I often find bumbles nestled nearby, not quite awake yet. When they are between that dreaming and waking state, I like to pat them. Yes, I know, I'm a bit odd. And in the early evening, I stand under the pergola and listen to the loud hum of bumbles as they flit from trumpet vine blossom to blossom. If you put your ear to one of these blossoms when the bumble is inside, you'll hear a wonderful chattering. (I know just how long to keep my ear near the blossom before the bee emerges.)

About a week ago, I took a break from work around midnight and stepped outside to do some star gazing, a favorite pastime of mine. And near my front door, tucked into a corner of the wood siding, was a sleeping bumble. I couldn't resist of course and began to pat him. He stirred a little but went right back to his bumble sleep, maybe dreaming of  a caress from a favorite lover. At one point he stretched his back leg out and kept it there for some time.

I did a couple of rough sketches and took some pics. And with a few more pats to his furry body, I went back to the studio, wishing him sweet dreams.

I finished this painting of my dear bumble just last week, hanging a vintage star inside to represent the star studded sky from that night.  And because I used spacers, the chain "free floats" when you tilt the painting. It's titled, Dream Time.

I think I may have to keep this one.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Surprise in Store, I Mean Storage

It's always fun for me to clean out a drawer in the studio that I haven't looked into for a while. I find old prints I might want to rework, half finished paintings that should have been discarded as soon as I put the brush down, and occasionally something that I recall which brings a smile to my face and my heart.

I rarely paint people as you all know. I just find the animal world much more exciting. But a few years back I had the urge to paint a fairy. I did a sketch first then created a watercolor painting from the sketch. Honestly, I loved it. I recall when I decided to let it go out in the world, I brought it to one of the galleries that handles my work. The owner took it but said it probably wouldn't sell because people want my animal images. But I felt it might find a good home. And within a week or so, that is exactly what happened.

I don't have a pic of the painting to show you but I do have this little original sketch I found in my drawer. I'm so glad I saved her. She taught me to continue to paint what I feel like painting and have faith it will resonate with someone out there.

Copyright E.M. Corsa

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Show Season Has Begun

Every year, towards the end of summer, the show season kicks in. I am always so excited about highlighting new items and meeting new customers as well as greeting ones that I have known for years. Like going through childbirth, I seem to forget all the pain and effort of doing a show.

So this week I did the first two day show. Shows here are dependent upon the weather. If it rains for days before the show and the first day of the show happens to be a perfect beach day, well, you can guess where the customers will be. And if the second day of the show is just as perfect for sitting on the sand, well...

So no, the show was not the best I had ever done. BUT it was still worthwhile to do. I met some fantastic people, especially some young girls that I will never forget. I saw other artists I don't normally get to see except at shows. And, probably the most important part is that I got to see the reactions to the new offerings I displayed. This is such valuable feedback. Because no matter how much you like what you've created, it's not about you. It's about whether it will appeal to a large audience. Things I loved got no attention, others I was going to stop making were praised. You just never know.

So show season has begun. And now I am armed with more information to help me have a better show next month. Bring it on!