Artist Statement -

I believe everything on our planet shares a core energy, a vital life force that animates and supports all growth and renewal. In nature, when this energy is balanced and uninhibited by human interference, the flow is smooth, perfection exists.
When I am truly in touch with nature, the feelings that I experience are incredibly magical, full of wonder and joy! I create the nature and plant spirit images to share these feelings, and hopefully to evoke similar feelings in viewers and instill a greater respect for the immense value of our natural environment.

My visions of the nature energies evolved over many years of personal experience. I was first aware of them as a child playing in the woods and streams of my family home in the Catskill Mountains of New York. In the early 70's I read about the existence of nature spirits at the Findhorn gardens in Scotland. Fascinated by their stories, I began to experiment with communicating with the devas while gardening and hiking in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. I read voraciously and learned that nature spirits have existed throughout time in almost every culture around the world. I soon realized that my intention was the vehicle that enabled me to see and feel the nature energies.

I portray my nature vision-feelings through a combination of photography and painting. I begin with a photo and enhance and subdue the balance of light, contrast and color to work an image into the most authentic visual interpretation of my experience that is possible.
My latest images are the 'e' series, for energy. These are more stylized depictions of the nature energies, the familiar faces of gnomes, fairies, and devas are still camoflaged within their natural habitats, but now the plants, leaves and trees vibrate in pixels and reflections, some whole, some fragmented, multiple dimensions, overlapping realities.

I am entranced by nature: the harmony, the patterns of symmetry, geometry, the vibrant and soothing colors, the protective camoflage for flora and fauna, healing energies, medicinal properties, the intricate beauty... I create art to share these observations and to expand awareness of how awesome and beneficial the environment is to all of us.
Cortese now lives in Miami with her teenage daughter and three bossy, but cuddly and lovable, cats. And... her yard is another work in progress. Still much to learn about growing in a tropical climate ;-)

Artist Exhibitions

Debra C. Cortese - art exhibitions/awards/interests*

Pinecrest Gardens 4th Annual Fine Arts Festival, Jan. 07

Coral Reef Yacht Club Art Show ad Sale, November 06
Group Exhibition, Miami Art Group, Design District, Nov-Jan 07
Solo Exhibition, Michele European CaffŽ, N. Miami, FL June-July 06
Solo Exhibition, Edward Beiner at Merrick Park, Coral Gables, FL Apr-June06
UM Physical Therapy Gala, Miami, FL Apr. 06
The Villagers Garden Tour Art Exhibition, Coconut Grove, FL Mar 06
AIRIE (Artist in Residence in Everglades auction participant/donor) Coconut Grove Women Club Mar 06
Orchid Art Show, Miami Beach Botanical Garden Feb 06
Pinecrest Arts Festival, Pinecrest, FL Jan 06
Beaux Arts Festival, Miami, FL Jan 06
Introduce 1st Children's book: 'Little One and the Nature Spirits"
Arts & Biz Council Benefit Art Auction, Museum Science Miami
Mad Hatter Art Show, The Barnacle, Coconut Grove, FL Nov. 05
Trinity Chapel Art Exhibition, Miami, FL Sept 05
Solo Exhibition at STARBUCKS featuring new 'Dryspills' May 05
Miami International Billfish Tournament exhibitor 4/05
RMAS (Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science) Benefit Auction participant/donor 5/05
AIRIE (Artist in Residence in Everglades auction participant/donor) Coconut Grove Women Club 3/05
Cover Photo/Feature Article 2/7/05 Miami Herald-Tropical Life
"Home is where the gnome is"
Pinecrest gARTens Fine Art Festival, Pinecrest, FL 1/05 "Featured Poster Artist
Americas Museum "7 International Women" 1/05
Co-Founded ART FOR THE ANIMALS, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the treatment of animals through artistic expression and education

Sundays on Sunset, South Miami, FL 2004
Gnomes Tour Coral Gables, FL 12/04
Holiday Art Show with the Gnomes, Miami, FL 12/04
Arts & Biz Council Benefit Art Auction, Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Ramble Art Exhibition, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 11/04
Sat & Sun in the Park with Art, Coral Reef Park, FL 10/04
Evening Among the Artists, Operation Smile at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Miami 9/04
The Gilded Hand, Coral Gables Solo Show, 9/04
Americas Museum, Encounters Exhibition, 9/04
Sea Turtles & Art in the Cabanas, Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, FL 7/04
Art & Tea in Coral Gables at ÒTheineÓ Tea Salon 5/04
Private Garden Show, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas McMurry 4/04
Plant Spirit Images Open Studio Tour, Miami, FL 3/04
Private Garden Show, Mr. & Mrs. Monroe Neustein, Miami, FL 3/04
Pinecrest Gardens Art Show, Miami, FL 1/04 1st PLACE graphics/photography

Cauley Square Holiday Art Show, Miami, FL 12/03
Private Garden Show, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas McMurry, Miami, FL 10/03
Fairchild Tropical Garden, Ramble, A Garden Festival, Miami, FL 11/03
Operation Smile ÒEvening Among the ArtistsÓ, Miami, FL 10/03
PEx Cuba Gallery, Miami, FL 10/03-Õ04
AfterImage Gallery, Coral Gables, FL 11/03-04
CafŽ TuTu Tango, Coconut Grove, FL 6/03-8/03

1998 - 2002
Rhinebeck Art/Craft Fair, Rhinebeck, NY 10/02
Art in the Garden, Vanderbilt Estate, Rhinecliff, NY 10/02
Woodstock ArtistÕs Guild, Woodstock, NY 11/01, 11/02
Hudson Valley AIDS Fundraiser, Kingston, NY 5/02
Little Hairem Boutique, Narrowsburg, NY 1/02- Ô04
M&T Bank, Kingston, NY 2/02- 3/02
Fleur de lis Gallery, Woodstock, NY 5/02-11/02
Bop to Tottum, Kingston, NY 10/01 - 11/02
Mid-City(SkyBox) Gallery, Kingston, NY 03-02
Fantastic Voyage, Kingston, NY 9/01 - 11/02
ASK, Art Society of Kingston, NY
- Annual Members Shows Ô00, Ô01, Ô02
- Graphic Design Exhibit Ô02
- Open Studio Tour Group Exhibit at Coffey Gallery, Kingston, NY Ô01, Ô02
Alijax Gallery, On the Rondout, Kingston, NY 2/02 - 11/02
Off-the-Wall Gallery, Kingston, NY 12/01
Kleinart James Gallery in Woodstock, NY 11/01
Arts & Flowers Festival, Kingston, NY 9/01
Riverfest, Narrowsburg, NY 7/01 and 7/02
Donskoi & Co. Gallery, Kingston, NY 2/01
Kingston Library Bi-Annual Art Exhibits, NY 12/00, 6/01, 12/01, 6/02

Art Cache, East Burke, VT
Illuminati Gallery, East Burke, VT
Old Stonehouse Museum, East Burke, VT
AveryÕs CafŽ and Gallery, Lyndonville, VT
Catamount Arts Center, St. Johnsbury, VT
Hanover Art Show, Hanover, NH
Body, Mind, Spirit Expo, Portland, ME
Holiday Art Show, Burlington, VT
Flowerland, Lyndonville, VT
Annual Homeshow, Lyndonville, VT
BaileyÕs Country Store, East Burke, VT

Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, Fl
Miami Museum of Science, Miami, FL
Mac User Group Member: FL, NY, VT
Arts Society of Kingston-Board Member, & Editor of quarterly newsletter, NY
Graphic Artists Guild, VT Chapter
Uptown Kingston Business/Environmental Group, NY
Greeting Card Association
Theosophical Society
The Woodstock Arts Guild, NY
Woodstock Center for Photography, NY
VT Chambers of Commerce (St. Johnsbury, Lyndon, Newport)
Burke Business Association Member and Editor of monthly newsletter
American Cancer Society Board Member, St. Johnsbury, VT
Business and Professional WomenÕs Club, St. Johnsbury, VT
Lyndon ChildrenÕs Center Board Member, VT
St. Johnsbury Rotary Club Guest Speaker/Presenter
St. Johnsbury Academy Career Day Guest Speaker/Presenter
PTA member: FL, NY, VT

Artist Collections

Numerous private, corporate, museum, gallery and government collections detailed information coming soon.

Artist Favorites