Heart seeing…

The sun comes over the mountains to remind me of the now…up for 4 hours (my body wakes up without consulting me these days), already doing laundry and tidying here and there. Feeling uneasy about a leader telling people not to accept what they see and hear and then, I realize the (unintended) truth in this statement.

We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and each other that speak with the altered ego’s voice. The mirror of falsity widens, shocks, alarms—and, waits for our eyes to clear.

Look hard with the eyes of your heart and soul.

[an earlier untitled digital collage from 2010, © Elsah Cort]

Following a trail…

Looking for words to describe the stitches that follow color and shape and pattern…layers upon layers that started out as a something that was photographed, losing its way within a photoshop process that I cannot exactly describe. When I am doing it, I am just in it.

Several years ago, I happened on a “spirit cloth” blog by Jude Hill, that captured me for a week as I read the full seven years of entries. I read about process and stitching and bit and pieces of personal life and a cat named Soul-O. Now I read her every day. I’ve found myself reminded of a younger me who liked to embroider and sew.

I remembered an older woman (to young me when I knew her) many decades ago named Fern. She was sister to my dear friend, Gene Gray, who taught me photography for a brief two years before his death in 1978. I visited Fern from time to time. She often showed me what she had just made, using only hand-stitching, no machine — pillows, curtains, covers for her car seats, placemats, napkins. Oh, I wish had photographed all those so long ago, to help my memory of them now (that I am approaching quickly the age Fern was then.)

What I remember from my younger self is the longing to slow down and sew like Fern. It took me almost forty years to come back to this slowing down.

I am now sewing again with awkward stitches and no viable business plan for art marketing of embroidered mandalas. It’s taking so much slow time just to do it.

This mandala was accidentally printed too large to go on an apron bib as originally planned. Now it’s hugging a store-bought pillow (haven’t slowed down that much to make the pillow by hand) made by someone in India working for a pittance.

The mandala puckered with the stitching on to a thin layer of cotton batting. The “feel” of it becomes my favorite layer, a digital mandala for touching.

• the finished mandala attached to the pillow center…
with large boro-stitching beginning from the pillow seams

• the puckering reminds me of trapunto…stitching from the center out, with a ring of french knots like persons sitting in lotus poses with wavy purple stitches cross-legged

• following the pattern of the original cracking of paint on an old propane tank using pale green thread…many, many years ago I visited the huge studio and artists’ gallery space of Chris Sorenson in Fresno. He had piles of old propane tanks outside the front entrance. I took many photos of peeling paint on the tanks. These photos seem to find their way into a layers in almost all of my mandalas. As I stitched the lines of the paint, I remembered those tanks, now long gone as art works in their own right.

• the hem of the mandala looks like a bleeding of the boro stiches, reminding me of turtles reaching the shoreline

Mandala: “Hello” digital collage © Elsah Cort

Walk with Me Here

Rearranging furniture in my living room today, something I used to do a lot of when I was younger. I don’t have a lot of options because I have a very large, heavy slab of giant sequoia sitting on three rocks as a “coffee table”. Finding ways to work within the confines of this massive presence, that I cannot move without big help, and the fact that it’s just me to do the moving — again.

Stopped to check email and found a link from Robert Wilkinson at Aquarius Papers talking about the dance between the planet mercury and the sun happening right now…with mercury in direct motion, racing ahead of the sun (making a “superior conjunction”)…he says, “At this conjunction, mind is no longer following life, trying to catch up to it. Now mind races forward as herald, catching glimpses of knowledge, perception, and understanding that shows us where life is headed in the near future….we’ll use the ‘fusion of life and mind’ to reconstruct, repair, and/or restore harmony, balance, and connections between the individual and the collective, and the links between the conscious and unconscious sides of life. This could mean links within us related to the past and some social wreckage we went through, or restoring some sort of inner harmony related to past ‘storms.’ Any repair or reconstruction work we do can show us the constructive results of prior destructive events that stimulated us to new accomplishments.”

Many people think the country is in big trouble (few political details needed) with waves of hopelessness, disgust, intense judgment of others, bullets flying for real and masquerading as words, spoken and written, with the real intention of causing harm to all life forms. I want to race beyond these old stuck mind-sets, personally and collectlively, and begin to live again in ways never-before-seen.

[“Walk with Me Here” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort]

Look in the mirror…

One of the big challenges with this present moment is how not to become the bully when you are bullied, not to become the hater when you are hated, not demean the other when you feel demeaned. Don’t unfriend, just unfollow for now. If comments appear (on your posts) to be stirring up the dust in unkind ways, delete the comments for now (like weeding a garden). Don’t reply. Don’t argue. You cannot change another person’s minds by arguing with them.  Look in the mirror for the ways you are rigid, dismissive, judgmental and mean. Talk to that person and assist that person to change at deeper levels. Continue to share the truth in the most positive way you can, in your daily life and even on facebook.

Do the work your soul came here to do.

"Follow the Path of Heart" digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

“Follow the Path of Heart” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

Mandala-Maker, A Solo Exhibition


You are cordially invited to two artist’s receptions on Friday, Jan 6 or Feb 3, from 5-8 pm.

from Elsah….

I first heard the Sanskrit word “mandala” (meaning sacred circle or container of essence, a compound word deriving from manda, which means essence and the suffix la, meaning container or possessor.) over thirty years ago when I studied with a spiritual school called Niscience. Part of the practices, initiated and taught by Ann Ree Colton, included making mandalas for contemplation and inspiration.

A circle with no ending or beginning, the mandala at first limits you with its boundary circumference, yet sets you free when you surrender to its unfolding within that boundary.

I don’t plan out my mandalas. The only constraint is that a circle shows up somewhere. I allow the mandala to uncover itself. I make mandalas for no particular reason. The “I don’t know” part informs each and every layer.

I originally started making mandalas with colored pencils, progressing to watercolor pencils, gel pens and even acrylic paint on canvas. The digital mandalas started showing up about two years ago. I may have over 200 photoshop layers that come and go before the final version says to me, “I’m done”.

Lately, I have been experimenting with ways of printing them. I use archival paper to print them as giclee prints. I also have printed them on fabric and directly to glass. All these mediums will be shown in this exhibition. I will also show some of my earlier mandalas I made when I was exploring them as a spiritual practice.

Mandalas can be ways to embrace the whole within a circle. We live on a powerful, yet finite, mandala—the earth itself. My deepest hope for people looking at my mandalas is that they will want to draw a circle for themselves and see what shows up…not as an artist but as the divine spirit that breathes via their human form.

The Brandon-Mitchell Gallery is located at the Center for Spiritual Living  at 117 S. Locust Street, Visalia CA 93291.  The Gallery is open Mon-Thurs from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm by ringing the bell at the front door or by appointment at 559.625.2441

transenergizationweb“Transenergization” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

Marking time…

For the first time, a calendar made of mandalas shows up….

calendar © Elsah Cort

Made from twelve digital mandalas, the calendar measures 8.5 inches square. I love that I found greenerprinter.com to print the calendars, using soy-based inks and 100% post consumer waste recycled paper (called Reincarnation).

Here is the back page that shows you the twelve mandalas:

Calendar © Elsah Cort
See them at Le (très) Petit Noël on December 3-4, from 10 – 5 pm.
Held at my studio in Three Rivers and featuring other artists.

Call me at 559-561-4671 if you want to make a phone order.

$15 each, plus 8% sales tax. $3 for shipping.

Order calendars online here and I will mail them to you.

There is only the dance…

I make mandalas because they ask to be made…
and the summer heat just knocks me down and out.
The computer takes the helm and I follow without effort.

From a photograph of a mixed media one on canvas that I have on my wall.

"There Is Only the Dance" digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

“There Is Only the Dance” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

Going to Seed….

Mandala born today…it’s name told to me
“Conception: remembering the time when we were…each…just two cells old”.
In our memory bank, buried deep in that wordless space,
we change the world when we acknowledge every single human has been there.

"Conception" digital mandala © Elsah Cort

“Conception” digital mandala © Elsah Cort

A few hours later, watering the garden…going to seed.

"Going to Seed" photos © Elsah Cort

Love-in-the Mist and Rose Campion going to seed underneath the blue oak canopy.

The story of the days of my life lately. I return to a seed.

[photos © Elsah Cort]

New Year Mandalas

Almost every January I make one mandala a day for the first twelve days of the year. The mandalas become a prophetic and inspirational image for each the twelve months to come. Digital mandalas showed up again for the second year in a row. Using the photograph of an acrylic mandala on canvas (that hangs in my living room) in a layer or two, I made these mandalas below using photoshop.

They are for sale in limited editions of twelve as digital prints.

The Heart Knows © Elsah Cort  "Landslide" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "One Layer of Reality" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "Love Returns" digital collage © Elsah Cort
"Soul Compass" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "Guardian" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "Mind Field" © Elsah Cort  "Listening" digital collage © Elsah Cort
"I See You" digital collage © Elsah Cort
  "Lucid Dream" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "The Movement of Now" digital collage © Elsah Cort  "The Bliss Trail" digital collage © Elsah Cort

All images © Elsah Cort
All rights reserved

Le très Petit Noël returns in December

Some people may remember the Le Petit Noël holiday show
I used to organize in Three Rivers…the last one was 20 years ago!


On the first weekend in December, I will be hosting a smaller version of this fun event at my art studio. Enjoy sipping mulled cider and shopping for special artisan-made treasures. Watch for more photos coming to showcase the beautiful work….

(Find us on the 1st Saturday Three Rivers map for December 5.)

Many years ago (in another lifetime) I organized a special annual holiday event, called Le Petit Noël, which was held on Thanksgiving Weekend. It was a special time to celebrate wonderful local art and encourage local shopping for Christmas. Now, 20 years later, I am hosting a mini-version of this event at my art studio. Toni Best, who was an artist in the original show, will be showing her amazing gourd art. My dear friend, Marion Hultgren from Atlanta, is bringing exquisite jewelry and some creative ornaments. My sister, Peggy Hunt, will have birdhouses made for real birds. Stephanie Dethlefs is bringing mulling spices (for sampling and buying) and other delicious eatables. I will have some vintage gift tags from the original Le Petit Noël (yes, I saved them) and new mandala cards and my digital collages.

Directions: going east on Highway 198 in Three Rivers, turn right at Skyline Drive (at the Veterans’ Memorial Building). Follow Skyine Drive to end (9/10 of a mile from the highway.) Look for arrow signs to the last driveway on the left just before the end of the road. Path starts at the green arbor and goes straight down to the front door of studio.

Here I Am…

The air is cooler…I feel relieved. The dried up earth all around the house is still painful to see. No amount of watering seems to make a difference (and I am not watering too much). Each plant seems to be hanging on for something moist and soothing to show up. Me, too.

The artists’ reception last night was hard, too. I had to go as one of the artists this time. Grateful to meet people and not easy to converse because the room allows the sounds to crescendo to the ceiling. All the while thoughts of why make this art? Does the world really need more art on walls? What does it all mean? All the while knowing I will probably continue to uncover more images…in fact, one has been on the “photoshop loom” for several days now, struggling to weave layers into a somethings that says, “Here I am.”

This one is from the past, made from the petals of the local endemic wildflowers
grown from same now dry earth. I need to remember this when I feel so dry.

Made about 25-30 years ago and hangs on a wall in my bedroom.

Wildflower Mandala © Elsah Cort

Untitled Mandala, watercolor with poppy and lupine petals, fringepod seeds
© Elsah Cort

Pixel Impressions: group show at Arts Visalia from September 30 – October 30, 2015


"Nine Patch" © Elsah Cort“Nine Patch” featuring nine dress quilt digital collages © Elsah Cort

Via artvisalia.org

Arts Visalia is proud to present Pixel Impressions, an exhibition of digital art by six Central California artists. Featuring works by Joan Constable, Elsah Cort, Robert Mertens, Brent Mosley, Wayman Stairs and Susan Thompson, this exhibition highlights the diversity of approaches to digital media each of these artists employ in their creative output.

While Photoshop has long been the standard software utilized by digital artists over the past twenty years, the past few years have brought major new opportunities for creative output as digital cameras have improved and as software developers have produced a steady stream of new applications.

In fact, three of the artists included in the exhibition, Brent Mosley, Wayman Stairs and Susan Thompson, work exclusively with Iphone and Ipad applications. Thompson, who stands among the first generation of exhibiting Photoshop artists, produces work most directly related to traditional photography. Mosley and Stairs produce work of a distinctly surrealistic bent. It is safe to say, however, that in viewing the quality of the the work each of them present in this exhibition, it is almost unbelievalbe to think that it was was created entirely on a phone.

Mertens brings his experience in the arena of commercial textile design into the production of his personal work wherein he uses digital cameras, photoshop, scanners and other digital tools to create images which blend elements of photography, collage, painting, and design. Similarly, Elsah Cort, approaches the digital image with a collage sensibility. Her works impart a sense of richness of history and narrative bound up in the complex layers of visual material. Playful and experimental, Joan Constable also brings a photographic background combined with a collage aesthetic to her works.

The exhibition will be on display from September 30 through October 30 with an opening reception to be held on Friday, October 2nd from 6 to 8 pm. Arts Visalia is located at 214 East Oak Avenue in downtown, Visalia and is open the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5:30 pm.

The Mystery O fReincarnaton" digital collage © Elsah Cort    "Self Seer" digital collage © Elsah Cort

  Digital collages to be shown in this exhibition… © Elsah Cort


A Bird in Hand

Birds fly in my house from time to time because I leave the back door open a lot.

After weeks of watching the canyon wrens feeding their screaming (in bird language) babies in the little nest hidden under the eaves on the highest corner of my house—and keeping the cats away from them—the babies finally flew the nest.

I think this little guy was one of the parents, flying into the house last Monday. Took me about 30 minutes to finally get him to sit on my finger, his mouth hanging open.

Canyon Wren, photo © Elsah Cort
He stayed still while I found my iPhone to do some portraits of of him.

Canyon Wren photo © Elsah Cort
Formal portrait on my finger.

Canyon Wren photo © Elsah Cort
Shaking so much on my finger, he did not know he could fly away.
So I placed him on the clothes line.
I began to gently take some cobwebs off his tiny feet and wings opened, off he flew.

Dyeing Frida

"Dyeing Frida" digital collage © Elsah Cort

“Dyeing Frida” digital quilt collage ©Elsah Cort


Had a notion to make a quilt collage (after several days of immersion here)
and started with these three photos…

                       Aweb Bweb Cweb

Then someone posted on facebook
about old Frida Kahlo dresses found some where….

Dweb Eweb

And, forty or so layers and versions later, the two dresses become one, dyed anew.




Coming back to writing here…we’ll see. Might need to do some editing.
But for now, I return.

"HandMade" digital collage © Elsah Cort
“HandMade” digital collage © Elsah Cort

This one was made to honor the spirit of the Wesak full moon that rose
directly centered over Case Mountain last night.


Making digital paintings to use as a background for new mixed media collages, I find myself diving deeper into the process and it’s getting harder and harder to know when a piece is done.

The next layer to this work will take place in the studio, when I play with some hands-on work….

© Elsah Cort

© Elsah Cort


© Elsah Cort


Here are the three photographs that made this digital painting.
All these images were taken at the Chris Sorensen Studio in Fresno.

© Elsah Cort © Elsah Cort © Elsah Cort


[all images © Elsah Cort]

Anatomy of a Digital Painting

"Handscape" digital painting © Elsah Cort
“Handscape” digital painting © Elsah Cort
The first image to emerge from this process…two more followed.

"I See The LIght" digital painting © Elsah Cort
“I See The Light” digital painting © Elsah Cort
The second image to emerge from this series.

"Reaching" digital painting © Elsah Cort
“Reaching” digital painting © Elsah Cort
I was surprised when a third image showed up as I was preparing for this blog post.

I don’t know what my final image will be. I start out with one photograph.
This time I chose a photograph I took last week of the back door of the Chris Sorensen Studio in Fresno. It opens out into a back alley.








I make a selection of raw photographs to use and drag them into a folder tagged with date the digital painting was started. This folder was called June 30.

Here are the photos that I initially chose.

A © Elsah Cort  ONEwebB

ONEwebC  F © Elsah Cort

The hand photo is a tile that I have in my kitchen.

This last one is a photo I took at the Sorensen studio several years ago of crackling paint on an old propane tank. Several of these shots always seem to find their way into my digital paintings.

E © Elsah Cort

Now the process starts. I add layers and images. I change colors or filters for how the layers are added. I keep playing until I find something that I like. I often save the image as a jpg and then use that fixed image as a new layer to add to the original ones. For this “anatomy” exercise I have save many of the versions as jpgs to include here. These 100+ images are not all of the versions, but they are in the chronological order of how they showed up.

1 2 © Elsah Cort 3 © Elsah Cort 4 © Elsah Cort

5 © Elsah Cort 6-1 © Elsah Cort 6 © Elsah Cort  8-1 © Elsah Cort

8 © Elsah Cort 9 © Elsah Cort 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
21 © Elsah Cort 33 31 © Elsah Cort 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22
34 35 37 38 39 40 41 © Elsah Cort 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72-1 73 74 74 © Elsah Cort 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 © Elsah Cort 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 9091 92 93 94 95 96 97 99

I See You

So I was reading a description of an art journaling workshop and how anyone can learn to draw but I am not sure that really pertains to me and my mind was trying to visualize me drawing something but I ended up photographing mundane images found in my bathroom like the bamboo leaves and stems back lit from the sun in the shower window and I used several of these images and I made this collage.

(I could not draw a human face, so I used one I found in the public domain.)

"I See You" digital painting © Elsah Cort
“I See You”
digital painting © Elsah Cort

9 x 7 inches print, mat size 14 x11 for $55
13 x 10 inches print, mat size 20 x16 for $75
A fine art museum quality digital print hand printed by the artist,
using archival Epson Claria Ink supported by Museo Max 250 gsm paper.


The sun’s morning rays filtering over the hill tops reminds us we are always in motion.
The earth turns on its axis as we go with it always.

"Early Morning" photograph © Elsah Cort“Early Morning” photograph © Elsah Cort

[My early morning “burnout blips” seem to be returning. It’s a practice I started many years ago, recording messages  without editing, that fit into the twitter 140 character mode exactly. Glad to see them again, reminding me that life is lived in spirals.]

…scryed Rumi just after this morning’s burnout blip….love the serendipity genius at work…

Rumi:  We seem to be sitting still but we are actually moving, and the fantasies of phenomena are sliding through us, like ideas through curtains.

The Place of the Heart: new exhibition at the Ice House Theatre

My press release for my new show….

Three Rivers artist, Elsah Cort, is exhibiting twenty digital paintings in a show called “The Place for the Heart” from May 3-19 at the Ice House Theatre in Visalia. The exhibition will accompany the performances of Force of Nature presented by the Visalia Community Players.

After reading both the play and the book it was based on, Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, first published in 1809, Cort created new digital paintings inspired by her readings. The play is about the struggles and misunderstandings and intrigues that can happen with marriage. In the very first opening moments of the play, Charlotte, one of the main characters in the play, announces, “Marriage is not a sacrament––it’s a work of art.”

Solar Eclipse on Beetle Rock" digital painting © Elsah Cort“Solar Eclipse on Beetle Rock”
digital painting © Elsah Cort

Just like Charlotte asking in the play, “How is the heart made, I wonder?”, Cort adds that she is not sure how she makes these new digital collage paintings, which essentially come forth as collaged art forms made from many of her original photographs. “I play with them using photoshop, adding layer after layer, merging color, texture and form until I like what I see. It is fun”, she explains.

Over twenty years ago Cort began making collages using magazine cut outs and other paper textures. She announced at the time that she did not ever want to have one of those new fangled computers. Then she organized a group collage show and a friend brought in a new wonderful image that blended a photograph, words and a painting. She asked how was this collage made and was told it was photoshop. “I knew I had to change my mind and eat my words about not wanting a computer”, she says.

Now all these years later, Cort has embraced the computer as one of her collage tools.  She says, “I love collage as my art medium because it blends so many aspects together. It is like putting together a puzzle with no defined pieces or final image to achieve. There are strong serendipity and surprise factors that make the art work.”

Cort has lived in Three Rivers for 36 years and is the founder and organizer of the Three Rivers Biennial Artist’s Studio Tour, which comes back on March 21-22-23 in 2014.

For ticket information about Force of Nature, visit visaliaplayers.org or call 559-733-9329.

More digital painting images from this exhibition:

IWannaHoldYourHandWEB     ThePlaceOfTheHeart7x9WEB

The Artist and the Internet

On March 30, 2013, you can learn some tips to help you traverse the fast-paced, ever-changing and not-to-be-missed opportunity of making an artist presence for yourself on the internet. I will be teaching a workshop in at my studio in Three Rivers called “Web Presence For Beginners” from 10 – 3 pm.

Directions to workshop will be given at time of registration. Registration fee is $45.
Download Registration Form.

© Hugh MacLeod
Cartoon from Hugh MacLeod

The professional artist is represented by their actual artwork, and also by what is said and read about their work on the world wide web.  The wise and savvy artist needs to be in control of his or her own “brand” or name as it shows up in the virtual world.  It’s like adding your name in the phone book, with a well-placed, complete, accurate ad in the yellow pages—
a great presentation that you write, design and supervise yourself.

Do you want others telling the world about your work as an artist, 
or do you want your story told using your own creative voice?

  • learn a simple web glossary
  • learn how to register a domain name
  • finally get some simple tips about search engines
  • create a free blog as website
  • learn basic blogging techniques
  • learn to recognize clean website design
  • discover ways to sell your work online without hassles
  • explore social media (facebook/twitter) as a way to share and sell your art
  • develop your personal artist’s web presence
  • connect with other artists and see what’s cooking out there
  • be inspired by the web art community
  • acquire web competency without fear
  • create locally and exhibit globally

Bring a laptop (if you have access to one). We will have a desktop computer to share, but having your own laptop will better facilitate your participation. Bring some digital images of your art (jpgs on a CD or on your laptop),  business cards, brochures, or any printed press material about you or your work. Also, bring pen and paper, and a new 3-ring binder (choose a color or design that excites you).  Please bring a sack lunch. Coffee, tea and good drinking water will be provided.   We will be sharing ideas during lunch.

Instructor: Elsah Cort collage artist, web enthusiast, blogger
 Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour organizer
For more information call  559-561-4671.

Historical Sofa Art

The annual Sofa Art Show at Arts Visalia this year had a theme that intrigued me…..blending the obligatory sofa image with influences from art through history.

I found a generic old sofa for sale online somewhere, and sifted through my iPhoto collection, finding a serene line of foothills against a clear sky, taken by me in Yokohl Valley. A wildflower photo from the road up to Mineral King floated across the leather sofa in a photoshop layer, a kind of reupholstering….and then a Buddha image, sitting still, was painted and repainted in several colors, leaving a purplish tint to the original gray stone.

digital collage © Elsah Cort, all rights reserved

“Advice to a Young Artist: Sit Still Near a Foothill”, digital collage 8 x 8 inches, © Elsah Cort

SOFA ART XVIII: The Sofa Art Time Machine, A Trip Through Art History

February 6 – March 1, 2013
Opening Reception will be on Friday, February 8, from 6 – 8pm.

Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave, Visalia CA
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 12-5:30 pm

“The first Sofa Art Show was held as a playful response to an unflattering depiction of Visalia’s local art scene as described by a local newspaper writer. Sofa Art Co-Founder Varian Mace, then an art instructor at College of the Sequoias, shared the article with her classes and challenged them to make some “real sofa art” in response. The resulting exhibition was a hit, to say the least, and has been an annual Visalia tradition ever since.” from artsvisalia.org

Life Layers Itself

Thinking about the intense harvest full moon experience of yesterday…leads me to leap out of the box (or as Deepak Chopra says, “…throw away the box…”) for how I present my art and help others share the process of their art-making…so I did some research about the full moon that happened last night at 8:19 pm…I always know that something macro is happening with our every day events, opportunities to delve deeper and embrace transformation.

“Excitement and anticipation is always associated with change, as it is an adventure into the unknown, as we wait patiently, watching and expecting the unexpected results. The emphasis here is faith, trust, hope, loyalty, invisible sustainment and the conviction that our goals are achievable through our passion and determination of will. Our greatest assets at the moment is the refusal to give up hope when all seems hopeless and our ability to change course or improvise, if need be. It is warning us from hanging on to what worked in the past and to release the negative thoughts which is holding us back from our own progress. This Full Moon is reminding us that we are moving into the abyss of no return, but onward to new adventures and potentials that are beyond our wildest dreams.” quote source

beeswax collage ©Elsah Cort
(made in the summer Arts Alliance workshop with Amber George)

“Just Do It” Workshop: Step by Step to Making a Free Website-Blog

:: Schedule your own 6 hour workshop date
with four participants minimum

::  Taught by Elsah Cort, artist and web presence consultant

:: Location available in Three Rivers,
but also can be where you live (WiFi is required.)

“Make Art” digital collage © Elsah Cort

Note to Artists (and anyone who wants some online exposure for what you are up to) > Take a deep breath and let go of your reluctance for making a creative splash in the world wide web.

This will take you step by step in making a “blog” as a website. You won’t need to know how to use website design software to do this. You won’t need to purchase expensive website software to do this. You won’t need to hire a web designer to make changes on your website later on.

You will be able to easily and quickly showcase your art, your business or whatever is your special niche. You will have an online “business card” you can share with your customers, clients, art patrons and friends. You won’t be using up a lot of precious art-making time on the computer. You will be able to integrate quick postings into your regular creative schedule. Or, even into your irregular schedule.

The free blogging platform used in this workshop will be wordpress.com, which has wonderful, sophisticated and simple templates for the design and framework of your website. So you won’t have to create a design from scratch.

Call Elsah Cort at 559-561-4671 to sign up.
Number of spaces is limited to six persons.
Registration fee is $50. VISA, MC and Discover, check, cash accepted.
Fee covers both sessions.
No refund for cancellation or missing a session.

Laptop is preferred, not exactly required, but you won’t be able to progress as easily without one. You can share one with a friend, provided the friend signs up with you, of course!


Samples of websites “made from a blog” template linked below.
(all made by Elsah Cort)





Now is the only time there is…

New work in the making for showing at the Redbud Festival on May 7 and 8.

digital collage  © Elsah Cort

How Flowers Changed the World

Spring is here again in the Sierra Foothills, and cannot be suppressed even by a sudden drop in temperature and snow dusting the hills for a few early morning hours yesterday. I long for Spring during all the other seasons, and as it bursts forth, I succumb to a huge “weed” burden on my foot paths and meadow edges around my house.

Weeds are just notions in our minds, after all, and I do hate to pluck to death those brave plants who want to live where I want to walk. Start anywhere, I tell myself, compost the weeds, invite them to be reborn into wildflowers.  I transplant the non-weeds—the poppies, the purple alyssum, the love-in-the-mist, the bush lupine seedlings, the rose campion (all derived by original plants and seeds given to me by Marion Gray in the late 1970’s), the sacred native white sage and the black sage, the mountain mahogany (I have four of these sprouted near my front door right now), tons of Spanish lavender, and purple violets, which have popped up in the path instead of the garden beds.

And when the weeding becomes just too much to bear, there is always photographing blossoms for future art works, and pressing flowers and leaves in old phone books for flower mandalas or swirled in handmade paper pulp.

Or, I  just sit, doing absolutely nothing, except sniffing the air for the first waft of the intoxicating scent of the ceonothus, wild native lilac (already one lilac bush is in bloom with its tiny white blossoms) at the meadow’s edge.

“Flowers changed the face of the planet. Without them, the world we know—even man himself—would never have existed. Francis Thompson, the English poet, once wrote that one could not pluck a flower without troubling a star. Intuitively he had sensed like a naturalist the enormous interlinked complexity of life. Today we know that the appearance of the flowers contained also the equally mystifying emergence of man.” from the essay by Loren Eiseley called “How Flowers Changed the World”.

photo by Elsah Cort

In Love with a Tree..

A Sunday trek to Fresno for an art fix and some Trader Joe goodies, led me to this tree in the courtyard of the Fresno Art Museum and my camera and I caressed the bark. Now a new series of collage work is showing up.

from the Bark Series

The natural world does not call itself an artist, yet in every aspect of its existence, art is living. This tree stood very still for me as I made hundreds of photographs of it. It was hard to leave, but I will be back.

New Work: The Hatchery Series

The Hatchery Series images were photographed during a one day art exhibition in the small Sierra Nevada foothill community of Badger, California. The show was called “Free Range” and included a wide range of art, some installation work as well as monoprints, paintings, collage, photography and video. The building was actually a series of several large Butler buildings joined together. It was originally built by the group called Synanon which lived on the property many years ago. The huge structure had been used briefly as a charter school, then abandoned to the cows and ghosts.

It has been re-invented as The Hatchery.

The Hatchery artists pulled up some of old carpeting, tidied it up but not too much, and used some of the found materials and walls to create new art. I was literally mesmerized by the space, and my camera lens attached itself to scene after scene. I could not stop making photographs as I meandered through the immense “rooms”.

This one day experience came about with some elbow grease, an organic vision via a handful of gifted artists (some local, some from the Bay Area) and showed how creative expression does not have to be a big production. I look forward to the next hatching from this group (they call themselves the Shadequarter Artists Initiative) and another breakthrough look-see.

Images © Elsah Cort

An Apple a Day…

When I finally decided I was open to trying a computer, I asked my friend Aranga, what computer to buy. She was a MAC person, and I am so glad. I have loved all four of the MAC computers I have had…

Apple made their first computers in 1976.


Christies is going to auction one of the first apple computers, the Apple 1.


Finally, I am diving deeper into photoshop. I took a fun drive up Dry Creek Road yesterday for a wonderful tutorial with Badger artist, Robert Mertens. He kept saying, “I’ll show you a little more magic.” Taking notes and inwardly telling my brain synapses to remember…get it…don’t panic, I learned a few things in the photoshop realm. What an incredible (and overwhelming) software it is, just as we humans are. We have creative magic in us, intricate tools, untapped and invisible most of the time. We miss this immense beauty when we don’t give ourselves time to dive in and play.

“Be Crumbled” digital collage © Elsah Cort
[first attempt…it’s all process]

PS.  I used Indesign to make the final image.