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General News · 5th May 2011
Dianne Bersea
Check out our Jodi and Dianne / Manzanita Muse Studio display at the Credit Union through May. We are pleased to have this opportunity to share a cross-section of the many art works we’ve created while on Cortes. Seeded by the bounty and beauty of Cortes Island, nurtured by a creative community, sustained by art buyers near and far, we have joyfully engaged the muse for sixteen lovely years.

From my first exposure to Cortes I have felt at home and welcomed. After a summer living on Cortes Bay I returned to Calgary to a winter wonderfully brightened by an art card from Anna Stranan with the words “Cortes misses you and your brushes.”

The following March, I was back on Cortes and by fall Jodi joined me here. Everywhere we turned we were refreshed, inspired, nurtured, healed and haled. I painted whenever and wherever, following the beaches and bluffs around Cortes Bay, Red Granite and Windy Bay with sketch book in hand. I felt very moved and powerfully attracted to the ancient bluffs and ancient trees they sheltered. Drawing and painting such natural miracles became a meditation, a bringing attention to. I often I sank so deeply into the landscape that nature went on about its business, accepting me… mink, birds and squirrels hopping along the logs… dolphins surfacing below. Indoor studios materialized in the form of a freezer room (really!). Later, house and cat-sits provided access to waterfront views in inclement weather. My work took on a distinct look and began to sell!

Jodi discovered the joy of alder carving, a plentiful Cortes wood that when wet carves like butter. She delighted in responding to the grain and inspiration of island wood. Jodi also had her own way with drawing and painting, creating magical, mystical images of mothers and babes and fantastical birds. Wandering the beaches brought moon snail shells to Jodi’s creative attention. With the addition of local goat & deer hide, some small beach stones for sound, and enhanced with gems and intuitive paintings, Jodi introduced her Moon Rattles. Moon Rattles and their uplifting messages became popular all along the west coast and further afield.

Who knew we would get Internet orders for moon rattles, prints and even original artwork from Marfa, Texas to Falmouth, Massachusetts! Gallery and local purchasers took our work around the world from New Zealand to Scandinavia.

Craft Shop participation, art workshops, art retreats, greeting card and print distribution, illustration, commissions and books have all become an active part of our creative mix. We have thrived in this enterprising, inspiring air of Cortes Island.

Thank you Cortes…, we love you!!

Watch for us at upcoming markets and at other art events to be announced.

Special thanks to Manager Dale, Ayami, and the Credit Union folks, present and past, for providing a space for island artists and others to showcase their activities and brighten the CU entrance.