I started Cortese Creations in 2009 when I lived in Tidioute, Pennsylvania. I began doing a lot of wood burnings of wildlife and rodeo
subjects. At that time, I had limited equipment. Over the years I acquired more equipment allowing me to successfully create a larger
selection of items.
In July, 2003, my husband and I moved to Tidioute, Pennsylvania next to the Allegheny National Forest. Ten years later, in November,
2013, we moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, it was nice to get back to civilization. We were getting tired of dealing with the struggles of
the winters in the mountains. We find that living in Meadville (Vernon Township) is more convenient to shopping and easy every day living.
We are very close to nearby lakes for boating and fishing, and the Allegheny National Forest is only a 45 minute drive away. I can look
out my kitchen window and see mountains and trees and a short drive up the road to farm land. I have the best of both worlds.
My maiden name was Karen Hartman and I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I got married in June of 1977 and my
married name is, Karen Cortese.
Did you know that we native Pittsburghers have our own form of the English language? Pittsburghese, at look it up online at
http://www.pittsburghese.com, it's very funny. I have to tell you, I speak it very well and was able to pronounce all the words correctly.
I went to Carrick High School in Pittsburgh from 1972 - 1976 and took art as a my elective. I had no other formal art training and am fully
self-taught. I strive to learn new mediums and find the challenges rewarding.
My uncle "Lee Hartman" was an artist who worked as an animator for the Walt Disney Co, California, and Tiny Toons Warner Brothers,
he also taught art at the Ivy School of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. Natural artistic ability is in the blood and is a natural genetic characteristic.
My love for animals (even reptiles and rodents) and nature continues to inspire my creativity of rustic art. I am a self-taught artist with no
I never know what projects will develop each day when I wake up. An idea will pop into my head, and I go with it. Some projects workout
and some don't. I work from home, and NEVER get bored!
My days are completely full and go by very fast. Sometimes I get lonely working from my home, but when I go to an event to sell, it is
very rewarding to have created something that will make another person happy.
I have given away items to a people who had no money but were touched by something in my booth. I make small military signs and
refrigerator magnets and give them to any service veteran who visits my booth. It makes me feel good when I can make a person happy,
if even for a few minutes.
I love nature and wildlife, and have been horse crazy since birth. Animals and the beauty of nature continue to inspire me to create art.
My hobby interests are: creating artwork, wood working, horseback riding, camping, fishing, hiking, and being outdoors.