Comics to Chianti
For Lisa Cunningham, Sundays meant more than a day off from school when she was little; they provided her with an education of a different time.
Cunningham is this month's featured artist for the Clarks Summit Second Friday Art Walk. Her work will be on display at Sonia's Contemporary Clothing, 320 S. State St. As she explained, the Sunday funny pages were what originally pointed the way for her life's direction.
"Drawing became a passion of mine when I was very young," she said. "I spent much of my time drawing cartoon characters copied from newspaper comics. I knew then that I wanted to become an artist."
Keeping true to her childhood dream, Cunningham attended both Keystone College and Kutztown University, earning degrees in both fine art and art education. While she admits that she mainly enjoys painting with oils, a recent discovery has become a part of her chosen media.
"A few years ago, I discovered soft pastels," she said. "I'm drawn to the variety of beautiful colors as well as the immediacy in using them as a dry medium. They layer beautifully on the surface of sanded paper and I love watching the composition take shape with each new layer of color."
Cunningham describes her work as part of the realism genre, boasting scenes like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, and the Chianti Wine Region as well as American vistas, such as Main Street in Nantucket. She also paints commissioned pieces, such as house and pet portraits.
"I would consider my artistic style to fall in the category of Realism, though not so much that my final painting resembles a photograph," she said. "Landscapes, townscapes and still life are all areas of interest to me. I love how light plays on objects in a still life and how the late afternoon sun presents itself along a tree lined street. My vision remains to paint what inspires me."
Cunningham's work has been in various juried shows in the local area and surrounding communities, such as the AFA Gallery in Scranton, the Butternut Gallery in Montrose, the Blue Heron Gallery in Wyalusing and the Laura Craig Gallery in Scranton. She is a member of the Pastel Society of America, the Pastel Society of New Jersey and the AFA Gallery.
"I consider the pursuit of my art to be much more than a hobby," she said. "I am always seeking to educate myself on how to improve my work and become a better artist."
For more information on Lisa Cunningham and her artwork, visit www.lisacunninghamfineart.com.