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Alyssa Marie Brown

Here is a profile of artist Alyssa Marie Brown, Cornerstone’s artist of the month for March 2019.

Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.

Ever since my early childhood I have been fascinated with color and visual phenomena. Like many artists, I have been drawing my whole life, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized that art was something I could dedicate my life to. For college I attended Tyler School of Art, and I will receive my BFA in painting this spring. I had never touched oil paint until 3 years ago and found it extremely frustrating at first, but very quickly I fell in love with the possibilities of the material. I am still learning every day, but the more paintings I make the more I feel in control of and find freedom with in the medium.

How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?

Mixing specific color has been my most recent challenge to overcome, but the process of mixing paint has become a meditative one for me. It is the time when I can really settle into thinking about the painting I plan to make. It takes a lot of thought and attention to detail, but the specificity of color is very important in my work so I love this part of the process.

Recently I have been focused on the color green and how can I make a green painting that feels the way green functions in a landscape. I also think a lot about the quality of light and how to paint aspects of the natural world in a way that feels familiar to the viewer.

Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?

I am constantly seeking inspiration from other contemporary artists, it would be difficult to par down into a small list. However the one artist who has been the most influential to the way I am thinking about painting now, is Vincent Van Gogh. Everyone loves Van Gogh and rightfully so, but about a year ago I got to visit his museum in Amsterdam, and the experience gave me great insight into him as an artist, as well as inspiring me to mix more specific color and to develop my own language as a painter.

Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?

My favorite piece I have created is titled “Light Rising” it is a fairly large diptych, informed by the abstraction of the landscape reflected in creek water. the painting is a very abstract field of brush marks in various greens, browns, blues and colors which reference light. The process of making this painting was very physical and allowed me to work loosely and quickly and I think that this kind of energy, coupled with very specific color, resulted in a painting which has a profound spiritual and enlightened energy.

What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?

It is difficult to give advice to other young oil painters, because I feel as though I have just started using the medium myself. However, one thing I have learned is that every painting made was worthwhile. All of the ugly, bad paintings I have made have taught me something and it is most important to always be working and setting goals for yourself in order to learn and improve your craft.

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Carisa Kozicki

Here is a profile of photographer Carisa Kozicki, Cornerstone’s artist of the month for February 2019.

Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.

My love affair with photography began at an early age. When I was only 9, after watching my Pap Pap document our family for years, I saved my money and asked him to take me to buy my very own camera. The camera cost me $39. the sales associate gave me some free black and white film which transformed my life. For many years, I developed and printed my own film and black and white photographic prints in my basement darkroom. Although I am strictly a digital photographer now, I stick true to my roots and offer photography that is considered lifestyle, realistic, quirky, fun, and emotionally driven.

I studied photography in high school and college and graduated from Millersville University with an English and art degree. I continue my photographic and business knowledge by attending workshops and taking online courses and seminars.

My love for animals also began at an early age. I began a pet sitting business after college; and I found myself always bringing my camera with me to photograph my clients. in 2005, I officially began my professional photographic career and started my own company offering lifestyle family sessions, graduating senior sessions, weddings, business branding images, commercial images, and of course, one of my favorite session types, pet photography!

I have also had the pleasure of donating my time to photograph many homeless animals to help promote their adoptions in pursuit of finding them furever homes!

Dog and Bridesmaids

How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?

I’m a visual storyteller. I look forward to documenting relationships. Visual images are powerful! They evoke emotions and memories and tell stories of times and of people. Some we know or knew: some we never had the chance to know.

One of the very special sessions I offer I named Celebration Sessions. These are for senior pets (10 years or older) or those that may be terminally ill. These are sessions meant to celebrate the bond and relationship with your special animal companion. When we invite an animal into our lives and into our homes they become valued family members.

As a professional photographer and storyteller, part of my job includes creating and offering my clients professionally crafted and finished products. I don’t want you to have to do any work after the session is over; this is my job and part of the experience you receive with CarisaK Photography. It’s my belief that photographs are better when shared. Let’s get them off of the USB drives, off of the phones, and off of the computers. Let’s get them back on your walls, back on your coffee tables, and back in family albums so they can become a permanent part, an heirloom if you will, of your family’s history. I firmly believe print media is not dead, just revitalized! You will likely never have the time you think to go back through thousands of images from years past on your hard drives and cloud systems to view your family, vacation, and loved one’s images. You will look at that album on your coffee table though, and so might your children and your grandchildren!

Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?

My grandfather, Pap pap, was one of my earliest inspirations. Every year, during the holidays, we would all gather in his living room and he would set up his old projector. We would relive the previous years’ worth of birthdays, holidays, dance recitals, field hockey games, and interesting hairstyles. He taught me that there is value and beauty in every day moments.

I also loved Ansel Adam’s black and white landscape images

My heart dog, Olive, was a huge inspiration and my muse for both the pet sitting business and ultimately the pet aspect of my photographic career.

My clients inspire me! Everyone’s story is different!

Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?

My favorite pieces change all of the time. 😉

What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?

It’s a heavily saturated industry, but if photography is your passion, you should follow it. Hone your craft, learn how to work your camera, find and use light in a way that gets you excited. Photograph subjects that inspire you. If you decide to offer your services professionally, learn a lot about business and pricing before doing so. Appreciate the importance of marketing, and learn how to run a profitable business which is different than a charitable business. Value your industry, time, and talent. Follow your passion, and keep learning through successes and misses.

~

CarisaK Photography website

Cheryl Piperberg

Cheryl PiperbergHere is a profile of artist Cheryl Piperberg, Cornerstone’s artist of the month for January 2019.

Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.

I’ve always enjoyed making stuff more than doing anything else. I also had incredibly supportive parents who never told me that I’d have to “get a real job”one day, so I as very blessed !! My wonderful parents, Betty and Irving Silverman owned the Custom Frame Shoppe in the Willam Ris Gallery for 40 years… ( which used to be right down the street ) so most of my life I didn’t even pay for framing!! (an artist who never had to pay for framing…now I appreciate how lucky that was !!) I went to Art School in Philadelphia (Moore College of Art) & worked as an Illustrator for 15 years doing fine art on the side. After giving up Illustration in 1987, I started a poster company focusing on art for children called -Carrot Prints -Nourishing Image for Children. We had international distribution and did very well for a while… yet now with print on demand technologies and other innovations…that business model has changed a great deal. These days I just do fine art which is a lovely change .

After high school I attended art classes at the Harrisburg Area Community College and graduated with a degree in commercial art. I found out quickly that commercial art was not for me but I did have a passion for creating. My further plans for art education were cut short by unforeseen events but I have continued to create and develop my sense of style. I find the process of creation not only meditative and enlightening, but it allows me the opportunity and freedom to express myself without boundaries. I also love photography and my art pieces are often based on the photographs I take.

How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?

I love collage because it is flexible and spontaneous…I use acrylics to create lots of colorful, textured papers and then, when I’m working on a piece the colors and shapes inspire me. There’s a feeling of “back and forth” with the piece like we work together (that sounds strange , I suppose) I also love working with colored pencils and adding beads and sewn elements to the collages as finishing touches.

"Your Smile"
      “Your Smile”

Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?

There are so many inspirations…Matisse, of course … yet ,even seeing a beautiful greeting card or seeing at work created by other artists is inspiring.

I am inspired by beautiful illustrations in magazines…or books, especially children books …all of these inputs can spark ideas for my own work.

Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?

My favorite piece is the long vertical one with the open window and a sculpted face smiling inside the opening. The title is “Your Smile” It’s a tribute to a wonderful teaching by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh which goes: “Sometimes your JOY is the source of your SMILE, yet sometimes your SMILE is the source of your JOY.”

What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?

I tell anyone who wants to express themselves artistically …to be bold and not to worry about mistakes or what others people might think of your work. Get some nice materials… paints & papers and Elmers glue and cheap small paintbrushes for pasting things down… give yourself several hours of time, if you can…and just play with the papers and colors of painted paper you’ve created. Maybe check out a few youtube videos for inspiration, as well …But, my main advice ALWAYS is “don’t worry about your finished product” If you find that you enjoy the process keep doing it as a practice. Julia Cameron has written several books that are very inspiring for anyone wanting to develop their creativity, The Artists Way and It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. I highly recommend either of these books!

~

David Sponseller

Here is a profile of artist David Sponseller, Cornerstone’s artist of the month for December 2018.

Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.

Towards the end of my ninth grade year in high school, I and my classmates were sitting in our social studies class and the teacher did not show up. We were getting pretty loud and out of hand. The art teacher from the next classroom, Ron Linder, heard us and came in the room and took us all into his class. He set us down with art supplies. I was given watercolors and markers. At the end of the class period, Mr. Linder asked me if I could come back during study hall and finish the drawing I had started. I did, and after that he asked me to take art classes. I was exposed to a multitude of mediums in Mr. Linder’s class throughout the rest of high school. What really stuck with me was the mixed media collage process he taught me and drawing with graphite.

After high school I attended art classes at the Harrisburg Area Community College and graduated with a degree in commercial art. I found out quickly that commercial art was not for me but I did have a passion for creating. My further plans for art education were cut short by unforeseen events but I have continued to create and develop my sense of style. I find the process of creation not only meditative and enlightening, but it allows me the opportunity and freedom to express myself without boundaries. I also love photography and my art pieces are often based on the photographs I take.

How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?

What I like most is the variety of materials I use. It allows me to express myself at that moment when I’m inspired.

Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?

My high school art teacher, Mr. Linder had an important and lasting impact on my development as an artist. And because of his influence and support of me as an artist throughout high school and even after, he also impacted the direction of my life. The inspiration for the specific pieces I create is the idea of how I can capture a moment; the way I see something of beauty or that touches me in that moment inspires me to recreate that feeling.

Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?

Its hard to say but I just completed the graphite drawing “Chain” and it may be my favorite. The inspiration for it is an old photograph I took sometime in 1982. It was part of a hoist for a small sailboat I was given as a gift. I worked on it for 26 years; working and setting it aside and working and setting it aside. In the last year, I was inspired to finish it and I can see my growth as an artist in it.

What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?

If an artist is starting out in graphite, I advise that she or he get a damn good pencil and an even better pencil sharpener. A perfectly sharp point on your pencil allows you to create both precise and soft effects. Drawing with a sharp pencil is a heady pleasure.

~
 

Susan K. Getty

Susan is a freelance artist and writer who loves exploring the world and responding to it through poems and pictures. Her art has been on exhibit in Harrisburg and the surrounding area for the past 20 years. In January 2016 she established her studio as an official business — Stony Run Art Studio.

Susan Getty display

She is a graduate of the studio art program at Messiah College and a lifelong learner. She considers herself a pilgrim in art (as well as in life). Most of her work begins as experimentation with materials, colors, images, and ideas. When encouraging one of her painting students, Susan often quotes her first painting professor, saying, “If you know what a painting is going to look like before you begin, what’s the point of painting it?”

The artist lives in Dillsburg with her husband, Bob, and her coon dog, Stella. They have two adult sons who sometimes hang out with them in the studio.

You can see more of her work at

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