Kourtney Cannon

Kourtney Cannon display

Below is an autobiography of artist Kourtney Cannon, Cornerstone Coffeehouse’s artist of the month for September 2019.


be free and reach
for the sun,
live in all your colors
and grow so
– Butterflies rising

I like to see life in color and celebrate by painting. I have always been a creative soul, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter Islynne that I was given the gift of time. Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, I fell in love with all the seasons, all the changes of color and feelings as one season collides with another… Most of my art is inspired and reflective of nature, lots of bright fun florals, colorful abstract landscapes, that include odd shapes, dots and drips, water streaks, etc…Nature is just endless in its design! As an artist, I aspire to create bright fun pieces that make you smile… something cheerful you put in your home and each time you pass by it feelings of happiness, excitement, and whimsy flood right into your heart! Like a good cup of coffee! Or your furry friend greeting you at the door! You just crave it! And you can’t help but ask for a refill, until all your walls are flooded with colorful positivity!

I also have a lot of fun with watercolor commission pieces! Family Portraits, Capturing a perfect wedding/event moment, you and your furry friend, or even custom watercolor house designs perfect for a special Home Gift! Beyond that, I have painted leather journals and bible covers. I am always on the lookout to create more, maybe even paint my own clutches or wooden jewelry one day! Creativity is endless and I am so grateful to have the passion to do it!


“Colors are the smiles of nature” – Leigh Hunt

And I love color! I also love all mediums, acrylic, watercolor, oil, gouache, crayon, markers, pastels… honestly why limit myself. Art has given me happiness and freedom, clarity and peace, plus so much fulfillment. It’s a place where I don’t have to think, and sometimes I have to take a day to reflect just to catch up with my creative side. My hands and creativity move faster than my head, and people ask “what’s going on in this painting?” Honestly, let me sit and think for a second too.. When I paint any certain piece of art, I stop my mind, and let myself just create, half the time I don’t even know how I started or where I am even going to end… But like any journey, there comes a time of contentment and that’s when I know I am finished…


“When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle, yet most of the audience still sleeps.” – John Lennon

For anyone wanting to take a leap of creativity and start, I say do it, one day, one class, one paint brush at a time… And know that its for you, and if others like it along the way that’s a bonus! It has not always come easy for me to allow myself the time or money to create, but the second I start, I just can’t stop and I never regret a good paint session even if I scribble over it the next day! It’s all in the process and time spent, the mixing, the dipping, the flow… the peace.

My favorite piece, “Isly”, happens to be my first because it was my big step all in piece. I quit my career, I moved, I had a beautiful new baby, and I was ready to turn my pass time into passion time…And I am OH SO thankful to my dear friend Kelly McGee, a beautiful soul and artists, who helped encourage me to start painting. Her soul is reflective in my brush strokes, each stroke I could hear her saying just keep painting Kourt! … Also, so thankful to my husband Ryan for being so supportive of my passions, and my daughter Islynne who reminds and inspires me to paint for fun always, just like a kid!

Kourtney Cannon on Instagram

Mary Leone

Mary LeoneMary was born in Carlisle and currently resides in Camp Hill. She has loved drawing and painting her whole life. In 2019, she received an MFA in Painting from the Marchutz School of Fine Arts at the American College of the Mediterranean, Aix-en-Provence, France. Prior to studying in Aix-en-Provence, Mary received an MA in Philosophy from KU Leuven in Belgium (2017), and a BA in English and Philosophy from Grove City College in Pennsylvania (2016).

Mary’s artistic practice focuses on painting and drawing from life and nature, with an attitude of continual exploration, disciplined attention, and openness. She primarily paints portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, as she sees all these deeply interrelated. She seeks to make every encounter with these visual experiences true to the moment of experience, rather than to traditional conventions. Her graduate work in painting and drawing explores color relationships and minimalist, expressive techniques. These serve the practice of painting from a “lived perspective,” which means trusting her eyes instead of the mind’s expectations. This has the sometimes unsettling consequence that she cannot know how a painting will look until it is finished: it is essential to her artistic process to seek to remove her own agenda, her own thoughts on what the painting “should be,” in order to paint with greater freedom, honesty to her experience, and care towards the world around her. Mary has painted in the fields of Aix-en-Provence (Cezanne’s home), hillsides of Giverny (Monet’s home), valleys of Switzerland, and the shore of Venice. She also loves painting portraits from life, seeking to express something true of people’s character in her work.

Mary has tutored students in drawing and painting, worked as a gallery assistant at Grove City College, and helped to organize and design the college’s Arts Festival. In graduate school, Mary was a teaching assistant for the art history course, “Crossroads in European Art”, instructing class sessions and leading a museum visit at the Musee Granet, Aix-en-Provence. In college, her art was selected as the cover art of The Quad literary magazine; Mary’s artwork has also been featured at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts Open Houses, Galerie ESDAC in Aix-en-Provence, GCC Arts Festival, and the Art Walk Exhibit in Grove City, PA.

Mary’s work is in private collections throughout the United States, France, Belgium, and Scotland.

Below is a Q&A with Mary:

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

I loved drawing and painting my whole life. My grandmother was a watercolor artist, and would give me and my sister art lessons as children. In high school, I took art courses that explored a variety of media, but in college I fell in love with oil painting. I found inspiration from my art history courses, and felt that my artwork grew and developed the more I studied the masters, like Cezanne, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. But I felt that my paintings didn’t have the same freedom and life as theirs did, so throughout my graduate studies in painting I pursued that freedom. The challenge of painting from life and nature (en plein air) has strengthened me as an artist, and helped me see more deeply into the beauty and wonder of the world around us.

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

Using primarily oil paints, I do an extensive amount of color mixing every time I paint. I may spend 45 minutes or so in front of the subject, simply mixing colors. I usually begin with warm and cool blues, warm and cool reds, warm and cool yellows, as well as viridian, and up to three different whites. I often experiment with new colors as well, and sometimes mix my own paints from the pigments. I
usually let the subject before me determine which colors I use or don’t use. The more I’ve painted, the more I see how “broken” (that is, containing red, yellow, and blue) colors are in the world, and how complementary color pairings are true to our visual experience. I seek to reflect those aspects of my vision in my artwork. Every color I paint with, I brake with all the primary colors, so as to be true to nature and our experience of it.

Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?

I love gleaning inspiration from the history of art. I’ve learned a lot from Byzantine era sculpture, in particular the bas-relief sculpture of St. Peter in the cathedral cloister in Aix-en-Provence, France. I’ve learned much from the color theory of the Impressionists, the precision and freedom of Vermeer, and the color relationships of Cezanne. I’ve greatly appreciated several authors as well, whose work
influence my art, such as Christopher Alexander, Flannery O’Connor, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Three contemporary artistic inspirations are the abstract expressionist Makoto Fujimura, the oil painter Charley Neff, and the oil painter/watercolorist Christen Yates.

Do You Have a Favorite Piece in Your Portfolio?

One of my favorite paintings is the portrait “Nick.” I felt that this painting pinpointed Nick’s character and manner in a deep way. Throughout my studies in France, I painted dozens of portraits, and found portraits to be perhaps the most challenging yet invigorating type of subject matter. I painted or drew Nick, an artist friend and musician, around a dozen times. Musician portraits are some of my favorite to do, because I seek to express not only the character of the person, but the music itself in these paintings. Hearing the music, as well as seeing the musician, adds another dimension to my painting experience, and I find it really incredible to pursue. I hope to paint many more musician portraits throughout my career as an artist.

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

Paint what you see, not what you think you ought to see. But true to the visual experience before you, and challenge yourself not to allow conventions, “tips and tricks”, or other techniques to prevent you from trusting your eyes and hand. Your eyes and hand may know better what the painting needs than what your mind thinks it needs. Study artworks—spend 2 hours sitting in front of one painting, and allow it time to open up to you. It’s incredible what you can find in the relationships of color to color, stroke to stroke, that may only open up after long waiting and looking. And as you continue painting, allow every painting you make to be a new experience, as if you’ve never painted before. As Shunryu Suzuki wrote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Mary Leone’s website

Our New Summer Menu

Cornerstone is happy to present some new menu items for the summer of 2019!

Southwest Bowl

Now with roasted corn!
red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, organic spinach, pumpkin seeds, radish, homemade salsa + cilantro lime dressing
Southwest Bowl

Watermelon, Feta + Mint Salad

watermelon, blackberries, feta cheese, organic arugula, fresh mint, rosemary + citrus vinaigrette
Watermelom Feta Mint Salad

Baked Challah French Toast

served warm with whipped cream, real maple syrup, cinnamon + fresh berries
Baked Challah French Toast

Lavender Dream Toast

orange-infused labneh with strawberries, sea salt, cracked pepper, lavender honey + chia-almond granola
Lavender Dream Toast

Clare Klaum

Clare KlaumClare is a Central Pennsylvania Pastel artist. She has cultivated a passion for art through most of her life. It has only been over the last 12 years that she has studied under award-winning artists and perfected her skills in Pastels. She loves the vibrancy and intensity of chalk Pastels. They are made of pure pigment held together with a binder and produce intense color the few media can match. Her paintings evoke the pure joy of life and all that God has created. She takes her own photographs and those shared by friends and uses them as subject matter for her paintings. Flora and Fauna are among her favorite subject matter. Pet portraits are one of her specialties.

Clare resides in Mechanicsburg, PA. with her loving husband and both she and her husband are avid bird watchers and she loves to photograph and paint many of her backyard birds and critters. She also loves spending time with her 2 children and their families. She enjoys creating treasured works of art with her 6 grandchildren. She hopes you will be touched by her paintings as much as she has enjoyed creating them.

Below is a Q&A with Clare:

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

As long as I can remember, I had a passion for art. Drawing and painting in my younger years. But it has only been over the last 12 years that I have seriously pursued art as a career. I took classes and studied under award winning artists in several different mediums. When I took a few classes in Pastels I fell in love with them and I was hooked! Now they are my medium of choice.

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

Chalk Pastels are pure pigment and produce intense color that most other media can’t match. They lend themselves so well to painting wildlife, florals and landscapes. The colors are so vibrant and can be blended with your fingers or color shapers. Pastels are especially wonderful for painting fur or feathers getting very fine detail. I am an avid bird watcher and photograph and paint my backyard birds and well as many birds that we have seen on trips my husband and I have taken. Pet Portraits are one of my specialties. Layering many colors on sanded paper with rich undertones of fur brings the animal alive. I always start with the eyes for they are the window to the soul.

Oriole Splashdown
Oriole Splashdown
Do You Have a Favorite Piece in Your Portfolio?

Currently my favorite piece is “Oriole Splashdown”. This painting was created for a color themed member’s show for Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC) in 2017. Their color theme was Orange Crush. Because I lean towards birds I chose Baltimore Orioles eating oranges. It has a surreal twist as the orange sections are floating on a pool of splashing orange juice. This painting was juried into Art of The State Pennsylvania 2017. It sold the very next day after the show opened in the State Museum in June 2017. It remained in the exhibit until it closed in September 2017.

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

Take a few classes to get started. The Art Center in Mechanicsburg and CALC have excellent classes and teachers with years of experience that can guide you. Once I took a few classes I was hooked and have been painting exclusively with pastels ever since.

Clare Klaum’s website

Awards & Honors
Pennsylvania Artist of the Year 2018. Explore TOSCA Magazine Spring/Summer 2018
Art of the State Pennsylvania 2017 painting “Oriole Splashdown” juried into exhibit
Plein Air Camp Hill Juried into Festival &Competition 2013, 2014, 2015.
Plein Air Camp Hill 2013 Purchase Award for “June’s Delight”
Keystone National Works on Paper juried into competition 2012, 2013, 2015

Clare Klaum’s Memberships
Carlisle Arts Learning Center & Gallery
Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society
Daily Painters of Pennsylvania
Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters
The Art Center School & Galleries

“Whatever things are true, whatever is noble,
Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever
Is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything
Is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these
Things.” Phil. 4-8 NIV

David Thompson

Below is a bio of photographer David Thompson, Cornerstone’s artist of the month for June 2019.

David Thompson display

Photography has been a passion of mine for nearly 40 years and began when I first stepped into my high school darkroom. I was fascinated by the process of exposing a piece of photographic paper, slipping it into a tray of developer, and watching an image appear. It wasn’t long before I had purchased my first SLR and 5 rolls of Kodachrome 64.

As with many young photographers, I initially found myself trying to duplicate iconic images of imposing landscapes, stunning sunsets, flowers, and cityscapes cloaked in fog. Capturing these images on film in the “pre-digital” era was considerably more challenging than it is today with digital sensors, image stabilizers, and built-in autofocus. Despite years of trying to perfect “the big picture”, I accepted the fact that I just wasn’t very good at it and instead, became more intrigued with pieces of landscapes, unique perspectives, and capturing what many photographers often overlook.

In recent years my focus has shifted to urban and street photography. Photographing urban landscapes and capturing everyday life in the faces of people going about their daily routines created a result that was static reminder of an ever-changing world. The uniqueness of each image is what I find most appealing.

Leica photographers such as Henry Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus, André Kertész, Vivian Maier, Thurston Hopkins, Rui Palha, and the singer, Lenny Kravitz, continue to provide a never ending source of inspiration…though my images pale in comparison.

I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

David Thompson lives in Camp Hill with his wife Rose Eskin and children Julia and Jack…and dogs Katy, Maisey and Milo. All images were taken on a Leica M240.