Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:19AM - 279 Views

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The sight and smell of miles of clean laundry, hanging across beautifully-colored buildings, provided the inspiration for Lisa Cunningham's current work in progress, Laundry Day in Burano, according to the Clarks Summit artist. Inspiration for many pieces of art she has created comes from a variety of sources, including places she has traveled, such as Burano, an island near Venice.

When she takes those photographic images back to her glass-enclosed studio, which is flooded with natural light, the process of sketching, planning and painting begins. Cunningham described the emotions she feels when she is painting: Being immersed in a painting is focused, thought- provoking work that is also blissfully satisfying.

Clarks Summit Second Friday Art Walk featured artist, Cunningham will exhibit her pastels at Sonia's Contemporary Clothing, 120 South State St. Jan. 11.

I think it's the greatest feeling to see the color come on to the surface and then as I add more layers to the surface, watch the image evolve. It's an amazing feeling to watch as every shape and stroke of color becomes something that I envisioned.

Cunningham discovered pastels approximately four years ago. Though she has also painted in oils, the artist partial to pastels for several reasons: texture, variety of colors available and convenience of working with a dry medium.

Because I don't have an opportunity to paint full time, I can leave it and come back to it. I could pick up wherever I left off, she said.

While she described her artistic style as realism, in some of her work she said she borders on a painterly approach, in which she adds her own artistic style. Her repertoire encompasses still life; townscapes; landscapes and commissioned house portraits. Cunningham's current series is derived from her trip to Italy.

Local venues where she has exhibited in juried shows include: Afa Gallery, Scranton; Butternut Gallery, Montrose; Blue Heron Gallery, Wyalusing and Laura Craig Galleries, Scranton. She is a member of the Pastel Society of America, The Pastel Society of New Jersey and the AFA Gallery. In addition to her educational background at Keystone College and Kutztown University, Cunningham attends pastel workshops through the Pastel Society of America in NYC, whenever possible. Her aim is to complete a body of work and have a solo show in the near future.

…Painting is work, but very fulfilling…It's very satisfying to see my thoughts and visions for the painting come to life. Time goes by and I am lost in the process of creating. I step away and I look at the results, and I think I'm getting closer to my goal. I enjoy that process.

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