Lisa Bryn Cerny is a collage artist from Morristown, New Jersey. She uses handmade papers, fabrics, trims, flowers, metals, stones, magazines, acrylics, and thick gloss gels to raise the surface into three-dimensional collage art. Her work has a whimsical and magical quality. Cerny says “Inspiration comes from my experience of nature, and the world, through the movement and colors of the seasons.”
In the beginning of her artistic practice, when Cerny first began making collages, they were made primarily from magazine words and pictures that were pasted to letters and cards made for friends and family. Over time, the collages were created on objects such as small boxes, ornaments and tissue boxes and materials included wrapping paper, handmade paper, gold and silver paint pens. She began working on canvas in the late 1990’s when she was working on finding my voice and speaking my truth during a difficult time in my career as a nurse. Says Cerny, “I witnessed and experienced conflict in the workplace firsthand. The art that I create is soulful, whimsical, and magical. My artwork mirrors my dreams and life as I experience it.”
Cerny goes on to say that, “my inspiration comes from interactions and chance encounters with others, nature, routine rituals, and my little studio which is full of flowers, twinkling lights, art supplies, and fairies. Other sources of inspiration include the colors of the seasons, other artists, the night sky, bodies of water, metals, nature, stones, crystals, and fairies. “
Interview with Lisa Cerny
My studio/place of work is a small room in my home in Morris township, New Jersey. It is filled with fairies, fairy lights, colorful ribbons, fabric, stars, and art treasures that I have collected over the years. The art that I create is soulful, whimsical, magical, and ethereal. It mirrors my imagination, my dreams, and my life. Layers of paper, fabric, assorted materials, and found objects build detailed and textured story and mixed media.
I was in my teens when I first started making collages. They were made primarily from magazine words and pictures pasted on paper and were intended for friends and family. That led to card making, two-dimensional shadow box collages and to covering small boxes, ornaments, and tissue boxes with more elaborate materials. In college I studied the art of nursing, although I thought seriously about a degree in art and graduated with a BSN in 1976. In the late 1990’s, I started working on canvas. Many of my early pieces reflect a period in my life when I was trying to find my voice as a nurse in the workplace, where horizontal violence was becoming commonplace. My collages were a way of expressing my truth without speaking it aloud and they were a refuge. In 2017 I graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing and taught as an adjunct nursing professor.
It is difficult to say what my favorite thing about being in the arts is. Being an artist is at the core of who I am. Creating art and experiencing the comradery of other
artists adds to the joy I am already experiencing doing what I love. I have an artist brain, so I tend to see the world in shades of colors, patterns, and connections. Nothing is black and white. I have a science background, and therefore value science, logic and reason when trying to comprehend the world around me.
Waiting and trying to be patient with the process are the hardest and least favorite parts for me. I confess, it can be a challenge pulling myself away from my work when I get in the zone, because it is easy for me to lose myself in the process. However, to balance out my life, I exercise, attend the NJAA monthly lunch and spend time with friends and family.
Now, I am in reprogramming mode, resting, reorganizing, and preparing for my next project. I had my first solo exhibition, “The Power of Perspective” at the Summit Free Public Library in 2023. My work is currently featured in a Morris Arts’ new art exhibit and sale, at Atrium Gallery’s, MYSTERY, MEMORY and MAGIC, and will be on view until March 18, 2024. Twenty-five pieces of my art are featured in the show. I also have several works at ArtLab Gallery in Mendham, NJ which will be available for sale for 2024.
My Artistic Goals are as follows:
o continue to learn new techniques I can apply to my work.
o explore making 3-Dimensional art.
o find my niche audience.
o see my business grow.
o teach mixed media collage.
o integrate nursing & mixed media to treat trauma.
o stay true to my art style.
My dream project was to have a solo show. My second dream project was to have my work included in a Morris Arts show. I have had the good fortune to have met both goals. So, now I am thinking about what my next dream project will be.
When I am working through problems with work, who I talk to really depends on the situation. If I am stuck with my art, I might talk with one of my instructors. Then again, I might talk with a fellow artist.
I don’t have a mentor or coach. I wish I did! My hope is that the more seasoned artists that I encounter will be open to sharing their wisdom, connections, advice, and
guidance with me.
The best piece of advice I’ve been given is that “There are no accidents - anything can be fixed (Author unknown)
The advice I would give to other artists is to be genuine, have confidence in your own process and particular style.
What I want others to know about my art is that I allow my artistic creativity to naturally flow from the heart and soul with positive energy and love. I love color, so I
try to make colors come alive for others to experience their beauty. I want people to see and imagine the beauty and magic in the universe and look for the unexpected. As a nurse and an artist, I see all forms of art as healing and my intention is that what comes through in my art is self-discovery, strength, hope, magic, surprise, and resilience.