Susan B PhillipsAs an artist, my self-expression is manifested through the art forms of photography and mixed media collage, working differently within each medium. I also experiment with monotypes and paints, working abstractly with both.

When I photograph, I choose the elements that I wish to freeze in time, making conscious decisions to capture natural lines and patterns or graphically appealing designs. I am fascinated with, and inspired by, the ever-changing, translucent quality of water and reflections and rain . I search for aesthetic possibilities in that which passersby may overlook: graffiti, gas and water caps, street graphics, and things that are eroding. I attempt to transcend the reality of the subject matter and bring a new perspective to the commonplace.

In my photographic work I usually compose within the camera frame before shooting, editing later on in the process. My approach is inverted in collage work. Instead of a whole, I start with a transferred image, or a few separate components, proceeding to manipulate them until a composition begins to evolve. Creating something visually exciting from unrelated, pre-existing objects, each with its own texture and dimensionality, is the challenge. Although the collages are often abstract or seemingly without a subject, they may still reflect emotional states, suggest the passage of time, hint at landscape or even trigger the recall of forgotten dreams or memories for the viewer. The process is not predefined, but rather open and serendipitous. The element of surprise is always energizing and joyful.