Photage Gallery


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Though photage is the basis of my digital paintings, each one is also a finished work of art in itself. The basis of my unique photage technique is a sensitively built palette of complementary colors and textures from magazines. Like the unique DNA of an unborn baby, the palette contains all the visual building blocks that determine the look and size of the piece. The palette is the reason each work of art is one of a kind. I usually have at least ten palettes going at one time, and often a photage is spawned from the scraps or subpalette of a previous piece. 

My object is to conjure a coherent image from the cut fragments, employing an organizing chemistry based on continuity of content, color, and dynamic and spacial effects created by the play of shadow and light. I work within the limits of the palette, Ouija board style, pushing and placing and replacing each element until it is in perfect harmony with the image as a whole, all the while avoiding imposing a preconceived plan or picture. In this way both the creativity and the creation remain active and flexible much longer in an organic process and the image seems to suggest itself as it grows. 

Though the resulting artwork is abstract, I imagine some of the elements as objects or characters and some as atmosphere, location, or plane and groupings perhaps as activities, thus rooting the work in a reality of sorts. The familiar yet unrecognized everyday magazine fragments and the traditional measures of beauty employed, such as balance, color harmony, and fluidity found in photage serve to evoke reminiscence and make the abstraction mysterious but at the same time accessible to all viewers. 

The original collages are aggressively treated with UV-protective coating and are also memorialized in limited edition archival reproductions.


Sound of the Womb
Romantic Rooute
East Wind
Rosemary's Vacation
Burst of Passion
Chance to Feel
Alchemy of Peace
Chambers of a Grateful Heart
Moment Arriving
Margarita of the Desert
Global Heart Warming
Holistic Vision
River of Doubt
Fabric of Night
Ghost of a Geisha
Interpenetration of Space and Time
Child of Illusion
Conflicted Warrior
Ancestral Glow
Pink and Blue Plunge
Breaking the Boundaries
Inside Melody
Wet Jazz
Pink Note
Garden of Love
Soul Flower
Duke Ellington Orchestra
As the World Tunes
Bathing Beauty
African Blues
Breathing Mirror Whirls Apart
Wanted Man Minor Interval
Shards of Hot Day
Beach Tones Dizzy World Cool
  © Marlene Struss | 4025 State St #13, Santa Barbara, CA 93110 | 805.967.7179 | m a r l e n e @ s t a r t r a n . c o m