Digital and traditional collage (from original paintings, digital paintings, letters) with watercolor pencil


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Comment by Sharon Steuer on January 5, 2014 at 11:37am

Hi CB.

The original paintings are mostly small, intimate oil portraits of my dolls and toys. All of the letters, and some the objects, were sent by my father after he left the U.S. for Asia in 1969 (he never returned). I have hundreds of paintings that I created over the past 30 years that have now become source materials for new works. Scanning or photographing the paintings I then use digital tools to create collages with the imagery. Printing various versions of the paintings, the collages, and fragments of each, I then use traditional collage tools plus watercolor pencil to rework and recombine the prints. I work purely formally, focusing on finding visual elements that fit together visually, though often a highly personal context emerges subliminally from the combining and recombining of the imagery and letters. Working in this way allows me explore different ways to transform tangible representations of fragmented memory into evocations of the universal, inner world of childhood. 

I developed this process after I saw a Joseph Cornell show; I'd long loved his work, but at this show his re-purposing reproductions of other artists' work in his collages was epiphanal. Previous to seeing the Cornell show I was digitally collaging and then creating limited edition prints. At this show I realized that what Cornell did with classic art reproductions and magazines, I could do this with my own work. Now my digital works become source materials for individually created compositions. The resulting "final" works are often then re-digitized and re-incorporated into both digital and actual collages, creating that circular continuum allowing me to weave back and forth between digital and traditional, painting, printmaking and collage.

Please let me know if I'm not hitting your exact question!

all my best,


Comment by Cynthia Beth Rubin on January 5, 2014 at 10:32am

Sharon - can you say more about the source material?  I want to show this image to my Cultural Heritage class - as a way that artists can use digital imaging to give new life to the source material of cultural objects.  Even though these objects are not that old, they still seem to have inspired such a deep response.

Comment by Sharon Steuer on January 5, 2014 at 10:23am

Thank you CB! I'm loving creating one of a kind pieces from my digitized paintings—weaving back and forth between traditional and digital ways of working, and between painting, printmaking, and collage.

Comment by Cynthia Beth Rubin on January 4, 2014 at 7:42pm

Sharon - love this image - the way that  you spin off of found (or family?) objects and create an entirely different aesthetic out those pieces of history.

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