Featured Artist Susan Saunders

Artist Susan Saunders presents a collection of surreal and fantastical photomontages. Find more of her work by visiting her website.


photomontage of shells at the beach

“A Drop in the Ocean” photomontage, 12″ x 16″


Photography has been a life-long passion. I got my first camera when I was twelve, and used it to chronicle my days on a ranch in south Texas. Ranch life left me with an affinity for sweeping landscapes, and animal life of all kinds.


photomontage of cows and flowers

“Cow Dreams” photomontage, 16″ x 12″


Attending college in Manhattan was a substantial visual and emotional adjustment. I started photographing street life during an exciting time in the city’s history, the 1970s and 80s. After I graduated, I worked in publishing.


photomontage of farms and fields

“Farms and Fields” photomontage, 12″ x 12″


Eventually I became a freelance writer of children’s  books. But I never stopped photographing. The galleries in the city were abundant sources of inspiration, as was the city itself, with surprises around every corner. I was particularly drawn to the work of Minor White, Edward Steichen, Elliott Erwitt, and Duane Michaels.


photomontage of layers of landscape

“Lighthouse” photomontage, 16″ x 12″


I eventually moved to the East End of Long Island. Later I acquired a summer cottage in Nova Scotia. My work reflects a life shared between the North and South Forks of Long Island, and the Fundy coast of Nova Scotia.


photomontage of desert landscape and crow

“Continental Drift” photomontage, 12″ x 16″


I photograph with DSLR cameras, one of which has been converted to infrared. Many of my image are landscapes, with an emphasis on color and light.


surreal photomontage of a curiosity shop

“Old Curiosity Shop” photomontage, 16″ x 12″


With the arrival of Covid and the ensuing isolation, I started creating photomontages, what l call borrowed landscapes, a way to stretch my horizon in lockdown. Borrowing landscapes from my photo files helped me to exercise my imagination. I can create new environments where I wander at will. Adding infrared to the mix lent a magical element to familiar scenes.


photomontage of a moonrise over a rural landscape

“Moonrise” photomontage, 12″ x 12″


My work in photomontage is influenced by myths and folktales, and by the landscapes in medieval paintings. All of the components in the montages are borrowed from photographs taken on the East End of Long Island and in the Maritimes in Canada.


Surreal photomontage of a strange figure in a gale

“Gale Warning” photomontage, 16″ x 12″


I often complete my pieces with encaustic wax, which adds depth and mystery to the images.  I’d like my work to change the way you think about what you’re seeing.


Susan Saunders invites you to follow on Instagram, on her photomontage page and photography page.


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