Deanna Williamson, Milo, sock person, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Milo, sock person, 2016

In a previous post I introduced my new interest in creating sock creatures. Since I was recycling old socks for some of my creatures I started tie dying the the white ones to add color and originality. I also used bleach on old black socks to get some interesting effects.  Milo was made out of some hand dyed socks as were the dress and hair of the doll below.

Deanna Williamson, Sock Doll, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Sock Doll, 2016

Below are a recently tie dyed / tie bleached batch of socks. It will be interesting to see what can be made from them.

Deanna Williamson, tie-dyed socks,
Deanna Williamson, tie-dyed socks


Deanna Williamson, Ornaments, recycled paper,
Deanna Williamson, Ornaments, recycled paper

These paper ornaments were made from toilet paper which had been draped all over a high school class room as part of a homecoming prank.

For those not familiar with the customs of American high schools, each year there is one special football game to which alumni are invited. Festivities include a formally dressed court, dances, and parties, etc. An unintended but fairly common side activity is a form of practical joke called “rolling yards”. This is the act of draping people’s property with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. It’s usually taken with good humor provided there is no serious or permanent property damage.

When my colleagues’ class room was “rolled”, it seemed a shame to throw away all that paper. So we bagged it up and recycled it into Christmas ornaments.

The process is simple: dip a wad of paper in some water and pack it into cookie cutters.  It will dry into rigid shapes that can be popped out, primed and painted.  Glue on a hanger and you’re done.

We made a lot of these, sold them to students and teachers and used the proceeds to purchase school supplies and uniforms for a child through Grace International World Outreach.

Moral of the story? Don’t get mad. Get busy. Have fun!


Deanna Williamson, Celebrity Sock Kitty, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Celebrity Sock Kitty, 2016

A few years ago I found a book kit at Books-A-Million called Stupid Sock Creatures.  I loved the idea of creating oddball sock dolls and immediately began saving up old socks and gloves and buying new ones at salvage stores. However, I didn’t have time to actually make anything with those socks until a couple of years ago when I retired.

I spent the first few months of my retirement in a kind of limbo trying to decide what to do next. During that time I got out the stash of socks  – and some gloves – and started cutting and stitching them into imaginary creatures. I cut and stitched for hours on end while binge watching through an entire television series. The TV series was forgettable but some fun critters emerged from the sock/glove collection.  Like the Hello Kitty© sock above and the imaginary creature below.

Deanna Williamson, Sock Creature, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Sock Creature, 2016



Deanna Williamson, Charis's China, mosaic door hanger, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Charis’s China, mosaic door hanger, 2016

Pique assiette (or picassiette) is mosaic made from bits of broken china, pottery, glass, figurines, and/or jewelry. You can use these materials to make a conventional picture, decorate a piece of furniture or even cover an entire house.  A good example of the latter is the mosaic garden in France called Maison Picassiette. Probably the most famous collection of pique assiette is in the city of Barcelona where public places are filled with mosaics by the architect Antoni Gaudi. He and his assistants covered walls, benches, buildings, and fountains  with shards of broken dishes and pottery.

Pique assiette appeals to the modern interest in upcycling. It also gives a way to preserve items of sentimental value like the roses on this humble door hanger. They are shards of cups, saucers and plates from my daughter’s china collection.  It took a few years for the children to break this many things but it was worth the wait.


Deanna Williamson, Route 1 Ellisville, 11 x 8.5, mixed media, 2017,
Deanna Williamson, Route 1 Ellisville, 11 x 8.5, mixed media, 2017

Surrealism is an art movement of the early twentieth century that has continued unabated in popularity to this day. Route 1 Ellisville is my nod to Surrealism.

Like Erthling in the previous post, Route 1 Ellisville is a form of altered art in which photos are transformed to create a new work. This one has three photos – the house, the sun disc and the car.  Drawn lines radiate out from the sun to create rays and a road that unify the composition and provide an imaginary setting for the house and car. I filled in the rays and the road, extended the building, and added cast shadows to the ground with colored pencils. I also used colored pencils to alter the colors in the sun and add shadows and highlights to the car and the house. This helped to integrate the objects more fully with the background. Finally, I used white paint to add the stripes on the road and the vanity tag on the car.





Deanna Williamson, Erthling, mixed media, 11 x 8.5,
Deanna Williamson, Erthling, mixed media, 11 x 8.5

An artwork that has been created by transforming or recycling an existing art work is called altered art. This can also involve the alteration of ordinary objects such as game boards, books, and toys, etc.  Erthling is an altered photograph.

My process for altering a photograph is to glue it into a sketch book and transform it with paint media and collage elements to create a different and interesting new work.

The photo for Erthling was of an abandoned car sitting in an overgrown drive-in movie parking lot. I used paint to turn the sky from day to night, the parking lot from grass to pavement and made the car pink.  I also painted in details like the fence and the people inside the car, and then collaged in the blue sky on the screen and purple flying saucer (which was actually a ceiling from an old building cut from another photo.) I added the saucer on the screen and the vanity tag with colored pencils and markers.  I also used paint to extend the photo beyond it’s edges so it would fill the page.

Artists have incorporated photos into their work since Picasso (or Braque – no one knows for sure which) invented collage. The legal term for incorporating other people’s work into your own is called Fair Use. Since my photo for Erthling came from an old magazine I decided to review the subject before displaying this and the next couple of items on the blog. From what I gathered, this work is okay to show because (a) it is transformed enough to be a new artwork and (b) it’s not for sale.


Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil, 2017,
Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil, 2017

Recently my son bought me a set of Prismacolor™ colored pencils. I started experimenting with them using some little outline designs I already had in a sketch book. Being wax-based they blend smoothly, but the tooth in my paper allowed a lot of texture and tiny little white spots to show through. You can see it in the version above.

So I went over it with a blending pencil. This covered most of the white spots and gave a smoother appearance as you can see in the version below.

Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil blended, 2017,
Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil blended, 2017

However, while cropping the scanner versions for this post, I noticed that the color – particularly the pinks – seemed washed out, and some texture still came through even though it’s almost invisible in the original.  So I decided to see if a photograph would show the artwork better. The version below was photographed with the camera on my Android phone.

Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil blended 2,
Deanna Williamson, Sun, 6 x 6, colored pencil blended 2

As you can see, the textures are more subdued. However in the camera version, the color changed. The oranges and yellows are now more saturated than in the original and the blue-green is not green at all. I played around with the color tools in Gimp trying to get color truer to the original but everything I did to one color altered the other ones as well. I’m nowhere near an expert at using editing software, but this brings up and interesting problem in publishing artwork online or even in books.

Compare, for example. these versions of Monet’s Impression Sunrise.

Impression, sunrise, 1873 - Claude Monet   Image result for impression sunrise claude monet

Image result for impression sunrise claude monet   "Impression, Sunrise"

There are many more of them online. I prefer the one on the top which came from Wikiart. However the important thing is not which version I prefer but what the artist intended it to look like. The only way you can know for sure is to go to Paris and see it for yourself.


Deanna Williamson, Pepper 2, 5 x 7, acrylic on canvas, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Pepper 2, 5 x 7, acrylic on canvas, 2016

Sgraffito is an art technique that involves scratching through a layer of paint or other media to reveal a contrasting color beneath. Historical applications include painting, pottery, and glass, but the definition also applies to drawing media like scratch board, crayon and oil pastel etchings.

In this acrylic portrait of my conure I’ve used sgraffito to liven up the background. The process was simple: I put down a layer of paint, let it dry, then put on a thicker coat and used a pointed stick to scratch designs into it while it was still wet.


Deanna Williamson, Starfish, 17 x 27, latchhooked rug, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Starfish, 17 x 27, latch hooked rug, 2016

Here is another latch hooked rug made of recycled t shirts.  I made it for a friend of mine who loves everything marine.  She says her cats are enjoying this rug.

Below is a detail of the starfish. I hooked in extra strands into it to make it look more defined.

Deanna Williamson, Starfish detail, 17 x 27, latch hooked rug, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Starfish detail, 17 x 27, latch hooked rug, 2016



Deanna Williamson, 2017 Journal Page 1, 8 x 5.5, mixed media,
Deanna Williamson, 2017 Journal Page 1, 8 x 5.5, mixed media

In the previous posts on art journaling, I used some of my first pages. However, my process has evolved over the years, so for this post I decided to jump ahead and show some more current ones. The top one is not the first one for 2017 but it is about the event that set the tone. It illustrates a tornado that tore through our neighborhood and changed many people’s lives forever. My house is the one with the big tree at the bottom. I cut the title words out of a newspaper and made the tornado and stormy sky with crayon and watercolor resist.

The page below is built around a failed drawing.  After gluing and writing things around the face, I unified the whole by filling in with colors that repeat the colors in the collaged elements.  It’s all random which makes it a totally laid back way to make some art, record some thoughts, and preserve some memorabilia.

Deanna Williamson, 2017 Journal Page 2, 8 x 5.5, mixed media,
Deanna Williamson, 2017 Journal Page 2, 8 x 5.5, mixed media