It’s day 20 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Searching for driftwood takes time. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of driftwood along the Pacific coast in Yachats but I’m searching for something special. I’ll slowly meander my way along the coast for hours only to walk away with a small bag of driftwood. What exactly am I looking for as I inspect pieces from the rocky edges of the shore? I’m looking first for pieces that will fit on my 6 x 6 inch canvases. Then I look for something special like a curious shape, color (pieces of bark that have been rolled in the ocean can yield really beautiful color and texture), or characteristic. Interesting characteristics are: tree knots, worm holes, leftover bark or burns.

Back in the studio is where I discover if my driftwood findings will work in my art. Sometimes I find the pieces I think will fit on the canvas don’t, or they look really awkward within the square shape of the canvas. A bag of driftwood usual yields 1-2 paintings. The piece of driftwood I used in the painting today was chosen because of its interesting shapes within the wood that are highlighted by the different colors of rich brown. The orange encaustic wax provides a bright background and the contrast needed to bring this special piece of driftwood to life.

“On the Coast X”
6 x 6 inches
encaustic and driftwood on wood panel
Origin: Yachats, Oregon
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Here is a view from my driftwood hunting:

Looking for driftwood in Yachats, Oregon

This is the box I keep of my coastal findings:

Box of driftwood in Lisa Marie Sipe's studio

The paintings I create during the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge will be included in my NATURE CURATED series which captures the essence of place by encapsulating carefully chosen mementos nature has seemingly left behind in a thick bed of pigmented encaustic wax. To create these paintings I explore the ocean shore and forest floor to find the perfect, unique objects (shells, pine cones, driftwood and stones) to embed in a luscious layer of wax. All of these natural objects tells the story of its origin, like the smooth edges on driftwood illustrates the journey it took undulating back and forth against the rough ocean shore. Each three-dimensional fine art painting is unique, signed by me, ready to hang and includes the place of origin.