Washington artist Jeffro Uitto gathers the medium for his artwork on the beaches near his home during the winter months.
It can take years collecting the gnarly, twisted driftwood which comprises his expressive animal sculptures in order to amass enough for what will become one of his pieces.
The artist from Tokeland, the small coastal town where Jeffro has lived his whole life, has been working with salvaged wood since he was a young kid. Over the years, he’s fashioned life-sized eagles, rhinos, lions, horses, and even whales from the found materials.
“Winter is when I usually spent a lot of time hiking the beaches and rivers for unique puzzle pieces,” the sculptor told The Epoch Times.
He has featured his work in art galleries, as well as on his social media pages.
Jeffro completed his most recent work—a dramatic life-sized horse—with the help of Zela, his wife of 18 years, and their new 1-year-old son, Sterling, over the summer.
The horse’s powerful muscles, sinuous limbs, and flowing hair are portrayed in bold strokes, transforming twisted driftwood in a painterly manner. Its posture is Leonardo-esque in its strong stance—one hoof lifted high, it’s mane and tail billowing.
“This horse piece really started taking on a life of its own as we had moments to work on it, really feeling out the muscle and anatomy to create movement,” the artist said. “The creative energy has a way of taking over, like you’re a vessel and feel compelled to create.
“At times, I feel like I’m just a viewer and had no part in it, getting to stand back and reflect on what’s taking place.”
He called introducing their new son to their creative world a “real pleasure.” The trio plus their two daughters, Leah and Timber, comprise the creative family endeavor.
“I feel very grateful and fortunate to share love and creation with the special people in my life,” Jeffro said.
For the past 10 years, he has been building quite a menagerie of driftwood animals. He portrays the wildlife sculptures, hoping to raise awareness for animal species facing extinction in the wild.