Driftwood artist Alex Witcombe says he may have an idea of what he wants to create, but the final product really depends on the wood. (Facebook photo)

Driftwood Days coming to Royal Bay in Colwood

Driftwood artist Alex Witcombe will unveil one piece and finish up another during the event

As a born and raised Islander, perhaps it’s only natural that Alex Witcombe is drawn to driftwood.

Growing up on the Saanich Peninsula, Witcombe would walk along the beach, imagining what the driftwood resembled and what it could be made into.

“Last summer I just decided to go build something on the beach. I wanted to do a dinosaur and that’s how it began … it just kind of took off,” he said.

Now, the Comox Valley resident owns and operates Drifted Creations with the help of his partner Mandy Thompson. The pair were scheduled to arrive in Colwood on Wednesday, where they’ll begin to prepare for their next art project, a pair of pieces that will highlight the Beachpark at Royal Bay.

As of Wednesday, Witcombe had a few ideas on what he wanted to create, noting that he’d like to make something that fits in with the surrounding environment, but it’ll all depend on what he finds along the Colwood waterfront.

“It all depends on the wood. You can get to the beach with a particular vision of something you want to create, and the wood will say ‘nope,’” he explained. “We just kind of read the wood and it tells us what it wants to do.”

The larger piece will be unveiled during Royal Bay’s Driftwood Days event on Sunday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Royal Bay Beachpark) and the public will get a chance to watch the work that goes into the smaller piece, as Witcombe will be completing that during the course of the afternoon.

“It’s fun to talk with people while I’m doing it. There’s always a lot of questions and I think it’s pretty cool for people to actually see the process rather than just the finished piece,” he noted.

Face painting, free paddle board rentals, live music, food, and a craft station for kids will highlight the rest of what Royal Bay is dubbing its biggest celebration of the summer.

For more information on Witcombe’s work, visit the Drifted Creations Facebook page at facebook.com/driftedcreationsvancouverisland.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com