Langford resident Kelly Hartel looks up at a carving of a Sasquatch outside the East Sooke General Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)

Sasquatch sighted in East Sooke

Langford artist brings the mythical creature to life in wood sculpture

Rick Stiebel | Sooke News Mirror

Numerous sightings of a Sasquatch in East Sooke have been officially confirmed.

A giant carving of the often mentioned but rarely seen creature towers above the parking lot at the East Sooke General Store, thanks to the efforts of Paul Lewis.

Lewis, a Langford resident, has gained quite a reputation for his work, which is essentially crafted from driftwood and fallen timber he’s collected.

RELATED: Langford man creates animals out of driftwood at Esquimalt Lagoon

Close to 30 of his creations adorn a stretch of the beach next to the road along Esquimalt Lagoon, including an eagle in its nest with a baby, a pair of swans with three cygnets, a woodpecker with a baby, and a hummingbird, to list a few.

“They’re all made from the wood I gathered, except for some paint and the screws that hold them together,” Lewis said.

He has sold more than 70 carvings since he began working in that medium in April 2018, although he did a lot of painting during his incarceration.

“It’s all self-taught,” Lewis said. “I’ve been told my paintings are very realistic. Many people have said they look like photographs.”

The four sasquatches Lewis has done so far are on private property, so after requests from a variety of people who enjoy his work, he decided to try and find a location where the public could get acquainted with one of his gentle brown giants.

“I remembered when we were on work release that the guard would treat us to a coffee at the East Sooke General Store so I approached the owner about putting one there,” Lewis said. “It’s free advertising for me and a tourist attraction for him, so it’s a win-win for both of us.”

Dave Bigelow, the owner of East Sooke General Store, said he was happy to do that after Lewis approached him.

“He did a great job,” Bigelow said. “We’re getting lots of comments from customers.”

Lewis is now working on turning his art into a full-time business and has settled on Birds of Bark for the name.

For a look at more of his work visit Paul Lewis Facebook.

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