Natural Paint Brushes

I'm not exactly sure when I started collecting driftwood, but I know now that it had become a bit of an obsession. I used to drive around an '02 Toyota Tacoma, the bed of TacoMama, as she was affectionately named, was perpetually piled high with a load of wood sourced from the Hudson River. I treat the collection of the pieces like a meditation. I greet the river and let her speak to me, clearing myself as I walk up and down the shores. I wait for pieces to catch my eye, to speak to me, and collect them as they do; some days those severed fingers and limbs and toes of great and beautiful trees are loud, some days they are more quiet. At the end of my expedition I lay them all out, reasoning with myself and the river what I can keep and what I should leave behind. I always bow to that vista when I'm done, thanking her for sharing her wisdom her bounty and her beauty with me.The details I look for in driftwood are color variation, wood grain, texture, shape, and any unique or unusual characteristics. 

Organizing my truck load of drift wood.

Now, what do I do with all this wood? I incorporated pieces into paintings and even some minimal 'sculpture', but never really had the time or focus to develop the pieces or create something like the large and interesting sculptures I've seen using the same material. I'm very glad after all these years I've been able to find a way to use the driftwood to make something I'm really very passionate about. Paint brushes! I'd also like to make some wands, 'talking sticks', walking sticks, instruments, and ultimately, eventually, sculpture. 

Dried lavender from the garden

Natural paintbrush made from driftwood sourced from Plum Point along the hudson river and dried lavender from my garden.

First four natural paint brushes made from driftwood, lavender and a miscellaneous plant.