Artist Debra Bernier refers to her exquisite figurative artwork as “spirit sculptures” that emerge from chunks of carved driftwood. Working with distressed barks and fragments of trees, she tames the rough materials into pieces that are smooth and graceful with colorful pink and blue accents. Though they have delicate human faces, their bodies often fuse with elements of nature—such as seashells and brambles—as well as fantastical characteristics like angel wings.
“Each piece of driftwood holds a story,” Bernier writes on Etsy. As she carves the material away, she “reveals” the character and their story. The wood is drastically altered, but she still maintains some of its organic shape by conforming a figure to the swooping curves or blunt branches. In this way, her art represents a true collaboration with the natural world.
Bernier sells her work through her Etsy shop, Shaping Spirit.