Artists provide best entries in duck-stamp contest

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, February 2, 2017

Richard Clifton, Scot Storm, John Brennan, James Hautman and Jeffrey Klinefelter — familiar sounding names?

For those who keep up with wildlife artists, those names likely do ring a bell. Why? Each is an award-winning wildlife artist, particularly when it comes to producing artwork for waterfowl conservation stamps, wildlife conservation groups and retail sales to the public. Each has had artwork selected among the top-five entries in North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competitions. Those names, listed in descending order, are the top-five finishers, respectively, in the 2017 North Carolina duck-stamp contest.

Their entries in the 2017 competition will be unveiled during a reception, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the North Carolina Estuarium next Thursday. The reception also will showcase the Carolina Nature Photography Association’s exhibit now on display at the Estuarium.

The five wildlife artists have many awards to their credit, including taking top awards at several state duck-stamp contests and federal duck-stamp contests. They’ve produced wildlife artwork for Australia and other nations. Their work is displayed at the top wildlife art shows, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

The combined awards of these five wildlife artists and their continued submission of entries to the North Carolina duck-stamp contests indicates how wildlife artists view the North Carolina those contests, according to Lynn Wingate, Washington’s tourism development director. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Washington Tourism Development Authority sponsor the annual contest.

“This is not a competition to be taken lightly,” Wingate said prior to the judging of the 2017 North Carolina duck-stamp contest held Jan. 24 at the Washington Civic Center.

One thing the judges must keep in mind is how will the artwork reproduce when reduced to the size of a duck stamp. The judges are giving tools that look like magnifying glasses but work in reverse — the entries appear to shrink when viewed through the reduction glasses.

Doug Howell, a certified wildlife biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and who attended the 2017 contest to provide technical advice concerning the species and habitats depicted, weighed in on what makes the entries in the North Carolina contest so good and picking one that will make a good duck stamp or prints for sale. “I think the real key is finding a good balance between the bird(s) and the habitat while ensuring the art, when reduced, results in a good print or stamp. Many artists have fine representations of waterfowl but they fall short when compared to a duck stamp ‘winner’ when the art is reduced to a print or stamp,” Howell wrote in an email.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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