Friday, March 06, 2015
Iowa Artist Claims Sixth Title in Duck Stamp Competition
Iowa Ducks Unlimited announced the winner of the 2016 Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition from its annual State Convention Friday, February 12 in Des Moines. The winning image of a Common Goldeneye duck was painted by artist Darren Maurer.
Maurer, a nationally known artist, works from his studio in Sioux City, Iowa. The 2016 win gives Maurer the honor of painting the winning image for the Iowa competition an unprecedented six times since 2001. Maurer’s previous winning paintings were a Snow Goose in 2001, Northern Shovelers in 2002, American Widgeon in 2007, Hooded Merganser in 2011, and Blue-winged Teal in 2012. He was also chosen as the Iowa Ducks Unlimited Artist of the year in 2007 and 2010. Iowa began issuing duck stamps in 1972 making it one of the oldest waterfowl stamp competitions in the country.
“I am extremely honored to have my work chosen to appear on Iowa’s conservation stamp again. It is always a great feeling to know that your work is appreciated enough by others to be chosen as the winning image from a large collection of amazing pieces of art from talented artists. Iowa is one of the states that opens their competition to artists nationwide and there are always a number of very talented highly successful duck stamp artists submitting work which makes Iowa one of the more difficult states in which to compete.”
When asked why he thinks he has had so much success in Iowa competition Maurer modestly answered, “I’m not really sure. I just try to design a painting with an interesting composition. At that point, I begin painting the largest shapes within the duck adding smaller details to the painting a little at a time. The physical anatomy of the duck must be accurate. After that, it is out of the hands of the artist and up to the judges to decide. “
The Common Goldeneye is named for its intensely bright yellow iris. Males have black and white bodies with a dark black head showing a green iridescence when viewed in sunlight. They feed mainly on aquatic insects and crustaceans and can be found migrating through Iowa every year.
Maurer’s artwork will be sold as prints and stamps in 2016 by Iowa Ducks Unlimited to help conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots volunteer based organization holding nearly 4,400 fundraising events each year at the local level. Since its inception in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has raised nearly $3.5 billion toward habitat conservation.