Minnesota artist wins 2013 Colorado waterfowl art contest

Wildlife artist Charles Black’s painting of two Greater Scaup on a Colorado lake was selected as the winner of the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Art competition. Black’s effort won him $3,500, and his artwork will be featured on the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp. Charles Black/Special to The Sentinel

Artist Charles Black won the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp art competition with a painting of two Greater Scaups on a Colorado lake.

This was the first entry into the Colorado art competition by the Stillwater, Minn., resident, who said he developed an early appreciation for waterfowl and the role of waterfowl stamps in conserving key habitat.

Black, 27, grew up hunting and fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin and majored in wildlife biology at the University of North Dakota.

He currently is working with state and federal agencies restoring wetland and wildlife habitat.

Although his various wildlife-related jobs have shown him the power of waterfowl stamp funds on the ground, he said his fast-growing career as a wildlife artist is where he hopes to share what he learned growing up.

“More than anything, I realize now that I’ve had such great teachers who showed me that hunting and fishing, as fun as it was, also came with great responsibility,” Black said. “I learned to love and respect the animals we chased, and the land they lived on.”

Black’s effort won him $3,500, and his artwork will be featured on the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp.

Delaware-based artist Richard Clifton, who had taken first place in the Colorado competition the previous three years, was second, winning a $1,000 cash prize. Dale Pousson of Louisiana placed third, and he received $500.

“The competition gets more incredible and tougher to judge each year,” said judging committee member Kirk Davidson, director of development for Ducks Unlimited. He has been judging the waterfowl stamp competition for nine years.

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program was started in 1990 to raise funds for conserving wetlands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

All revenue generated from the sale of the hunter version of the Waterfowl Stamp (more than $6.7 million to date) is used to fund wetlands projects throughout the state. More than 19,500 acres of wetlands have been protected with Waterfowl Stamp funds.

Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older are required by state law to purchase a waterfowl stamp validation annually before hunting.

In addition to hunters, many collectors aid in wetland conservation by purchasing collector stamps and prints that are created from the winning entry.

The $5 waterfowl stamp validations are available where hunting licenses are sold. The gum-backed stamp is available for an additional $2.50.

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program is administered by the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The foundation was formed in 1989 to augment revenue used for hunting and fishing funds and wildlife needs.

More of Black’s work is available to view on his website, http://www.wildlifeandart.com.

Information about the Colorado Waterfowl Stamp is available online on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Waterfowl Stamp page.


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