One thing that I have yet to share with the world is what happened back in February of this year. While taking my Art 1010 class I had the wonderful privilege of entering the National Jr. Duck Stamp Competition for the state of Utah. I absolutely loved creating this work of art for this competition. I certainly did learn a lot from every aspect of this little project. This blog post is taken from an excerpt I wrote for my Art 1010 entry. I got a lot of positive feedback on my project including a green ribbon stating I earned an honorable mention. while I did not win the entire competition, this was very much an honor to participate.
National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest: The Art Experience
National Junior Duck Stamp Contest
February 2, 2022
For my art experience adventure I came across the National Junior Art Contest. Since I am very into nature, photography, and animals this was an amazing experience for me. There was so much that I learned while accomplishing the final product for this contest. I was able to capture the birds in flight with photos. I traveled up to the Farmington bay area. I spent around three hours birdwatching and taking photos of these gorgeous birds. This was the first time that I had taken time to take photos of birds. Being able to see these birds in action was amazing. With spring right around the corner this was a perfect project to bring in the spring season. There were pintails, geese, swans, mallards, and cinnamons. In the end I settled on using the pintails for this art project.
The Duck Stamp competition is used to gather young artists, creative minds, and nature enthusiasts. This contest was created to help spread the message of the importance of conservation. Conservation of the wetlands needs to be highly favored because of their rapid deterioration. According to the Fish and Wildlife Services, “The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of the Junior Duck Stamp educational program. After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat, students may express their newfound knowledge by drawing, painting or sketching a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species.” The Fish and Wildlife Services has created this simple art contest to spread the conservation message to both the youth and the adults. Going along with the conservation crisis, each artist creates their own message of conservation to go with their art.
Duck stamps are handed out to hunters and collectors each year. They are like a small sticker that is attached to a hunting license. By having the duck stamp it allows someone to hunt waterfowl in permitted areas. This is what the junior duck stamp competition is creating. They encourage both creativity and conservation through the yearly dealing of duck stamps. By spreading the stamps it allows young artists to get their name out into the world. This competition also allows the inspirational youth to spread their own thoughts, opinions, and messages. Winners will have their artwork displayed and pasted onto the duck stamp. Each state has their own separate contest. With that being said, since I am in Utah I entered the Utah duck stamp contest. They will pick a first, second, third, and a few honorable mentions for this contest.
My family and I love to be out in nature. I have such a deep and personal connection with nature. Entering this competition has taught me that art is all around us. Nature is art and art is nature. My personal connection runs deep with this competition. Not only can art connect us with each other, art can help us connect with nature. Albeit, nature is everywhere. Being able to get out in the environment and see the water, hear the birds, and smell the fresh air is enough to inspire me.
This was my conservation message, “Nature is more than just the colors that surround, it is the personality of each unique animal. We must conserve that to impact the future.” Along with my love for nature I also have a passion towards conservation. I am one that strives to preserve the environment. It is ever so important that we conserve, protect, and restore the environment for the future of the world. Everything that we do now will impact the future.
The drawing that I created was of two northern pintails -a male and a female- floating on the water. These are my favorite species of ducks due to their high details and gorgeous feather patterns. I used prismacolor colored pencils. I found it best to blend them to create a better color pattern. My work is titled ‘Freedom of Flight.” In conclusion, this taught me a lot about art, history, and conservation. From an aspect of art I learned that art is all around us -it is nature. Secondly, I learned that history plays a huge part in art. From this contest and seeing the variety of birds I have been able to connect more with nature. I want to make a bigger effort to conserve, recycle, and make a good impact on the environment.
Whether or not I win this competition or not I have certainly learned something from this. I have also learned that animals are gorgeous creatures and we need to do all that we can to help restore, protect, and ensure that they stay healthy. Doing our part in keeping the environment healthy will allow generations to come of animals, plants, and people to enjoy this world. I am glad that I was able to participate in this contest. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.
“Junior Duck Stamp.” Junior Duck Stamp Contest Information | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 19 Apr. 2021, https://www.fws.gov/program/junior-duck-stamp/junior-duck-stamp-contest-information.