CO Stamp Champ Goes Back To Back!

DENVER, CO -- Artist Richard Clifton won his first Colorado waterfowl stamp art contest in 2010. And now he's won his second in 2011.

Clifton's rendering of three green-winged teal was recently selected to grace the 2011 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp by a team of judges from around the state.

"This piece captures the brilliance of the birds," said former state senator Tilman Bishop, who helped judge the competition. "We had some amazing entries this year but we know that collectors and waterfowl hunters will really appreciate this particular piece."

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program was implemented in 1990 and provides funding to conserve wetlands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. 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.

Hunters can purchase the required $5.00 waterfowl stamp validation where hunting licenses are sold. The gum-backed stamp is available for an additional $2.50.

Collector gum-backed stamps and art prints of the 2011 waterfowl stamp will be available for purchase in late July. Collector stamps and prints are sold through the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation also has past stamp winner prints available.

"Green-winged teal are one of my favorite ducks to hunt," said Clifton. "But when it comes to painting them it's a bit of a challenge. They're small ducks and the Colorado entry size is a large format. That's why I went with three ducks in the painting. Putting two drakes and a hen in the piece allows a duplicating pattern that draws people to it. I'm glad that idea worked well for this competition."

Clifton is a self-taught, Delaware-based artist whose work has been featured on more than 32 duck stamps from various states as well as the 2007-2008 Federal Duck Stamp. Clifton joins several other artists who have won the Colorado competition in back-to-back years, including Jeffrey Klinefelter who claimed the honor in 2007 and 2008. The record for most successive years winning the competition is held by Montana wildlife artist Cynthie Fisher who claimed the honor on the six successive stamps from 1998 through 2003.

The second-place entry this year was by Broderick Crawford of Georgia and Tim Turrene of Minnesota claimed third place in the competition.

The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation was created in 1989 as a result of Governor Roy Romer's Wildlife 21 Task Force report. The Foundation was formed to raise funds to help fill the gap between available hunting and fishing funds and wildlife needs. The Foundation focuses its efforts on habitat preservation, wildlife research, species recovery, responding to wildlife emergencies and educating people about wildlife. For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, go to: http://www.cowildlifefoundation.org.
The species chosen for the 2012 competition is the Ross' goose. The contest details will be announced later in the year.