The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 24, 2013

Artist’s works earn top duck stamp prizes

SHENANGO TOWNSHIP — Boys’ clubs have never been a problem for Jocelyn Beatty. The artist, wife and mother is the center of the one made up of her husband and two grown sons.

Then there is the (mostly) boys’ club of artists who – like Beatty – are skillful enough at painting waterfowl to enter a canvas in the annual Pennsylvania duck stamp competition. Winners are as pleased with the admiration of peers that brings as for the money it earns them.

In 2003, the self-taught Shenango Township artist became the first woman to win the competition sponsored by the wetlands conservation group Ducks Unlimited and held every September during the Pennsylvania Waterfowl Festival in Linesville.

This year, Beatty won again.

The panel of five judges picked her painting of a pair of northern shoveler ducks for the 2014 design of the Pennsylvania stamp.

The award comes with a $4,000 cash prize and 100 artist’s proofs, each with two stamps, to sell to wildlife enthusiasts who collect waterfowl art.

But that wasn’t the end of Beatty’s commercial success with her brushes, creative imagination and observant eye. She got a call earlier this month that judges had picked her painting of a pair of coots to be used for the 2014 Nevada duck stamp.

“It was nice to win one competition but I was really taken aback to win two,” she said. “It’s been a good year.”

Winning in Nevada brings no cash prize but Beatty said she has the right to sell the duck stamp as a print.

“Collectors in Nevada will contact me to purchase the print,” she said. “You don’t get money up front as you do in Pennsylvania. I was told galleries call and order batches of prints at a time to sell to collectors.”

All duck hunters have to buy a federal duck stamp and a migratory fowl stamp along with their state hunting license.

Hunters in Nevada also must display the state duck stamp in the field. In Pennsylvania they don’t.

Pennsylvania duck stamps are sold mostly to collectors and proceeds raise money for wetlands conservation.

Beatty’s reference to breaking into the boys’ club with her first win in 2003 came with a chuckle.

“All my friends who compete are guys,” she said. Some of them are also hunters but Beatty is not.

“I do spend a lot of time in wetlands with a camera, with my husband,” she said. “As the boys grew up we did a lot hiking and camping. Our fun day is going out and taking photos of wildlife.”

Beatty, who teaches classes at Hoyt Institute of Fine Art in New Castle, considers herself a wildlife artist who occasionally paints using oils and extensively with watercolors. She still enjoys both but said most of her work lately has been with acrylic paints.

As for her preference for painting from nature, “you kind of bloom where you are planted,” she said. “Northwestern Pennsylvania is where I live so I paint what’s here. I paint mammals, too, but I love ducks and I have always loved painting waterfowl.”


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