About the Artist - Patrick R. Godin
Resides: Paris, Ontario, Canada
Education: B.Sc. Wildlife Biology, M.Sc. Waterfowl Ecology, U. of Guelph
Major Fields of Study: Ornithology
Artistic Specialization: Birds, Waterfowl
Collections: Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
Publications: Championship Waterfowl Patterns, Vols. 1,2,3 (author, illustrator);
Reference Guide: Waterfowl II (illustrator)
A childhood fascination with the natural world inspired Pat Godin to carve his first bird
in 1967. He continued to carve in those early years solely for his own pleasure. In the
early '70's Pat became aware of several competitive exhibitions of decorative duck decoys
and other wooden bird sculpture. After meeting other enthusiastic bird carvers and picking
up a lot of ideas and technical tips his work quickly became competitive at the
"World Class" level of competition. Since his bird carving career began Pat
Godin has gained international recognition for his fine, accurate renditions of wildfowl
as well as for the creative vision present in his pieces.
With a formal background in wildlife biology and ornithology it
is no accident that his work exhibits not only accuracy in form and color, but also
radiates the life of a real bird. Throughout the years of 1972 to 1979 Pat studied at the
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario and acquired an Honors B.Sc. degree in Wildlife
Biology as well as M.Sc. degree by conducting research on Mallard ecology. In addition to
acting as an undergraduate ornithology instructor, he also worked extensively with
waterfowl and other species of birds while engaged with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Pat
also was accepted as a research assistant at the Delta Waterfowl Research Station in
Manitoba, Canada in 1976 where he helped graduate students conducting various studies on
Redhead Ducks, Wigeons, Mallards, and the Western Grebe.
In 1976 an innovative pair of Common Goldeneyes carved by Pat was
judged "Best in World", beginning a string of thirteen World Championship titles.
These include subsequent World Championships in 1980, 1984, 2008, and 2009 in "Decorative Decoy
Pairs" and in 1982 and 1995 in "Decorative Lifesize Wildfowl Sculpture".
He followed this in 2000 with a Second in World placement in World Class
Miniatures with a carving of a Sharp-tailed Grouse entitled
Courtship", in 2001 with a Best in World title for a carving entitled,
"Spruce Grouse on the North River", and in 2002 with another Best in World
placement for a carving entitled,
"Prairie Dance - Greater Prairie Chicken".
These miniature pieces are a part of a series Pat will complete, featuring
all of the species of North American Grouse, performing their breeding
Pat accomplished an unprecedented achievement in 2001 by winning Best in
World in the fourth of five World Championship categories, the World
Shootin' Rig. The winning entry featured a pair of Black Ducks with a drake
Mallard-Black Duck hybrid carved in a gunning decoy style. In contemporary
decoy competitions the hybrid was an interesting and unique concept, since
the idea had never been attempted before, and also since it represented
something that is quite common in nature.
Most recently in 2013 Pat was awarded his thirteenth World Championship for his carving of a miniature scale
Willow Ptarmigan entitled "Arctic Spring".
Many other awards include "Best of Shows" at the
Canadian Open Wildfowl Carving Competition, Toronto, the Gulf South Carving Competition,
New Orleans, the California Open Carving Competition, San Diego, the Pacific Flyway
Competition, Sacramento, the North American Wildfowl Carving Competition, Detroit, and the
Northern Nationals Wildfowl Carving Competition, Minneapolis.
Work by Pat Godin can be found in the Ward Museum of Wildfowl
Art, Salisbury, Maryland and in many private collections and has been exhibited at the
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. The prestigious "Birds in Art"
exhibition held at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin has featured Pat
Godin's work for ten years. In 1993 Pat was invited to represent North American carvers at
the opening of the International Bird Carving Exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. Although
competitions have provided some of the inspiration for Pat's work, his deepest concern has
always been with the cultivation of bird sculpture as an art form.
Over the years Pat has become respected as a writer and lecturer.
Through seminars and workshops he communicates new techniques as well as the philosophy
behind his art. Pat Godin also wrote, illustrated, designed and published three
instructional books for bird carvers (Championship Waterfowl Patterns, Volumes One, Two,
and Three). Recently he collaborated with Stackpole Books by illustrating and providing
text for Reference Guide: Waterfowl II.
In November 1994 Pat Godin was inducted into the Waterfowl
Festival Hall of Fame, Easton Maryland. He was also honored by his home town of
Brantford, Ontario with an induction in the the Walk of Fame in December
2001. This included a bronze plaque with his biography, in the city along
with other notable inductees including Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham
Bell. Pat currently resides with his wife Jessica near Paris, Ontario.
E-Mail Pat Godin