Richard Clifton once again Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year

A Milford man, a well-known and respected wildlife artist throughout the world, has become the first to be Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year twice in a row.

Richard Clifton’s “Sunshine Wigeon” earned him the title for 2019, while his painting “Twist’n Turn’n Teal” took the honors in 2018. He also won the title in 2015.

Clifton, now 57, grew up in the area and attended Cape Henlopen High School. As a child, he started drawing scenes from the family farm with colored pencils, later moving to watercolors. As he got older, Clifton settled on acrylics as a medium and became interested in songbirds and waterfowl. These are now his most celebrated subjects.

He got his foot in the door by entering in – and winning – duck stamp contests. Duck stamps are required for anyone who wishes to hunt waterfowl, but they’re also a powerful conservation tool. The proceeds go toward the conservation of the natural habitat of birds and other wildlife.

Clifton has won more than 51 state duck stamp contests, the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp and the 2007-2008 federal duck stamp contests.

Winning Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year is also a contribution to conservation. The nonprofit uses Clifton’s work as part of a yearly package distributed to chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada and auctioned off to raise money.

Clifton lives on a farm near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, an inspiration for many of his paintings. He has a studio and gallery there. His talent has meant he has worked solely as an artist for 25 years. He sells his art from his studio and at wildlife expos and other events.

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