If you haven’t heard, the 2009 Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Artist is the second-ever woman to receive the honor. Lorna Poulos is a 56-year-old, self-taught painter, who won with her work of a pair of canvasbacks. According to this Bay City Times story, she considered the fact that she’s not a waterfowler a distinct disadvantage when creating her piece.
Poulos had photographed the canvasbacks at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, then spent hours completing the painting. For anyone held back by occasional self-doubt, Poulos said she had some misgivings when she showed up at the competition last August. "When I got there I started second-guessing myself and I was ready to turn around and leave," she told the paper, "the competition was that stiff." Apparently she overcame her concerns. The last woman to get her art work on the stamp was Kim Diment in 2001. As an aside, I was watching that 1990's show "Northern Exposure" about life in Alaska on DVD last night, and this particular season 5 episode featured a plot line in which the town barkeep Holling and the general store owner Ruth-Anne go on a birding expedition. Holling's gear included a long-lens 35 mm camera mounted on a gun stock, which I thought was pretty great. The two characters had found out earlier in the episode that Holling's grandfather had cannibalized Ruth-Anne's grandfather in the Great Blizzard of 1897, which added an element of unspoken competition to their birding expedition. Kind of a free-association-style blog post today ranging from canvasbacks to cannibalism, but to circle back to the top, congrats to Lorna Poulos for a duck well painted. -Kimberly Hiss