Peter Mathios 2009 International Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year

Peter Mathios 2009 International Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year

Ducks Unlimited's International Artist of the Year - Peter Matios for his artwork - Early Start were featured in an article in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Ducks Unlimited.

As a youngster, Peter Mathios used duck blind downtime to sketch ducks coming into the family's decoy rig
Introduced to waterfowl hunting early on, artist Peter Mathios vividly remembers the time shared with his father and brother in northern California's sprawling Suisun Marsh. This is where gunning became an integral part of his life, and where an appreciation of the natural world around him was first nurtured.

Between flights of decoying ducks, Mathios was known to pick up a sketch pad and create his own images of what the perfect morning on the marsh should look like. 'Because of my family's hunting background, I really fell in love with it, duck hunting in particular,' Mathios says. 'I'd be with my dad and my brother, and if it was a slow day, I'd draw scenes of birds coming in. You have to draw what you are passionate about, and I'm definitely passionate about that.'

Mathios turned that passion into a full-time job more than a dozen years ago and now reigns as the 2009 Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year. His Evening Sprig painting, depicting a flock of pintails seeking solitude, was the top vote-getter in a competition featuring a number of accomplished wildlife artists from around the nation.

While he had no formal art training as a child, a once-a-week class made an impact. His old schoolbooks bear testament.

'Every Friday, instead of science, we would have an art class. It seemed to come easier to me than a lot of other kids,' Mathios says. 'I started applying what I was learning to my drawings. I was always drawing in the margins of my textbooks. Most of the time those drawings were ducks.'

Mathios earned a degree in art and graduated from the University of California at Davis. He sold his first painting shortly thereafter while he was working at a ski resort in Oregon.

'I got serious about my art while at the ski resort. I sold one of my paintings to one of the employees there, and that got the juices flowing. I thought I could make some money at this,' Mathios says.

Now living in the waterfowl-rich Willamette Valley, Mathios has been the recipient of dozens of awards. His work has been featured on state duck stamps in Michigan, California, Idaho, and Oregon. He has also finished in the top 10 in the federal duck stamp competition.

'I paint pretty much everything

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