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Artist Geoffrey Smith holding his award winning carved wood pintail duck decoy

Anniversary Pintails

​Anniversary Pintails - Forty years ago, I would have never imagined this is where I’d be! Standing in an art gallery that bears my name, holding the pintail duck I carved out of discarded walnut wood when I was just fifteen. What started as a hobby took on a life of its own into a full-blown career as an artist. This is the story of the pintail anniversary series. The pintail duck pair series is how I chose to pay tribute to my lifelong journey and evolution as an artist. The hen and the drake are also meant to offer a respectful nod to the man who taught me how to carve all those years ago, my Grandfather "Snook". He shared his passion for carving with me and showed me how to sculpt ducks because he knew they were my absolute favorite at that age. The modern bronze series aims to symbolize the roots of my creativity as a child of nature and to reminisce on how my art has transformed over the years through my exhaustive study and enduring admiration of wildlife. The pintail ducks were truly the first spark of creation for me. Forty years later, I decided to use my original wood carving pintail from 1976 as the basis for my anniversary pintail maquettes. The 1976 pintail originated from hard, walnut wood. It was then cut on a band saw and hand-shaped with rasps and sandpaper. In 2015, I updated my method and modeled the anniversary pintail with relatively soft clay into a semi-realistic portraiture of the beautiful pintail duck I have admired my whole life. I modernized the pintail pair by casting them in bronze and styling their bodies with sensuous curves. Their revamped style is meant to signify my progression as an artist as well as to celebrate my persistent artistic pursuits by pushing limits. I experimented with the pairs, crafting each pair with a different patina finish. I also created a limited number of larger pairs in stainless steel, brown patina, and green patina. The pintail sets are extra special because I capped the bottoms (rather than leaving them open) as a way to capture the true nature of a hunting decoy, similar to my 1976 walnut pintail. This series is very important to me because it represents my journey as a young artist with a huge dream. It illustrates what can happen when you follow your passion relentlessly and devote your life to a purpose. I’m grateful for all the opportunities and people that have taken me to where I am today. I am constantly humbled by my origins. The duck decoys from my early years will always remind me of the passion that took me to where I stand, in the studio space of Geoffrey C. Smith Galleries.

Collection of Limited Edition Bronze Duck Decoys by artist Geoffrey Smith

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