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Back to the World, Part Three

Painting a common loon for entering in the Ward World Championship.

By: Laurie J. McNeil
Photography by Laurie J McNeil

 In the first two parts of this demonstration, I explained how I carved and textured the common loon I created for the World Decorative Life-size Waterfowl Pairs division at the 2011 Ward World Championship. Because the loon and its Canadian oak burl base were so large, I had to rent a car and drive from Minnesota to Ocean City for the show. My mother and youngest daughter, Alexis, came with me. I wanted them there for this special occasion. They had been by my side, helping out and making sacrifices for me, so that I could work on the loon up to ten hours a day, while also working full time. I could not have carved the loon without them and all the other people who supported me.

I wheeled the suitcase containing the loon up into the convention center in Ocean City and got in the registration line right behind Lionel Dwyer. He had a beautiful Pacific loon to enter in the pairs division. Lionel later told me he had been wondering if I was carving a loon for 2011. I had told very few people in the carving world what I was doing, and I did not talk about it on Facebook or the Decoy Carving Forum because I wanted to show up unannounced. I sent regular emails to the few people I had told, with photos of the progress I had made, for about nine months. These emailed progress reports kept me on track and inspired me to stay organized and do my best.

 Read the rest of this article in Wildfowl Carving Magazine's Winter 2014 issue!

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