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Biography of Wildlife Artist Randy McGovern


Randy McGovern was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In elementary school, his artistic abilities were quickly noticed a teacher who then suggested to his mother and father than Randy be given art lessons. And so he was. That year, which was 1964, he was the winner of a city wide art contest that netted him a hefty profit of $5, which provided enough motivation to carry on. Randy studied under European portraitist artists. 

Meanwhile, one of Randy’s favorite pass times was catching snakes in the Louisiana swamps so that a snake farms could purchase them from Randy.  Another interest was catching animals in homemade traps (humane ones) so that he could sketch the animal. Randy graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana Magana cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising, but ultimately diverted his career into a fine art industry instead.

Randy has received accolades from art collectors and sportsman alike, both in the United States and abroad. Randy McGovern’s detailed accuracy of various animal species has made him into one of the nation’s most beloved wildlife realist artists.  



Randy works in a realistic style in the medium of oil paint on canvas. He feels it necessary to show the animal in the most elegant light; this does require adding an element beyond simply copy and pasting a photo onto a canvas. “"I love to create moods, the use of dramatic light sources, and rich colors tastefully mixed.  I feel compelled to count feathers or scales and to feel the fur on live wolves before I paint them.  The perfectionist in me sleeps a little better - even if a little extra accuracy goes unnoticed.  You have to be more than disciplined; you have to be driven."


Randy’s home has many mounted waterfowl and other animals that serve as visual references for his paintings. Randy’s favorite photo op was when he had to take a picture of a Siberian White Tiger from a few feet away. Randy once had a bear cub knock a painting off his easel. Sometimes Randy will observe and photograph plant life during hikes through the woods. "It's no fun getting swamp muck all over your jeans because you can't broad jump as far as you could 20 years ago - but it goes with the turf (or lack thereof).”


Randy’s art studio faces a wooded scene in Acworth, GA. He has a wife and three children. Ryan McGovern, the middle child, is clearly the smartest and most loved of all. Besides his painting duties (which he performs every day) he also manages his company which many support staff employees that assist with framing, shipping, orders, accounting, etc. "I'm very thankful to all my collectors for their support over the years and especially to the Good Lord and all he has given to me and blessing me with the talent" - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)


  • 1983 - Artist of the year and first Annual Duck Stamp Print, Wildfowl Carvers & Collectors Guild

  • 1984 - Louisiana Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year

  • 1985 - First Issue Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp & Print for Waterfowl U.S.A.

  • 1985 - Cover of Waterfowl U.S.A. Magazine

  • 1986 - Best of Category, Florida National Wildlife Show

  • 1987 - First Place - Southern Art Competition - Montgomery, AL

  • 1987 - Feature story on nationally televised 700 Club

  • 1990 - First Place for Timber Wolves - Eastland Wildlife Show, Charlotte, NC

  • 1992 - First Place - First of State, South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Stamp

  • 1993 - Cover of Waterfowl & Wetlands Magazine

  • 1994 - Cover of Outdoor Life Magazine

  • 1997 - Cover of Quail Unlimited Magazine

  • 1997 - National Quail Unlimited Artist of the Year

  • 1998 - Cover of Forest Landowner Magazine

  • 2001 - Cover of Bass and Striper Fishing Magazine

  • 2002 - Commissioned to design Arkansas Wild Turkey Stamp

  • 2003 - Cover of Texas Outdoors Magazine

  • 2004 - Cover of Safari Press

  • 2005 - Cover of Quail Unlimited Dove Hunting Magazine

  • 2010 - Commissioned to design 2010 Coastal Conservation Association Stamp Print

  • 2011 - Commissioned to design 2011 Texas Saltwater Fishing Stamp Print

  • 2012 - Signed exclusive licensing agreement (first ever for an artist) with IMG, largest licensing agency in the world.

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