POWELL RIVER, B.C.- A local artist’s work has been chosen for Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC) 2018 National Art Portfolio.

Luke Raffin’s piece, Morning Mist, is one of 11 works selected from hundreds of submissions by artists from across the country.

“I was the artist of the year for Ducks Unlimited Canada in 1990, so I’ve been there before but it’s great every time it happens,” he said, speaking with 95.7 Coast FM.

Raffin said he was inspired to create Morning Mist after a camping trip.

“We were actually camping at Nanton Lake, and every morning there was a fog over the lake. It just looked awesome, and I had that little thought in my mind that I should paint that,” he explained.

“I took a few photographs, which I used for reference, and the loons were put in afterwords because we kept on seeing the loons later on in the day.”

With the donation of his artwork to DUC, Raffin will be helping raise funds for wetland conservation. Money raised will go towards scientific research and educational programs.

“They are going to be selling those prints and all the revenue coming in is going to go to Ducks Unlimited. It’s up to them how to use the funds to save wetlands and things like that,” Raffin said.

A release from DUC stated that wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on the planet. They naturally clean water, prevent floods and droughts and help mitigate the effects of climate change by holding large amounts of carbon.

“The National Art Portfolio is a unique program that not only promotes our country’s outstanding natural artists, but the growing need to conserve the natural areas that inspire their work,” said Michaela Bell, DUC’s national manager of retail operations, in the release.

“I’m confident his (Raffin) painting will be very successful in helping us raise the money we need to continue our wetland conservation work.”

Raffin was born in Italy and moved to Powell River with his parents and older brother in the late 1960’s. He has previously won the bronze teal award for raising funds for Ducks Unlimited.

“I couldn’t sing or dance, I couldn’t fix my car. I tried electrical and wasn’t any good at it, but I could draw, so that’s the road I took,” said Raffin, explaining his career path.

“I took a home study course and from there I went to art college at OCA (now known as OCAD), the Ontario College of Art.”

Raffin’s work and pieces by other Canadian nature artists are being sold at DUC community fundraising events, and online at ducks.ca.