Pat Gregory




Where do you see art in nature?


Patrick Gregory is continuing the craft that his Great-Grandfather George Barto practiced—carving duck decoys.  


“I love the fact that we can make something and use it.  Being a carver we have to study live ducks, and you develop an amazing appreciation of the birds themselves.  That really shows up in my carving.  I love that I see ducks that will come in to my decoys.  That’s the coup de grâce in my craft, it means something to us.”  


“The question some ask is, ‘How we keep this craft going in the day and age of plastic decoys?’ To me, the real essence of keeping this thing going is wholly in the spirit of the decoy.  Meaning, if all we do is make these things to put them on the shelves, we lose the spirit of it. If you make true decoys, why would you not put it out in the water?” 








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More information on this art form and artist can be found in our Teacher’s Guide.





Additional Resources


Delta Waterfowl Magazine did a feature story in Summer 2012 on Patrick Gregory.  The full story, written by Paul Wait, can be found here:


The Ward Museum of Waterfowl Art is located in Salisbury, Maryland. It has a rich website with educational resources.  Pat Gregory has also presented at this museum.


A website for decoy carvers and enthusiasts featuring Pat Gregory and other Central Illinois carvers, including its producer Tim Speight, can be found at .


The New York State Museum has resources on nature illustrating, including Focus on Nature:  “Focus on Nature (FON) is a biennial, international exhibit of natural and cultural history illustration. Started in 1990 in conjunction with the Northeast Natural History Conference, it continues to highlight the status of contemporary illustration.”  A pdf of the 2012 catalog with both brilliant illustrations and wonderful contextualizing narratives that could be used as a model and guide for a number of school and group projects can be found here:


Ducks Unlimited is a rich resource on Ducks—their biology, their habitat, migration, conservation of their environments, etc.  They also have a number of educational links, maps, etc.  This is a site that is also important to hunters, so there is also a number of links related to hunting.

George Barto Decoys

Patrick Gregory’s Great Grandfather, George Barto, in water with decoys (photo courtesy of artist)