Patrick Godin was born in 1953 and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. A childhood fascination with the natural world inspired Pat Godin to carve his first bird in 1967, but he admitted that it was rather crude and it did not work very well- it sunk. He did not attempt carving again until 1972. His interest in carving waterfowl actually came from the disbelief that he could actually fool a wild animal into thinking a painted block of wood was one of their own.
He went to his first carving contest in 1970 as a spectator. This was important because it allowed him to meet other enthusiastic bird carvers and through them he picked up a lot of ideas and technical tips. His work is inspired by Jim Foote, John Scheeler, William Schultz and many others. This meeting and his own love of nature led him to dedicate his life to the study of animals and the environment.
Through the 1970s Godin studied at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario and received an Honors B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. He also got a M.S. degree by conducting research on Mallard Ecology. In addition to acting as an undergraduate ornithology instructor, he also worked extensively with waterfowl and other species of birds while engaged with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Through his training he became very knowledgeable about the birds that he would be carving. It is important to Godin that all of his art work be “biologically, anatomically and ecologically correct.”
With his carvings he likes them to tell a story, and many times tries to incorporate nature into his carvings. Godin, instead of referring to himself as a bird sculptor or carver, calls himself a nature sculpture so he does not feel pressured into focusing on the bird itself.
Godin is one of the many carvers that taught themselves how to carve. He also taught himself the technical aspects of the art form. Beginning in 1976, with a pair of Common Goldeneyes, Godin has won a string of ten Ward World Championship titles including one in the World Championship Miniature Wildfowl Category with his 1/3 life size scale carving of a Ruffled Grouse, entitled, “Otter Creek Courtship.”
In November 1994 Pat Godin was inducted into the Waterfowl Festival Hall of Fame, Easton Maryland. Godin lives with his wife, Jessica (daughter of Jimmie Vizier), and their three children in Paris, Ontario, Canada.