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The Stamp Designers
The Stamp Designers
Steve Buchanan | Lonnie Busch | Christopher Calle | Paul Calle | Ken Dallison | Phil Jordan | Ethel Kessler | Clarence Lee | Kenneth Libbrecht | Terry McCaffrey | Piotr Naszarkowski |
Tim O'Brien
| Howard Paine | Paul Salmon | Richard Sheaff
Stamp Designer Biographies
If you are a USPS stamp designer and wish to have your biography listed here,
or, if you are listed here and wish to update your pictures or biography,
email Knottywood Treasures. We will be happy to comply to your requests.
(Knottywood Treasures email can be found on our Home page.)

Steve Buchanan The Worm!

His wildlife portraits may be too small to fit over your fireplace mantle but they do grab your attention with their irrestible color, vitality, and movement.

To view Steve Buchanan's stamp designs click HERE

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Steve Buchanan
        Steve Buchanan at Washington 2006

      Steve Buchanan's path to becoming a successful wildlife illustrator was anything but calculated. At 40 years old he was a concert pianist and on the faculty of James Madison University in Virginia, teaching individual students and classes. One day his wife Rita came home with Dr. Betty Edward's book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". On a lark he worked his way through the book, exploring his artistic potential, intrigued that it might inspire his musical creativity.

Fate intervened again, and the couple moved to Connecticut where Rita, a writer and naturalist, became editor of Fine Gardening magazine. At loose ends during his job search, Buchanan enrolled in a few classes at the Hartford Art School and tried his hand at wildlife illustration. He received small jobs illustrating articles for gardening publications. He says, "But when you do botanical illustration, sooner or later people want you to draw bugs." He stopped thinking about finding a faculty teaching job in music, and turned his attentions toward visual art.

Buchanan began to explore the art possibilities of desktop computers in the early 1990's, and now works exclusivly in the digital media. His work has appeared on book and magazine covers, posters, product packaging, and on US postage stamps. His clients have included The New York Times, Fine Gardening Magazine, Scientific American, The Bayer Corp., and the United States Postal Service. His work has been selected for inclusion in exhibits and annuals of The Society of Illustrators, HOW, Communication Arts, and Step-by-Step.

In 1996 Buchanan landed a contract with the USPS illustrating the award winning Tropical Flower stamp series released in May of 1999. Shortly thereafter, he was offered the well known Insect and Spider stamp series released later the same year.

Overnight, his work, which was mainly in the botanical field guides, scientific journals, and gardening magazines, would be enjoyed by people all over the world. He became a celebrity in wildlife illustration circles.

Carnivorous Plants were the subjects of another popular series in 2001, later joined by his stamp series on Reptiles and Amphibians series, the Buckeye Butterfly, American Crops, and Motorcycles.

Even though his artistic medium has gotten more high tech over the years, Buchanan doesn't cut corners when it comes to slow and careful observation of the natural world. "To really see how beasts behave you need to spend time outside," he says, "In fact, it's even true with plants. We live here out in the woods, so if I need frogs I can catch green frogs or I can catch common toads to see what their behavior is like and what their posture is like."

Observation of living insects was important to document things like antenna positions, but, as he says, "I had real bugs on pins, and I could pop them into a microscope." He laughs, "Having real bugs on pins is almost as good as having them crawling around on your desk." spacer
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