The 12-year-old’s artwork reflects her love of nature


Ariah Lowell, 12, is a passionate and accomplished artist who loves birds and animals. Photo by Rebekah Lowell

The impressive result of a young birdwatcher in the National Youth Duck Stamp competition is just one example of her deep love for nature.

Ariah Lowell, 12, from Biddeford, has been drawing since the age of 2. Her passion for animals, she says, goes back as far as she can remember.

“I draw almost every day,” she says. “Usually I take a picture of what I see in nature, then I go into a room and paint it. I like to draw plants, flowers and especially birds.

Ariah Lowell’s oil painting of a harlequin duck won third place in the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition. Photo by Rebekah Lowell

More than 400 Maine students entered the duck stamp contest – and nearly 9,000 students across the country – according to Maine Audubon, who coordinates the program in Maine with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ariah’s oil painting, which she composed from a photograph of a harlequin duck she took in Ogunquit, won the Best in Show award in Maine and placed third in the national competition in the same category.

“I don’t really know what job I want to do (when I’m older), but I’ll still be an artist, even if I have other work,” Ariah said.

Her mother, Rebekah Lowell, and sister, Elektrah, 14, also entered the state’s duck stamp competition. This year Elektrah Lowell won first place in the junior competition in her age group – grades 7-9. The two girls are homeschooled by their mother and the three birds together.

They started birding more frequently two years ago after joining the Maine Young Bird Watchers Club. But even alone, Ariah is content to draw plants and birds in the house. A year ago, she started keeping a nature journal – a hobby that quickly turned into four journals.

After winning national accolades for her art, she said she wanted to be recognized more for her love of animals than for her artistry.

“I would like people to know that we have seven chickens and four cats. And we are covering three eggs now, ”she said.

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