12-Year-Old Girl’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

A young birder’s impressive result in the National Youth Duck Stamp competition is just one example of her deep love of 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 participated in the duck stamp contest — and nearly 9,000 students across the country — according to Maine Audubon, which 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 caught in Ogunquit, won Best in Show 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 always be an artist, even if I have another job,” Ariah said.

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

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

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

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

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