Tag Archives: art

Scary Good Art: Biologist Mark McCollough’s painting makes coyotes come alive

Mark 1

Mark McCollough of our Maine Ecological Services Field Office

When the Portland Art Gallery asks you to paint a painting of coyotes for their new art exhibit – Coyote Connections – and you’re a wildlife biologist, what do you do? Well, if you’re Mark McCollough from the Maine Ecological Services Field Office, you do your research. You find out as much as you can about coyotes in the Portland area. You track coyotes during the day and at night to understand their behavior. And, you spend nights at the local cemetery observing coyotes wandering through the gravestones by moonlight. Then, and only then, you take out your brush and paints and get to work painting what you see. That’s exactly what happened to Mark McCollough and why his beautiful painting depicting a real pack of coyotes at a cemetery in Portland is on display at the Portland Art Gallery through mid-January.


“The Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery” (acrylics) by Mark McCollough

Why coyotes? Thirty-one Maine artists were invited to tell the story of coyotes and what they mean to the ecology of Maine. Coyotes often have the reputation of being a nuisance varmint that has run rampant across the country. And, these artists wanted to tell a broader, more accurate story of the coyote. Mark said he learned so much about this “wiley” creature including that it has established a population in downtown Portland at the cemetery. He enjoys integrating his love for wildlife with his love for art – and it shows! To learn more about the Coyote Connections exhibit visit: http://www.une.edu/artgallery/exhibitions/coyote-connections

Anisha Kundu.

Mass. 4th grader wins category of national endangered species art contest

Anisha Kundu.

Congratulations to Anisha Kundu of Sudbury, Mass., for winning the 3-5 grade category of the 2013 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest! Anisha painted a humpback whale in watercolor. Read below to learn more about her and why she chose this animal. Credit: Kundu family

Watercolor painting

The art contest provides young people with an opportunity to learn about endangered species, like the endangered humpback whale, and express their knowledge and support through artwork. A prestigious panel of artists, photographers and conservationists judge the artwork.

Q. Why did you enter the Endangered Species Day art contest?
A. I love art and I love drawing. It’s fun, entertains you and helps you relax. I love drawing nature.

Q. Why are you interested in endangered animals?
A. I’m interested in endangered animals because they might go extinct soon. It is sad to see animals die, and we’ll have none left.

Q. Why did you choose the endangered humpback whale?
A. They make these noises that can be heard long distances. They are also very large and the females are larger than males, which is super cool. We went on a whale watching trip, and we got an awesome view of a few whales.

I added a fishing boat because whales are most endangered, like humpback whales, because they get caught in fishing gear like nets or anchors. So I thought I would add that too.

Q. Are you excited to have won?
Yes. I hope that by drawing a humpback whale, it can help the population of these whales increase by raising awareness.

Q. Will you do more watercolor paintings?
A. Yes. I also entered in the Junior Duck stamp contest with a watercolor painting. I love ocean life so I was thinking about painting turtles or other underwater animals.

Learn about the other winners.