Close Encounters of the Wild Kind - 6 Favorite Wildlife Art Pieces

February 15, 2021

Bear Necessities is an original oil painting by Kelly McNeil.

By Chelsea Reed

Thanks to the encouragement of spending time outside in the fresh air, outdoor adventures are more popular than ever. Families are exploring National Parks and other areas, some of which they have never seen before. The great outdoors is certainly a wonderful place to get away to with the right gear and safety measures. You even have a chance to spot some amazing animals from a distance. 

Or, you could safely meet them in their habitat up close and a painting!  

Here are six of many pieces we love in this year’s Animals in Art Show that best capture exhilarating wildlife encounters. 


  1. Bear Necessities by Kelly McNeil, Oil Painting

Black bears are found in North America, including North Carolina. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has plenty of them, and they sometimes venture across the sound into the Outer Banks beaches. These fuzzy creatures have a versatile diet. They enjoy eating plants, nuts, berries, and fish. This black bear seems determined to not go empty-handed today! 


  1. Pensive (Mountain Gorilla of Uganda) by Beverly Abbott, Oil on Ivorine
Pensive (Mountain Gorilla of Uganda) is an original  oil painting on ivorine by Beverly Abbott

Meanwhile, a mountain gorilla on the other side of the world takes a moment to ponder something important. Which makes us wonder… What do mountain gorillas think about? Maybe it’s a mate, or a relative, or perhaps his next meal of plants. That’s a lot of pondering, isn’t it?

In the wild, mountain gorillas live in family groups of 10. The fur on their backs becomes silver when they are about 12 years old, earning them the subspecies name “silverback.”


  1. In the Shadows (Whitetail Deer) by Connie Cruise, Oil Painting


In the Shadows (Whitetail Deer) oil painting by Connie Cruise.

Back in America, a whitetail deer peers out from the brush with caution. Perhaps it is hiding from a predator or is about to step out from its sleeping bed. You probably wouldn’t see a live deer this close before it flees, but this beautiful painting makes it possible. Did you know that a whitetail deer has the same number of teeth as humans? Strange, but true!


  1. Windows by Judy Lalingo, Oil Painting
Windows is an original oil painting by Judy Lalingo

Speaking of up close and personal, we love this painting of an adorable raccoon. Its cute, furry demeanor, of course, is not to be fooled with. Raccoons have a notorious reputation for getting into mischief and solving problems. In one test, some raccoons even figured out how to open 11 out of 13 locked mechanisms planned by scientists. 


  1. Swallowtail #13 by Raffaele Paglia, Collage-Watercolor
Swallowtail #13 is a collage-watercolor by Raffaele Paglia

Swallowtail butterflies are master travelers. These swallowtails look like they could take off from the art frame! In the wild, they are found in North America, Southeast and East Asia, Europe, and the tropics. Swallowtails can sojourn far distances from high altitudes to sea level. Their colorful wings help them escape from predators by mimicking the look of distasteful species. 


  1. Tucked In by Harrison, Oil Painting
Tucked In oil painting by Cindy Harrison

Whew! All these epic encounters of cute and cool wildlife can tucker you out. This red fox has the right idea. It seems to have found a comfy spot in a tree to recharge. Did you know that a fox can use its bushy tail to communicate with other foxes? It’s also used as a warm blanket for cold temperatures. Sounds like a foxy idea. 

A Field Trip Without Spending the Fuel

If you are “going ape” in excitement for wildlife art, there are plenty more being showcased at Seaside Art Gallery’s Animals in Art Show. No need to visit a park to see these animals! All of the artwork is right here online. A portion of the proceeds benefits local Dare County pets in need of necessities like food, shelter, and spay or neutering services. It’s all about animals helping animals! 

Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina

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