I wanted to share my latest series of watercolor and gouache paintings. Animals and nature are my inspiration. When I was a kid, I used to write reports about animals during the summer, when no teacher was asking for them. I was sure I’d become a zoologist and get married in the jungle with chimpanzees as members of my wedding party. That, or I was going to become a veterinarian.

But then I watched Gorillas in the Mist and got a bit freaked out about the whole jungle living, unintended machete run-in problem, and the idea of watching animals suffer drove me away from the vet world. So now, I paint them.

One thing that has been of major concern to me is the fact that many of the animals that we assume will always be around are being driven off the planet and into extinction. A century ago, there were nearly 100,000 tigers in the world. Now their numbers are closer to 3,200. The orangutan population in Sumatra is down to around 6,600. White African elephants number around 400,000, poachers killed nearly 100,000 of these amazing animals in just 3 years.

This is awful. While I’d like to go out and battle the poachers personally, I decided to help in another way. I’m going to donate a portion of the profits from the sales of this series to 2 different organizations: WildAid and The Orangutan Foundation. Both organizations are rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator.

If you know of an organization that could use some support, please let me know.

More info: maggiehurley.com