Dream the ‘American Dream’!

'American Dream', colour Biro drawing, 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken

‘American Dream’, 2014, colour Biro drawing, 60cm x 42 cm by Jane Lee McCracken

This year’s artwork for the Wolf Conservation Center, NY (WCC)‘American Dream’ has taken four months in the making.  Not only does it feature WCC wolves, Atka, Alawa, Zephyr and Nikai but it places wolves at the very heart of the Great American Wilderness highlighting the essential keystone species they are.

ABOUT ‘AMERICAN DREAM’

'American Dream', colour Biro drawing, 2014, detail - Zephyr

‘American Dream’, colour Biro drawing,  detail –  Zephyr

“Winter howls through Yellowstone National Park, sweeping across Ambassador wolf Zephyr’s fur.  An intrepid stag plunges through a deep blanket of snow, pursued by wolves, as a bison battles against a blizzard on the plains between the mountains.

'American Dream', colour Biro drawing, detail - Nikai and Monarch Butterfly

‘American Dream’, colour Biro drawing, detail – Nikai and Monarch Butterfly

A mountain bluebird heralds the arrival of spring, as a bear wakes from hibernation and a bison calf is caught in a spring shower, while Alpine flowers blossom on Zephyr’s legs. Summer shimmers on the wings of a monarch butterfly announcing the arrival of Nikai, the Wolf Conservation Center’s newest Ambassador. Nikai listens to the bluebird’s song as bison rut in a summer meadow.

'American Dream', colour Biro Drawing, detail - Zephyr and Alawa as pups and Atka leaping over a stream

‘American Dream’, colour Biro Drawing, detail – Zephyr and Alawa as pups and Atka leaping over a stream

Fall flickers over Zephyr, as a pup, and turns to winter over Alawa, also as a pup and the wolf pack led by Atka return to their winter trail.  Atka, the leader of the WCC Ambassador Pack, gleams like the sun on the wings of a monarch butterfly. He watches over Zephyr, Alawa, and Nikai in a landscape where wolves roam free.”

"American Dream', colour Biro drawing, detail - Atka and Monarch Butterfly

“American Dream’, colour Biro drawing, detail – Atka and Monarch Butterfly

MAKING  ‘AMERICAN DREAM’

I found inspiration for ‘American Dream’ from the BBC film “Yellowstone” (2009), taking hundreds of still photographs as the film played, searching for images that would best represent the wildlife that has inhabited North America for thousands of years. Also working with beautiful images of wolves taken by Rebecca Bose of the WCC, my aspiration was to try and capture the majesty of the center’s wolves.

Biro (ballpoint pen) is a difficult medium to work with.  There is no room for error as erasing is not possible, Biro blots meaning the nibs have to be constantly cleaned, also the colour range is limited resulting in most colours being mixed directly within the drawing to achieve the palette required.  Making a drawing of this scale therefore takes several months.  But the result is colours of such vibrancy and depth that resemble pigment inks whilst working with the age old technique of ‘drawing’, that still remains with us since the earliest art produced by man, millennia ago.

Ultimately the aim of this artwork was to create a piece that presents wolves as a keystone species while evoking the timeless beauty of the American landscape. Monarch butterflies appear in the drawing highlighting that they too are a vulnerable species, their epic North American migration to Mexico now under threat. The spectrum of colors applied in the drawing reflect the beauty of our natural world, while the dominance of red, white, and blue suggest American traditions and resound ‘hope’ that wolves and other wildlife are thriving again through the inspirational work of organizations such as WCC which dream the ‘American Dream’ and are making it a reality!

‘American Dream’ will be auctioned at this year’s WCC ‘Wine & Wolves’ Holiday Celebration Event on 4th December, with all profits raised going directly to WCC.

Limited edition prints of ‘American Dream’ will also go on sale soon, details to be published in the coming weeks.  All profits raised from each print sold will also go directly to WCC.

For further information about this artwork please contact jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

Wishing Atka, Alawa, Zephyr, Nikai and all at WCC a wonderful ‘Wine & Wolves’!

Photo Credit: Rebecca Bose, WCC

Photo Credit: Rebecca Bose, WCC

 

 

 

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PAWS and the “Cats of Paxos”

"Cats of Paxos", Biro Drawing 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken

“Cats of Paxos”, Biro Drawing 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken

Last year whilst holidaying on the beautiful Ionian island of Paxos, we were captivated by the many island cats, particularly a young black cat who visited us everyday to basque in the attention we lavished on him.  During our visit my husband and I spied a poster in a shop window in Gaios, advertising the opening of a new Veterinary Clinic in Magazia run by UK charity PAWS (Paxos Animal Welfare Society).

PAWS is an extraordinary charity founded in 2005 by Lindsay Geddes and Linda Parker, who met while holidaying in Paxos, and who finally brought veterinary care to Paxos as well as support for winter feeding of the island’s cats and an educational programme in animal welfare.

Visiting the superb new clinic on the opening night we met the remarkable Lindsay Geddes, volunteer Vet Russell Lyon and his wife Chris, who all devote several months each year to tend to the welfare of the island’s animals, particularly cats.  Their dedication to PAWS and animal welfare was truly inspiring.  The opening night was also attended by the legendary Ian K Bleasdale and his charming wife Elizabeth, supporters of PAWS.

“Cats of Paxos” Biro drawing for PAWS portrays some of the island’s cats we met during our stay as well as rescued cats, wee Maggie amongst them who arrived on the opening day of the clinic, having been found abandoned just weeks old with a serious eye infection. PAWS vets successfully treated the infection and Maggie was re-homed.

The artwork will be auctioned in Paxos in 2015 and the money raised donated to PAWS. It will be exhibited in Paxos from April until October both at the museum in Gaios and the art gallery. Prints will also be available.

For further information please visit PAWS website

 

Print No.1/20 Sold at Auction for Save Wild Tigers!

'Butterfly Lover', Luxury large format Archival Pigment Print of original Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Butterfly Lover’, Luxury large format Archival Pigment Print of original black and neon orange Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

STOP PRESS…PRINT NO.1/20 ‘BUTTERFLY LOVER’ 
SOLD AT AUCTION AT THE MAJESTIC TIGER BALL, KUALA LUMPUR FOR £1350($2160)…FOR SAVE WILD TIGERS.
 
HANDFUL OF LARGE FORMAT PRINTS STILL AVAILABLE AT ORIGINAL PRICE…PROCEEDS GO DIRECTLY TO SAVE WILD TIGERS… TO PURCHASE YOUR PRINT AND HELP SAVE THE LAST 3000 WILD TIGERS PLEASE VISIT: www.janeleemccracken/butterflylover
…BEST WISHES JANE…STOP

Detail of new Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken for Save Wild Tigers

New Website – Take a Look and See…

Details of eyes from various Biro drawings by Jane Lee McCracken

Details of eyes from various Biro drawings by Jane Lee McCracken

Launched today, new website with new work, new projects and news of up and coming projects.  Take a look and see…

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk

Tiger Logo Butterflies 2

‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ on the Eastern and Oriental Tiger Express

 

'Cherry Blossom Girl' colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan, Jane Lee McCracken 2014

‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan, Jane Lee McCracken 2014

From 2nd – 6th October 2014, ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ my latest artwork made exclusively for Save Wild Tigers (SWT) will embark on an epic journey aboard the Eastern and Oriental Tiger Express. Departing from Raffles Hotel Singapore, travelling through the spectacular Malaysian countryside to Thailand, this original colour Biro drawing on a found Oriental Fan will be auctioned at journey’s end with all proceeds going directly to Save Wild Tigers.

'Cherry Blossom Girl' colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan and 'Amoy' black Biro drawing on red silk box interior, Jane Lee McCracken 2014

‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan and ‘Amoy’ black Biro drawing on red silk box interior, Jane Lee McCracken 2014

‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ symbolises the depth of tradition through the iconography of a hand fan; as tiger species struggle to endure the 21st century, locked in a battle with traditional medicine, one of the greatest threats to their survival, this piece highlights the fact that tiger evolution is even older than tradition and my belief that tigers should now be placed above tradition in order to preserve them. A fluttering hand fan also represents that tigers teeter on the edge of extinction in the wild. ‘The Legend of the Last South China Tiger’ written and drawn especially for SWT focuses on the fate of the South China Tiger subspecies, which is thought to only survive in captivity.

“In creating ‘Cherry Blossom Girl”, I wanted to portray ‘hope’ that it is possible to save wild tigers. Saving tigers has been a lifelong passion since I was a small child and learned that the Caspian Tiger had finally been declared extinct. I hope this piece echoes the wondrous sights passengers will absorb during their journey and serve as a memento of an extraordinary experience. It was a challenging piece to make, drawing directly onto a wooden fan with colour Biro, a medium that allows no room for error. But this resonates with the hard work of SWT, a cause dedicated to maintaining the enrichment of our world by allowing us to share it with one of the most beautiful creatures that has ever existed.”

'Cherry Blossom Girl' colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan, detail

‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ colour Biro drawing on found Oriental Fan, detail

Guests onboard The Tiger Express are bound for SWT’s event of the year ‘The Majestic Tiger Ball’, The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 3rd October 2014.  SWT have organised a spectacular evening of entertainment from ballet to fashion to an auction of exquisite tiger art.  Included in the Majestic Tiger Ball art auction are luxury large print No.1/20 ‘Butterfly Lover’ and No’s 2/200 china plates ‘Shhh, it’s a Tiger!” and “Bang!”.

For further information about Save Wild Tigers inspirational ‘Inspire’ events this October please visit www.savewildtigers.org

The complete legend is now available to read at www.janeleemccracken.co.uk

“In the Forests of the night” 3000 Wild Tigers Remain

'Bang!" Siberian Tiger plate back with gold inscription and plate front

‘Bang!” Siberian Tiger plate back with gold inscription and plate front

Two weeks ago I wrote the following inscription on the back of one of my Siberian Tiger plates “Bang!”, for Save Wild Tigers event of the year, ‘Inspire’, Kuala Lumpur, October 2014,

“Fewer than 3,200 wild tigers remain, lets inspire a generation and reverse the decline”.

Today sadly, the official number of tigers in the wild just released, stands at only 3000.

The clock is ticking and ticking fast, but there’s still time to save the tiger.  To join the fight back and help keep the tiger “burning bright” visit www.savewildtigers.org

More information about ‘Inspire’, Kuala Lumpur coming soon.

"Bang!", Siberian Tiger, 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

“Bang!”, Siberian Tiger, 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

 

War Horse – Remembering all Beings lost in The Great War

'Odyssey', The Dreamers, 2013 original Biro drawing on china by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Odyssey’, The Dreamers, 2013 original Biro drawing on china by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Odyssey’ (Lomonosov Foal) – A lying foal ‘Odyssey’ dreams of his odyssey through life – black Biro drawing made of layers of images inspired from ‘The Red and the White’, Miklós Jancsó, 1967, ‘White Mane’, Albert Lamorisse, 1953 and ‘Les sang des bêtes’, Georges Franju, 1949.  Hope for a bright future is portrayed in the innocent form of the young foal’s figurine as Odyssey faces his journey through life, tracing his playful youth as a colt ridden bareback by a young boy to cavalry horse of the revolutionary Red Army, to its journeys end at an abattoir.  This piece depicts the fate of many war-horses, often cruelly treated and asks whether this is a fitting demise for an animal who has given its life to war service for humans?

'Odyssey', The Dreamers, 2013 original Biro drawing on china by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Odyssey’, The Dreamers, 2013 original Biro drawing on china by Jane Lee McCracken

For further information on this piece please visit this earlier post ‘Meet Odyssey and Old Foe’