‘Our Forefathers, Our Loss’ – Panthera Pardus Orientalis

'Our Forefathers', Amur Leopard, 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', 2013, Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Our Forefathers’, Amur Leopard, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013, Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

One of the most endangered big cats in the world in the world inspired Biro drawings for my plate diptych of Amur Leopards.

European exploration from the 15th century onwards saw the beginnings of plundering the natural world and its legacy that has been inherited to date. A fragmented drawing of Rembrandt’s etching, ‘The Windmill’, 1641 symbolises the depiction in European art during the 15th to the 17th centuries of new and exciting discoveries from distant lands and represents man’s fascination with collecting and hunting exotic species.  As few as 45 Amur Leopards exist in the wilds of Ussuriland in Russia at present and only an estimated 7-12 individuals remain in China.

'Our Forefathers' and 'Our Loss', Amur Leopard 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia' luxury fine English china plate series

‘Our Forefathers’ and ‘Our Loss’, Amur Leopard ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’ luxury fine English china plate series

Still photographs taken of the leopard from Cartier’s 2012 advertisement, L’Odyssée de CartierBruno Aveillan depict the beauty of leopard species’  in ‘Our Loss’ and convey the possible loss of wild leopard sub species such as the Amur Leopard whilst questioning the training of wild animals to perform for human gratification.

'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

For plate enquiries please contact:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

For plate sales please visit THE NEW ENGLISH

'Our Forefathers', Amur Leopard, 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', 2013, Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Our Forefathers’, Amur Leopard, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013, Archival Pigment Print

For luxury Archival Pigment prints made to order by the UK’s best master printmaker Jack Lowe Studio please visit my shop

'Our Forefathers' and ''Our Loss', Amur Leopard 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', luxury fine English china plate series by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Our Forefathers’ and ”Our Loss’, Amur Leopard ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, luxury fine English china plate series by Jane Lee McCracken

 

 

‘Bang!’ – Odyssey of the Siberian Tiger

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

“Bang!”, Siberian Tiger, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Bang!’ is the second drawing in my diptych, ‘Siberian Tiger’, which is part of my luxury fine English china plate and print series.

Inspired by the elusive Amur tiger, stealing through the forests of Ussuriland in Scottish film maker Gordon Buchanan’s beautifully shot film ‘Amba, the Russian Tiger’, 2008, a tiger skull placed beside a walking Siberian tiger is layered with a projected image of a group of revolutionary Red Army soldiers posing with a tiger they have shot.  The target of the sniper rifle in the foliage of ‘Shh, it’s a Tiger! is revealed as the walking tiger in ‘Bang!’ through the symbolic bullet hole in the skull.

'Shh, it's a Tiger!' and 'Bang!', Siberian tiger luxury fine china plate diptych by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’ and ‘Bang!’, Siberian tiger luxury fine china plate diptych by Jane Lee McCracken

The simplicity of this drawing which juxtaposes the complexity of ‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’ carries an epic message, unless the illegal hunting of tigers by poachers is halted, Siberian Tigers will no longer roam the forests of Ussuriland.  Around 400 Amur Tigers remain in the wild.  Wildlife crime remains one of the greatest threats to their survival.

For further information about the Amur Tiger please click on this link to WWF’s website

'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

For plate enquiries please contact:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

For plate sales please visit THE NEW ENGLISH

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

“Bang!”, Siberian Tiger, Archival Pigment Print

For luxury Archival Pigment prints made to order by the UK’s best master printmaker Jack Lowe Studio please visit my shop

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‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’ – Amba, Guardian of the Forest

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

“Shh, it’s a Tiger!”, Siberian Tiger, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013, black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

As part of my china and print series ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’ the first Biro drawing in the Siberian Tiger diptych was inspired by two things – a drawing by an old master and an iconic image of India.

‘Landscape with a Woodland Pool’, Albrecht Dürer, 1496

The synonymous image of a Royal Bengal tiger bathing in a pool in Ranthambore National Park, India with its majestic ruined palaces, was the basis for my Russian fantasy of the Siberian tiger. Albrecht Dürer’s beautiful and beguiling drawing Landscape with a Woodland Pool 1496, a photograph of a forest pool in Ussuriland and Ivan Shishkin’s painting, ‘The Forest of Countess Mordvinova’, 1891, form the inspiration for the background drawing layers, creating the fantastical setting for a bathing Siberian Tiger.

'Countess Mordvinov's Forest (Лес графини Мордвиновой)', Ivan Shishkin, 1891, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

‘Countess Mordvinov’s Forest (Лес графини Мордвиновой)’, Ivan Shishkin, 1891, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

At the edge of the lake sits a Dacha birdcage from my own collection.  Reclining inside is a Siberian tiger, further suggesting the image of Royal Bengal tigers shading inside Indian palaces but also indicating the thousands of tigers kept in captivity in comparison with so few remaining wild tigers.  A giant Siberian tiger sweeps through the forest background, emulating the Udege and Nanai name for the tiger “Amba”, ‘Guardian of the Forest’.  Breaking through the forest is a cavalry of Red Army soldiers symbolising the devastation wreaked on the Siberian Tiger population, which was almost extinguished by both Red and White Armies around Vladivostok during the Russian Revolution.

'Shh, it's a Tiger!', luxury fine English china plate by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’, luxury fine English china plate by Jane Lee McCracken

On the right walks a tiger beside an Udege woman from a still photograph I took of ‘Amba the Russian Tiger‘, 2008, Gordon Buchanan, proclaiming the fragility of not only the tiger population but the indigenous people of Ussuriland.  The tiger in the pool looks beyond a sniper rifle hidden in the foliage, outside the picture towards ‘Bang!’ the second drawing in the Siberian Tiger diptych.  A skull with a bullet hole depicted in ‘Bang!’ indicates what the tiger in the pool is watching, a tiger hunt!

'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken


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For plate enquiries please contact:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

For plate sales please visit THE NEW ENGLISH

'Shh, it's a Tiger!', Archival Pigment Print

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’, Archival Pigment Print

For luxury Archival Pigment prints made to order by the UK’s best master printmaker Jack Lowe Studio please visit my shop

 

‘REVENGE’ – Print Series Celebrating the Majesty of the Last Carnivores of Eurasia

'Revenge', Wolves "In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia" black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Revenge’, Wolves “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia”, 2013, black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

I am also delighted to announce that in conjunction with my luxury fine china plate series, “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia” available from THE NEW ENGLISH, luxury prints of the original black Biro drawings for each plate design are also available from my shop.

Made by the finest master printmaker in the UK Jack Lowe Studio, signed and numbered Archival Pigment prints are beautifully crafted to order.

For further information about luxury prints and plates please do contact me:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk

'Sweet', Wolves, "In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia", luxury Archival Pigment print

‘Sweet’, Wolves, “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia”, luxury Archival Pigment print

Luxury Fine China Plate Series Arrives at THE NEW ENGLISH!

'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, Luxury Fine English China Plate Series by Jane Lee McCracken

I am delighted to announce the arrival of my luxury fine English china plate series “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia” at the home of cutting edge ceramics,  THE NEW ENGLISH

‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’ is a set of finest English china platters designed from my original black Biro drawings.  It celebrates the beauty and majesty of threatened and endangered species across the Eurasian continent whilst highlighting their depletion through wildlife crime.

The set includes eight designs each with its own complex layers of symbolism relating to the species the design depicts.  Diptych subjects include homage to Grey Wolves, Amur Leopards, Siberian Tigers and Brown Bears.

'Our Forefathers', Amur Leopard luxury fine China plate by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Our Forefathers’, Amur Leopard luxury fine English China plate designed by Jane Lee McCracken

Made in Stoke-on-Trent in England, the historic home of fine British ceramics, by prestigious ceramic designers The New English, each platter measures 280mm diameter and is a limited signed and numbered edition of 200.  Made to order, plates are available as sets or as individual pieces.  New limited edition platters of Eurasian species will be released later this year.

Plate-Shh-ItsATiger-Front

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’, Siberian Tiger, luxury fine English china plate designed by Jane Lee McCracken

Enquiries: jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

Orders: THE NEW ENGLISH

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“On White Horses, Snowy White Horses…”

"Seawind", purple Biro drawing, 2012 by Jane Lee McCracken

“Seawind”, purple Biro drawing, 2012 by Jane Lee McCracken

The halcyon days of childhood, inspiration for so much!  Anyone remember this?

‘The White Horses’, Jackie Lee

Enjoy your memories!

Where Wolves and Bears Dare!

'TV Screen II - "Where Wolves and Bears Dare", 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare”, 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 people were evacuated from the disaster zone. With humans gone from the countryside, wildlife began to take over the homes of the previous occupants, finally realising the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears!  Taking my own photographs of the Discovery Channel’s documentary ‘Chernobyl: Life in The Dead Zone’, 2007, I drew layers of images from five stills weaving together a wolf, a bear, a kitten and toys of the former occupants into a new interior setting ‘where wolves and bears dare’ to roam.  The title also suggests a link to my favourite war film “Where Eagles Dare” and the war between nature and man.  This piece represents the harmony nature re-encounters without human disruption as well as Nature’s infallibility to human destruction.  Has nature won this war?  Only time will tell, but it appears to be thriving in the most radioactively contaminated area in the world.  With people refused access to live there, other than some 100 or so elderly inhabitants of 11 villages, it is to be hoped this Involuntary Park where rare Lynx along with Brown Bears who had disappeared from the area over 100 years ago and have returned again, is left to flourish.

This drawing took some 3 months to complete, working on a square inch per day as colours are mixed directly on the paper and the complexity of deciding as I draw what should be layered over what to produce a projected, abstract effect makes for painstaking work in its entirety.

Luxury Archival Pigment Prints of ‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare!”‘ made by the marvellous Jack Lowe studio are available to order from my website

'TV Screen II - "Where Wolves and Bears Dare", 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare”, 2009, Archival Pigment Print

ATKA Print Sales Update! Nearly $400 reached

'Atka', 2013, original black Biro drawing

‘Atka’, 2013, original black Biro drawing

Thank you so much to everyone who has shown interest in the print of ‘Atka’!

I am pleased to say print sale donations to the Wolf Conservation Center, New York have reached nearly $400!  Thank you so much to everyone who has bought a print and given directly to WCC, NY to help conserve US wolves!

It is with great sadness and disappointment in our species that I read everyday of more wolves being killed or threatened in the U.S.  But thanks to organisations such as WCC who work tirelessly to educate and conserve wolves we can feel proud that so many care what happens to wolves.  And obviously the star of all wolves, the special one, ‘Atka’ who has dedicated his life to help WCC with their work, cannot be forgotten!

The print of Atka is a luxurious, high quality, signed and numbered art print which I can proudly say is made by the best printmaker from our fair isle, Jack Lowe Studio!  It is an open edition so that as many dollars as possible can be raised for WCC and ALL profits from each print sale are donated directly to them.

It would make a very special gift for a special person!

Thank you so much again for your support and print donations for Atka and his friends!

If you would like further information on prints please visit my shop (for UK visitors shipping costs differ, so please visit this link)

'Atka', 2013, original black Biro drawing

‘Atka’, 2013, Archival Pigment print of Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken, printed by Jack Lowe Studio.

‘Kaboom! Where Did All The Animals Go?’ – WAR AND WILDLIFE

Kaboom where did all the animals go - Copy

The catastrophe of war affects not only humans but wildlife also. During war, landscapes are destroyed.  Within every square foot of a landscape there is some form of life.  Every shell that exploded in the fields of Flanders in WWI, every mortar detonated in the forests of the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, had a direct impact on the eco-system within each area.  The insects, the small mammal populations, the birds, the large mammal populations – the blind fear inflicted upon them is yet another tragedy of war.

Where do the animals go?  Many of them are killed as their habitats are destroyed.  Others evacuate the area.  It is a subject that is rarely discussed as the impingement of war on humans takes precedence.

'Lying Stag' by Nymphenburg, Germany, Artist's own collection

‘Lying Stag’ by Nymphenburg, Germany, Artist’s own collection

I wanted to make a memorial to all the animals that have been affected and will continue to be affected during each outbreak of war.  Creating a halcyon forest scene of peace and tranquility, my drawing features an exquisite bisque ‘Lying Stag’ by Nymphenburg, Germany, designed by August Göhring in 1939.  Deer are the epitome of elegance and exude an aura of serenity – but their fine, slender features betray the fragility not only of their own bodies that can so easily be broken but echo the delicacy of the ecosystems they inhabit.  The fragility of porcelain symbolises the fracturable nature of ecosystems, so easily shattered.

The Emerald City, 'The Wizard of Oz', Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The Emerald City, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939

I decided to draw the porcelain stag as if it were made of ethereal Uranium glass, not only representing the green of forests but also the colour of the Emerald City in the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, 1939, thus creating a halo of wonderment as we encounter the stag lying amongst the beauty of a pristine forest.   The Emerald City seems a place of beauty and promise like the forest in the drawing, but it is an illusion masking the true reality of life behind the green walls, as war creeps ever closer to the hooves of the restful stag.  A carved section of my Grandmother’s dressing table, circa 1940 reflects the harmonious relationship man is capable of having with forests, managing them properly so that sustainable wood is used for the making of furniture and carving of objects.

Artist's still photograph of a deer from 'A Prophet', Jacques Audiard, 2009

Artist’s still photograph of a deer from ‘A Prophet’, Jacques Audiard, 2009

But a drawing of a still from the film ‘A Prophet’, 2009, Jacques Audiard of a herd of deer running down a road, caught in the headlights of a car before the film continues to show one of the deer brutally run over, represents the onslaught of war.

Still photograph of this morning's Sky News bulletin as the crisis deepens in Ukraine.  Ukrainain soldiers attempt to negotiate command of their headquarters with Russian soldiers who fired into the air upon their unarmed, flag carrying approach.

Still photograph of this morning’s Sky News bulletin as the crisis deepens in Ukraine. Ukrainain soldiers attempt to negotiate command of their headquarters with Russian soldiers who fired into the air upon their unarmed, flag carrying approach.

With crisis looming in Ukraine, war is never far from any of us.  It is in our nature to feud with one another.  One twitchy pull of the trigger on a gun can release the bullet that sparks the conflagration of war.  The consequences affect every living organism that encounters the fallout from that one bullet.

As I wrote the words above I happened to look up at the television and saw the images caught in my photograph of the Sky News bulletin about the Ukraine crisis and watched as a Russian soldier fired into the air at unarmed Ukrainian soldiers as they approached to try and negotiate with the Russians.  It seemed a strange and poignant co-incidence.

Kaboom where did all the animals go - Copy

Luxury Archival Pigment Prints of ‘Save Us!’ made by the excellent Jack Lowe studio are available to order from my website

“Save Us!” – The Wolves Propaganda Poster

'"Save Us!', Propaganda poster for the Wolf's House, photo montage by Jane Lee McCracken

‘”Save Us!”, Propaganda Poster’ for the Wolf’s House, photo montage by Jane Lee McCracken

Originally conceived as the design for a miniature poster to adorn the interior walls of ‘The Wolf’s House’,  ‘”Save Us!” Propaganda Poster’ is a photo montage using prints of my original black Biro drawings of Lily, as a puppy and as a mature dog.  Her lupine features as well as her trusting expression seemed to lend perfectly to the theme of the poster.

The foundation for this piece is the famous Soviet World War II propaganda poster by Viktor Koretsky, “Red Army Soldiers, Save Us!”, 1942.  Although the Russian cyrillic translation for “Red Army Soldiers” has been removed from the design, I have left a trace of where it was originally placed, indicating the war I envisaged the inhabitants of The Wolf’s House to be planning or already waging against humans.  Retaining the Russian translation for “Save Us!” from Koretsky’s original poster in my design, incites a message that is woven throughout the symbolism of The Wolf’s House, promoting conservation of threatened species.

"Red Army Soldiers, Save Us!", original 1942 Soviet WWII propaganda poster by

“Red Army Soldiers, Save Us!”, original 1942 Soviet WWII propaganda poster by

The Kafka-esque images I imagined of wolves holding secret meetings in ‘The Wolf’s House’, planning their epic battle against humans were perhaps triggered not only by my drawing of 2010,  “TV Screen III – ‘East Meets West, Forests’ Memories’” but also by my husband’s description of  the music video for ‘There, There’, 2003, whilst we were listening to Radiohead’s ‘Hail to the Thief’ during a car journey to Scotland.  His description was powerful as I didn’t get round to watching the video until last year, a year after the creation of The Wolf’s House.

'"Save Us!', Propaganda poster for the Wolf's House, photo montage by Jane Lee McCracken

‘”Save Us!’, Propaganda Poster’, Archival Pigment Print

Luxury Archival Pigment Prints of ‘Save Us!’ made by the excellent Jack Lowe studio are available to order from my website