“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!

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Canary Love!

Canary Love! 2014, Jane Lee McCracken

Canary Love! 2014, Jane Lee McCracken

I don’t normally write two posts in one day, but the cutest, ironical thing just happened.  I was busy hand sewing a miniature canary with a transfer of my drawing ‘Wolf the Canary’ as a representation of a cuckoo clock, to put inside a commission of ‘The Wolf’s House’.  Lily was on the floor sleeping.  I went to get the iron so that I could give the canary a last wee press before adding it to the house.  However the canary was nowhere to be seen!  I searched high and low for some considerable time – perhaps it had flown out the window!  Then I spied a piece of yellow silk under Lily’s paw.  Now Lily loves toys it has to be said – Dino Baby being the latest addition to her collection, flown all the way from the set of Breaking Bad, apparently high on crystal meth with those eyes!

Dino Baby - the eyes, the eyes! 2014, Jane Lee McCracken

Dino Baby – the eyes, the eyes! 2014, Jane Lee McCracken

However it never crossed my mind that Lily would have delicately picked the tiny canary up in her mouth (my Sherlock Holmes powers of elementary deduction cleverly worked that out!  Ok, maybe the canary was slightly damp!) to give it a cuddle!  Too small to prop between her paws, she was hugging it with one paw!

I managed to prize her latest conquest from under her paw to check it wasn’t damaged! She looked so sad I popped it next to her one last time.  Sorry Lily, this one’s not for you!

And the irony…Wolf the Canary symbolises the misinterpretation of wolves through fairy tales and the media – Lily could have destroyed the canary with ease but she tenderly looked after it!

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!

To purchase an ‘Atka’ print or for further information:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop/conservation art prints

Thank you for your support for Atka and his friends!

 

'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