‘Weeping Durga’, Tiger Inspired Art

'Weeping Durga', 2015 colour Biro Drawing

‘Weeping Durga’, 2015 colour Biro Drawing, Jane Lee McCracken

‘Weeping Durga’ Icon, inspired by Hindu iconography celebrates the beauty and majesty of the Bengal Tiger and represents Durga the Tiger Goddess weeping for her tigers threatened with extinction.  It is the companion icon for ‘Blue Tiger’ Tattooed Sculpture (work in progress).  ‘Blue Tiger’ sculpture stylised and painted white to reflect ancient art and drawn over in blue Biro, looks towards ‘Weeping Durga’ for hope she will protect him.  But Durga now looks for the compassion of humans to save tigers from extinction.

'Blue Tiger' Tattooed Sculpture, work in progress

‘Blue Tiger’ Tattooed Sculpture, work in progress

‘Weeping Durga’ encapsulates the vibrant colours of Indian culture and Hinduism.  It layers drawn images of Bengal Tigers over a drawing of a traditional Hindu icon painting set around a jewel like representation of Durga, which incorporates layered drawn images of two iconic Bollywood Actors, Rekha and Shabana Azami.  As with most of my pieces symbolising  threat of extinction to a particular species, there are unfinished areas of the drawing representing ‘disappearance’.

Detail of Bengal Tiger and Durga, colour Biro drawing

Detail of Bengal Tiger and Durga, colour Biro drawing

The drawing took 3 months to make with around half a square inch completed per day.  Only 8 colour Biro pens were used with the colours mixed on top of one another within the drawing to achieve the finished palette.

Detail of Bengal Tiger, colour Biro drawing

Detail of Bengal Tiger, colour Biro drawing

 

‘Weeping Durga’ has been donated to Save Wild Tigers for their upcoming event ‘Be Inspired’ at the Savoy, London 9th October 2015.  Splendid tiger inspired artwork courtesy of 18 artists to be auctioned in benefit for Save Wild Tigers is now being previewed on Paddle8 with bidding opening on 22nd September – 8th October.

For further information about Save Wild Tigers Savoy Gala Event on 9th October please contact:

Indy@savewildtigers.org

 

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Tiger Sculpture Tattoo – Work in Progress …

Tiger Sculpture painted white, prepared for drawing on

Tiger Sculpture painted white, prepared for drawing on

First sneak peak of blue Biro tattoo drawing in progress on my tiger sculpture … it’s the hardest surface I’ve drawn on to date!

I sculpted the tiger figurine using air-drying clay and it stands one and half feet in height. Inspired by ancient statues and icons, representationally its form echoes ancient and prehistoric art and our need to express the world around us, a world tigers have existed in for over 1.8 million years longer than humans. The sculpture also symbolises the beauty and cultural significance of humanity’s ancient art heritage, which often depicted imagery of wildlife.

Side view of tiger sculpture with beginnings of blue Biro tattoo drawing

Side view of tiger sculpture with beginnings of blue Biro tattoo drawing

In preparation for the blue Biro tattoo and in order to replicate ancient statues I painted the tiger sculpture white rather than give it a contemporary finish. However painting the sculpture creates a textured surface of tiny brush marks, leaving it extremely hard to draw on.  But equally the Biro settles over the brush mark grains and forms spontaneous patterns within the drawing

When drawing in Biro your brain adjusts to predicting when the Biro is likely to blot. I use a blotting sheet to remove ink-blots periodically from the nib before continuing drawing. The predictive response working on this surface is lessened as Biro blots more indiscriminately on an uneven surface.

Detail of blue Biro tattoo drawing in progress

Detail of blue Biro tattoo drawing in progress

With humanity’s cultural heritage in mind the face of the Hindu deity in the tattoo design is significantly layered with a traditional Hindu icon painting and an image of a human face, yet to be revealed! The culminating face celebrates our multi-cultural world and our natural and artistic legacy. The use of an illustrated face layered with a photograph of a real human face retains an animated quality seen in iconography combined with realism.

Note the optical illusion within the face where the layering of the two faces create a sense of movement around the eyes and mouth area.

Overall view of tiger sculpture back and beginnings of tattoo drawing

Overall view of tiger sculpture back and beginnings of tattoo drawing

This piece has been made in solidarity against the destruction of wildlife and ancient art.

Much work to do! Watch this space for further updates on progress and the subject matter behind the drawing.

 

‘Wild and Endangered’ Drawing Competition Launched!

Print design of Years 5 & 6 endangered species Biro drawings

Print design of Years 5 & 6 endangered species Biro drawings 2014, inspiration for competition poster design

Judging of ‘Wild and Endangered’ my new drawing competition for school students commenced today!  And what a day!  Piloted at a local primary school in North East England, the competition focuses on developing students drawing skills, whilst learning about endangered species.  The first competition has seen an overwhelming response with nearly every student participating.  The standard of artwork is extremely high with ardor and creative expression evident in each entry, Judging is proving tremendously uplifting and challenging in equal measure!

The competition is simple, “create an A4 drawing made with a drawing medium of your choice, of an endangered species of your choice”.  Entry fee is £1 per entrant.  Profit after prizes goes directly to eminent international wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation and a charity of the school’s choice.  The competition seeks to further encourage children’s natural passion for drawing and animals and was inspired by ‘Drawing for Endangered Species’ workshops.  Donating my time to judge the competition and design a poster from winning and runner’s up entries is an uniquely rewarding experience.

The poster design of students artwork will be presented to the school as an opportunity to raise funds through poster sales.

Competition prizes include:

First Prize:  Signed and numbered framed print of ‘Sweet’.

First Prize signed print of ''Sweet', by Jane Lee McCracken

”Sweet’, by Jane Lee McCracken

Second prize:  Signed and numbered framed print of ‘Malaysian Forest’:

Second Prize signed print of 'Malaysian Forest' by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Malaysian Forest’ by Jane Lee McCracken

Third prize: Signed and numbered framed print of ‘Orangutans’

Third Prize, signed and numbered print of 'Orangutans' by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Orangutans’ by Jane Lee McCracken

Winners and runner’s up will receive a copy of the poster design that includes their artwork. Winners will be announced during the summer term.

A huge thank you to the staff and students of this local school for their hard work and enthusiasm participating in the first competition.

‘Wild and Endangered’ is a project I hope to bring to other schools.  For further information please contact:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

 

 

‘War’ – New Multi-media Project

Photo image of new colour Biro drawing in progress

Photo image of new colour Biro drawing in progress

After a year making art for conservation, a new body of work on the subject of war is in progress!

This multi-media project inspired by found images, objects and films will explore the impact of ‘war’ on humans and animals in a series of pieces examining the emotional and physical implications of war, eternally memorializing the subjects featured.

With an ongoing theme aiming to view victims as individuals not statistics, ‘War’ will consider in-depth the equality of suffering between both animals and humans as well as analyzing the word ‘war’ in other contexts.

Keep up to date with project progress at:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/news

‘Coyote’ – For the Song Dogs of North America

‘Coyote’, 2015 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

On 23rd May 2015 at Niagara on the Lake, Coyote Watch Canada will be holding ‘A Song Dog Celebration’, their first fundraising Gala event.  Coyote’s are known as ‘Song Dogs’ for their haunting vocal artistry and are one of the most adaptable and charming animals on the planet.

“Coyote” which was made exclusively for CWC’s ‘A Song Dog Celebration’ reflects on the harmony that once existed between coyotes and man, the destruction of that relationship, and the hope for a return to understanding and co-existence.

At the left of the piece are three images of coyotes. Coyotes form tight family bonds, one of the traits they share with humans. Like coyotes, First Nations people and Native Americans have suffered at the hands of ignorance and greed. While celebrating the harmony between native peoples and coyotes, “Coyote” also memorializes the loss experienced by both.

Reigning over the drawing is an image of Mother Nature as a native princess. The background is derived from Edward S. Curtis’s beautiful portrait of Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache (1899). Overlaid is an image of Audrey Hepburn’s face. Hepburn played Rachel Zachery in John Huston’s The Unforgiven (1960). The film, while flawed, attempted to explore the issue of racism towards Native Americans.

At the heart of the drawing is a coyote’s face layered through an image of the Rocky Mountains, suggesting the majesty of nature. A fifth coyote flashes through the piece, running towards the future. In Native American mythology, the coyote was seen as the Creator and sometimes took the form of man. Thus, layered through the coyote’s body is a representation of a native man, symbolizing the morphing of man and coyote into one being, forever entwined through mythology and history.

Finally, migrating monarch butterflies are projected on the coyote’s fur, representing hope and joy. They symbolize celebration of the work of Coyote Watch Canada in its quest for compassionate co-existence with coyotes and other wildlife.

This piece is for North America’s Song Dogs.

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‘Coyote’ original drawing will be auctioned at ‘A Song Dog Celebration’

 A Limited edition run of 50 A3 signed and numbered prints of ‘Coyote’ are available now with all profits going directly to Coyote Watch Canada:

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

A special thank you to wildlife advocate David Shellenberger for his kind introduction to CWC and for his help and advice towards ‘Coyote’.

365 Days of Animalia

'Malaysian Forest', colour Biro drawing for WCS Malaysia Program by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Malaysian Forest’, 2014 colour Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken made exclusively for WCS – Malaysia Program 

Living and breathing 365 days devoted to highlighting keystone species and their importance to all of us, have provided exciting encounters with new and very special friends, from pen to paper.  Amoy the South China Tiger, the beautiful Ambassador wolves of the Wolf Conservation Center depicted in American Dream and Rhino 2014 to name but a few creations, have also brought introductions to organisations and people helping to save the kin of these effigies.  Here is a selection of creations and a word about the extraordinary organisations and inspirational individuals working to secure their future:

'Butterfly Lover', black and neon orange Biro drawing made especially for SAVE WILD TIGERS by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Butterfly Lover’, 2014 black and neon orange Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken made exclusively for Save Wild Tigers

Amoy the South China Tiger of ‘Butterfly Lover’ and Save Wild Tigers (SWT)
SWT founded by Simon Clinton is a global initiative dedicated to saving the last wild tigers, with a contemporary approach to fundraising.  SWT harnesses the power and enlightenment of the creative world, utilising the brilliant work of Artists such as Lauren Baker, Otto Schade, Magnus Gjoen and Mark Powell to help raise funds.  Prof Datuk (Dr) Jimmy Choo, Lauren Baker, Jaime Winstone and Gok Wan form crucial ambassadorial support, firmly placing SWT withIn the public psyche and bringing images of the last wild tigers bright eyes to our fore thoughts.  Meeting the tenacious SWT team has given an insight into just how much a small cost effective and dedicated team can achieve against the adversities of our fast changing world.  The original drawing of Butterfly Lover and Cherry Blossom Girl were auctioned at SWT Thrive, London and Majestic Tiger Ball, Kuala Lumpur respectively.  For further information about SWT visit www.savewildtigers.org. Prints of Amoy and his butterflies are available to purchase from  www.dogonthepitch.co.uk with all profits going directly to SWT.

"Drawing for Endangered Species Workshops" Brochure cover by Jane Lee McCracken

“Drawing for Endangered Species Workshops” brochure cover Jane Lee McCracken with drawings by students from St Peter’s RC Primary School, Scarborough

‘Drawing for Endangered Species’ School Workshops with a percentage of proceeds in aid of the Born Free Foundation (BFF)
The crux of conservation is education.  Fundamental to this is educating younger generations to embrace the rich diversity of our natural planet and protect it, securing our magnificent environment for future generations.  A long standing admiration for the remarkable work of the Born Free Foundation inspired the creation of ‘Drawing for Endangered Species’ School Workshops.  Designed to encourage the natural drawing ability children possess whilst enthusing their natural interest in wildlife, the workshops also provide knowledge about endangered species and ways to stop their decline.  It is a humbling and precious experience to see the wonderment in children’s eyes at the results of their creativity unleashed and their passion for animals.  25 % of fees from each workshop goes directly to BFF for their vital work protecting wildlife.  For further information about BFF please visit www.bornfree.org.uk.  For information about workshops visit www.janeleemccracken.co.uk; for TigerSiberian Tiger and Ice Fox prints being sold in aid of BFF visit www,janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop

 

'Rhino 2014', In Homage to 'Africa', 2014 black Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken made exclusively for Mark Thorpe and Chengeta Wildlife

‘Rhino 2014’, In Homage to ‘Africa’, 2014 black Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken made exclusively for Mark Thorpe and Chengeta Wildlife

‘Rhino 2014’ and Film-maker Mark Thorpe of Sea Wild Earth
Enigmatic Emmy Award winning underwater cameraman, Mark Thorpe works on the frontline of conservation film-making, presenting the plight of many threatened species, through his beautifully captured films.  His new film ‘FINdonesia’ headlining the tragedy and fallout of the shark finning industry will be released soon.  ‘Rhino 2014’ was made exclusively for Mark to use in fundraising projects next year for the inspirational Chengeta Wildlife who work to deter the illegal trade in wildlife by protecting species such as rhinos and elephants. An earlier blog post Rhino 2014 reveals the symbolism behind this piece. For further information about Mark’s extraordinary work visit www.seawildearth.com.  For further information about Chengeta Wildlife’s work on the frontline of conservation visit www.chengetawildlife.org.

 

'American Dream', colour Biro drawing, 2014 Jane Lee McCracken exclusively for the Wolf Conservation Center, New York

‘American Dream’, colour Biro drawing, 2014 Jane Lee McCracken made exclusively for the Wolf Conservation Center, New York

‘American Dream’ and the Wolf Conservation Center, New York (WCC)
Stellar environmental education organisation WCC, founded by French classical pianist Helen Grimaud is dedicated to educating people about wolves and protecting wolf species.  Having produced fundraising artwork over the last two years for WCC, it has been a privilege to communicate with the illuminating WCC team including Executive Director Maggie Howell and Curator Rebecca Bose. The opportunity to make artwork of WCC’s Ambassador wolf pack has been truly inspiriting.  This year, a year that has seen US wolves face much adversity in the wild, called for the making of an epic piece that celebrated their beauty as an essential keystone species within the Great American Wilderness.  WCC devotees have been intrinsic in their support and purchases of original donated artwork and prints, with all profits going directly to WCC.  For further information about WCC visit www.nywolf.org.  For information about Atka and America Dream prints visit www.dogonthepitch.co.uk.

'Orang-utans', 2014, black Biro drawing for WCS Malaysia Program

‘Orang-utans’, 2014 black Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken exclusively for WCS-Malaysia Program

The Beauty of Malaysia Wildlife and WCS-Malaysia Program
WCS-Malaysia Program, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s global operations offices, is an exciting program deeply committed to conserving the beautiful flora and fauna of Malaysia.  Producing work for SWT’s Majestic Tiger Ball, Kuala Lumpur brought about an introduction to WCS-Malaysia Program’s exceptional Director, Melvin Gumal Ph.D. This resulted in the making and donation of a set of Biro drawings depicting endangered Malaysian wildlife for a special conservation manual, primarily involving Malaysian Artist’s and supported by the Malaysian Government and the US embassy – to be published in the coming weeks.  The dedication of the WCS-Malaysia Program team and their drive to conserve Malaysian wildlife is essential to ensuring the rich environmental legacy of the Malayan Peninsula.  Receipt of regular image updates of wildlife captured on film through the use of camera traps from the heart of the Malaysian jungle, is a precious gift indeed!  For more information about WCS-Malaysia Program visit www.wcsmalaysia.

'Clouded Leopards', 2014 black Biro drawing for WCS Malaysia Program

‘Clouded Leopards’, 2014 black Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken exclusively for WCS – Malaysia Program

While this has been a special year making artwork solely for conservation projects with a return to exploring the theme of ‘loss’ through war and environmental destruction next year, a commitment has been made to continue fundraising through my work for the above organisations. A plan has already been established with Coyote Watch Canada (CWC) thanks to a kind introduction from wildlife supporter David Shellenberger, to make original artwork that will see the arrival of a new friend to join Amoy.  CWC founded by charismatic Lesley Sampson, is pushing boundaries to change attitudes towards coyotes through “education, research, mediation, intervention, and conflict resolution”.  For further information visit www.coyotewatchcanada.com.

Other organisations supported over the last two years and still benefiting from print releases  are The Wolves and Humans Foundation and Butterfly Conservation.

Ongoing Total 

An enormous thank you to everyone who has purchased the original drawings and prints I have created this year, your generosity has raised nearly £10,000 /$15500 for the majority of the above organisations.   Original artworks made for the remaining organisations will be auctioned in the coming months to generate funds for their vital work.   Limited edition prints released this year are available from the above links, limited edition prints of newer/new work will be released next year  – ensuring an ongoing total.

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Gold Tiger drawing, 2014 Jane Lee McCracken

A personal message – none of the above work and fundraising for conservation would have been possible without the support of you Rob, to whom there aren’t enough words to say thank you for your support, understanding and personal passion for wildlife.

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Christmas Presents from Malaysia!

Porcupine Family Camera Trap Image. Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Porcupine Family’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

Being privileged to work on an up and coming project for WCS-Malaysia Program has also brought about receipt of touching gifts – camera trap images all the way from the beautiful Malaysian jungle, capturing the unique and extraordinary wildlife of the Malay Peninsula. The stellar team at WCS-Malaysia Program, part of global conservation organisation the Wildlife Conservation Society, are working tirelessly to secure the future of Malaysian flora and fauna.  “A picture is worth a thousand words” and the following heartening images bring a message of joy and hope this Christmas, of thriving youngsters and WCS-Malaysia Program’s successes in the field.  Thank you to Melvin Gumal Ph.D., Director of WCS-Malaysia Program for these inspirational images.  For more information about their exceptional work visit www.wcsmalaysia.org.  Enjoy!

'Asian Elephants, Mother and Calf' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Asian Elephants, Mother and Calf’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Mother and Young Gibbon' Photo Credit:  WCS -Malaysia Program

‘Mother and Young Gibbon’ Photo Credit: WCS -Malaysia Program

 

'Young Organutans' Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Project

‘Young Organutans’ Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Project

 

'Bearded Pig and Young' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Bearded Pig and Young’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Malayan Tapir and Calf' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Malayan Tapir and Calf’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Trio of Pheasants',

‘Trio of Pheasants’, Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Sambar Deer and Fawn' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Sambar Deer and Fawn’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

A very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015!

Slàinte Mhath!