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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‘War + Peace’, Selected Biro Drawings 2008 – 2014

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken, Front Cover

‘War + Peace’, Selected Biro Drawings 2008 – 2014 Limited Edition Hardback Book by Jane Lee McCracken, 2014, Cover

Published today, I am delighted to say that 50 limited edition copies of my new book are now available.  Here is some information about ‘War + Peace’ and a look inside!

” ‘War + Peace’, by multimedia Artist Jane Lee McCracken brings together a selection of her intricate Biro drawings. This beautifully produced hardback book replicates every detail of Jane’s black and colour Biro drawings from several bodies of work spanning 6 years, including, ‘Tales from the East’, ‘The Woodcutter’s Cottage’, ‘In Homage to the Last Carnivores of Eurasia’ and her recent artwork for conservation projects. Inspired by her passion for childhood memoirs, fairy tales, travel, forests and animals and her continuing exploration of the themes of ‘war’ and ‘loss’, multimedia artist Jane makes multiplex, layered drawings in colour or black Biro, using her drawings as inspiration to create objects and installations.  Taking photographs of films and documentaries, her muse lily, people, animals and found objects as the foundation of her work, she builds complex layers of drawn images in Biro as if film still projections, resulting in monotone or colour abstracted pieces with an ethereal, cinematic quality.  Her aim is to make art that represents the beauty and brutal reality of life thus creating “memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life lost”. Evoking consideration of loss whether through war or disaster, her work draws upon empathy for the emotional or physical scars experienced by humans, animals or the environment.”

EDITION:

Limited Edition of 50 Hardback Books

Signed and numbered in gold with personal dedication option included

Original Gold Tiger Drawing produced in each copy

To purchase or for further information:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop/artbook

 Here is a taster of what’s inside! 

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014, by Jane Lee McCracken, 'American Dream' 2014

‘American Dream’, ‘War + Peace’ 2014

 

'Our Forefathers' & 'Mummy Bear and Baby Bear', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘Our Forefathers’ & ‘Mummy Bear and Baby Bear’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'Butterfly Lover', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘Butterfly Lover’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'The Cupboard' & 'Sindy and the Troika', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘The Cupboard’ & ‘Sindy and the Troika’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'TV Screen II - Where Wolves and Bears Dare', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘TV Screen II – Where Wolves and Bears Dare’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'Shh, it's a Tiger!', 'War + Peace', 2014, Back Cover

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014, Back Cover

Original Gold Tiger Drawing in each book.

Original Gold Tiger Drawing in each book.

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

‘BUTTERFLY LOVER’ Luxury Large Format Prints 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 Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken, 2014

20 LUXURY LARGE FORMAT Archival Pigment Prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm of ‘Butterfly Lover’ are now AVAILABLE in aid of  SAVE WILD TIGERS.

Beautifully crafted to order by one of the finest master printmakers in the UK, Jack Lowe, these 50cm x 50cm limited edition, signed and numbered prints are reproduced from my original black and neon orange Biro drawing.

With less than 3500 tigers left in the wild, ALL profits of each print sale will be donated to SAVE WILD TIGERS helping to raise funds for their vital work, saving tigers in the wild.

Prints retail at £225 including P&P.

For enquiries & print orders please visit my online SHOP.

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‘Butterfly Lover’ is part of my triptych ‘THE LEGEND OF THE LAST SOUTH CHINA TIGER’ which was written and drawn especially for SAVE WILD TIGERS ‘Thrive’ Exhibition, curated by Lauren Baker, 14th – 18th May 2014, Sanderson Hotel, London and Tiger Dinner Auction at the Mango Tree 20th May, 2014.   For further information about SAVE WILD TIGERS please visit their website.

South China Tiger Legend for Save Wild Tigers

 

THE LEGEND OF THE LAST SOUTH CHINA TIGER: PART TWO

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

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

THE LEGEND OF THE LAST SOUTH CHINA TIGER

PART II Butterfly Lover’, (Drawing Two donated to SAVE WILD TIGERS)

Amoy has survived and thrived under the protection of the Tigress Warriors and grown into the most magnificent male tiger that ever lived in China.  He rolls on his back in the sunshine and plays with butterflies.  Softly the music of the ‘Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto’ drifts over him and turns into musical notes glistening on his sleek fur.  Then, the butterflies begin to transform and suddenly the beautiful face of Zhu Yingtai appears on the wings of the first butterfly.  Amoy is so entranced by her beauty, he begins to dream of a mate.  All of a sudden the face of the most beautiful tigress he could ever imagine emerges on the wings of the second butterfly.  Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo, the ‘Butterfly Lovers’, begin to appear on his fur.  Amoy smiles – he rolls over and dreams of his mate and the survival of his species, and continues to play with butterflies.

(Written especially for SAVE WILD TIGERS The Legend of the Last South China Tiger  accompanies a drawing diptych, of which the second drawing ‘Butterfly Lover’ has been donated to Save Wild Tigers and will be exhibited alongside the work of 20 inspirational artists, curated by Lauren Baker, in ‘THRIVE’ Exhibition, Sanderson Hotel, London, 14th – 19th May and auctioned at the Mango Tree Tiger Dinner, 20th May)

Postscript

I wrote this legend especially for Save Wild Tigers‘Yin and Yang’ was inspired by images from the films ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’, Ang Lee, 2000, ‘Hero’, Zhang Yimou, 2002, ‘House of the Flying Daggers’, Zhang Yimou, 2004, ‘Red Cliff’, John Woo, 2008 and ‘2046’, Wong Kar-wai, 2004.  Taking still photographs of all five films I used these images as inspiration for this drawing. Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Faye Wong become the Goddesses in the clouds of Yang.  The fate of some captive South China tigers is reflected on the sword of the most powerful Tigress Warrior.  ‘Butterfly Lover’ the second drawing made specially for Save Wild Tigers, was inspired by the epic and moving ‘Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto’, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, 1959 (梁祝小提琴协奏曲 the Chinese title appearing on the fur of Amoy’s shoulder).  The face of the heroine Zhu Yingtai from the old Chinese legend ‘Butterfly Lovers’ is that of Faye Wong from ‘2046’. The drawings symbolise the fate of the South China tiger subspecies, which is thought to only survive in captivity but also carries a message of hope, that Save Wild Tigers are working tirelessly to ensure other tiger subspecies will continue to play with butterflies.

There are less than 3500 tigers left in the wild and thought to be no South China Tigers surviving in the wild.   Join SAVE WILD TIGERS today and help save wild tigers!

20 limited edition archival pigment prints of ‘Butterfly Lover’, made by Jack Lowe Studio will be available to purchase from 14th May with ALL profits donated to Save Wild Tigers.  ‘South China Tiger’ diptych will be released later this year as part of my fine China limited edition plate series “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia” to celebrate the majesty of tigers and highlight their decline through wildlife crime.