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:
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.