Lakshmi … Work in Progress on Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

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‘Lakshmi’ blue Biro drawing on Tiger Sculpture, Jane Lee McCracken

Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Vishnu’s wife, embodiment of beauty… this week’s work in progress on ‘Blue Tiger’ Sculpture Tattoo.

Side view of Lakshmi drawing  depicting how her shoulder and arm follow the curves of the tiger sculpture's right shoulder

Side view of Lakshmi drawing depicting how her shoulder and arm follow the curves of the tiger sculpture’s right shoulder

This blue Biro drawing is inspired by a vintage painting of Lakshmi and an image of a beautiful Italian film star!

Detail Lakshmi's face

Detail Lakshmi’s face

Lakshmi’s curves are enhanced by drawing her body over the muscular shoulder of the tiger.Her head is positioned at 90 degrees to Vishnu’s head drawn on the tiger’s back.

Vishnu and Lakshmi blue Biro tattoos on Tiger Sculpture

Vishnu and Lakshmi blue Biro tattoos on Tiger Sculpture

Symbolism plays a large part in the work I make forming an intricate web of analogies. Using objects as I find them for making art is also an important part of the process; imperfections tell their own story and if you look closely there are scratches on the surface of the sculpture that have been deliberately retained.

'King of India' blue Biro drawing part of Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

‘King of India’ blue Biro drawing part of Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

Last weeks tattoo drawing ‘King of India’ was drawn over the tiger sculpture’s back leg.  Vishnu’s hand is layered through the Bengal tiger’s face.

This work in progress highlights the familiarity of tigers iconic beauty and their symbolic importance to humanity.

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‘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

 

Tiger Sculpture Tattoo coming on!

Tiger Sculpture Tattoo drawing in blue Biro

Tiger Sculpture Tattoo drawing in blue Biro

Rarrrrrr! Voila, le tigre!

Blue Biro tattoo drawing on my tiger sculpture is coming on.  As mentioned in my previous post Tiger Sculpture Tattoo…Work in Progress, this is the hardest surface I have drawn on to date as the clay sculpture has been painted to replicate ancient sculptures and icons. Therefore the surface is not smooth and more difficult to achieve fine detail.

Detail of sculpture tattoo blue Biro drawing on curved back of tiger figurine

Detail of sculpture tattoo blue Biro drawing on curved back of tiger figurine

The layers of images are starting to appear within the blue Biro drawing.  Over the body of the Hindu god a roaring tiger’s face is emerging like a graphic t-shirt!

Back of tiger sculpture with blue Biro tattoo drawing.

Back of tiger sculpture with blue Biro tattoo drawing.

This piece celebrates the beauty of tigers, one of the most iconic animals on earth, their survival for over 1.8 million years longer than humans who’s existence is relatively short in comparison and our cultural heritage of representing tigers through art.

Much to do!

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

 

 

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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‘Rhino 2014’

'Rhino 2014', In Homage to 'Africa', black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Rhino 2014’, In Homage to ‘Africa’, black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

Revealed, ‘Rhino 2014’, for Mark Thorpe of Sea Wild Earth and Chengeta Wildlife!  An artwork dedicated to threatened wildlife across the globe.

“Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s iconic drawing Rhinoceros’,1515 , ‘Rhino 2014’ by artist Jane Lee McCracken symbolises man’s curiosity and relationship with the natural world, from Dürer’s epochal representation, to the state of our environment to date. Within 500 years of Dürer’s creative legacy, rhinoceros species teeter on the brink of extinction alongside tigers, pangolin, sharks and other keystone species. Lions, elephants and manta ray have also reached threatened status. Where once rhinoceros roamed in vast numbers, treading a 50 million year old evolutionary path, from the 1600s onwards, rhino numbers have plummeted by 90%. Hunting, habitat loss and poaching for their horns to use in traditional Chinese medicine, factor amongst the reasons for their more recent and rapid decline. From a 16th century artist who executed man’s inquisitive propensity to study species never seen before in the west, Jane’s drawing underlines our vast 21st century intellect of wildlife and the threats that face life on earth. Ultimately this piece accentuates the cynosural qualities of the depicted species and the spirit of Emmy Award winning underwater cameraman, Mark Thorpe’s enlightening quote, “extinction in an age of awareness is simply inexcusable”.

Paying homage to the BBC documentary series ‘Africa’, 2013, Jane uses this as the pivotal inspiration for her Biro drawing as the majority of species represented in this artwork are from the African continent. A monumental wildlife series, presented by David Attenborough ‘Africa’ reveals the breathtaking beauty and fragility of Africa and the species inhabiting its lands. Jane photographed 1000’s of images of ‘Africa’ as it played onscreen to give a sense of cinematic transience to her drawing. There is also an evanescent quality to the piece, symbolising that species are disappearing at a rate beyond that of their natural cycle. By portraying specific animals that feature in ‘Africa’, she presents the individualism of each animal, both aesthetically and characteristically; thus emphasising the fact that each animal is unique and precious to the survival of its species. Selecting some of the most poignant scenes from the documentary, including perhaps the most touching of all, the death from drought enforced starvation of an elephant calf and the “little chat” between David Attenborough and a blind rhino calf, Jane confronts the threats these species face both naturally and at the hands of man.”

“Like it or not this generation is responsible for handing on the world’s wildlife to the next. No one knows what the future holds for this little creature [blind rhino calf], nor indeed what changes will take place on the great continent in which he lives … but one thing is certain, what happens here is more important than it has ever been and that the relationship of the rest of the world to this great continent and the creatures that live in it is more important than ever before. On whichever part of the planet we live we all have a part to play in what sort of future this wild continent has.” David Attenborough, ‘Africa’ epilogue.   

'Rhinoceros', Albrecht Durer, 15

‘Rhinoceros’, Albrecht Durer, 1515

Drawing Layers

'Rhino 2014', detail of elephants

‘Rhino 2014’, detail of elephants

Elephant Calf (Rhino back) – depicting one of the most moving sequences from ‘Africa’ this detail portrays the moment a starving elephant calf, too weak to hold up its head, collapses into the drought-ridden grass. This drawing symbolises that elephants endure natural adversities as well as poaching for their tusks.

Mother Elephant – layered above the dying calf is a drawing of its mother weeping over the death of her calf. Having stood vigil and tried to revive the calf, she accepts its death. Elephants are the only known species apart from humans to practice ritual behaviour when confronting death, including grief and have been known to show the same emotions when encountering human death.

Dead Elephant Calf and Mother Elephant – a tiny drawing through the centre of the piece shows the body of the dead calf lying in the dust and the moment the mother elephant senses she has to leave her calf and return to the herd.  Left behind to tend to her sick calf, the herd has continued its quest to find water and avoid further death.  As she turns and walks away on her journey a faded image of another adult elephant beyond her indicates that she eventually returns to the herd.

Adult Elephant – layered through the dying calf is an image of a triumphant adult elephant drinking from a water hole, celebrating the monumental greatness of the largest land mammal on earth, surrounded by the slight stature of gazelle and zebra.

 

'Rhino 2014', Starlit Rhino detail

‘Rhino 2014’, Starlit Rhino detail

Starlit Rhino – the main face and body of ‘Rhino 2014’ is inspired from a sequence in ‘Africa’ capturing newly uncovered rhino behaviour. Deemed unsociable, film evidence reveals that rhinos actually gather to socialise at a secret watering hole under the stars.

Blind Rhino Calf (drawing on main Rhino face) – one of the stars of ‘Africa’, a blind rhino calf’s every move is guided by rangers.   This drawing symbolises that each individual animal including this calf is precious and holds a key to the future security of its species.

Prehistoric Rhino Etching (drawing on main Rhino face) – prehistoric rock engraving of a rhino found in the Sahara becomes a layered drawing as if tattooed on the rhino’s skin and plays as a reminder as to how long rhinos have existed on earth.

'Rhino 2014', lions detail

‘Rhino 2014’, lions detail

Young Lion – portrait of a noble young lion suggests the majesty of ‘the king of the jungle’, but its eyes betray a reflective demeanour expressing that hunting and habitat loss have seen wild lion numbers plummet from 200,000 a century ago to fewer than 30, 000. The lion gazes up towards an uncertain future.

Lion Cub (under main lion) – portrait of a bright eyed lion cub personifies hope for the future of its species.

Dancing Manta Rays (throughout artwork) – inspired by a film entitled ‘Dancing Manta Rays’ by Mark Thorpe, drawings of manta rays appear throughout this piece and include a group of dancing manta rays layered through the central elephant’s ear. Hunted for their gill rakers to use in Chinese medicine the future of manta rays remains uncertain.

Pangolin (front leg of rhino) – the armoured body of a pangolin clings on to the walking rhino’s leg, suggesting the precarious status of pangolin species, racing towards extinction, caught for food and used in Chinese medicine. Tens of thousands of pangolin are traded every year.

South China Tigers, Mother, cubs & Male (back & front Rhino legs) when Jane began drawing ‘Rhino 2014’ in early summer the official number of wild tigers was less than 3500. By August the official number emerged as less than 3000 wild tigers. There are more tigers in captivity than in the wild. The small tiger cubs represent the future of tigers padding towards extinction, but ‘hope’ that it is possible not only to save wild tigers but all the species depicted in ‘Rhino 2014’.

Great White Sharks (layered through rhino body) – illustrates the grace of an enigmatic animal that has inhabited the earth for 500 million years. Sunlight flickering through the water, dances on the shark’s body, encouraging appreciation of the beauty and necessity of sharks in a bid to dispel their negative populist image. Shark finning for shark fin soup is rapidly depleting shark species populations; eleven species are endangered.”

'Rhino 2014', manta rays, tigers, pangolin and great white sharks details

‘Rhino 2014’, manta rays, tigers, pangolin and great white sharks details

Rhino 2014 will be used to raise funds for the inspirational Chengeta Wildlife working on the frontline to deter the trade of illegal wildlife products, protecting rhinos and elephants.

For further information about Mark Thorpe’s stellar film-making please visit Sea Wild Earth

'Pangolin' detail from 'Rhino 2014' by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Pangolin’ detail from ‘Rhino 2014’ by Jane Lee McCracken