The Mission Is:
To salute public figures, celebrities and artists that support the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
In AJW's name, the AWF has been established to support charitable activities in both the UK and abroad that provide help, support or care for young people; especially those who are in need by reason of ill health, disability, ﬁnancial disadvantage or addiction.
The February 2012 'JadeInk Salute' goes to celebrity-portrait artist and Jazz aficionado Sam Shaker; an AJW friend and an AWF supporter.
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The man who would become known as AJW's "second dad," was born in Egypt. He graduated his art studies from the Leonardo da Vinci Academy of Art, receiving a degree in Fine Art. With some rolled up canvases, some sausage rolls made by his mum, and virtually no money, Sam arrived in Paris as an "undocumented visitor" and quickly found a Montmartre spot that had once been used by all the greats from Lautrec to Picasso. Shaker was determined to live the hard but thrilling life of a street artist.
Enduring periods of near starvation, Sam became ultra-skilled at portraiture; his early specialty was making the tourists look a likkle more beautiful than they actually were. When the realities of life intervened, Shaker found himself owning and operating Jazz After Dark, a popular music club in the Soho District of London. Sam continued to paint and evenutally became the first-choice portrait maker of the celebrity crowd.
Many years ago, a tiny teenage girl came to the front door of JAD and asked Sam if she could come inside and listen to the music. When informed of the $5.00 admission charge, the girl noted that she had no money. Sam told her she could pay the next time she visited and allowed her inside. After a respectable period of earnestly listening to the performers, the wee girl asked Sam, "May I please sing a song?" Curious, Sam ushered her to the stage and, well, the rest, as they say, is history. That likkle girl was Amy Jade Winehouse.
For way more than a decade, Sam and AJW remained close friends. Fiercely loyal to Sam - and all of her friends - AJW never commissioned any other artist to paint her portrait. Sam now has the largest known collection of AJW portraits.
One of the premier portrait artists in England, Sam displays much of his art in the gallery section of Jazz After Dark. If you're an AJW-fan and in the neighborhood - and are willing to risk suffering your own tearful breakdown in a public place - visit Sam's gallery.
Naturally, it is still extremely difficult for Sam to speak publicly about AJW. He recently noted, “Amy was creative, kind, talented and a very genuine person. She loved art, music, and writing. She never forgot her friends."
Upon learning of the earliest plans to launch the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Sam Shaker pledged his unqualified support for the massive undertaking. He has exhibited extreme generosity toward the AWF in his sharing of revenues generated by his artwork and other endeavors. The foundation is fortunate to have the Jazzy Painter in its corner.
You can follow Sam on Twitter: @artbysamshaker
Sam's book is flush with "Amy Art" as well as portraits of the many celebs he has painted. This volume is basic enough for art students, complex enough for historians, and a must read for every AJW fan.
"If an aspiring AJW-tribute artist reads only one 'how to' book, this is the one it must be. It is, after all, written by the man who painted her portrait in oil more than 50 times." -- AAN
See Full Collection in Portrait Gallery of Sam's Website Linked Above
In September 2008, Sam Shaker helped to organize a surprise birthday celebration for AJW at Jazz After Dark. The guest of honor was unable to attend the shindig, but her mum arrived. Nick Grimshaw was also present. Adele and Ronson were there, and Sam shared a painting with Ronson. A celeb-packed night.
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All Proceeds To Amy Winehouse Foundation
AJW was a constant user of Paperblanks. Many of her songs were first drafted in the journals; including "Tears Dry On Their Own," the lyrics of which are printed on these gorgeous new books.
If you plan to build a nice collection that will retain its value for many years, it is important that the items you collect are kept in 'mint' condition and remain in their original packaging.