Blog posts by Tracie Koziura

11 August 2011

Making a Difference ~ Annie Lennox

by Tracie Koziura

Put A Little Love In Your HeartAnnie Lennox has come a long way since fronting the Grammy Award-winning Eurythmics in the 1980s. Since then she has become a successful solo artist, sold more than 80 million records, and become renowned for her charity work with organizations such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Nelson Mandela's '46664 Foundation'.

I have always admired Annie for her no-nonsense 'tell it like it is' attitude and for her 'lead by example' approach to life. She is an incredibly passionate and compassionate human being with tremendous energy and desire to 'do what works' which has led her to make a difference in numerous parts of the world, particulary with the HIV/AIDS problems in Africa. In 2008, she was awarded the British Red Cross' "Services to Humanity Award" and continues to dedicate much of her time to raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

In 2007 Annie released a special fundraising single called Sing, which featured a 23-member choir of female celebrities, including Madonna, Faith Hill, Pink, and many more. Proceeds from the single went to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an organisation that that provides much needed support in the continent's struggle against the deadly virus. Annie believes everybody can do something to help those affected by AIDS in Africa. She is especially supportive of what she calls "Laptop Activism", and runs many of her charity initiatives through the internet.

Annie also took part in Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London, where she urged people to join in the struggle to help the 15 million children orphaned by the disease in Africa.

"One third of pregnant women in South Africa are HIV positive. We can prevent their children being born with the virus if we let the women have access to treatment. If you do not allow that to happen, you're going to have future generations simply being wiped out."
~ Annie Lennox ~

One of my favourite songs by Annie is her version of "Put A Little Love In Your Heart", performed with Al Green, which was released as the ending theme song to the 1988 film "Scrooged" - one of my all time favourite movies! Just like the movie, the song really lifts me up and leaves me with that greatly prized 'feel good factor'! So, in order to spread that wonderful feeling even further, here is the video of "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" as performed by Annie and Al - ENJOY!

Put A Little Love In Your Heart (Annie Lennox)
Medium: Soft Pastels on velour
Size: 10" x 14" (plus border)
© 2011, Tracie Koziura

01 August 2011

Making a Difference ~ Angelina Jolie

by Tracie Koziura

AngelinaIt was during the filming of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia that Angelina Jolie first became aware of worldwide humanitarian crises. After contacting UNHCR for information about international trouble spots, Angelina began visiting refugee camps in these areas to learn more about the conditions there.

In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania and later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed there. During the following months, she returned to Cambodia and met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan where she donated $1 million in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal. She insisted on covering all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits.

On August 27th, 2001 Angelina was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. Since then, she has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced people on 20 different countries. "I hope to raise awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon."

Continue reading "Making a Difference ~ Angelina Jolie" »

28 July 2011

Art4Good ~ Pino

by Tracie Koziura

Best Friends by PinoPino Daeni was born Giuseppe Dangelico on November 8th 1939 in Bari, Italy and was noted for his exceptional ability to capture the movements and expressions of his subjects - a talent which brought his artwork a worldwide following and private portrait commissions.

Trained in Italy at the Art institute of Bari, and later at Milan's Academy of Brera, Pino perfected his skills painting nudes and figure studies heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and Macchiaioli.

In 1978, after establishing himself as a successful artist in his native land, Pino moved to New York with his wife Chiara, seven-year old daughter Paola, and five-year old son, Massimo, where he believed the artistic freedom would allow him greater opportunities. He was soon discovered by the distinguished Borghi Gallery, which gave several exhibitions for him in New York and Boston. Pino was invited to make several appearances on major TV networks and was also interviewed in national and international journals.

Pino's early paintings featured soft romantic characters mostly women dressed in flowing skirts and dresses and these caught the attention of both Dell and Zebra Book Publishers. In 1980 Zebra commissioned him to do his first book cover. His popularity grew within the literary community and he became the artist-in-demand for Zebra, Bantam, Simon, and Schuster, Harlequin, Penquin USA and Dell. Pino illustrated more than 3,000 books and his style dominated the market.

During the following two decades, his Romance Period, Pino's substantial body of work was marked by hundreds of book covers painted for artists such as Danielle Steele, Sylvie Summerfield, & Amanda Ashley. Using a then unknown Italian model named Fabio, Pino struck a chord that is still resounding today.

Pino's canvases elicit feelings of warmth, nostalgia, love and family. His paintings are often set on vibrantly sunny beaches on the Mediterranean where he grew up. His alter ego, a young boy surrounded by beautiful women, (his sisters, aunts and cousins), is found in various states of emotion ranging from adoration to isolation. Many of Pino's characters are frequently found inhabiting sensuous boudoirs or dressing rooms, in anticipation of their husband or lovers.

Pino's technique, his warm & exciting colors and the subtle, but simple approach to his subject, were his trademark, his talent, and the reasons why his original paintings, hand-embellished limited edition serigraphs and giclées are now in growing demand and sought-after by collectors throughout the art world, paricularly in the USA and United Kingdom.

Sadly, Pino passed away on 25th May 2010. Once of the finest artists of our generation whose works have touched the heart and soul of so many, Pino was an immense talent who will be greatly missed.

18 July 2011

Even Vampires Give Back!

by Tracie Koziura

Kate Beckinsale - pastels on velourProbably most recognised as Selene, a Death Dealer Vampire from the Underworld movies, Kate Beckinsale is another celebrity who is 'doing good' through her involvement with various causes and charities.

Kate was born July 26th 1973 to actor Richard Beckinsale and actress Judy Loe. Her father, Richard, was a well loved, popular British actor who died unexpectedly from a congenital heart defect at the age of 31 when Kate was just 5 years old.

Her first major role was in one of my all time favourite Shakespeare adaptations, Much Ado About Nothing (a romantic comedy) in which she plays Hero, sweet daughter of Governor Leonato, who is in love with Claudio. The film was adapted and directed by Kenneth Branagh (Benedick) and stars some of my other all-time favourite actors - Keanu Reeves (Don John), Denzel Washington (Don Pedro), Emma Thompson (Beatrice), Richard Briers (Governor Leonato), Michael Keaton (Dogberry), Brian Blessed (Antonio) and Robert Sean Leonard (Claudio)...a truly sparkling (and incredibly funny) cast!

Kate supports a number of causes including At-Risk/Disadvantaged Youths, Creative Arts, Disaster Relief, Human Rights, Mental Challenges, Peace, Poverty and Rape/Sexual Abuse.

She also supports several charities including EB Medical Research Foundation, FilmAid International, Music for Relief and Rape Foundation.

Kate Beckinsale is one of my favourite female actors - a beautiful and talented lady who gives back and helps to make a difference in the world.

Painting details:
Medium: Soft pastels on velour
Size: 12" x 14"
© 2011, Tracie Koziura

04 July 2011

The Point!

by Tracie Koziura

The-PointWell, Wimbledon has come and gone for yet another year but, despite the Grand Slam once again eluding him, Andy Murray's performances inspired me to pick up my pastels and get creative again!

As well as being the British No. 1 Tennis player, Andy Murray is also a supporter of many charities and causes. Last month, at Wimbledon, he was presented with canvas prints of original artwork by John Trevillion, which had been commissioned by the Daily Mail, capturing the various moods and actions of the Tennis Ace. Andy had been impressed with the original drawings - so much so, he had posted them on his Facebook page! However, instead of keeping the unique prints, he signed each one and then donated them to "Tickets for Troops" - a cause set up just last year to provide top tickets for sporting, musical and entertainment events to troops and their families during these difficult times.

"THE POINT" (Andy Murray)
Medium: Soft pastels on velour
Size: 10" x 12"
© 2011, Tracie Koziura


Tracie Koziura

RebelwolfDespite having a love of art and design all my life, I only began painting recently and it was my lifelong passion for wolves which led me to purchase my first set of pastels. In fact, until that point, I had never even held a pastel before!

My artistic journey really began in February 2008 when I discovered the work of Nottingham artist, Vic Bearcroft, whilst browsing the internet. Vic is renowned for his animal paintings, particularly wolves. On seeing his stunning artwork, I was inspired to try my hand at creating my own wolf pictures to decorate my home with.

My first wolf painting, "Snow Wolf" was created after receiving permission from Canadian amateur photographer, Luc Durocher, to create a picture from his original photograph. I can still remember sitting in my chair watching as the most beautiful grey wolf slowly appeared on the velour paper in front of me. It was an almost magical feeling - one I continually relive every time I look at it.

Since then, I have created many more paintings covering a variety of subjects but wolves continue to be my favourite and my home is filled with them now! I absolutely love my pastels - they give me the freedom to express my feelings and experiences in a truly unique and creative way.

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