Through art we can change the world


by | Feb 17, 2017 |

In the early stages of TAE, ambassadors would help promote by contributing an original artwork to the exhibition and spread the word online. As TAE has grown over the years, the promotion for TAE has been multiplied by artists and charities. As a tribute to the original ambassadors, here are the honorary members.

Patti Agapi, Canada, @madwithrapture
An ever-evolving & self-representing Canadian abstract mixed media and collage artist, Patti Agapi has exhibited her work professionally since 2007. Her preferred mediums include acrylic and enamel paints, collage elements – various found and vintage papers, pencil, pastels, plaster, metal and fabric. The core themes in her work revolve around perception and personal reflection, and the mysteriously ethereal elements of reality. Patti lives in Orillia, Ontario, Canada and between catering to two boys, studiously works on creating Art.


Martina Anagnostou, Greece, @mananostou & @mARTinas_shop 
Martina Anagnostou is a Greek / Swedish artist born in 1971, who studied BA fine art and art history in Goldsmiths’ university in London, UK, did an additional year of Greek art history in Athens and finally graduated from Reading University’s MA Fine Art degree programme in 1999.  She has and continues to travel and exhibit in several countries around the world, most renowned among them was her solo exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

For some time now, through her work, she has attempted to bring the remote, the marginal the forgotten, that world on the outskirts of suburban privilege, into the gallery space in an attempt to immortalize the life of the vulnerable and insignificant. The most important thing for Martina as an artist is to convey an important social message, and to question stereotypes and perceptions through her work. Each piece should engage its viewer within a social debate, or at its most basic level trigger memories, emotions and nostalgia, feelings common to us all.

Martina has currently moved back to Greece with her Dutch husband and 2 boys after 15 years of living abroad. As in Moscow and Khartoum, in Athens too Martina has set up a studio where she works on her personal projects as well as gives art lessons to adults and children.

Jake Beckman, USA,
“If my mother is to be believed, I was born an artist. I have always been scratching, scribbling and coloring.  I have done a great many things on my short time on this rock. I have been a technician working on transponders for spacecraft; my pinky prints are on radios that traveled all the way to Venus and to Jupiter as well as a few super secret satellites that are probably looking down on us right now. I have been a scientist, probing the universe on a very small scale.  I can tell you God plays dice. I have seen the beauty of numbers. In addition to being a student of the world I have also been a teacher and a traveler. I have climbed mountains, raced the wind, swam in oceans, written, and lived, heck I’ve even been the lead singer in a Rock and Roll Band, although it wasn’t a very good one.

I seldom pass on the chance to smell a rose. I always watch at least one sunset over the ocean whenever I find myself on the West Coast. I always see the world though my eyes, these woman artist’s eyes.

Through all my life, like a drumbeat, a heartbeat, there is always this scratching, scribbling, coloring. “What is that girl doing over there? Oh, she is drawing pictures again.” I have pages of sketches going all the way back to my childhood. Everything I have ever experienced, all the people I have ever known, every where I have ever been, even in my imagination, all these things are just material for my passion, scratching, scribbling, coloring.

I believe that I am good at these acts of creation. I hope the viewer enjoys what I have painted. But even if that were not the case, I would still paint, scratch, scribble and color.”


Heidi Bjork, Iceland, @heidi_art
Heidi Bjork was born in May 1975 in Reykjavik, Iceland & has been drawing & painting from an early age. Heidi studied design from 1998-2000.

She has been selling her art in Icelandic illustration magazines & also worked in a theatre on various design work. It’s only recently that Heidi has decided to focus on her art & paint passion, love & mystery. This autumn 2012, Heidi’s first children’s book will be published in Iceland, which she has written & illustrated.

In Heidi’s own words, “…painting and drawing is the best way for me to show my true feelings. My favorite subjects are passion, love, romance & mystery. I’m fascinated by these subjects, love has many faces, most of us can relate to these emotions in our own relationships. Many times I’ve been told that my artwork displays a raw energy. I like that. Iceland is a country full of raw energy, with hot springs & a very unique landscape.

I’m drawn to mysterious stories & characters. As a child I grew up with folk & fairy tales about ghosts, witchcraft & trolls. Some of these stories are both beautiful & haunting at the same time, I like people to experience these emotions in my work. Having grown up in Iceland with long dark winters, I found the darkness both inspiring & beautiful. I often use darkness in my work.”


Andrew Crane, UK, @Windsorandnewt
As a student at the Central School of Art in London, Andrew Crane studied graphic design – it was then that he developed a love for the typographic and handwritten elements that are prevalent in his abstract paintings today.

Much of his adult life was spent in the west country, where he swapped the rigours of the pica and pen (pre-computer) for the freedom of brush and canvas. His recent work will often contain cement and painting materials acquired at the hardware store. He admits that turning up at a blank canvas can be a daunting process:

“Daunting, yes …but also thrilling! Invariably, the starting point for me, contains no preconception – The cement is applied – ‘imperfections’ appear and vanish …appear again some other place – A line occurs, a shape, a number, a stray blob drips from the trowel …gradually there is form in the mix.”

Andrew now lives and works at the very top of England in the wild landscape of Northumberland. His studio is a shed, and when the wind blows strong – which it does, he says – you may find him up the ladder with another large rock to hold the roof down.


Jenni Eden, Oman,

“I am originally from the UK, now currently living in Muscat, Oman, a natural beauty in the Arabian Gulf.

After a few years without a paintbrush in hand, I am fortunate to now be able to spend my free time painting, especially as I have been inspired by the climate and the light in the Gulf. The neutral tones of the environment that have splashes of vibrant colour from the plant life have given me a new energy. It has enabled me to create some stunning portraits and scenes from Arabian life.

In the early 1990′s I completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Drama from the University of Liverpool and a B/Tech in General Art and Design at Wigan College of Art and Design.

My formal studies enabled me to gain a solid foundation in the philosophy and fun of painting. It was during this time I became absorbed in figurative work and started producing large and bold life drawings from the live study classes I attended. The human form in its detail fascinated me, the way muscles can be represented through simplified brush strokes, creating depth through the exaggeration of light and shade. This captivation became the basis of my painting style, still prominent today.

My influences have been Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon for their painting techniques, Andy Warhol for his philosophy, colour juxtaposition/combinations and Edgar Degas for his subject matter.

In Early 2003 a friend suggested to me, I should paint portraits. Initially I was reluctant as I felt portraits had to be realistic. I started painting again because I wanted to get back to mixing colours and creating colour combinations. I knew if I was going to paint portraits, they had to enable me to have the opportunity to play with colour. I had an idea; I would paint portraits to compliment the interiors they would hang in. The painting of ’Ellie’ in blues and oranges was created.

Paint is applied thickly, giving the paintings texture. The contours and areas of shade are clearly demarcated. There is a tremendous depth to each painting, developed through the layering of the paint.. Through the course of painting, the paint dances and flows as the colour combinations alter and adjust. There is fluidity and movement. Hair is a strong point, painted as it grows and reflecting light, often immensely colourful. The real genius in the paintings, are the eyes, life-like and a true reflection of the sitter’s soul. I get many comments regarding my work based around the eyes and how they are the person in true likeness.

I love the way colour brings out the personality of the person I am painting; it is so much more than just a physical likeness. I instinctively choose colours that relate to the sitter on a personal level and use them to bring ‘the soul’ of the person to life on the canvas.

As I have regularly practiced yoga for ten years, I am aware of the Chakra Centers around the body and how each area relates to a specific colour. Subconsciously this translates into my artwork, through the choices I make. This seems to have an instinctive link to a specific Chakara, dominant in the sitter.

Choosing colours is an instinctive choice, and it can be further harnessed and exaggerated if required. I find people more than happy to leave the colour choices to me, and as a result they change their interiors to suit their portrait!

I am now going to combine all my passions and philosophies, painting, yoga, drama, Positivity in my ArtsSpa, which I hope will be up and running by the end of the year.


Andy Ferrari, Brazil, @AndysMasks
Andy Ferrari is a plastic artist whose current works consist of mask-making. From an early age she was exposed to a number of artistic activities, frequenting sculpture, painting and drawing courses as a child and teenager, and later on graduating in Etching and Engraving at the School of Music and Fine Arts of Paraná, Brazil.

In 2008 while living in Italy, she discovered Professor Agostino Dessì and his workshop in Florence, where she took a basic mask-making course. Not having yet finished her grad course, the mask-making had to wait a couple of years, and only after going back to Florence in 2010 for classes on more advanced decoration techniques, she started making masks in Brazil.

A workshop was assembled in her hometown after this second trip abroad, starting the process of building a collection of masks, still while doing other jobs.

Later in 2011 the artist decided to work exclusively in the arts, more particularly mask-making, after having her first exhibition held by the Allliance Française in her home town. Since then, her artwork has been seen in a variety of small art events and other cultural initiatives.


Merlin Flower, India, @MerlinFlower | Facebook

“The only effort on my part, if I can call it so, is to avoid any particular styles. So far, the experimentation process has helped the effort. Otherwise, the paintings are mysterious; they arrive and stay of their own will.”


Tim Grosvenor, Belgium, @elephantbird

Tim Grosvenor was born in 1958 in Tananarive, Madagascar.  He returned with his family to England in 1966 where he undertook his further education.  He studied Fine Art at the University of Reading where his tutors included Sir Terry Frost, Rita Donagh and Richard Wilson.  He was awarded the Owen Ridley Prize for drawing and completed his degree in 1981.

After a period of exhibiting his work in locations such as the Hexagon, Reading, Whapping Galleries and the Seven Dials Gallery in London he decided to follow a career in social sciences where he was regarded as one of the leading experts on human behaviour and mobility.  However, he always wanted to return to his creative roots.  In 1998 he decided to give up his successful career and return to the art world.  He moved to the South West of France where he set up a small gallery to show both his own work and that of other local and international artists. During this time he concentrated on developing his work to regain a maturity of subject matter and style.

In 2007 he moved with his family to Switzerland where he continued to develop his work.  He has exhibited his work in public and private galleries in the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany.  In early 2007 he had the honour of holding a solo exhibition of his work in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels.  Tim has work in private collections throughout Europe and the United States  For five years he was the artistic director for “Fete du N‘ouef” St Antonin Noble Val.  This major event attracts artists from a wide area and involves artists from across Europe.  He has curated a wide range of public art exhibitions including most recently, a Giant Egg event in Dübendorf, Switzerland.  In 2009 he initiated a worldwide project to help protect the rain forests of Madagascar using Twitter and social media to involve artists from around the world.  The exhibition was centred around the Zoo Zurich, Switzerland.  Tim teaches art and runs courses for both adults and children on creative thinking.  In August 2012 Tim moved to Brussels, Belgium.

Diann Haist, USA, | Facebook
Diann Haist was born and raised in a small town in southern Ontario, Canada. Haist enjoyed an early exposure to fine art through her meetings with some latter members of the legendary Canadian Group of Seven artists. They gave her painting tips as she followed them around while plein air painting in her little town. She held her first solo exhibition at the age of thirteen, selling three out of ten paintings. Haist continued to exhibit and accept commissions until her college years, when she pursued a classical art education.

After her formal training, Haist kept up her interest in Life Drawing, and began teaching in the mid 1970’s, always emphasizing the importance of drawing from life as a strong foundation upon which to build a work of art.

Over her career of forty-plus years, Diann Haist has had many successful solo exhibitions which have garnered her an enviable core of collectors. A Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, Haist’s paintings are part of numerous major corporate and prestigious private collections in Canada, the United States, Japan, and Argentina as well as throughout Europe. Her works continue to appear in major movies and tv productions. Haist’s versatility as an artist allows her to explore a variety of themes: her oils and acrylics, either on canvas or paper, display a bold brush stroke and confident technique, as well as the ability to produce strong watercolour and pastel paintings.

A published artist, Diann Haist’s work is known internationally in over 40 countries through Fine Art Posters.  Diann currently resides in Alaska where the big landscape and its Indigenous People are a never-ending source of inspiration.

Professional Affiliations:
 *Signature Member – American Impressionist Society
*Associate Member – Oil Painters of America
*Associate Member – Smithtown Township Arts Council – NY
*Associate Member – Alaska Artist Guild
*Associate Member – Laguna Plein Air Painters Association
*Associate Member – American Women Artists

 Artist Statement: “When I am in the act of painting, there is no thought, nor time; there is a sense of exquisite freedom. It’s always hard to say what inspires me to paint a certain subject, other than it resonates with me in a way which cannot be ignored. Do I paint for myself then? At first yes, but art is a communication after all, and the viewers of my work are the recipients of that communication – hopefully they will like what I have to say.”

Chantal Handley, Australia, @ChantalHandley |

I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, although I have never had any formal Fine Art training, my parents directed me towards art, sending me to a weekly art class in the UK at the age of 9. The artistic element is very strong in my family, my dad is a wonderful illustrator and my great-aunt was the lead artist for Players of Nottingham in the 1930s, having her painting exhibited in The Nottingham Castle.

Everyone said “you can never make a living being an artist” and I think it must have stuck with me because I followed my head and not my heart, attending the Advertising Academy in Brisbane, Australia to study Graphic design. I did enjoy working in the graphics industry and I gained an excellent knowledge of computers and graphic programs. I worked in the Graphic Design industry for 10 years before I finally grew tired of sitting at a computer and not being able to draw. I still felt I needed the security of commercial art and since I have always been interested in animation went on to complete a Bachelor of Animation at Griffith University, Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, learning 2D & 3D traditional animation techniques. I love animation and creating an art form that really comes alive on the screen is amazing and lots of fun!! I worked in the animation industry for five years.

Both animation and graphic design are extremely deadline driven and because I am a self-confessed workaholic, I would stay on through the night to get a project completed or a newspaper out! Then in 2005, the first of my three children was born.

I feel like I have come full circle, arriving back at my natural style of drawing and art, picking up pieces of knowledge along the way. I am very lucky to be doing what I love every single day… inspired by colour, old photographs, children’s books, vintage toys and my own three little boys.


Pete Hobden, Switzerland, @petehobden

Creating paintings enriches my experience of life. It allows me to take reality and color it with my emotions, with my experience of life. I am driven to express what I see and transform it into something which awakens an inner excitement in me – the magic that is buried in everyday life, when you become silent and just watch.


Maren Jeskanen, Finland, @Marenart

Finnish artist and illustrator Maren Jeskanen is inspired by atmospheres, memories and strong moments in life. Lately she has been painting about life and the feelings of women. Her other favourite motifs are dance, children and ancient Finnish mythology. She has illustrated two children’s books so far and has held several solo exhibitions in Finland.


Trevor Jones, Scotland, @trevorjonesart |

Canadian expat Trevor Jones is a painter and the Executive Director of the Scottish charity Art in Healthcare. He graduated with distinction from Edinburgh University’s MA Fine Art degree programme in 2008 and has been exhibiting professionally since. Trevor moves between figurative and abstraction and a recent shift from mixed media work inspired by music and the phenomenon of synaesthesia now finds the artist incorporating new technology and social media with oil paint via QR codes.


Jeremy Lee, Australia, @spooks_art

I work in the computer industry. It’s known for high stress and art is my release. When creating art, you can lose the pressures of the world and reset the brain.

Drawing is great practice. If you want to learn how to paint strong contemporary abstract art, then an effective pathway is through minuscule observation and realistic reproduction. I’ve been producing artwork since six years old. I formally studied art at school, worked at Winchcombe Pottery in the UK, was offered an apprenticeship, but moved into electronics and computing instead. Since then, I’ve never stopped painting, carpentry, drawing, glass engraving and sculpting. I studied under a lovely man named Miles in Brisbane for a few of years who taught me to mix oil colour by eye and paint portraits.

You can find a print-on-demand portfolio at and my website: If you follow my twitter handle @spooks_art, look out for announcement of an ebook on drawing as I’ll give it away free for six months.

Barry McAdam, Ireland, @Mc_Adam |

I have been working in the creative design field with my own small design company for the past 9 years. I have worked on images, games, animations and creating new user experiences over this time. The most recent creative animation I have done was for the Samuel Beckett Enniskillen International Festival and you can see it here: Video

Recently I have moved into project mentoring and lecturing in user experience and design. When possible I love to take to painting in oils and watercolour. With work and 2 small children the paintings I have got to do over the past few years have been less than I would like but I live in hope 🙂


Maude McDonald, USA, ‏ @MaudetheArtist |

International artist, Maude McDonald, picked up her first paint brush at the age of eight, from a wooden painter’s box received as a gift (which she still keeps in her studio).   Self taught until the age of 20, she was accepted into the Museum of Fine Arts Academy in Houston, and then continued her studies in Europe through mentor programs.

Emotion, more than visual stimulation, inspires her work.  She wants the canvas to speak of our awareness; be it pain, elation, humor, serenity or the surreal.  Known primarily for her figurative art, her work is immediately recognized by its strong composition, definition of line, depth and bold color.  Having studied all genres of art, her own unique style is a blend of all her favorite aspects of each.  She paints in the style that will provide the strongest voice to the subject.

Her works hang in private homes and businesses throughout North and South America, Mexico and Europe.  Although her subjects and genre may change, she remains faithful to the traditional techniques.

Melanie McDonald, France, @MelMcDonaldArt

I’ve drawn and painted all my life and I’ve been painting professionally for the past 15 years. I was born in London and moved to Newquay, Cornwall when I was a child. I studied painting at Falmouth College of Art and printing before that, receiving B.A. Honours in both. I recently moved to Brittany, France with my Scottish husband and daughter where we are redeveloping an 18th C. farm. My paintings are influenced by the Atlantic shores of Cornwall, France and Scotland.

Patricia No, Hungary,

I am a self-taught artist creating all types of art, i.e. digital, fractal, traditional, photography – abstract, expressionist, surreal, naïve, folklorist, dark, light.. and these styles change rapidly. I used to feel embarrassed about these rapid “moves”, changes, afraid that people would be confused, irritated even… but have come to realize, this seeming “weakness” is actually my strength. It is ME .. it suits me.. it is how I live, it is my life. I have lived in many different countries, on different continents, speak several languages, have enjoyed the influences of various cultures – how could I just stick to ONE ?? Impossible! All this I have integrated, all this has joined and has formed me – all this IS me.

Kat Ostrow, USA, @katost

Kat Ostrow is a self taught figurative artist, who splits her time between Portland Oregon and the coast. You can find her on line talking about creativity and the process of making.



Carolyn A Pappas, USA, @CAPappasArt |

Carolyn A Pappas creates artwork inspired by nature, especially the many lakes, hills and mountains of the New England landscape. As a self guided artist, she is constantly experimenting with new techniques to effectively give each image the personality it deserves. She works on paper in colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink and graphite.


Shirley Peters, Australia, @ShirleyPeters
Shirley Peters (nee James) was born the youngest of twin sisters (artist Carmel James) in 1953 and lives in Sydney, Australia.  She studied fine art painting and printmaking at the National Art School at Randwick Technical College and Alexander Mackie Teachers College, with additional training in graphic design and multi-media.  During her younger years, Shirley worked in advertising art studios before starting full-time freelancing at 24 years of age. This work arrangement gave Shirley time to continue her fine art on a part-time basis. She sold to private collectors through art shows and personal contact.

She married photographer Bob Peters and has two children, Natalie and Mitchell Peters.  Shirley Peters’ resigned from commercial work to focus on fine art, and has been painting full time since 2008. Peters has showed her work in group exhibitions and solo shows in both Sydney and Melbourne. She has also developed her skills as photographer since her husband suffered a stroke in 2010, and is unable to work without an assistant.

European architecture has become the main subject for Shirley’s painting. She and Bob have travelled extensively, equipped with ‘en plein air’ oil paints, rolls of canvas and a large Canon camera.

Shirley’s latest series is based on the historic towns of the French countryside, while earlier work is inspired by the basilicas of Rome and the little nippers from Maroubra Beach, in Australia.

Ken Powers, USA, @powers_fine_art
Primarily a self-taught watercolor artist, Ken Powers’ work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the world as well as on the set of ABC Studio’s hit television series, “Desperate Housewives.”  Named one of the “21 Artists to Watch in 2012” by, Ken’s artwork is continually evolving and is often noted for its use of bold color, strong shadows, and exaggerated depictions of light. Many of the artist’s watercolor techniques have evolved through experimentation with the media since 2004 and it is watercolor paint’s unpredictable nature that continues to drive and challenge him. He currently resides in the Tacoma, Washington area with his wife and two children and is often found advocating the teaching of the arts in the public school system and promoting the artwork of others through the use of social media.

Amasilys Ruiz, Venezuela,
Amasilys Ruiz was born in Maracay (Aragua, Venezuela) in 1972. She is an irremediable optimist, and curious about ”how to make…”

She is a mixture of visual artist, designer and writer.

Although her early works (Prima inspiraCtion Collection) were created when she was about 19 years old, Amasilys still considers herself an emerging visual artist, having turned her back on a 16-year track record in advertising, marketing, graphic design and radio production. In the last 4 years, she has 100% dedicated herself to what she is absolutely passionate about: being a visual artist, writer and designer.

Self-taught in art, she recently completed a small collection of works in the style of Toy-Art called Strong InspiraCtion (Fuerte InspiraCciÛn) that, mostly, are wood sculptures, with pyrography, painted with acrylic. Currently (2012) she is dedicated to developing a new collection called muackS!!!  inspiraCtion, which includes paintings in different formats and what she calls lightweight sculptures, created with cedar wood sheets and assembled.

Amasilys works with acrylic on canvas and wood. She uses wood as a support for her paintings and to create her sculptures. Her painting technique is based on touches with brush and sponge to create unique textures, giving attention to each detail. Her works are meant to be seen and enjoyed as much up-close as from a distance.

Since 2009 Amasilys has participated in several group exhibitions in Colombia, Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga), Mexico, Norway, Australia and Korea.

Shell Rummel, USA,
My inspiration is the fluid grace of nature. I am drawn to organic lines, authentic materials, layers that reveal and patterns that make the eye dance. My artistic creation involves engaging all the senses, capturing the soul and heartbeat of emotions and bringing them to life. I enjoy storytelling with watercolors, photographs, music and poetry. I love what I do and am thrilled to be able to share my passion and vision.

My company, Shell Artistree, has been a successful and established presence in the wedding, stationery and gift markets for many years.  My award winning watercolor artwork has been represented in over 100 retail stores and fine art galleries nationwide, and has been featured in juried art shows, fine art exhibition and national publications. I am honored that my artwork has been collected by thousands of private and corporate art patrons both within the US and abroad.

My art licensing brand, Shell Rummel licensing, offers my original hand painted watercolor designs for fine art licensing. I enjoy the challenge of collaborating closely with manufacturers and retailers to design beautiful products that will be successful in the marketplace.  The Shell Rummel brand is synonymous with exceptional quality artwork, professional integrity, and meticulous innovative design.