Since February I wake up every day with the hope that the war in Ukraine is over. Being a Ukrainian-American mother myself the thoughts about Ukrainian women and children come in powerful waves.
It is remarkable that despite a nearly impossible load on their shoulders the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian women are beyond imaginable. Honestly, I’d rather see them prosper in peace rather than display unthinkable heroism during this cruel and senseless war.
Clearly, it is hard enough to be a woman and raise children in a peaceful time. Now, imagine being thunderstruck with fear when your kids are clinging to you in a freezing basement!
Families are torn apart. Sirens nonstop. Raging fires everywhere.
When real life becomes unbearable art steps forward to give hope.
Art is something to hold on to when everything else fails but the soul is still begging to survive. So, because art helps to lessen the pain I am drawn to it like a bee to a sunflower.
In this post, I will share some works that deeply touched my heart. They refer to the sacred subject of women and children through the eyes of talented artists.
These breathtaking images show that beauty still exists next to darkness, grief, and despair. Whether the art piece is a drawing, an illustration, or a napkin – they cast the light to illuminate the eroded souls.
How to own a great art piece for cheap while helping Ukraine
Thankfully, most of the artists below are willing to sell the prints of their original work as digital downloads. You can own a great quality inexpensive print while helping Ukrainian people.
Most artists use the proceeds from their sold artwork to donate to Ukrainian charities. Their determination takes my breath away. I bought many prints already. And you can do it too. Many of them are on Etsy, but some I found on Instagram.
I included a gallery of images at the end of the post. Scroll down and you will see the links. Click on the links to buy great quality digital downloads.
Viktor Babak’s acrylic painting of a young Ukrainian mother protecting her baby from the horrors of the war. She is stunningly beautiful and strong. Her traditional Ukrainian Vyshyvanka (shirt) and Vinok (wreath) are symbols of Ukraine. Apparently, two conflicting and powerful forces on the right and on the left loom over her. On the left, close to the heart is nature itself represented by birds and butterflies on a bright blue background of the sky. The dark forces of the war on the right. She is hurt, humiliated but dignified, unflinching, unwavering. her focus is solely on protecting her baby.
Polina Skurykhina portrays a modern Ukrainian mother on her quest to save herself and her baby. Violent piercing all over her feminine forms looks like the war itself tears her apart. The blue and gold colors are dazzling on the pitch-black background. She holds a baby in her large arms in a powerful gesture. She is thunderstruck but not destroyed, devastated but intensely beautiful.
The artist, Maria Dyavgo says about this work:
A beautiful woman’s face is always a mystery and a pleasure to look at. All my modern women portraits feature female power as the future is female.
Intentionally curvy lines of the painting accentuate softness and femininity. In contrast, her face is angular and composed. The red color of pain prevails. Allegorically, the cup contains red as well. Of course, blue and yellow make reference to the Ukrainian traditional colors of the flag. The primitive style of the painting makes the eternal subject of mother and child more human.
The magic of Lizzie McLoughlin’s painting is in contrast between the lacy and delicate watercolor technique and the strong, powerful emotions it evokes. The woman is holding a beautiful baby in her strong arms. She is all that love and motherhood stand for. The baby is wrapped in traditional Ukrainian khustka, which is a lovely scarf representing true love. Vinok (wreath) in the background is a symbol of Ukraine’s independence and heritage.
Illustrations and Drawings
Miriam Kraft lovingly draws an image of a modern young mother who looks like she just took a deep inhale. Perhaps, she is praying for peace. Dark circles under eyes. Hair unbrushed. Swollen faces. She is at a crossroads. Did she just lose her home? Is she fleeing to save her children? The intensity of the moment is multiplied by the softness of the baby’s little bright blue shirt with innocent white clouds. Obviously, the woman is thunderstruck but she stands strong. The immense image of the Peace Dove is transparent, powerful, and clear over the flames and darkness of the war.
Miriam Kraft writes:
The thoughts spinning in your head, the anger in your stomach and the whispering fear in your neck need an outlet…
Clearly, I can’t say better than that. By the way, this is my favorite drawing. Thank you, Miriam.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the artist of this piece. It says in Ukrainian, “Ne chipay moih ditey” (Don’t touch my children). Blood red Vinok with flowers falling off represent pain, chaos, and darkness. Is she fleeing to save herself and the baby? it looks like this young Ukrainian mother swishes through the air, through the darkness, through the war. But suddenly, the sun peeks through the darkness, and very soon it will light up her life and her child.
Postcards and Crafts
Kateryna Stepanishcheva’s I Love You to the Moon feels to me like I entered the door to my childhood. Nostalgically, I remember my grandmother’s dinner napkins with a very similar flower motif sewn on. Also, the precious mother-daughter embrace – something between the umbilical cord and a perpetual love gesture – has a simple, almost childish composition yet a deep and meaningful symbolism. It amplifies the eternal bond in a relatable way.
Personally, I would use this illustration to decorate a pillow. But you can also use it as a postcard, a shirt, a bag, or a napkin.
Description by Pauline Art:
On the night of February 24, at five o’clock in the morning,
Russia attacked Ukraine without declaring war!
By purchasing this digital poster you can show your encouragement to people in a difficult life situation.
We pray for a peaceful sky without missiles and warplanes.
Your prayers, your encouragement are very much appreciated, it is impossible to put it into words.
God Save Ukraine!
I hope that the war will end soon with my beloved Ukraine will celebrate victory very soon. Meanwhile, more than anything I’d love it if you share this post with your friends and family. I also hope that you will consider helping Ukrainian women and children by buying art. As a creative myself, I know firsthand how hard it is to work when your heart is crushed. Let’s support them!
Click on the images below to buy
Instagram inquiries: Dreaming of Peace and NO War by Miriam Kraft. Instagram: mirikft
Ukrainian Mothers are the Strongest Mothers on Earth by Polina Skyrihina. Instagram: pollypop92