“Unbroken – The Heart of the Ukraine”


Linda will donate all profits from your print purchase.

Just a note, the charge on your credit card will say “Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills”. They are my fiscal sponsor for this fundraising project. Thanks again!

11 x 14 Archival Print (image area 8 x 10)…$45

Shipping: $12 (two weeks for delivery)


Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the news coverage of the suffering of men, women, and children in Ukraine with a heavy heart. One day in early March, I learned of an appeal to musicians around the world to create music that would communicate what was happening to Ukraine and its people. Though actual news is hard to come by in Russia, music can still get through and be heard. This story inspired me to ask, “How can ALL the arts get involved to help?”

If you’re on Facebook at all, you’ve been seeing lots of images of the Ukrainian flag and sunflowers (the country’s national flower). An artist friend painted the face of a sunflower in beautiful colors to promote awareness of what’s happening in Ukraine. Shortly after that, a photographer friend auctioned off a metal print of a sunflower field to raise money for Ukrainian relief efforts through St. Peter and Paul’s Church in Beaver. (The story is available on WPXI’s website.)

So let’s back up for a moment to Wednesday of last week. I was driving home from a meeting with my printer and got stuck in a nasty traffic jam on the Liberty Bridge (but then, who in Pittsburgh hasn’t?). While listening to news on the radio to pass the time, I felt overwhelmed with sadness. The stories coming from Ukraine are so incredibly difficult to listen to. I asked myself “Is there something I personally can do to help?” I started thinking about what I could paint with my soft pastels that could be used to help raise funds for the humanitarian efforts.

Of course, sunflowers came to mind right away, and since I was definitely not going anywhere in the next few minutes, I did a Google search for ‘sunflowers.’ To my surprise, one of the images that popped up was a sunflower with a heart-shaped face. How interesting!

I followed the link from the photo and landed on a sales page for seeds that would grow into heart-shaped sunflowers. Who knew such a thing existed? I then imagined a single tear falling from the heart-shaped sunflower to symbolize the sorrows of the Ukrainian people.

As I headed for home once the traffic cleared, my thoughts were racing – I became more excited with each mile. When I arrived, Tom was sitting on our front porch, enjoying the first days of warm and sunny weather. I barely was out of the car before I was excitedly yelling, “I have an idea for a new painting!”  I shared what I’d been thinking about with Tom and showed him the sunflower image from my search. He, too, loved the idea.

So, after much thought and prayer, on Saturday afternoon I sat down in front of my easel and, barely even sketching, I just started painting. As I worked on the painting, it almost seemed to create itself, and other symbols began to take shape.  I painted a whole field of sunflowers looking toward the sun together to signify unity and hope. Next, I split the painting into two halves with the blue sky above and the yellow field of flowers below representing the colors of the Ukrainian flag.  You may notice that a few of the flowers in the foreground are bowing their heads in sadness and grief, while new buds are emerging, symbolizing the strength, courage, and determination of the Ukrainian people.

I was completely in The Zone. The entire painting was finished in record time – within 24 hours from start to finish (even with breaks for sleep and going to church)! I feel it’s one of the most exciting pieces I’ve ever painted.

Linda’s story behind “Unbroken – The Heart of the Ukraine”

Now the challenge is to see how quickly I can use the painting to generate donations to help this war-torn land and its people.

I am happy to announce that I’m teaming up with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills (Sunnyhill) to sell prints of my painting. For tax purposes I needed to work with a charitable organization to receive and distribute the funds directly to these two humanitarian relief organizations:

The Ukrainian Red Cross: The Red Cross is often on the frontlines of war serving to help those affected by armed conflict. The Ukrainian Red Cross is currently assisting people inside the country by aiding evacuations and providing shelter, food and basic necessities.

Voices of Children: Created in 2015, the Voices of Children Foundation has been providing psychological support to children affected by war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine through art therapy, video storytelling, mobile psychologists and more. Now, the organization is working to support children across the Ukraine with emergency psychological assistance and assisting in the evacuation process.

All profits will be donated directly to these two organizations minus the cost of the printing and postage.

Each print is 11 x 14 inches with an image area of 8 x 10 inches on archival paper.

The original painting will also be auctioned to raise funds, and I’ll have more on that very soon.

Your support and encouragement are always so important to me! Thank you so much.