Sunday 26 February 2023

Another painting for Ukraine: One Year On

 It's with mixed feelings I faced the one year anniversary of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Sadness, that it is still going on and the people of Ukraine (and also so many families in Russia too) are suffering so much. But also satisfaction and admiration too. Admiration for the fortitude of the Ukrainians to send all their menfolk to fight and not flee like in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Admiration for the Ukrainian women and children, many have stayed to help or just carry on to show the Russians they can't be cowed, and many have gone to friendly countries to support their fighters to manage the best they can till things are better.  Not least I admire many of the young women still in Ukraine, we have seen many on our TV screens over the last 12 months - from Government Ministers and MPs, fighters in the armed forces along with the men, to medical staff and civilians using their skills to help keep the fight going.

I was incredibly heartened by the support my art for Ukraine received  a year ago. I ended up painting not one but two, thanks to the generosity of my patrons; and with some small prints sold at a wargames event and to friends have raised nearly £500 by my efforts. Those families still need our support. Personally I need no convincing that the Ukrainians are fighting for us too.  If they crumble Putin will be emboldened and he won't stop there. The parallels with Hitler and 1938 - 40 are too powerful to be ignored. He tries to tell the Russian people that the West is out to get them. No we are not, but we have to be out to get him, and anyone that fights at his bidding. The only way I have to do that is to paint, and ask you to have faith in my work and raise as much as we can to support those who are fighting and dying for our values of freedom. Before I get too emotional let's get onto the art. 

Here is the second painting which I don't think I ever showed on the blog. The patron has a great sense of humour and he asked that the Russian look a bit like Putin, and the Saxon Cuirassier a bit like Zelenzky

The Saxon Zastrow Cuirassiers fight Russian Artillery in 1812.
Acrylic on canvas 12" x 10"

This year my thoughts turned to trying to honour the women of Ukraine. I recalled that a young Ukrainian lady, who I've called Ella, modelled for me way back in late 2012.  I looked back at the photoshoot, which was of course before the Russian incursions into Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in 2014, and found some useful source material.

I'm bound to offend someone as the history of Ukraine is so diverse how can I,  a poor Englishman, expect to get it right? Apologies in advance but my 2023 "Cossack Girl " is neither historically or ethnically representative - she and her setting are entirely symbolic. I'm trying to say something like the following:

  • Cossack men have a reputation for toughness. The 12 months 2022-23 have shown the Ukrainian women are tough too
  • Yet Ukrainian females are world renowned for their beauty, feminine charm and tenderness
  • The Cossack sabre and pistol stuffed in the sash show she means business
  • The highly decorated fur pelisse and fur hat are symbolic of the richness of the country but harsh nature of Ukraine's climate and the war.  However, the flowered blouse shows that underneath is a kinder future
  • Her expression is neither angry, happy nor self satisfied, yet is hopeful as she kneels among the burned wheat that is regrowing anew around her and embodied in the Ukrainian flag.

I give you "Hope for Ukraine - Cossack Girl". Details of my online auction are given below the pictures

"Hope for Ukraine - Cossack Girl"
Acrylic on canvas 11.5" x 8" , UK A4 size

Cossack Girl - detail

The canvas sides are painted but it could be framed.
The painting comes varnished, strung and ready to hang.

Once again I will be giving to what I believe to be a reliable charity - the UK Disasters Emergency Committee, Ukraine One Year On

I usually sell paintings at this size for between £75 and £100. This one took me about 12 hours work. So please start the bidding at £80 and let's see how far we get....... I will give 100% of the result to the charity minus the cost for insured postage to your location.

Please email me your bids to Chris Gregg
The Auction closes at 1pm UK time on Thursday 2nd March 2023. I will be giving updates on this blog and my Instagram account.

If you are unfamiliar with my art work, or have not looked for some time please visit my website You can ask me questions through the "contact" page there or via the email link above.

Thank you.

I'm delighted to be able to say that after the first 24 hours the bidding has reached £120.. While I would be disapointed to have to turn away the current leader please keep the bids coming to get more money to the cause. Thanks to all who have emailed me and commented in any way.




Just few hours to go and the bidding is now at £140.  Thanks so much to those who have expressed support.




The auction is now closed and the painting went for £140. Very pleased to say it went to one of my oldest friends who I studied art with at school. He is an active supporter of the Ukrainian cause and lives in Southeast England. Even better he is planning to auction it to try to raise yet more money!

A heartfelt thank you also to everyone who has emailed me with good wishes and support even though I know many could not bid for various reasons. Let's hope the war is "solved" enough by next March so I don't have to do this again!!