Raising funds for Ukraine with local artwork

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A local musician and doctor team up to raise money for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Emergency physician Dr. Darren Markland posts landscape photos he took on Twitter, some of which are shots of the Edmonton River Valley.

“I take pictures of beautiful things and I’ve, by accident, come across artists who see things better than I do,” Markland said.

The footage caught the attention of a local musician.

“What I decided to do for a lark to see if he liked it is upload them to my camera, run them through this old app I have that turns them into paintings,” said David Gray.

“People seemed to like it, he seemed to like it, so we kept doing it. We ended up accumulating 10-15 of these images and people started asking where to buy them.

The couple got to talking and decided to use the photos turned into paintings into works of art that will be put up for sale to raise funds for Ukraine.

“I’ve always put them to people who need something to make their day better, it’s been a tough two and a half years. Adding that kind of meaning to it is a good thing for me,” Markland said. Anyone who lives in Edmonton knows someone who is very close to this, if you have empathy you have a connection to this.

“I know a lot of people who look like the ones being attacked right now and it’s heartbreaking that in the 21st century someone thinks barbarism is the way to go,” Gray added.

Artwork for sale to raise funds for Ukraine. (Source: Dr. Darren Markland and David Gray)

Through a Twitter poll, they chose four prints that are on sale through May 4 on Gray’s website.

“We saw over 100 responses on each one, so just if we sell that (a lot), I figured it was at least $16,000 raised,” Gray said.

Gray and Markland met in person for the first time on Tuesday and expect that won’t be the last time they work together.

“Social media gives you a good clue, but what really makes a good friendship is knowing someone in the flesh. I always felt like we would work well together, so I’m not surprised that I immediately liked the guy,” Markland said.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t collaborate more for good causes and good times.”

Prints will cost $80 each or two for $150.

With files from Alison MacKinnon of CTV News Edmonton

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