Tom Croft – #artforukraine

The Net Gallery has been lucky to work with portrait painter Tom Croft on a range of different projects, including the Portraits for NHS Heroes Virtual Exhibition at Fitzrovia Chapel, a virtual tour of his Oxford studio, and a number of CBPP exhibitions.   

Moved by the terrible events in Ukraine, Tom recently auctioned one his paintings over Instagram using #artforukraine, to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. With Tom’s followers able to bid via comments or direct messages, the painting – a self-portrait of Tom’s left foot – was eventually won by bidder Richard Sutcliffe. Including Gift Aid, the sale raised £1000 for the DEC appeal.

We caught up with Tom to learn a bit more about the painting, as well as the opportunities for both artists and art lovers to help support aid efforts directed at Ukraine. 

Talking about the somewhat unusual self-portrait, Tom says:

“I painted my left foot a while ago and call it a self-portrait because more has happened to this bit of my body than any other part. I once ripped the ligaments tripping off a kerb. I’ve also fractured it and once trod on a pencil imbedding an inch of lead into my big toe. When I was young, I was attacked by something in Coniston Water and needed eight stitches in the top of the same foot. My right foot has had an easy life in comparison!

“From a painter’s point of view, I noticed the sunlight was bleaching out my big toe to yellow and creating an unusual blue light flare in the background.”

Tom’s self-portrait of his left foot

Noting that he was motivated to auction the painting after “watching the horrific events unfold in Ukraine”, Tom says that he felt it was important to to do something to help, no matter how small”. He adds that, “I am very grateful to the lovely Richard Sutcliffe for his generous bid.”

Like Tom, many artists have got involved in supporting people in Ukraine. As Tom explains:

“Lots of artists are still producing amazing works and selling them via Instagram to raise funds for Ukraine, through many different initiatives. It’s one of the great strengths of social media. 

“You can search for participating artists under #artforukraine – #sunflowersforukraine and #ukrainesupportpledge to see some of the artworks. Obviously, please donate money anyway, but they hopefully offer a nice incentive to donate a bit more.”

Article by Richard Unwin.

The Net Gallery would like to hear from any artists, curators or galleries that are involved in helping to provide support. We’re always open to collaborations and would particularly like to hear from anyone interested in creating a virtual exhibition supporting Ukraine.

Please also share your #artforukraine artwork and related pieces with us via social media and Artist N Virtual. 

To learn more about the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, visit:

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