NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After watching the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, a 14-year-old Nashville girl painted Ukrainian cities that were bombed in March 2022, printed copies and donated 100% of the profits to charities benefiting Ukrainians.
"We [my family] were all watching the news together. And I'm always painting when I'm watching TV so I–we were like witnessing Kyiv being bombed. And that's heartbreaking to think about. But I looked up a few pictures of Kyiv and just started painting it," explained high school freshman Ella Bramlett.
A gifted artist, within a few days, Bramlett painted Kyiv and Kharkiv. She finished the city of Mariupol on Monday.
"Those are two others that have been really influenced by all the bombing and stuff and those are two of the other hardest-hit cities," said Bramlett. "And I'm working on painting more... I usually do sets of four, but not quite sure when it's going to end so we'll just see."
Bramlett said she cannot remember a time when she did not paint.
"The arts is very much in my family. My grandmother is a painter and we all have an appreciation for the art so we all play instruments," explained Bramlett who with her two brothers, are students at Blair Academy, the pre-college program at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.
The siblings have played together at the Ryman, Schermerhorn, City Winery and the Grand Ole Opry.
"I love how I can express myself through it and I can show the talent that God has given me and use that to glorify him," Bramlett said.
In 2020, she leaned into her artistic talent and started "Ella Bramlett Designs," selling her artwork on Instagram and Facebook.
That is where she sells the Ukraine cityscape prints as well.
Bramlett sells the prints for $30 with 100% of the profits going to SeaStar Kids and Eastern European Missions.
Founded in 2010, SeaStar Kids is a Nashville-based nonprofit committed to serving disadvantaged youth in Ukraine through Summer Bible Camp, year-round youth activities, and college scholarships.
Eastern European Missions (EEM) publishes, prints, and distributes Bibles and Bible-based materials in 30+ countries and 20+ languages through a vast network of partner churches and organizations. EEM seeks to spread the message of Jesus Christ in Eastern Europe.
She said she could not standby and watch what was going on, she wanted to find a way to help.
"Just watching that happen live. It's like, 'oh my goodness, this is really happening,'" recounted Bramlett. "I felt like God was calling me to help in any way that I could."
Although Bramlett said she had painted some architecture before, "I've done some cities...but that's sort of the best work that I've done so far."
As of Monday, Bramlett raised $1,500 for the relief efforts with a hope of doubling that in the weeks ahead as she paints more Ukrainian cities.
"It's something that concerns everyone because we're all people and we're all God's children. And so we should all do what we can to help," said Bramlett. "Above all, I hope that people pray and pray for Ukraine and our world. And if there's been one person that has been inspired or brought to God through my artwork, it's time well spent."
To purchase a Ukrainian city print, email Bramlett at email@example.com.