FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John artist is sending love and wishes for peace to war-ravaged Ukraine, joining a global movement on social media creating art in solidarity with those affected by the ongoing Russian invasion.

Deb Bowyer, a long-time resident and certified Zentangle instructor, is taking part in the #tangleforukraine challenge.

“I’m half Hungarian, so I think our cultural similarities are obvious, and I was just overwhelmed with how many innocent people have to be feeling, and the stress,” she said, noting there’s many Ukrainian Canadians in the community and across Canada.

Zentangle is a type of meditative, small scale, free form art and can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, any time, using whatever materials and supplies they have on hand.

“It allows me to free my brain and my mind, and just focus on the patterns, and it gives me a little bit of relief from stress, the worries that we all have,” said Bowyer.

Bowyer says she hopes her students and other artists will consider donating to charitable organizations providing aid and relief to Ukraine, such as the Red Cross. Two free classes are planned this month for anyone wanting to create art for Ukraine.

“As Canadians, we’ve been fighting our global pandemic for two years, and we’re so privileged to live in this country, especially where we’re so isolated,” she said. “We’re so far removed in the world, but Russia and Ukraine aren’t far away if you go west.”