Future Van Goghs . . . Students of Luzette Crossan's after school art class created sunflower artworks which were auctioned off to raise money for children in Ukraine. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru children have put paintbrush to paper to raise money for Ukraine.

Artist Luzette Crossan had the primary-aged pupils in her after-school art classes, and home school class, create sunflower artworks which were auctioned off in a silent auction last week.

The 32 artworks had so far raised $950, with some donations still to come in, Crossan said.

‘‘I was happy to raise any kind of money, but it went really, really well.’’

She thought people got behind the cause because they were not only supporting Oamaru children, but they were also supporting children in the Ukraine.

‘‘I think [for] a lot of people, it’s just kind of [in the] toohard basket to actually donate money. So if somebody’s doing it on their behalf, then that takes the work out of it.’’

The funds raised would go to Save the Children, Ukraine Crisis.

‘‘It spoke to me somehow,’’ Crossan said.

‘‘If I was in a similar situation — my husband had to go and fight in a war, and my kids had to leave their home and everything they knew, not knowing when they’re going to see their family and their place again — it was just really heartbreaking for me.

‘‘I think the kids related to it as well, because we spoke about it a little bit. We don’t go into too much detail, but we were talking about how blessed we are to have a safe country, food on the table, you know, clothes, all that stuff.

‘‘Then we spoke about sunflowers being Ukraine’s flower, and it just lended itself really nicely to the Van Gogh sunflowers, so we just went from there.’’

The auction also taught the children they could make money from their art, which was important, she said. A lot of them were ‘‘blown away’’ that people, strangers especially, would pay for their artwork and want it in their homes.

There were still some works left — including a few Luzette Crossan originals — so the auction may run longer.