The Union: #2 Anne Kupillas

Anne Kupillas

Since we had to postpone our first art show—The Union—we’ve decided to turn this into an opportunity to digitally showcase all the artists who’d submitted to the show. We’ve asked the artists to write about their experiences over the last few weeks, how they’re feeling and coping, or what kind of work has the self-quarantine and social distancing inspired?


Anne Kupillas

I was so pleased to be selected for Art Clout’s The Union show! Although I’ve always been artistic, it was only last March that I went all-in with my painting.  Things were just starting to snowball for me (in a good way). I had two group shows and a joint exhibition planned for April & May (including The Union), a full schedule of painting workshops to teach, and the offer to teach the weekly OLLI watercolor class at Cal State LB.  Then the COVID19 measures slowed things down and postponed most of my art activities.   

To be honest, sequestering had already become fairly normal for me!  Like most artists, I like to work at home, alone, in a cave, only coming up for snacks every so often.  Plus, I have chronic Lyme Disease, so I can’t do too much, and some days are hard to get anything done.   I actually took up painting again last year, in order to keep my mind off the pain and other symptoms. Often it’s hard — concentrating can activate my nerve pain and headaches – but I try to get some work in for an hour or two every day. I haven’t stopped since, and the art has become so much more than just therapy for me. It’s become a huge part of my self-worth and persona on this long road back to “normal.” 

But things just aren’t so normal now.  My portrait commissions and Etsy traffic has slowed. My art is affordable – I make matted prints starting at $10 and pins at $4 – but due to COVID19, people are being super cautious with money. Last week, I created new Cuss N Color “subversive coloring” sheets for adults (a great home-alone activity!) with fellow artist Alice LeFae. That’s been fun! Trying different things is key now.  

I believe these tough times have a silver lining. In the same way that had I not had the terrible luck of contracting Lyme Disease, I would never have given myself the space and time to explore my artwork in a meaningful way, COVID19 is pushing us to find different ways of expressing ourselves   I’ve started doing live Zoom painting sessions in groups,  both with current students and new ones.  There are a lot of folks at home now, looking for some art therapy and ways to pass the time.

Being creative has pulled me through a lot of dark times and given me a sense of purpose, and I’m incredibly happy to help others do the same during this time! I think that virtual art galleries, lessons and classes will find a larger niche during this time. And bringing people together through art will always be a silver lining. 

Pricing:

  • 4×6″ & 5×7″ prints on board – $10
  • 5×7″ matted prints (fits 8×10 frame) – $20
  • 8×10″ matted prints (fits 11×14″ frame) – $30
  • Custom Pet Portraits – $60
  • Cuss N Color Coloring Sheets : $5 each / 3 for $10 / 10 for $20
  • Pins – $4

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