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Annie Skakun Goes with the Feeling

New Anderson Artists Guild member Annie Skakun grew up in Concord, New Hampshire. But after leaving temperatures of 20 degrees below zero for a spring break trip to Arizona, where it was 80 degrees, she decided to transfer from Keene State to the University of Arizona. There, she completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

After graduation, she sold copy machines before landing in the pharmaceuticals industry. She worked for six different companies, including Pfizer, which paid for her to earn a master’s degree in business. She started off as a field representative to doctors’ offices and ended up as a hospital rep. One of her strongest memories is launching the drug Viagra. “That was interesting,” she said.

She enjoyed the first decade in this field—until the rules changed. “I could no longer use my sales and relationship skills,” she said. “Now we were following a script, and if you went off script, you got in trouble.”

She and her husband and their children moved around for his training and career as an orthopedic surgeon, from North Carolina to Florida to Ohio to Louisiana before settling in Pendleton, S.C., when he accepted a job at AnMed. During those years, while raising her kids, Skakun sold real estate; started a company called Princess Petunia, from which she sold children’s tulle skirts and tops she made; and rehabbed and sold old furniture.

When they lived in Alexandria, Louisiana, Skakun was selected as a resident artist at the local arts center, which included a downtown studio. She hopes that the Anderson Arts Center will one day open its own artists’ studios. “It was such a great way to learn and grow as an artist,” she said, referring to the impact of the other 29 resident artists she worked alongside.

Nowadays, Skakun focuses on painting with acrylics and acrylic inks. She prefers blending with her hands rather than a brush, and her style is definitively abstract. “I do a lot of things that drip and don’t make sense and with lots of big, bold colors and blurred lines,” she said. “You have to use your imagination to what is and isn’t.” And she works big—up to 48 by 60 inches.

Her goal is to rein herself in a bit. “I would like to fine tune what I’m doing and get to understand color theory a little more,” she said. “My style right now is to just go with the feeling.”

For more information about Skakun, visit


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