Buckingham County artist wants to help people through painting

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

She just wanted to help. When Buckingham County artist Cris Arbo learned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it reminded her of World War II. She saw on tv how people were displaced from their homes and in need of basic supplies.

“When I heard about what Putin was doing, I wondered what I could do (to help),” Arbo said.

Arbo began painting on small cedar planks many years ago with the help of her husband, Joe Anthony. He works as her manager, and typically handles all her day-to-day work and charity details. As a team effort, Anthony sands down the cedar planks and gets them ready to paint, and Arbo puts her brush to work, painting lively little works of art that she now dubs, ‘Cris Creatures’.

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When the news about Ukraine broke out and Arbo found herself wondering what she, as an individual could do to help, she began offering her Cris Creatures for sale on eBay, where 100% of proceeds would be donated to Doctors Without Borders in a direct effort to aid the people of Ukraine.

Background on Buckingham County artist

Arbo has illustrated seven children’s books, which have collectively received more than 40 awards, and has painted murals in both the Buckingham and Prince Edward County libraries. As an art major in college, Arbo began developing her talent at a young age. From there, she would go on to become a freelance illustrator, and the rest is history.

Some of her favorite works include a book that her husband wrote and Arbo illustrated, titled, “The Dandelion Seed”. NASA now uses the book to educate children on aerodynamics.

‘It’s not easy’

When asked what Arbo hopes to accomplish with her work raising money for Doctors Without Borders, she said it was simple. “Just to help, whatever small way we can.”

Due to the painstaking process of creating her fine art, Arbo is unable to paint for longer than 3 hours at a time. “I have to remain perfectly still. It’s not easy.”

To date, Arbo believes she has sold approximately 80 Cris Creatures on eBay, with 12 currently for sale in their eBay shop. Each is listed for $100, with 100% of proceeds directly going to benefit the cause. It’s estimated that approximately $7,800 has been raised to date on behalf of Ukraine from purchases within their storefront.

With no financial goal in mind for how much Arbo is looking to raise on behalf of the cause, she states, “I’m just plugging along.”

Arbo hopes her humanitarian efforts inspire others to do more for one another.

“We all have something we can do. Big or small. This is what I can do.”

How to get involved

Those who don’t want to purchase a piece of art from Arbo, but would like to make a donation on her behalf, can do so at the Doctors Without Borders website at https:// www.doctorswithoutborders. org/.

For questions, concerns, and more information, you may reach out to Anthony on Arbo’s behalf by e-mail at josephpatrickanthony01@gmail. com, or visit Arbo’s website, which showcases some of her art and other information at www.crisarbo.com. Additionally, their eBay store can be searched by the screenname josephpanthony.

Arbo notes that, if there are no Creatures available for sale upon looking in the storefront, to be sure to check back within a few days for updated offerings.