Have you ever thought that you might be carrying a future masterpiece in your pocket? Too often people want to think that art is for “other people,” that it all hangs in stuffy museums… I would like you to meet Bryanna Marie, an artist based in Arizona who has very wonderful and unique chosen medium.
Like most painters, she uses paint and brushes, but in lieu of your standard canvas, she has chosen to use pennies. That’s right pennies! It is hard to imagine that someone could take an item that small and create a masterpiece, but she has done it time and time again.
I was surprised when I first heard of her work, the idea is so fresh. I don’t think too many people would look at little shiny pieces of copper that bare Mr. Lincoln and think “I’m going to paint a detailed landscape on it.” But then again, as you look at her work, you’ll soon realize that there aren’t many people as talented and gifted with such a vision like Bryanna Marie.
Aside from landscapes, she has painted breathtaking flora and fauna and even impressive iconic scenes from beloved films.
“Just don’t stop, never stop learning, never stop doodling, never stop putting your work out there.”
I was lucky enough to get an interview with this gifted artist to discuss her work.
W. B. Cornwell– “What made you think that a penny would make a good canvas?”
Bryanna Marie– “I’ve always been drawn to painting with oils on copper so naturally when I decided to attempt a miniature painting I chose the penny. In the beginning, it was a challenge to paint with Lincoln’s face in the background, now I just see him as a part of the overall works.”
W. B. Cornwell – “Who or what got you into art?”
Bryanna Marie– “It wasn’t a person who gave me my interest in art. It was a feeling. As a little girl, if I came across a painting I admired, it would give me butterflies in my stomach and I would do what I could to replicate whatever I just saw. Later it was determination that would push me to make sure painting was my passion as well as my way to make a living.”
W. B. Cornwell– “Who are some of your inspirations?”
Bryanna Marie – “I could go on for days about the artists that inspire me constantly. Just to name a few, Zaria Foreman who produces larger than life pastels of glaciers, Greg Ruth, a portrait illustrator who works in graphite and Donato Giancola a painter of fantasy in oils. I always try to keep up with artists who inspire me to push my work to the next level.”
W. B. Cornwell– “What is your penny painting process like, do you like to listen to music or do you need silence to focus?”
Bryanna Marie– “I paint in my home studio always with a hot cup of coffee nearby. I prefer some type of noise in the background as long as it’s not too much of a distraction, audiobooks are a go-to. However, I’ve been listening to podcasts recently which has helped immensely while I paint for hours at a time.”
W. B. Cornwell– “What are some of the pieces that you are most proud of?”
Bryanna Marie– “I’ve recently painted a small cottage in Scotland and I’m having a hard time letting that one go. I tend to be critical of my own paintings but this one came together so nicely.”
W. B. Cornwell– “Do you have any tips for fellow artists?”
Bryanna Marie– “Just don’t stop, never stop learning, never stop doodling, never stop putting your work out there. If you accomplish just one thing a day then you will always be one step closer to your artistic goals in the morning.”
W. B. Cornwell– “Who is your biggest supporter and why?”
Bryanna Marie– “I would have to say, my daughter. She will ask every day if I have painted something new and gives insight on what I can paint in the future. She helps with the titles of my paintings and collects pennies she finds at her elementary school so my new works can be ‘lucky as well as pretty’.”
W. B. Cornwell– “What is your artistic dream you’d like to reach?”
Bryanna Marie– “I have to remind myself constantly but I’m living my artistic dream every day. I have goals for the future but I try not to focus on them too much so I don’t forget to enjoy where I am this very moment. I guess my goal for today is better time management. Not a very exciting answer but for a working artist nothing is more important.”
W. B. Cornwell– “Do you do enjoy any other types of art aside from painting like sculpting, poetry, songwriting?”
Bryanna Marie– “I love photography and have recently taken some trips to hone my skills.”
Make sure that you visit Bryanna Marie’s Instagram account and her website as well. You can browse through all of her works that have been posted and even enter to win a painted penny of your own from one of her giveaways!
Rights to all images included belong to Bryanna Marie and have been approved by the artist to be featured in this article.