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Henrico artist uses tiny canvases to raise funds for charities

Amy O’Callaghan is proving big things come in small packages; or in her case -- canvases.

“I paint just about anything,” says Amy. “I actually have tried painting in every size.”

The artist from Henrico creates works of art on a tiny scale. Her canvases are about the size of a standard business card. She paints during her lunch hour, in a coffee shop or on a beanbag.

“My brushes go into a candy tin that I bought at the Paris Airport. So the whole operation is this big. It really frees me up to paint just about anywhere,” says Amy. “Most of the paintings I do are in a square of two and a half by two and a half inches.”

“By keeping my canvases small I’m able to keep the level of detail I want in a time period that doesn’t drive me crazy.”

Amy O’Callaghan art

But what separates Amy from other painters, besides her minuscule masterpieces is that each tiny stroke is helping a stranger in need.

“Whenever someone commissions a painting from me I never accept a cash payment from them,” says Amy.

“Basically, I say you’ll never pay me. You’ll just show me your receipt from where you donated and that is how you get your painting,” says Amy.

Amy O’Callaghan art

Customers commission paintings by donating to charities like Unicef, The Richmond SPCA or Ronald McDonald House.

Amy regularly donates her own money, but felt she could do more.

“That is why I say I can’t do everything, but I can do something and this is my something. This is the something I can do right now,” says Amy.

Her generous idea has taken off. This year she has painted nearly 40 works raising more than $4,000.

Chris Ogle acquired four of Amy’s originals. His donation is helping hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Amy O’Callaghan art

“Some of the things she has done on some pieces like a person’s face. The detail is remarkable,” says Chris. “Amy is an amazingly selfless person. Raising money to her is important but equally as important to making sure people are connected to the organizations they care about.”

This artist doesn’t plan on putting her pallet down anytime soon.

“The fact that there are people who want to purchase it to help others is the reason I’ve found time to paint. It is everything,” says Amy.

Amy O’Callaghan’s pocket-sized paintings are making this big world just a little bit brighter.

“Yes, it is one person ordering an itty bitty tiny painting but together we’re doing a whole lot of good. And I think that is what counts.”

If you would like to learn more about Amy’s paintings and how to order one, click here. 

If you know of someone to feature in my “Heroes Among Us” email Greg McQuade, here.