I'm so glad Amanda Greavette agreed to be a part of this interview series. How could she not be? Her work is beautiful, honest, and bold. I love how she uses color, and how beautifully she captures the emotions of her subjects.
Thank you Amanda for sharing your work, and your insights!
Where can we find your work & connect with you?
My website amandagreavette.com has links to everywhere I am on social media- I have an email and an art facebook page, Instagram and an Etsy shop where my work (originals and prints) can be purchased.
Describe your art and creative process.
I'm an oil painter- specifically a figure painter. I love to paint people, and that manifests in my work on birth, but also in my landscapes and other work. My main focus is the Birth Project- the ongoing series on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
I am heavily invested in this topic both in my personal life and my creative life, and I feel I'll be working with this subject for awhile. I work from photo references of births that I've experienced or attended, and women send me their stories and images as well to be potentially be used as subjects. There's a strong component of sharing and storytelling, both in the inspiration, creative process and the final paintings. I feel these are powerful tools in advocating for humanized and holistic birth practices, and building momentum in the empowered birth movement.
What's a positive way that your creativity has changed since you became a parent?
My creativity has become more focused, more driven and more precious since I became a parent. I have many demands on my time and I don't have the luxury of boundless hours in the studio, so I try to utilize what I can. My own vision has been profoundly shaped and impacted, and I don't think I would have found my voice in the same way had I not had a child at the same time as working on my first solo show. I crave my studio and work time to balance myself, and my identity is rounded by being an artist and a mother.
When are you most productive & what helps keep you creating?
My productivity changes with the seasons and life events. I try to create in the winter when we're frozen and hibernating here in Canada. I often try to grasp the hours before and after bedtime to utilize these natural child-free times. Usually deadlines and external pressures force me to keep creating, as well as the demand from my audience (commissions) but I also need to do this work. It's in me and I get cagey, restless and upset if I want to or am supposed to be creating and I'm not. Seeing the response to my work helps propel this project forward, and I'm constantly reminded that this subject needs to be explored and represented in art.
What inspires your work the most?
Women. As a woman my experiences and those of the community that surrounds me is the most real thing I know, and the most interesting. I feel the passages, transitions and relationships we have are so complex it's only natural to make art about them.
Parents have challenges and other schedules to think about. What are some ways you make sure you give your art the time it needs?
Often my people around me hold me accountable. When a family member is watching your toddler you don't take that for granted. I am so thankful for that support. Honestly though there are so many things that I LET get in the way and then I'm very guilty and frustrated, but setting goals and arranging childcare are some of the most reliable ways to ensure studio time. It seems there's never enough time, but I realize as my children grow that their time as young people is the most fleeting of all, so I try to be gentle on myself and patient with my work.
Name a creative mother or father who inspires you and why.
My friend Amy Fisher is an artist and a mother, doula and has a number of creative business activities. www.themandalajourney.com I marvel at her energy and drive, she always has new projects on the go and seems to handle a very busy life with ease.
I artist-worship Jenny Saville who is a well-known contemporary painter from the UK. She pushes boundaries with her work and explores the figure, has huge success and incredible skill, and now has two children. I admire that children and motherhood have become subjects in her work, and that she has such a disciplined practice and obvious fame.
I'm no longer doing Creative Mothers interview, but this will remain as an archive. Thank you for all of the love!
About the Series
Let's face it, being a mother can be the most challenging, and the most rewarding thing. Being a mother who needs to be creative can be even more challenging, it can even feel lonely at times.
So let's dig deeper into the lives of creative mothers, share their amazing work, and get some insight into creating while parenting. Hopefully, inspiring other artistic, creative mothers, and women who may one day be mothers themselves, along the way.
Explore Past Interviews
Suzi Banks Baum
Shelli Bond Pabis
Elizabeth B. Borowsky
Kellee Wynne Conrad
Kisco Print Shop
Art by Megan