What initially brought you to this work, and what sustains you?
Initially I was seduced into painting birth after I gave birth to my first 2 children. There were such powerful, amazing experiences I felt compelled to represent them. As a figure artist the subject translated well. I continue to paint birth because I feel our society needs a visual culture of birth. I believe that change can happen on an individual and societal level when we view inspiring and empowering images of women and birth. More specifically, the responses from women are so encouraging and touching that I simply need to continue. When viewers share with me how they’re affected by the paintings I know that they’re filling a very real need.
Who else in your field do you admire and respect?
I’m delighted to know contemporary artists who are painting images of birth and motherhood, including Amy Swagman of the Mandala Journey and Kate Hansen of the Madonna Project. Of course there are other artists, both contemporary and deceased who I admire and try to emulate, including the beauty of Gustav Klimt, the design and detail of Alfonse Mucha, and the unashamed figure and flesh painter, Jenny Seville. Currently I’m trying to learn colour mastery from Xenia Hausner.
You find yourself in a conversation with a woman who seems to be questioning her strength. How do you respond?
When conversing with a woman who seems to be questioning her strength, hopefully a friend, I would gently probe by asking why she is afraid, what her fears are about. I think when we specifically unravel what our fears are and how they’re formed, we can begin to re-build belief in ourselves and our bodies, and how we’re created as incredible beings. I would hope that I would be close enough with this woman to have her share intimately and have the opportunity to track over time how her confidence can be created or restored. There are so many resources we can access to encourage women, I would hope by sharing some of these with her she could feel strong and capable once again.
Anything else that you want to share?
Thank you! I’m so thrilled my work is gaining such an audience online and reaching so many women. Along with the surge of birth photography and other media I hope that it can have a lasting effect on the changing face of birth culture. It’s awesome to see women feeling empowered and enabled. I am committed to exhibiting it physically, not just virtually. As the paintings are life size, their impact is magnified when viewed in real life, especially in a setting of learning and inspiring birth workers and the public. I’m currently wrapping up the first full year of being dedicated to exhibiting the paintings at select conferences around the USA and Canada. I look forward to planning where the Birth Project will go next year!
(For rates and information regarding booking the Birth Project, for submissions, or for ordering, please contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org).
UPDATE! Read below for a free giveaway if you post a comment, and Feminist Midwife reader discount on prints!
For Feminist Midwife readers, Amanda is graciously providing free shipping for orders placed in the week of this post, up to next Saturday October 27th, so all prints will be a total of $85. Make sure to mention “Feminist Midwife” in the email to get the discount!
Also, to enter to win a mixed pack of blank greeting cards with Amanda’s artwork, leave a comment below to either of the following questions:
- What role does art play in transforming attitudes around labor and birth?
- What effect do Amanda Greavette’s paintings have on you, or your feelings of labor and birth?
Share this information with anyone in your life who may be purchasing birthday, congratulations, solstice or holiday gifts this year! Start out at www.amandagreavette.com to view all the paintings, and then contact Amanda at Amanda.Greavette@gmail.com for ordering.
Comments will close on Saturday October 27th at 5:00pm CT-USA. One winner will be chosen by random number generator. Good luck, and many thanks to Amanda for this offer!
Comments closed! Congratulations to Denise Hibben, the winner of the mixed pack of greeting cards from Amanda Greavette!