The Heroine’s Journey of Amanda Church

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Its ongoing organic evolution – things, sometimes so unexpected, often just seem to happen. Drawing from life and always looking at art both help the process.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Those rare days when all things align, personally and professionally. I like to be alone in my studio and yet I enjoy social interaction so it’s great to strike a perfect balance. That’s part of why I love living in NYC where everything is within reach.

What is my greatest fear? Not getting anywhere in my painting or being stuck somewhere in general — I am pretty claustrophobic and like to be able to see a way out.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? “Deplore” is a strong word but I guess I would say impatience which often leads to impulsiveness and insufficient forethought, so I sometimes end up asking myself why I did what I just did.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Far too many to name. A couple of my all-time favorites are Alex Katz and John Wesley and on the younger spectrum Osamu Kobayashi and Patricia Treib come to mind. I’m particularly interested in the convergence of abstraction and figuration.

What is my greatest extravagance? Having stretchers built and canvases stretched and primed as well as buying new brushes to replace those I never seem to get around to washing. I need my brushes to be in tip-top condition for outlining purposes so why do I leave them soaking in turpentine till their bristles are so frayed I can’t even use them!

On what occasion would I lie? Probably to wiggle out of something I don’t feel like doing…white lies only, of course.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Repetition stemming from lack of inspiration.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? That’s tough to pinpoint. Starting a painting is hard but once it gets going it can feel like a total groove that could go on forever.

If I could, what would I change about myself? The worrying and the stressing out, neither of which are worth it. Just chill and be patient… Trump’s reign of terror will eventually be over.

What is my greatest achievement in workI am proud of the evolution of my painting to date but it’s difficult to isolate one particular element. I do feel that over the years I have developed a unique style and I’m proud of that.

Where would I most like to live? If I could ever leave NYC, which is unlikely, then somewhere warm all the time and near the ocean, not necessarily in the United States.

What is my most treasured possession? In the realm of inanimate objects, maybe my Chris Ofili print from 2003 titled “Afro Lunar Lovers.”

What is my most marked characteristic? Glass half-fullness, aka eternal optimism.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I guess that would be my studio. Or MoMA, or my favorite pizza place.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? The old-school Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, across the street from where I grew up on Ninth Street and University Place.

What books influenced my life and how? I really love reading so again, far too many to name. I am a big fan of Michel Houllebecq and recently read The Map and Territory which is in part a humorous take on the career trajectory of an artist. I also love Scandinavian crime novels, the more twisted the better.

Who are my favorite writers? Again, too many to name. I recently discovered Frederik Backman, who’s great.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? That would depend on how I was feeling, but possibly anything by Neil Young or Lucinda Williams so I could cry myself to eternal sleep.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? At the moment, Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo’s hard-bitten Norwegian detective. (That’s kind of a joke, but it would be great to be so tough and invincible!)

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? At this juncture, anyone who works to bring down the Republican regime. Collectively, the ACLU is amazing and has accomplished so much since the 2016 election.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetimeThere are so many, from anything directed by Godard to Truffaut to Lost in Translation and St. Vincent, both with the great Bill Murray. I also love silly comedies like “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy to name one I could watch over and over.

What role plays art in my life and work? Well, my work is making paintings so that’s predominant. I also spend a lot of time looking at and talking about art.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? I always look forward to meeting artists whose work I admire, and again, too many to name.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? Nothing specific, just continuing to paint and draw and seeing where that takes me.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I will have two recent paintings up at the New York Studio School. The show runs from July 24 through August 27.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? That seems self-explanatory – Carmen Herrara is a great case in point, as in any older artist who has devoted their life to their work.

How can you contact me?

Through Instagram (mspants21) or Facebook messenger. My not-quite-up-to-date website is


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