Artist Spotlight Series: Amanda Petro
It is no secret I am color crazy.
I tend to think the brighter the better.
I have met my match in this talented Birmingham artist.
I hope you enjoy getting to know
What is your training?
I graduated from The University of Alabama in 2011 with a degree in studio art and a concentration in painting. I minored in art history so I was totally immersed in the arts all 4 years, I loved it! In 2012 I did a year of graduate work in painting program at The Savannah College of Art and Design.
What inspires you and your designs?
Everything. That sounds so rehearsed, but it’s the truth. I am an observer and I am constantly taking mental notes, “Oh look at that color yellow on that bird, I need to use that in a painting” “Look at the shape that shadow makes”. My mind is a noisy, busy place! I am constantly inspired by shapes and colors and the way they interact.
What is your favorite piece?
So this is going to be a shocker to everyone.. It’s not colorful, in fact it’s very neutral. I painted this moose as a way to remember a summer I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is displayed in our formal living room and it brings me so much joy!
How has the your area influenced your work?
I grew up in the most magical place. Fairhope, Alabama. It is a quaint little town on Mobile bay. It is beautiful! There are flowers everywhere, even on top of the trash cans. My color palette is directly inspired by the coastal colors I grew up surrounded by. Sunsets in Fairhope are so vibrant. People take time to stop and watch the sun go down over the bay. Families stroll down to the water’s edge just to watch the day fade away. Fairhope is home to many artists and writers. Life is slower there and inspiration is endless.
What is your favorite restaurant in Birmingham?
This is a tough one because Birmingham’s food scene is hopping. I’d have to go with Ocean. The fresh seafood in a cozy atmosphere is great, but the real reason I go is for William. The best waiter in the country! His hospitality keeps us coming back.
What is your favorite cocktail?
How do you balance personal life and work?
It’s a constant struggle. I try to be 100% fully present for both. While I’m painting, I try not to check my phone or respond to emails. I totally dive in. When I’m being a mom and managing the house, I try to focus on just that. My studio is in the basement of our home so it’s hard to not be down there all the time. Especially when I am really into a painting or a project. It nags at me like an incomplete puzzle waiting to be finished. It just needs a few more pieces clicked in to reveal itself. I’d say I’m a little manic with my work. I almost can’t sleep sometimes unless I resolve a painting.
I’d love to go to Manarola, Italy. It’s one of the cities in the Cinque Terre. The town’s color palette has all of my favorite colors. The colorful houses all stacked on top of one another, on the mountain, looking out towards the sea, it’s just dreamy.
I mean if Beyonce’ ever wanted a painting, I’d probably die. But realistically a dream commission scenario is when a client or interior designer shows me fabric samples or other aspects of a room and then says “Have fun”. I love when they trust my creativity!
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
My mom taught me to give a gift they will use. Nothing that will take up space or they have to hold on to. Example: a candle, an edible appetizer or dessert, or a nice hand soap.
Who is your style icon?
Blair Eadie (@Blaireadiebee). She is a fellow color lover and her wardrobe is just FLAWLESS.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
I feel like she has far surpassed me in talent and recognition so I feel silly answering this with her name but I am totally digging Allison James. (@AllisonJamesco) Her colors, intuitive mark making and raw brush strokes are refreshing. Her work feels vulnerable and real. Nothing about it seems forced. It feels like we are getting to glimpse directly into her creative soul.
What are you reading?
Don’t judge me, but I haven’t been doing much reading lately. I have a 2 ½ year old and I’m pregnant, so at the end of the day I am TIRED. But I am still reading the same book I picked up to take on a beach trip about six months ago “Something in The Water”. It’s a thriller and whenever I do crack it open, I get sucked in. It is part of Reece Witherspoon’s Book Club. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read that she’s recommended.
What are you listening to?
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I have subscriptions to a few magazines. I get so excited when they are in the mailbox! Architectural Digest– what incredible design inspiration.
Real Simple– love this magazine for helpful around the house hacks and organization tips. The layout is also really aesthetically pleasing.
Southern Living– my mom gifted me with this subscription. I love trying out their recipes and seeing the inside of beautiful southern homes.
Now that you have seen her lovely and vibrant work you can win one for yourself with a GIVEAWAY!
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