Agnes St. Amand grew up in rural Opelousas. Throughout her youth, Agnes picked cotton, worked in the family garden and helped with the various chores of running a household. These years taught her the value of hard work and the images of hard working women have stayed with her all of her life.
When she began painting, Agnes painted the landscapes of rural Louisiana with barns, shacks, chickens and fences. As she painted more she began painting small figures usually of black women working in the background. The figures became more interesting to her and occupied a more central role in her paintings.