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I didn't dare eat candy during Lent because the saints were watching. Our old house was haunted—our dad said so. We imagined a wolf roamed our neighborhood because it was fun to be scared. I thought our family was ideal. I believed in Santa until I was 13. I clung tightly to the things I was taught, my heavy cloaks of security. Like most, I've unraveled them slowly and steadily, being careful not to rip out all the seams through the years. I think about the beliefs and stories that were handed down to me and I reinterpret them in my paintings. Family folklore, backyard rituals, religious sacraments, ghost stories, church, school, obedience and trust-in-what-you're-told are among my subjects. The things we're taught can be learned a thousand different ways. I like for the familiar to seem a little unfamiliar and complicated, because it is. I look at images from the past as I work because they're heartbreaking and so haunting—what was never can be again. I mess with my imagery, layering and wearing it away until I've made a painting that makes you notice the paint as much as the pictures.
Clare Grill | See All Editions