Clare Grill for Lula #16

Late last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented (and extremely articulate) artist Clare Grill for Lula magazine. Clare was born in the suburbs of Chicago and has a voice vaguely reminiscent of Parker Posey’s. I met her at Edward Thorp gallery on a cold December night where we stood in front of her paintings and chatted while sipping whiskey out of plastic cups. I’ve just found a copy of the magazine and wanted to share a quote from Clare that stuck out for me. It dances around the “have it all” question—stay-at-home mom versus career lady, in the broadest of strokes—which was something we dwelled on a bit more in person.

There’s a lot about domesticity and ‘women’s work’ in your paintings—samplers, quilts, clothing, cakes… What do you find interesting there?

Perhaps some of it is just trying to figure out what my relationship to that role is at this point in my life. I’m 33. I’m happily married to my high school boyfriend. I’m a nanny. I want to have a baby someday—not now. I feel compelled by it and try to understand it. I find it sad but I also don’t want to communicate that that’s a bad thing necessarily. I guess I just don’t know where I fit into it quite yet. I like to knit, I bake bread, I bake cookies, you know? I sew! But I also work two jobs and want to do something that’s really independent of those domestic roles. I just find that kind of openness fruitful ground for making paintings. It’s personal to me as a starting point but it’s also not so determined and closed.

17_mary-h Mary H., 2012
(This is from a series based on antique embroidery samplers. “They’re really heavy,” said Clare. “They have the alphabet and the child’s name, but often they’ll have a prayer or a verse, and almost all the time it’s about saving your soul or death or being good.”)

3_pinionPinion, 2010

3_cornerCorner, 2010

10_first-communion_v2First Communion, 2008

See more of Clare’s work here. 

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