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VAI Member Profile 'What makes me a painter'

Published image in Cheese Mag, printed in the UK, available worldwide.

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Generation 22 Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

Artist Statement

I create small scale oil paintings of my own biography, and consider them the file cabinet of my mind exposed through the medium of paint. I explore how my own biography and memory are shaped and shifted through experience, stories and objects. 

 

My process is rarely efficient, for example, I might paint my favorite reading chair from childhood only to remember the color of the wall behind it is different from what I had initially thought and painted. I have to carefully navigate how to correct parts that are not working without disrupting parts that feel delicately certain. The process of painting has brought an acute awareness of how fragile memory and truth can be. 

 

I enjoy a sense of excavation when painting which allows intuition to guide me on what prep materials and resources I want to bring into the process of making. Sometimes I conduct research by googling images, sometimes I ask family members for their perception of events, or  I make small sketches of critical parts I want to work out before I start the image. 

 

Often, I consider the divide between the actual event and its existence as memory — one operates in the physical world, the other in the mental plane; the act of painting bridges these two. Though these memories are my own, I trust that their vulnerability and honesty will allow a baseline of universal emotion to come through. A painting is complete with a sense of crisp, clicking closure — suddenly the emotions I feel for the subject parallel what I feel when looking at the painting.

About

Mollie Douthit (b.1986) is a Cork based oil painter.

 

Originally from North Dakota, since 2012 Douthit has resided between Ireland and the US. She holds a BFA from the University of North Dakota; Post Baccalaureate from Tufts University, Boston; and MFA from Burren College of Art, NUIG. Major achievements include the 2013 RHA Hennessy Craig award, a solo exhibition at the North Dakota Museum of Art, twice awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant, and an Arts Council Bursary. 

Additionally, her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, The Irish Times, Sunday Times Culture, New American Paintings, and Ilikeyourworkpodcast. Her work has been supported by residencies at the Jentel Foundation for the Arts, Tyrone Guthrie Center, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center.