Mollie Douthit

Catherine Marshall, former Head of Collections at IMMA, has written of Douthit that she “shows extraordinary maturity for a very young artist. She paints object so commonplace in everyday experience that they would be comic, were they not painted with such seriousness and such careful study…… Douthit’s wonderful little canvases ask us simply to look at them, at the painting process, at existence itself.” (The Irish Arts Review, Winter, 2014)

Although technically more challenging, Douthit likes to work wet on wet, enjoying the fluidity of the process. If she is unsure of the direction a painting needs to go in she will put it to one side, ruminating on it, before returning to it at a later date. Historically, she places her work in the tradition of 18th century still life painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and his depictions of everyday objects. She is also drawn to the even-toned understatement found in the work of Giorgio Morandi and Gwen John. Contemporary influences include Alice Neel, Chantal Joffe and Peter Drecher. “These painters allow paint to speak for itself, for the subject and for a moment in time,” she says. “With their own language, they each extend something beyond the surface of a painting.”

The process of making the work for her most recent work has been akin to keeping a diary and the title reflects her daily experiences over the past year. “I have been painting more food as a subject, whether it’s a cake I had baked for a family member’s birthday, or chocolate that was gifted to me. Paint gives me a chance to explore and create these items again - having my cake and eating it too.” 

Born in the US, Douthit studied at the University of North Dakota and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She completed her MFA at the Burren College of Art in 2014. Douthit won the Hennessy Craig Award at the 2013 RHA Annual Exhibition and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award in 2019. She has also been shortlisted for the Saatchi Art New Sensation Prize and the John Moores Painting Prize in the UK. Previous solo exhibitions include Paintings, at the RHA Ashford Gallery in 2015 and Diaries, at the Northwest Arts Centre in North Dakota. She has shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London and is a regular exhibitor at the RHA Annual Exhibition.