Kicking off 2020 for Surel’s Place, we welcomed Artist-in-Residence Mollie Hosmer-Dillard, who grew up in central Missouri and holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from Indiana University. After attending college, Hosmer-Dillard lived in Berlin, Germany, for four years. Since then, travel has become a vital aspect of her work in that it inevitably reveals cultural assumptions that normally remain invisible.
Hosmer-Dillard incorporates travel experience into her abstractions from nature. Her large-scale, layered paintings use repetitive mark making to explore how repeated individual thoughts and actions become the building blocks for habits, personalities, customs, and whole societies. Individual marks on the surface of the painting add up to a larger motif visible at a distance. In this way, Hosmer-Dillard’s paintings make visible the psychological moment many of us in the industrialized world are now facing with regard to our relationship with nature. This is the moment when the long chain of cause and effect reveals itself, the moment our latent assumptions begin to flash before our eyes.
Hosmer-Dillard held three different workshops teaching approaches to abstract painting. In these workshops, participants were able to try one of three different approaches to abstraction. They worked from a still life and/or objects from the natural world, and each participant choose to work with expressive color, repetitive lines, or collaged painting. While working from what was seen in front of us, we were able to create paintings that go beyond photographic representation.