Lynn Boggess paints with trowels. Standard issue trowels that he machines into service for applying and removing oil paint on canvas in plein air along the mountain rivers and streams of West Virginia.
Saturday, I was at Tyndall Galleries enjoying a new show of Boggess’ paintings, large oils that more often than not still smelled a bit wet and rich as if you were just in the studio with them. The thick layering of paint means that the shadows on the canvas move as if you were watching the scene through a very clear glass or across a cool mountain creek. The paintings up close are textured pieces of oil paint architecture, but at a short distance they are more real than any photograph and with the shadows alive.
As I left the opening and went to the parking lot, I saw a bunch of folks from the show gathered around a truck. There was Boggess explaining his trowels to other artists. We all got to hold his instruments, then he took out his easel. You can see him using it here.
That easel is a piece of work on its own. It must be strong enough to how a large canvas against the wind and adjustable enough to work on almost any mountain-side river bank. It must be portable and compact. It must expand and hold the paint and tools — no brushes. It must be simple to set up and adjust. Boggess has all of that done well in his homemade contraption.