Into the Great Outdoors with Lynn Boggess

This February, following the opening reception for Lynn Boggess’s 2016 solo exhibition, we will be getting a unique chance to see Lynn paint live at the gallery. Typically, Lynn’s vibrant landscape paintings are created en plein air (on the spot), which is part of what gives them that fresh and immediate energy, as though you as the viewer are standing in the midst of nature rather than simply observing a two-dimensional depiction of it. Although the live painting demonstration at the gallery will unfortunately differ, as Lynn will be working indoors from a photograph, it’s still a thrilling chance to see Lynn’s process as he utilizes cement trowels for his unique mark-making and to watch him bring a composition to life. In case you were wondering what the process really looks like when Lynn’s painting in the great outdoors, we thought we’d give you a peek here on the blog!

Lynn is known best for his landscape paintings of the forests of the Appalachian Mountains around his home state of West Virginia. To best capture the energy of these scenes, Lynn packs up his Jeep and heads out to paint right on the spot. After choosing a spot, Lynn sets up a custom structure for himself on which to paint, including a small roof over the top of the platform to protect from inclement weather. He then sets up his canvas and paints quickly and vigorously, but in a carefully honed manner to achieve the balance between abstraction and detail for which he is known.

Having trouble picturing what that looks like? Here’s a cool video of the whole process:

Lynn paints outdoors year round, which gives his body of work a spectacular variety in terms of color and subject matter. Sometimes, he’ll even travel and paint a landscape outside the Appalachians– and in this case, his setup is sometimes a bit more simple:

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.42.21 PM

Especially for smaller works like the canvas shown here, it is feasible for Lynn to create the finished painting over the course of just one day– this sense of “capturing a moment” is reflected in the simple titles of his works, each of which is simply the date of creation. For a much larger canvas, the majority of the painting would be done on the spot, though sometimes Lynn revisits areas to tweak them afterwards. In general, though, the spontaneity of these works is a huge part of their appeal and energy.

“My process is completely wet-in-wet, so no, I never sketch,” says Lynn. “Searching to find a form and space in wet paint is always an exhilarating way to work. Through countless hours of practice one can enter a level where great risks yield great rewards. In painting that level is wet-in-wet….The most original and interesting compositions are intuitive. Working quickly allows access to the intuitive, and since it is of paramount importance, I begin there. It is only at the very end of the experience that I slow and resolve awkward areas.” (from an interview with Brad Teare–read it here)

If you’re interested in seeing one of these spectacular creations come to life before your eyes, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 20th! Lynn will be painting live in the gallery beginning at 1 PM, and all are welcome to watch! In just a couple of weeks, we will also have available a PDF showing all of the paintings included in this year’s solo exhibition, which opens Friday, February 19th, from 6:30-9 PM. If you’re interested in receiving a digital preview via email, shoot us a message at info@principlegallery.com!

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