Light streams in through the windows of Kendall Boggs’ studio, casting a warm glow on the paintings that line the walls, a coffee maker on a small table and a few empty canvases waiting to spring to life with Kendall’s singular gift.
The artist beams when she talks about her life in art. Kendall, a Dothan native, UAB alumna and Vestavia Hills resident, can pinpoint the exact moment she decided to become a painter. She was out to dinner with Lynn, her husband of 36 years, and became enthralled with a painting of a goose hung over a fireplace in the restaurant.
“I kept looking at it and I kept telling my husband, ‘I could paint something like that. I just know I could,’” Kendall recalls. “He said, ‘Well, you need to.’ And I said, ‘Well, okay. I’ll try.’”
In the decade since that dinner Kendall has experienced bolstering success—during her debut art show in Georgia, she sold a painting for $1,100. But for Kendall, helping people begin to develop their own art collections and hearing that people enjoy looking at her art is just as important as selling a piece.
What sets Kendall apart is her expansive body of work, affordable prices and ability to predict trends in design. The artist, who works mainly in large form watercolors or acrylics, has always described herself as “artsy” and began cultivating an eye for décor during her career as an interior designer while living in Nashville.
“The key is not to be too trendy,” Kendall says. “You don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of your art by being so trendy that it’s going to be in a garage sale next week.”
Kendall has several signature series patrons can collect—The Church Series, The Angel Series, The Dress Series and The Feather Series— as well as landscapes and portraits of animals, all of which surge with fresh perspective and a masterful use of texture in an impressive offering of approachable modern art.
Kendall categorizes the Church, Angel and Dress series as “emotional art,” or “art that reminds you of something, maybe something in your past, something spiritual or even something you love to do,” according to her blog.
Her latest works are emotional additions to American abstract art inspired by color itself and fashionably classic techniques such as marbling and gold leaf. However, Kendall admits, abstract painting does not come naturally to her.
“There’s a method to the madness,” Kendall says with a laugh. “It is some of the most difficult art you will ever paint. You never know when to stop. You over-paint, then you blow the whole thing and then you don’t paint enough. It is just very, very difficult.”
Kendall’s solution to tackling her most abstract works? “A friend of mine who’s a highly trained artist said it takes two people to paint a painting: one to paint it and one to tell you when it’s finished,” she says. “That is such a true statement because you need to know when to step away from the canvas.”
Kendall has recruited her children (Jordan, Gregory and Callen), Lynn and fellow painter Lisa Moore to act as her second eye, sending them pictures of current projects when they can’t be in the studio with her.
“The key is to have fresh art,” Kendall explains. “Not to ever let something get stagnant.”
Throughout the year, the artist travels to shows across the Southeast. This fall you can catch Kendall at the Fall Arbor International Antiques and Interior Design Show in Round Top, Texas, and at St. George’s Independent School Fine Art Show and Sale Artist Market in Memphis. In the spring she travels back to Texas for the Spring Arbor International Antiques and Interior Design Show, and then she’s off to Georgia for the Wesleyan Artist Market in Norcross and the Trinity School’s Spotlight on Art Artists Market in Atlanta.
When Kendall isn’t traveling to art shows, she leads workshops from her studio at Artists on the Bluff in Hoover and plays golf and tennis, and she spends time with grandchildren, Evey, 8, Bennett, 6, Cate, 5, (all of whom attend Vestavia Hills Elementary East), and Henry, 2. She also finds time to keep her blog updated with accounts of fun family road trips, do-it-yourself projects and decorating tips.
Clearly unafraid to try new avenues for her art, Kendall has embraced different mediums. She has created custom throw pillows, designed unique acrylic frames and explored different matting techniques. Examples of these decorative elements can be seen around her studio. The pillows adorning two indigo armchairs are hand-painted by Kendall with blue interlocking circles inspired by Venn diagrams, a motif that also appears in some of her paintings. These bold forays into new territory make her an exciting addition to the Southern art community and one artist to watch as more people discover this talented painter within our midst.
To learn more about Kendall Boggs and her artwork, visit kendallboggsfineart.com.