Lynda Tygart’s mother knew she had a budding artist in her home when her 6-year-old daughter won 1st place in the McMinnville, Tennessee citywide coloring contest. It may seem silly or trivial, however, after winning that small-town competition (and getting her picture in the paper!), Lynda’s mom began enrolling her in every artsy class they could afford. From tie-dying to basket weaving to pottery and watercolor, Lynda was exposed to an array of mediums and knew at an early age she was destined to become an artist.
While her mother encouraged creativity, Lynda’s parents were also extremely practical and wanted her to attend college for a “concrete” career. So, in four years, Lynda graduated from Minnesota State University with a degree in business and marketing. First, she dabbled in retail management, then financial advising for several years. While Lynda’s journey to becoming a renowned photographer was a bit more circuitous than the direct college to gallery route, the additional time was necessary in order to harness her innate urge to create.
From watching her mother’s savviness with household funds and raising six girls, coupled with financial advising, Lynda understood the importance of investing wisely, saving and living below her means. In doing so, she established the financial stability needed to quit her “9-5” and fully commit to doing what always lived in her heart.
In an artistic revival fashion, Lynda began exploring classes that interested her and was ultimately drawn to photography, a hobby of hers for many years. But it was one course, The Art of Bromoil Photography, that sparked her focus with an “electric” moment of clarity. Without looking back, Bromoil photography became her technique of choice and has set her work apart from others.
The Bromoil process is a rare form of hand-inking photographs that was developed in the early 1900s. It was the first time photographers were able to manipulate photos. Creating a Bromoil photo from beginning to end is an involved and multi-step process. First, a photo is taken. Next, it is developed in black and white using a traditional darkroom. Note: Lynda has one in her home. Then, the silver is bleached and the gelatin is hardened in a chemical bath. Once the photo is dried, now resembling an old-fashioned negative, Lynda will use different brushes to gently apply color, producing a “unique and original” piece of artwork every time. The finished product looks something between a painting and a photograph, almost etched looking with a vintage vibe.
Modernizing the Bromoil technique has allowed Lynda to explore photography through a different lens. Often, photographers look for the perfect lighting, whereas Lynda views possible subjects and asks, Will it look fascinating in black and white? This unique perspective has complemented her travels around the world with series of photos such as: bicycles, walls, castles, angels and European cafes.
Several of Lynda’s series also pay homage to the simpler things in life, such as the metamorphosis of a downtown Denver landscape, or the rugged beauty of “Trucks and Tractors,” along with one of my favorites, “Grandma’s Farm,” an ode to every grandmother’s home and the warmth that’s within.
Lynda credits her mother for encouraging her creativity as well as being a true role model of strength and innovation. Her success as a parent is evident in the life her daughter designed for herself as it takes a mighty strong individual to commit to a career in the arts. And it takes an even stronger woman to defy societal expectations by carving her own path and reigniting a lifelong passion.
To view more of Lynda’s work and to discover her Comfort Angel jewelry series, visit lyndatygart.com.
Her work can be experienced at the following galleries:
Sync, Santa Fe, NM
Center for the Arts, Evergreen
Current show: You Belong Here 2021 CAE Member Show
November 18 – December 31, 2021