Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Why is it that our dog, Sasha will always park herself on the ground right behind me when I am painting. Inevitable, I'll back away from the easel to get a better look and step on her. Does the dog learn from this experience? No,.....what ever happened to the studies on condition/response? Should I just tell the dog, that she has blown Povlov's ideas right out the window?

Enough on that subject!

I put the Amsterdam painting aside to let it dry a little. It makes it easier to paint on top if I am not messing with globs of wet paint from the day before. Instead I worked on the smaller 12x16 painting I used as a guide for the 30x40 boat painting.

This painting was never really finished off, because I hit a few walls with respect to the composition and a small incident, which I'll get into. With the larger cousin I opened up the left side so the viewer had a way out of the row of boats and maybe that was the problem with this smaller one I did on location. Originally I had boats all the way across the canvas, the viewer was trapped and so was I with finishing it off. Somehow with the larger version of this, I saw that problem and took care of it. With that knowledge I was able to come back to the smaller one and finish it off. I'll save it for the crit session on Thursday and bring it down to the Southam Gallery here in Salt Lake on Friday.

I started this painting in July, when we were visiting my brother, Scott in Seattle. We signed Markus and Victor up for sailing lessons at the Seattle Yacht Club and this day I decided to hang out there and do a painting. The sun was out and the wind was blowing slightly, keeping the temperature just right. The students were all sailing back for lunch and I decided to walk to the end of the dock to take some pictures of the kids crashing into each other, the comedy was quite entertaining!

Well I looked back and my entire French easel, painting and all, had blown upside down in the water. All of my tubes of paint were stored in the open drawer of the easel and now lay on the bottom of the murky bay, twelve to fifteen feet down. Naturally I panicked and threw myself on the dock in an attempted to grab the floating wooden easel, most of the brushes were also floating around. I smashed the left knee in the process and hobbled back to the club house to see if they had a long net, so I might be able to fish the tubes of paint back up. For those in the know, a tube of Rembrandt, Colbalt Blue light runs around thirty five dollars a tube. So I had about three hundred dollars worth of oil paints just lying on the bottom.

There I ran into both Markus and Victor and told them about the predicament, their eyes lite up when I told them about the idea of diving down for them. They both followed me back out to the end of the pier and jumped in. Slowly they began finding the lost metallic tubes half buried in the silt at the bottom, viability was more or less zero, so mostly it meant feeling around with their fingers. Thirty minutes later I had every tube up except for three, naturally the Colbalt blue light was one of those still lost on the bottom. We also had an assortment of other things like old paint cans, clothing and scrap metal up on the dock.

The painting day had ended for me, mainly because I had to dry everything out, including the painting. I also had to track down an art store to replace the colors still at the bottom.

You may be asking what the moral of this story could be?.........never, never leave your easel un- attended. If you really need to, then put a heavy rock on it!

I will from now on!

Richard Boyer

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