Friday, May 28, 2010



The wind was still and we woke up to blue skies. What ever it was it moved on through and left the area, leaving behind a feeling of relief. No more rowing against the wind.

The sunlight was illuminating the walls up in Oljeto Canyon. So I gathered up the painting gear and started wandering up the canyon. I passed by some of the others sitting around the kitchen area of the camp, engaged in yet another topic about cognitive science. Once I got around a couple of bends in the narrow walled canyon, silence took over and the serenity of the morning became apparent. There I met Paul hiking back down from somewhere, he said that he got up early and just had to explore.

I asked him if he was heading back to join the others in conversation. Paul just looked at me and said “I can’t do that at this hour in the morning!” He followed me back up in search of a good subject matter to paint. After several more turns in the canyon, we found a spot where the sandstone wall was basking in the morning sun. I walked on a little farther and looked back; my foreground was filled with blues and purples of the river bed. It jumped out against the bright back ground orange rock.

It was a painting, so I set up the easel. Paul decided to sit and watch me in the cool of the morning shade. I think he had had enough of the cognitive research and was looking for any excuse to be out in the serenity of the canyon.

An hour past and we were soon joined by the rest of the group. One by one they found rocks to sit on and listened to the silence of the canyon, as I continued to paint. The only sound was that of a lone raven some where up on the canyon rim.

Steve finally broke the silence with the question, why can’t we all paint? Followed by Paul’s answer that most see a tree as a symbolic form from childhood and that’s as far as the development went. The rest joined in and soon it was back into the cognitive scientific explanations. I just tuned out of it all and continued to paint. At least it was giving me more time. They had talked about leaving at 11:00, but that was fifteen minutes ago.

At noon we finally had the boats all packed up and were ready for our final stretch through the sand bars to the take-out point at Clay Hills, seven and a half miles down river. And just in time, we noticed a group of six large rafts pulling up. They were filled with screaming eight graders, who had just graduated from a private school in Colorado. The noise level shot up a few decibels and we decided it was time to leave.

It was more or less just to follow the ripples in the water, as the current meandered from side to side. With no wind present it became fairly easy to see the main flow. We tried a few short cuts, after watching the current zigzag across the river then back again and figured it might work. In most cases Chang ended up being the designated mule, he had the most mass and would get out pushing the raft back into the channel. After three attempts at doing short cuts we finally figured it just wasn’t worth it. Besides the convention of screaming students were catching up in their bright blue rafts.

Most take-out spots along a rivers edge don’t offer much room and in some cases it can result in a little pushing and shoving to find a spot to pull in for the unloading process to begin. We had six large rafts closing up behind us; I knew there would be no room for us if they got there first. We were once again plowing ahead full steam. I looked back and smiled, they were out pushing the rafts. They tried one of our short cuts. Victory was ours!

We pulled in to the dusty Clay Hills boat ramp and began pulling gear off the boat and hauling it up to a single location off to the side. Rule number one was to always keep your gear together. Within fifteen minutes the chaos arrived. Their rafts were bouncing off each other, ropes flying and bodies jumping out into the water. The river guides offered their apologies and told us they would do their best to keep the carnage contained to their side. Within minutes the ground was covered in gear offering little room to walk. We managed to keep everything separated from the masses. The rafts were washed off with river water and rolled up for transport on the trailer.

An hour later we were packed up and started the two and a half hour drive back to Recapture Lodge in Bluff. We were all looking forward to a real shower and dinner in a real restaurant.

The next morning I was at the trailer with coffee in hand, getting out my coat, when I was asked about the river by a stranger. “How was it, I heard there was someone there that rapped a canoe around a rock in Government?”

Word travels fast!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, May 27, 2010



We woke up to cloudy skies. Without any news we had no way of predicting how the weather would be for the day.

The group planned to hike up Slickhorn Canyon, a canyon known for its plunge pools and hanging gardens. In sunny weather it was a virtual paradise, where one could spend hours just relaxing in the warm pools listening to the tricking of fresh water flowing over the rocks. As we hiked up the stream bed, I found a picturesque spot to paint and bid them farewell. Here I saw my view where the water meandered across the limestone rock in an interesting pattern. The sound of the water became almost surreal. It felt as if I was waiting in one of those high-end Feng Shui spas. Maybe some woman would walk up to me with a glass of champagne?

I had been working on it for over an hour when I finally heard them coming back down from the hike. I guess the plunge pool must have been nice.

Slickhorn Canyon 12x16

Our schedule for today was to row eight miles to Oljeto Canyon on the Navajo side of the river. In high water levels it is possible to row up into this side canyon and camp, but at our present level we will be stuck camping on the sand bar by the entrance. The canyon is a favorite amongst river runners looking for a day hike, since it offers spectacular views as it snakes its way up for miles through steep sandstone walls.

We just had to get there!

At one time the old level of Lake Powell came up to Slickhorn Canyon and as a result filled in most of the river from here on out with sediment. For us this would mean weaving our way through sand bars in the middle of the river. Five minutes later we were high centered yelling out expletives on a sand bar. We all had to pile out and push the raft back into the channel. Normally one can see the ripples of the current meandering back and forth across the river, but today the wind was picking up.

The cloud had grown darker as we set out for the afternoon float down the river and soon it was raining. Everybody scrambled about looking for rain coats in their river bags. We hit a few more sand bars and got out to push. I could tell this was going to be a long day. Once in the current we found our speed to be that of a slow walk. It was depressing to say the least. The river was twice as wide here and flowing about the speed of a snail. We kept playing with the idea of just getting out and walking through the shallow water. We could have pulled the raft with the tow line.

An hour later we had gone a mile and the wind was forming white caps on the waves. If we stopped rowing the raft would only blow back up stream. Our only option was to blindly row as hard as we could. With the loss of the canoe we had each gained the weight of an extra passenger. Although it this case it was for the good. We found ourselves switching out for rowing duties, as we slowly counted down the miles until camp.

At last the canyon straightened up and we were able to see the Oljeto Canyon, still three miles away. The wind was howling and I had a feeling we would all feel tired tonight. I noticed the Ducky far ahead, being so close to the water level they were able to slice through the water faster. I saw them pulling into the wind sheltered side canyon of our camp site and started wishing we had something more streamline that the side of a barn. An hour and a half later we finally pulled up to the sand bar at Oljeto.

We pitched the tents under an overhang by the side of the cliff; away from the wind and set up our kitchen part way up the cliff sheltered canyon. At least there was no breeze blowing there. Dinner was going to be lasagna tonight with red wine. Our back muscles were feeling it as we finally sunk down in the chairs with a glass in hand. We all slept well that night.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Monday, May 17

I woke up early and started a 12x16 of the river meandering downstream. The sun wasn’t hitting the walls of the canyon yet and the air was still cool. The right wall of the canyon was illuminated from reflected light somewhere farther down the canyon where the sun was shining. I had a coffee in hand and about an hour before the rays of the sun would hit my easel. The glowing orange of the sandstone was really popping out and made an excellent contrast to the blues reflected in the water.

Morning View down River 12x16

Several of the researchers had gathered behind me to discus the merits of a straight river verses one that meanders in the painting. I told them in my opinion it keeps the viewer from racing down the length of the river and makes for a better composition. My comment was translated into added stimuli for the cognitive mind to process, and off the conversation progressed in the background. Matt was taking notes.

Soon we were on our way. Breakfast was finished off and the gear packed onto the rafts. We had a shorter day today, about 12 miles to our next camp site at Slickhorn and the last major rapid. We had been warned by the ranger that Government Rapid had become much more difficult with the low water level. At the present level of 1200 cfs, “cubic feet a second” large boulders became visible and changed the topography the rapid into more or less an obstacle course. Until then we had a slow leisurely float down the river.

We planned to stop at John’s Canyon. This part was the deepest in the canyon, exposing limestone layers dating back more than 300 million years ago, back to a time when the area was under water in a shallow sea. Back to a time before the river, a time when Brachiopods and Trilobites swam around. It was hard to believe that now we were just under a mile up in elevation.

John’s Canyon was to be our lunch spot. We just had to negotiate our way around the shallow rocky alluvial field that spilled out for the hanging canyon. In higher water most of the fossil beds would be under several feet of water, but instead the rocks were catching the bottom of the rafts. We pulled in as close as we could get and walked the rest through the angle deep water to the sandy shoreline. The Tamarisk bushes had grown up to the height of small trees and offered the perfect shade from the hot afternoon sun. With all the rain southern Utah had this spring, the wild flowers were out in abundance. This included the Sphaeralcea ambigua, commonly known as Globe Mallow with its bright orange flowers. It was worth a painting.

The research scientists grumbled, “How long will this take?”

John’s Canyon 12x16

Within a short while most of it was finished and the pressure was on to move forward to Government Rapid. It was though that we might be there a while.

From half a mile away we could hear the roar of the white water smashing its way over rocks. We pulled over to the left side at the top to scout the rapid. This is where you walk along the shore, studying the rapid for your best route through the maize. I noticed that Dave was not coming over to the left side of the river, meaning that he was just going to go for it from past experience. Chang had his cameras ready. I yelled out, but it was to no avail, the roar of the river was deafening. His raft followed the main flow on the right side of the river; there the water was glass smooth at the top. It then crested over what seemed like a straight line at the top and plunged down a steep incline through the rocks and churning white water. The raft followed the current and stopped dead still atop a massive boulder. The right oar had hung up on a rock and broken out of the oarlock. I watched as the force of the current then grabbed it and sent it floating down through the bubbling water, until it then disappeared out of sight. The flow of water then pivoted the raft 180 degrees. He was still standing there perfectly still in the middle of the rapid.

Dave looked around to survey the situation and shifted his weight a little backwards; just enough to shift the mass off the center of the rock. They slid off the backside and continued the rest of the way backwards through Government. He managed to get the raft over to the right side with one oar. He had a spare one tied to the side of the raft.

I was next with Chang, who decided it best to put his camera in a plastic bag for safe keeping. After watching their ordeal I made a mental note to try and pull to the left to avoid the same fate as Dave. Chang sat down low with his camera pointing over the bow of the boat. I wasn’t sure how much a plastic bag would help if the entire thing fell in the water. We lined ourselves up and went off the edge. The current was strong and left little time to move any direction. I managed to get one stroke in with my oars, enough so that we hit the rock, but didn’t high center on it. We grazed by and heard it scraping against the side of the boat. We were still facing forward and continued unscathed through the rest of the rapid. Art and Matt followed behind in the Ducky, hitting the same rock. They pulled up beside me. It was now time for the canoe.

Several of our group lined the shore line to offer assistance and photograph the inevitable. I was at the bottom by the shore line, waiting in the inflatable kayak in case they needed to be pulled to shore. I had a feeling it would be a repeat of Ross Rapid.

What happened next puzzled me from my perspective. I saw Paul and Todd setting up for the rapid and watched as the canoe mysteriously moved sideways across the smooth water into the rocks over on the right side at the top. From what I found out later, a gust of wind had hit the side of the canoe and pushed it laterally right across the water. The canoe slowly sank and dipped on its side out of my view. There I waited for several minutes hoping they would empty the water and continue on down through the rapid. I saw them both hopping up and down on what looked like the surface of the water.

Arms were waving up in the air from the members higher up along the shoreline; a signal for me to join in the conference. When I finished hiking back up I saw what had happened. Paul and Todd were standing on top of the canoe that was on its side under water and wrapped tight around a large boulder to the right of the main channel. The force of the water had bend the boat in half along the keel and it now looked like a permanent fixture pressed flat against the rock.

It was decided that Art and I should attempt to paddle across the top of the rapid to reach the other side and offer assistance. We made it across and tied up the Ducky around a rock to survey the situation. The canoe basically had the same contour as the rock with several tons or water pressure pushing against it. We tried in vain to move it a little, but moving the three ton boulder would have been easier in the end. I saw Dave back on the other side and made the hand gesture of a slice across the neck “The canoe was dead.” He nodded, the canoe had been with him for many a year and it was like losing a loved one!

We salvaged what we could off the submerged craft and the three hiked up the right bank to a waiting raft at the bottom. I said my farewell to the canoe and took off in the inflatable down the rapid, hitting the same rock as before. At the bottom Matt and Chang wanted to interview the group over the loss of a loved one, instead we toasted with beers. At least Paul and Todd were able to walk away from it all. If anything, it would make for a good river story.

Three miles later we were pulling into our camp site at Slickhorn Canyon. We reveled over the days events with box wine and dinner.

The sky was beginning to cloud over.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Sunday, May 16

We slept well last night. Maybe the wine had something to do with it, or maybe my frontal cortex was just too overloaded from the conversations the night before. Coffee was first on the agenda. I was in charge of the French press. This can be a daunting chore when you are not sure which dry box it was packed into. After searching through the last one, I finally found it and fired up a pot of water on the portable propane stove we had.. I placed seven large tablespoon heaps of Columbian coffee in the bottom and filled the press up with boiling water. The top with plunger went on and I waited five minutes. Slowly I pushed the sieve down with the plunger handle, trapping all the grounds below. With a full cup of steaming, stout coffee in my hand I was ready. The aroma finally reached my frontal cortex and I found the muffins.

This morning we had to travel 18 miles by river and deal with Ross Rapid. The white water was a class two with a long wave train. They describe it as such because of the long path of sinusoidal waves against the cliff on river left.

We stopped at mile 45, another old mining area they call Honaker. Here they found gold dust in the river back in the 1800’s and thought it originated from the area. Unfortunately it was merely trace amounts that had actually washed down from the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Nevertheless they spent a lot of time building a trail that switch backed its way up the steep canyon wall to haul in supplies. Nobody made a dime on the venture, but for us it was a worthy lunch spot. We spent an hour hiking part way up the trail afterwards for a precarious view down the canyon.

Chang, the New York Times photographer was on my raft and was anxious to get ahead in order to get pictures of everyone going through Ross rapid. He was the one I was most worried about, when he showed up in Salt Lake City with two large suitcases and a duffle bag filled with photography equipment. Dave and I both thought just how the Hell are we suppose to get all that stuff on the raft. Ten thousand dollars worth of camera equipment was a tall order to keep bone dry.

Within an hour we were lining ourselves up on the left side of the river for the rapid. Chang noticed a group at the top on the right side scouting out the waves. I was too busy watching the rock cliff on the left side race by as we worked our way down the wave train. At the bottom there was a large rock in the middle of the river, once past that the object was to row as hard as you could to get over to the right side. A camp site was there and a nice spot to walk back up river to watch people coming though. We managed to get it over to the shallow water there and Chang jumped out with a few cameras to run up the side of the rapid for the best view. I was stuck holding the raft and talking to a very drunk river runner, who must have belonged to the group at the top. Our group had also collected themselves at the top on river right to survey the best route for the canoe. Preferably not straight down the middle where the waves were the highest. It was decided that Dave would take the other raft down next followed by the Ducky and last the canoe. With all the inflatables at the bottom, I could borrow the Ducky in case the canoe ran into trouble.

Art and Todd proudly agreed to take the canoe through Ross. Dave and a few others stood by the side with throw ropes in case they needed a line. I took the Ducky out to the middle of the river in case they went swimming. We all watched in anticipation as they lined themselves up on the right side of the wave train, in an effort to avoid the large waves that would flood the boat. From my angle I saw how the strength of the current swept them into the main flow; it was now only a question of time until they would fill the canoe up with water. Sure enough I watched them slowly sinking deeper and deeper into the waves to that inevitable conclusion. The canoe slowly rolled over on its right side and both were spilled out into the turbulent water gasping for air.

I was waited in the middle of the river to offer assistance. There I saw Todd holding on to the capsized canoe and Art trailing behind. I positioned myself in front of the floating mass and collectively we floated along together as we tied the bow line of the canoe to the inflatable kayak. Getting them over was another problem, the mass just pulling me along the river as well. The current was quite strong. Finally after a combined effort of them swimming and me paddling we reached the shore a half mile later. Todd touched ground and was able to stand up and pull the canoe up against the rocks. That’s when we noticed Art still floating out in the river; he yelled back that everything was fine, just a banged up knee.

Dave was already in the process of rowing the raft after him, so Todd and I turned our attention to righting the canoe and getting out the water. They had lost their bailing bucket somewhere in the rapid. Leaving us with no other choice to get the water out than to lift up the entire canoe and flip it over in the air. This took several attempts with the soft mud at the river’s edge. We found ourselves sinking up to our knees. Finally after the third try we managed to get most of the water out and Todd hoped back in to join the chase after Art, who was still bobbing along in the middle of the river.

I pulled back out into the main stream of the river and ran into Matt, the New York Times reporter, who was now trying to negotiate the raft I left up stream at the bottom of Ross Rapid. He had a worried look on his face, the idea of managing something that handled like a bus didn’t appeal to him so well. We switched and I took over the raft. By the time we caught up to the rest, Art was climbing aboard Dave’s boat with some bruises. A mile later we were at the camp site on river left, tending to the wounds of the day.

Single malt scotch was given to the patients and soon we were dinning on another Dutch over dinner of Thai chicken.

Richard Boyer

Monday, May 24, 2010


Friday, May 14, 2010

The river trip had been several months in the planning. We were a group of cognitive research scientists, a writer with photographer from the New York Times and the sole artist of the group; myself.

Dave Strayer and I had been running this stretch of the San Juan River for over ten years. I was coming along to row one of the rafts and for visual entertainment, while they reveled over the cognitive changes in the brain without cell phones and other electronic devices. It puzzled me to why one would even consider it worthy of research.

On Friday we pulled into the small town of Bluff, Utah late at night. It had been overcast with rain most of the way down from Salt Lake City. I had four bodies in my car and Dave the other four. He was hauling the trailer filled to the brim with all the gear we would need over the next five days. Our mode of transportation was two rafts, a canoe and an inflatable kayak, called a “Ducky”.

The alarm went off at 7:oo the next morning. It was a quick breakfast at the only coffee shop Bluff had to offer, followed with the finale packing of all our gear into watertight river bags. Everything had to be put into something that would protect it from the churning water of the rapids. I had a 20mm ammunition rocket box that I had outfitted with slots to hold panels of canvas for me. The military always liked to store their firepower in watertight metal boxes, which after use became available to buy at your local army/navy stores for next to nothing. Mine held about ten panels, the turpentine, paper towels and a rag for clean up. My French easel was in a watertight river bag. I was ready to get wet.

We drove west twenty miles or so to a small hamlet of weathered, paint peeling dwellings and a lone gas station. This was the town of Mexican Hat. We pulled into the dusty gravel road that ended by the river, behind Val’s convenient store. It was the put-on for all river runners doing the 57-mile stretch to the remote, isolated point of departure at Clay Hills. Everything was unloaded from the trailer and sprawled out on the ground, two hour later it was all strapped down tight on the sixteen-foot long inflatable rafts. We had two large ice chests containing our food for the trip, one of which was to remain sealed the first few days so as to keep the blocks of ice from melting. The last thing you wanted was your dinner floating around in lukewarm water after the third day. We also had along with two more watertight dry boxes for the non-refrigerated goods. Breakfast muffins and coffee came to mind for those. We were checked out by the park ranger and launched.

Our first rapid was Gypsum. In Utah they rated them on a scale from one being the easiest up to a five, which if done wrong could suck the raft and all its occupants underwater for a washing machine ride. Gypsum was a class two and just around the bend. You barely had time to get your feet wet, before you were thrown into it. Generally the rafts just sail across the top without any problem. The canoes are a different story; being lower down in the water, they will promptly fill up from the churning rapids splashing over the bow. Once this happens they roll over in an undignified manner, leaving you flaying and gasping for air in the turmoil. It was up to the rafts or ducky’s to pull the waterlogged canoeists to shore.

The canoe made it through, filling only halfway up with water. A small stop to bail it dry again and we were on our way into the serpentine maize of the Goosenecks. The walls of the cliffs became higher with every mile we put behind us. Over millions of years the ground slowly raised itself up as the river eroded a path through it down to the Colorado River. The present day depth was now over a thousand feet of rock.

Our first stop was an old miner shack built on top of a saddle in Mendenhall loop, a mile-long oxbow bend in the river. There one could hike up to a small plateau and see the river just on the other side. And it was here a miner, named Mendenhall in the year 1893 decided to try his luck at making his fortune. Unfortunately the river didn’t agree with his plans and within a year flooded and washed away all his equipment. The shack was abandoned shortly after.

We pressed on to our first camp site at mile marker thirty-seven, it was a ninety degree right turn in the river and offered a nice view across the river of a rock strewn side canyon. This medium sized sandy spot offered plenty of room to set up the kitchen and six tents we had. Strayer had a Dutch-oven pork lion meal planned for the evening and he also had enough volunteers willing to help in the preparation.

I decided to work on a small 11x14 along the river bank, before the sun went down. The light was now racking itself across the rock on the opposite shore line and made for a nice study. Within a few minutes I had everything set up and was at work. I was mainly at work against the clock, as I watched the shadows growing longer and longer in the evening light. Within an hour I was forced to quite, I was barely able to see the pallet. After cleaning up I retired to a chair with a glass of wine in my hand. The conversation was the executive functions of the frontal cortex. I yawned

Richard Boyer

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This might be the last entry for a while. Once on the river there is no contact to the outside world !
Ohhhhhhh, sounds scary, doesn't it !

Actually I like it a lot, its nice to get away from all the electronic devices we become dependent on.

This is an older one I got back from the Wade Gallery, so I just worked a bit on the figures and trees. I was now going to take it down to Southam Gallery here in Salt Lake and see how it does there.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I worked on the sun bathed cliff today. In reality it was made up of busted-up rock layers, laid down over millions of years and then most likely shattered during the uplifting process. So if I were to paint it all as is, my mind would be turning into jelly right about now. My only option is to simplify the whole thing and make a smoother cliff. Nobody likes a busy painting anyways!

The cliff on the right side is glowing from reflected light, so I want to put that in tomorrow and start on the water.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I worked on the background cliffs this morning. Just had to make sure the values and colors were all close enough so as to push it back into space. I'll get larger value and color jumps as the cliffs come closer to the viewer.

I'm leaving for a six day river trip down the San Juan this Friday. This is that trip I talked about earlier with Dave Strayer and all the research scientists. I will be the token artist, kind of like the pet dog being brought along for the trip! So every day I have been slowly getting my things together and putting them in a corner of the basement. I have about seven canvases I'll be taking with, so I've designed a rocket box to hold wet paintings and most of the painting material.

I picked up one of those Soltec easels the other day and found out that it doesn't hold as much as my French easel, so the extra tubes of paint will have to go in the box with the wet paintings.

We tend to eat really well on these trip. I made a lasagna and Strayer will be bringing with a dutch oven, so I don't think anyone will be going hungry. A few boxes of wine and cases of beer will also be with to wash down the food.

The one thing that is still missing and I have been looking all over the place for it ! Is the star chart and binoculars, last time we were there Nick brought them with and the star gazing was amazing, we actually had a good view of the Andromeda Galaxy with just some simple binoculars.

Richard Boyer

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, May 10

Monday is just one of those days.

Yesterday Victor and I decided to go on-line and see what kind of airfare prices we could get over to Sweden. We settled in on and found some prices that were competitive, still expensive as hell, but what else can you do. So we booked marked the page. I went there to buy the tickets about two hours ago. As soon as I started clicking on the desired flights, up popped the message “Sorry this flight is no longer available at this price!” It was doing that with every offer I clicked on. I’d had enough, so I called up……that was a joke!

After waiting for twenty minutes they patched me through to some call center in India, why does every airline and website put you though to @#%@ India?

The guy, who was basically clueless, answers the phone like he is in a speed reading contest, most of which I can not understand. I gave up asking him to repeat every other sentence. From what I could understand, the airlines where all changing their prices and nothing was actually up to date…………”so like what is the point of your web site, if none of the prices even are real?” I asked

“No problem, I can help you!”, was my response. It took a while to explain that I was just looking for the best route over the Atlantic without half a dozen stops. His last offer was a flight from Salt Lake via L.A, Houston, Philadelphia, then over to Frankfurt and up to Stockholm. All for the price of $1,600…………….”your kidding, aren’t you?” and I hung up! That flight took close to two days in flight time!

I called SAS and they told me $2,600. per person was their best offer, I hung up again! Keep in mind I’m buying for five! By this point I had been messing around with various people for close to two hours trying to get a price that wouldn’t mean taking out a second mortgage.

Finally I was beginning to see that KLM had the cheaper fares over there from the various websites, so I looked at their site and booked some tickets there. At $ 1,350 each, it was the lowest I could find !!!.........damn these airlines must be making a good profit!

I finished off the 30x40 painting

And started another Grand Canyon piece.

Richard Boyer

Friday, May 7, 2010


How do real estate agents put it? "and its sooooo charming!"......which of course translates into "its ridiculously small."

Such is Rick's humble abode!

We all stuffed ourselves into his living room last night for the crit session. Surprisingly it worked out rather well, although getting any distance form the work wasn't much of an option. The snack table was placed right in front of me, so very quickly the pizza got smaller and smaller.

I arrived late, after ten, with Victors school play. Karin didn't want to admit that the whole production could have been shortened by about an hour! I noticed a lot of parents looking at their watches.

The lazer pointer was passed around and the critiquing got to a late start, but nevertheless went smooth. The only problem being that I call it quites after twelve. With the kids getting up at seven, I can't pull all nighters. Robert was the last one to pull out his works, but I had to leave. I think we really have to get the sessions started much earlier, the only problem is convincing the other critters to show up earlier so we can make it a reality.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today I worked more on the 30x40, trying to get as much done as possible on it. I’m always amazed at people who can finish off something that large at one sitting. Richard Schmid seems to come to mind there, as for me…….forget it !

It could still use another day or two depending on how rough the critique committee will be tonight. I know it needs to be warmed up a bit in the foreground and maybe break up some of the dense green foliage overhead. Some sky holes might fix that problem?

Tonight Victor’s school, the Salt Lake Arts Academy is putting on their annual fund raising play. The entire school is involved in this theater production, a play that has been several months in the working. And tonight is the family night, where everyone can go with the kids and watch their older brother of sister perform. Tomorrow in the fancy formal performance, a dress up, wine sipping event which will cost you fifty dollars a ticket. Its all for a good cause, so most everyone will show up. We are signed for both evenings.

Rick Graham will be hosting the crit session tonight, since this play will take a little longer, I most likely won’t be there until 10:00.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So last night Karin's mother was telling us over a glass of wine about her grandparents, what they were like and where they came from in Skåne ( southern Sweden). I asked when they were born, she replied 1866.
Yes, they could have been talking to Anders Zorn if they were up in Dalerna

Today I started a larger version of some of the stuff I have been working on for the Joe Wade Gallery, a 30x40 alley scene from Sante Fe. I have a feeling this will be fun to do, since it will be quick. I like that since you can get all kinds of spontaneous brush strokes.

I ran out of a few colors so its off to the local Utrecht store to stock up again!

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Here is Monday's model session at Rick's place. We worked on her for about two and a half hours. Last night we also had Karin's mother arriving in from Sweden. Markus, our oldest picked her up at the airport from her dazed 18 hour flight. When I got back at 9:30, she was still up; real time for her would have been six in the morning!

Elsie will be staying for four weeks or so, which for us is great. She loves to take over in the kitchen and help with the kids.

I did another small 14x11 piece this morning for the gallery in Santa Fe, its actually another window from Provence. It was quick and fun to do. I need to do more of these, since its good practice to get the entire piece finished in one session. It generally translates into thick brush stokes to get it done.

I also worked on the other four 12x16's from last week, so these I'll also throw in the box and send off today or tomorrow.

Richard Boyer