Tuesday, August 31, 2010


As I hear from many an artist, finances tend to be the root of most marital arguments. Such was our topic last night as we painted away at Rick’s model session and sure enough it was the topic of my wife’s heated debate this morning. As a self supporting artist I don’t really have much to fall back on. That 250,000 a year career in Radiology never really panned out!!! Unfortunately this is the case with a lot of artists out there. As someone once said to me it’s a time to reflect upon your style and see where there are ways to improve it.

Today I worked on another couple of Amsterdam works. Here is the result !

Some of the windmills outside of Amsterdam 12x16
This 12x16 use to be one of the older entrances to Amsterdam. The clock tower had a gold ball on top so the boats could see it at night and thereby be guided into the right canal entrance. Now a days everything is just GPS !

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, Aug 30

Today I worked on small changes on a few pieces most of which aren’t worth mentioning. One painting I really re-worked was this one below. It’s a piece I did a few years ago, but have basically touched up everything. I took out a figure and worked on the horse and occupants in the carriage. Now maybe it’s a little better?

Richard Boyer

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Yesterday Victor and I decided to head up to the cabin and try a day of sailing. The wind was blowing fairly hard down here in the valley so we decided it would make for a good day out on the water. After the hour drive to get up there, grabbing a bit to eat at the local hamburger place in Kamas and then driving the boat to Jordanelle Reservoir, only to find out then that a trip back to the local hardware store in Kamas was required. Apparently the last person to use the boat lost a turnbuckle on the mast stay. Without it it’s impossible to sail, so we had to replace it.

At 2:30 we had the boat in the water and were off, our goal was to sail the three miles out the eastern arm of the reservoir to the main body of the man made lake. If anybody has tried sailing in a mountain reservoir before you will be able to relate to the adverse wind conditions that can exist. One minute a gale force roaring down a small side canyon, blasting the small boat up on its side and the next it’s deathly still with no wind at all.

We started off zigzagging our way down the arm of the mountainous channel. With the wind blowing from the west our progress seemed minimal. We could have walked along the shoreline quicker. Victor was at the helm and I was crouched down, so as not to be hit by the boom as I controlled the jib. The wind started to shift a little then coming in from different sides of the canyon and throwing us up on a steep roll at full speed and then leaving us at a snails pace. Every now and then we caught a southerly breeze, making it possible to sail in a straight line down the arm.

Finally at five in the evening we made it into the open water with four foot swells. Victor was ecstatic. Adventure on the high seas. We turned around there and sailed back in half the time with the wind at our backs. I think we finally made it home at eight in the evening, all very tired from a long day.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I keep hearing more grim news about the economy, especially from my wife’s patients. Four out of the five she saw today had somebody in their family laid off from work. God knows the art market seems to be feeling the pinch, just how dry can a dust bowl be? History always repeats itself they say, the last big recession was the savings and loan crisis that happened back in the eighties. I remember for sale signs everywhere in Salt Lake, houses were selling for next to nothing.

That’s when I bought my first place here in Salt Lake, a real fixer-upper.

Today’s first piece was this one from below. I’ll see what they say at the crit session tonight. I’m not too keen on the umbrella colors.

Next was this canal scene. I added the boat coming down the water from a photo.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I worked on a few pieces today, first off this Amsterdam 14x11 below. It’s the Westerkerk, or West church on Prinsengracht. Inside is where Rembrandt was buried, or at least for a few years! That was until the family could no longer afford the church dues; the clergy then exhumed the body and gave it back to the family. Sounds like a Steven King horror movie.

One can make a reservation here to walk halfway up the tower, which is what we did one afternoon. The view was spectacular from up there looking over the town.

Most of this was done on location, but the boats had to be painting back in the studio this morning.

My next project was an older piece that I re-worked a little. I had the girls in bikinis and Southam Gallery didn’t like that idea. It’s a hard sale in Utah, they say! So I put long flowing dresses on both of them, now its PG rated for Salt Lake City.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Well I got this painting in the Oil Painters of America Regional show up in Jackson. I’ll send it off next month for their October show. Unfortunately the opening night is the same time I have my exhibition up at Howard/Mandville Gallery, so I won’t be able to make it to the OPA show.

Last night we had our model session again at Rick’s again. I’ve been experimenting with using some of Anders Zorn’s colors.

Everyone knows the self portrait piece he did, where he shows his pallet containing just cadmium red light, yellow ochre, titanium white and ivory black. Well I tried this piece below with the same colors; it’s a little hard without yellow and blue, but still for a figure just maybe it can be pulled off. It would have been richer with the addition of those two missing colors, but then again what would I be learning about the artist?

When you look up close at some of Zorn’s interior figure works you can see that he used a very limited pallet range and was able to create master pieces. Now of course he used more colors when needed, especially with water. I’ve looked in his Studio up at Mora, where they still have his pallet by the easel. When he died they found in his studio 243 tubes of paint, of which 17 were tubes of Cobalt blue. So, yes he did use blue !!!

Still its fun to try mixing the portrait with just a limited pallet!

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, Aug. 23

I worked a little more on the evening painting, adding some lights and detail to the upper portion of the work. Now maybe I can call it done.

We all went for a bike ride yesterday, loading up the mountain bikes on the back of the car and drive up to Little Dell Reservoir at the beginning of East Canyon. For those not from around here, it was once again up into the mountains. From there we biked along an old section of the pony express route. Utah is doted with old trails from days of yore. Traveling just west of here you can follow the old pony express trail, past the remains of outposts all the way to the Nevada border. In 1861 it took them ten days to deliver your letter from St. Louis to Sacramento, California.

We only did about two miles of it, what can I say; Lina, our daughter was with us and besides the skies were beginning to turn really dark and ugly. A front was moving in according to the weather forecast.

Lina had a birthday party to go to up in Park City so Karin took the car leaving me with no real option but to bike the ten or fifteen miles back down to Salt Lake City. The clouds were getting darker and I heard thunder rippling through the air. Within a short time I did the mild uphill climb to get to the top of Immigration Canyon from East Canyon and was ready for the long downhill. With the switchbacks at the top my bike was soon up to freeway speeds, as I blurred my way past the bikers struggling to climb up the opposite direction to the top. I tried to conserve the brake pads as much as possible maybe that had something to do with the acceleration problem! Hey, but it was fun!

At the last hairpin turn the road became less of a vertical fall line and some moderate peddling was needed. At the bottom I zigzagged along small roads and parking lots to keep my elevation over to the area we live in. There on my final decent through Federal Heights the skies opened up with a deluge of water, a few minutes later I was soaked head to foot with small hail hitting my face. “Why the rain couldn’t have held out for another fifteen minutes I’ll never know?” I arrived home looking like a drowned rat and decided a warm shower would help wash all the road grim off my back.

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 20, 2010

We met up with Dan & Elaine May last night for dinner at Cucina Tuscana, one of Salt Lake’s top Italian restaurants. This isn’t just our opinion; even they felt that nothing came close to it in Scottsdale. They both had been to this restaurant before on a previous trip up here.

The May’s were in town just for one night on their way up to Jackson and wanted to get together and treat us to dinner. Dan told me I was in charge of the wine and I was then handed the wine list. Usually we are always trying new wines when we get together. But the last time somebody handed me a wine list and told me to order, I went for the $150 bottle of wine. It can be quite dangerous if I know somebody else is treating! The wine book had prices ranging all the way up to several hundred for a bottle. “Not that page”, he said over my shoulder.

We were looking for, as he put it “more bang for your buck”. I called for the wine concierge and told him we were interested in something less fruity, more or less along the lines of a parched desert dry. He pointed out a Chardonnay from Tuscany, over my price limit, but I shared the information with Dan. “Sure no problem, let get that one!” I smiled; it was going to be a fun evening.

The first appetizer was a Roasted Duck with plums, followed by hand made ravioli in some kind of a heavenly sauce. They followed up with the next bottle of Cabernet from the region. An hour later we were starting on a combination of main courses with salmon and artichokes. A new bottle of red wine was brought out.

In the end I went for the cheese cake and espresso for dessert.

Two and a half hours later we all walked out in a bubbly mood. Dan and Elaine had to get back for their drive tomorrow and we had to get back to the crit session at Nick’s

I worked on the "evening" painting today.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Worked on number two today, one of those that we got rained out on !

I always make it a habit of having the camera ready, so I can shot boats that happen to stray into view. And that is exactly what I did in this case. I clicked about 30 pictures of these two boats going down the canal and under the bridge. Nicely enough, the sun happened to be out at this particular photo opportunity. So I used them in the painting.

I should add a word of warning about leaving your camera out; remember mine was stolen in Amsterdam from some scumbag. So now I have started hooking my open backpack to the easel leg with the camera just inside it. It takes a little longer to get it out, but I really don’t want to loose another $2000 object !

It was a little slow gong on the painting this morning. The studio was pitch black from thunder storms rolling over the house. Nothing like working on your painting when the light level drops to that of evening. It seems to have cleared out for the afternoon.

After the dinner tonight I'll bring the two Amsterdam works, two figure pieces and that larger evening painting to the crit.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Back to work today

I started to pull out the Amsterdam studies and work on those. Number one was this one here.

I just blued up the sky and water a little and added some highlights here and there. Realistically I don’t want to do too much to these, just the ones where we got rained out on, they could use some more work.

The crit was supposed to be at my place tomorrow, but I was surprised by a call from Dan May, who ran the May Gallery. He and his wife Elaine are driving up to Jackson for the weekend and will be spending the night here in Salt Lake. So Dan called and wanted to know if they could take Karin and I out to dinner at Cucina Tuscana. That happens to be one of our favorite restaurants and I just couldn’t turn them down!

Nick will pick up the slack and I’ll join them later on in the evening for the crit.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, Aug. 15


We have been putting in about eighteen miles everyday and my arms are feeling it.

Yesterday seemed like a repeat of the day before so I didn’t bother with writing anything, besides you get so tired at the end of the day that the ground pad begins to look mighty inviting!

It was the take-out day today and we arrived at Mineral Bottoms about three in the afternoon. After five days on the river it was good to get out and back to the final camp site at Green River again for a real shower. We had been washing off as best could be in the river, but still when you consider the amount of sandy sediment flowing along, washing yourself totally clean is not an option. It felt good to also get out of the sun and high temperatures.

We made it back to Green River for dinner at Ray’s and an early night.

It will be good to get back home tomorrow and start painting again.

Richard Boyer


We entered Labyrinth Canyon today, leaving the mud hills of yesterday. South out of the town of Green River is the most geologically boring area one could imagine. Mile after mile of mud hills called the Mancos shale, a bentonitic clay and limestone layer put down during a stagnant marine environment. Another words a petrified swamp. The river then moved into the Morrison formation, another layer made up of muddy looking deteriorating shale and siltstone.

So most were understandably overjoyed when we came into the red sandstone cliffs of canyon.

Dinner tonight was a lasagna Dutch oven

Richard Boyer

Thurday, Aug. 12

We got an early start. Martin went around at 6:00 am waking everyone up with revelly and by 7:30 everybody was on the river. With all the smaller scouts we had to split them up into canoes amongst more experienced rowers. I have a feeling they would have been going around in circled without somebody older with them. We were shooting for twenty miles this day, but ended up doing eighteen and a half.

I started out in a canoe with a scout and later took over Dave’s job on the raft. With the temperatures up in the high nineties most of my crew were floating in the water by the side.

At 6:00 we finally arrived at a good camp site and ended the day. The Dutch over dinner tonight was sweet and sour chicken with rice.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 11

Green River State Park

We were short one vehicle for the drive down with the scouts. Our second car was still being rebuilt after the timing belt went; so graciously Yellow Dave, as we call him offered his car. He got the name because he sometimes wears a yellow coat. Dave is one of the scout parents, but had some thing else planned during our trip. Maybe he felt guilty for not going when he volunteered the use of his Exterra, but nevertheless we are grateful for the use of it.

The Exterra is one of those high centered vehicles towering twice the height of the Volvo, which I am accustomed to. I’m use to zipping around corners in a low profile car without slowing down much. That’s not the case with a top heavy jeep like vehicle; it’s more the feeling of tipping over around the curves. I forgot to ask Dave if he wanted the car back in one piece!

We made it down to Green River State Park, where they have a camp ground next to the river. Here we unloaded everything, put the raft together and loaded up the canoes with all our water supply. The shuttle had to be done next, all the vehicles needed to be driven down to Mineral Bottom, our end location. Our take-out spot was at the end of a long dirt road at the top of Canyonlands National Park

Kyle, Dave Strayer’s son and I were stuck with all nine scouts, so we decided to float them a little in the river. But first there was a required safety lecture that had to be administered. They all rolled their eyes and said “Do we have to?

Twenty minutes later we were walking up stream to float back to our camping spot.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Its old, but c'est la vie!

This is some fun footage when Victor and I went over to Copenhagen to get Lina in the beginning of July. We were visiting relatives in Southern Sweden.


I worked some more on the Amsterdam night scene; still have the trees and water to work on, before I can start fine tuning it all.

Tomorrow we leave for the short drive down to Green River with the scouts; we’ll do the car shuttle then down to a place called Mineral Bottom in Canyonlands National Park and then drive back to Green River State Park to camp. The following morning we can get an early start and be on the river before the heat of the day comes. Water canons are a must in this kind of situation. It can turn into a carnivore type of scene, where the older kids are obliterating the younger ones with a force resembling that of Niagara Falls. “Survival of the fittest”

We will pull out Sunday afternoon, so I’ll be back Monday night.

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Aug 9th

Yesterday we all drove up in the mountains to go crayfish collecting. We pilled in the car and drove east for about an hour and a half up to Strawberry Reservoir at 8000 feet above sea level. The water was cold and filled with the tiny crustaceans crawling around the rocky bottom not far from the shore. We brought two net traps along from Sweden and baited them with raw chicken legs. Within minutes they were crawling inside the cage and had to be emptied. Most were just tying a string around a chicken leg and throwing the thing into the water, within minutes the leg was covered in crawling crayfish. One just had to carefully pull it back to shore and put a net under the leg as you lifted it out of the water. They would then just drop off like ants and could be dumped into a larger holding bucket on shore.

There always has to be somebody in the group to go over the top! Two hours later our Swedish friend from Park City and Wanship showed up. Troy and Anette are avid scuba divers and brought all their equipment along, to add to the hunting competitiveness. Within minutes they were picking the largest ones off the bottom 20 feet down. Our group on the other hand had to go through a quality control selection committee, where the smaller ones were pardoned from execution and thrown back to the lake.

They were executed right there that afternoon. That was my job!

First two large pots of water are brought to boil, along with a bottle of porter beer, salt, sugar and the most important ingredient of all, crown dill. Crown dill is basically dill that is left unattended in the garden and sprouts flowery tops. Karin made sure in the spring to plant plenty of the stuff just for this occasion.

The crustaceans were first placed in a bucket of clean water to be given a bath, after that ten of the luck ones were picked out and placed in a colander. That’s when they handed it to me, my job was to say a few last words and drop them down into their deaths. The water would subside and within a minute boil again for ten minutes. They were then done and could be placed in a cooler with ice.

Here we are finishing off the porter beer that wasn't used !!!

Five hours later we had amassed a good amount for the annual Swedish crayfish party. Yes the party where everyone gathers around the table to slowly gorge themselves on the tasty creatures and wash it all down with song and bottles of Vodka and Aquavit. This has been known to leave some guests unable to walk afterwards.

Unfortunately I won’t be here for the dinner festival this weekend. I’m off doing a river trip with the boy scouts in the heat of southern Utah. : (

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 6, 2010


The crit went well last night. Trying to keep awake until twelve proved to be more of a challenge though. We just looked at the Amsterdam work from Rick and I and tried our best to explain to everyone that a real critique on 24 painting wouldn’t be necessary. We would be there all night and besides they are just fresh out of the box. I still need to plein air plus them, as Nick calls it. That’s when you work on them in the studio, finishing off those that got cut off short in the field. I can think of a few we got rained out on.

I started a larger 36x24 today. In the beginning of October I have a small show at the Howard/Mandville Gallery and they would like a few larger pieces. This is something I need to get done fairly soon, so they could use it for advertising. So I just blocked in a night scene with lights reflecting in the water. It’s a little sloppy and loose now, I was just trying to get all the compositional problems worked out and cover the canvas.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The problem with flying east to west is always present around four in the afternoon, when you hit the proverbial wall and feel like dropping into a deep comatose sleep. Coffee seems to help wonders there.

I spent a large amount of time trying to transfer my jepg images from the mac over to the desktop windows. With large camera files the flash sticks just don’t seem to hold enough information to make it quick and easy. Slowly little by little I was able to move everything over to the other computer that I use in the studio.

Dave and Kay Strayer are holding the crit session tonight, so I finished off stretching the last Amsterdam paintings this afternoon and am ready to go for tonight. Maybe some red wine will stave off the time difference and I’ll last to twelve.

I put a picture of our garden on the blog from the spring and this is what it is looking like now.

The damn Quail ate all the lettuce unfortunately, somehow they managed to crawl under the netting and get to those delectable leaves. But the potatoes they couldn’t touch and look what a few plants have produced !!!

It’s going to be grilled salmon and potatoes tonight

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We made it back to Utah yesterday, with a travel time over 24 hours door to door. It was miserable!

I’ve always tried to avoid J.F.K. airport like the plaque, but this time we were forced by the price to go through there. I have nothing against New Yorkers and really love the city, but the airport is like being in a third world country. I could have very easily compared it too something out of Africa, but decided not to voice my opinion there. After all they held the power to send my luggage off to Somalia. It is only now with suitcase in hand that I can safely say they are extremely unorganized and chaotic.

Like all international airports in the States, you must first collect your baggage and take them through customs. Usually this is a fairly easy task, where you collect your bags from the caracal, load them up on a cart and push it all a few hundred feet past some sleeping custom officers. You then hand them over to the airline reps on the other side where they are scanned and sent on to the final destination. At O’Hair airport this runs very smoothly.

At JFK in the International arrival area; every language in the world can be heard. So why would they have carts there to help people move their luggage two hundred feet that cost five dollars? What kind of a foreigner carries five dollars worth of quarters in his pocket? The ATM machine is on the other side of customs.

We walked passed the bored agents with suitcases dragging behind and straight out the front door to the street. We missed the small sign and hallway to the left for connecting flights. So did most of the travelers. Finally after pushing our way through what seemed like a lift line in Italy, the two airline agents checked our luggage the rest of the way.

Terminal two was where our connecting flight left from in six hours. We thought it best to eat something in terminal three, the larger of the two, which had more to offer. When we arrived the line was out the door and had no idea what the line was for. So we reluctantly thought it best to find the connecting corridor to terminal two. I asked one of the employees. His brash response was “What do I look like Information?”

We were told by somebody else to walk down the road and a cross to the next building. That was the way to terminal two. Here we are coming in from Sweden, a simply transfer to our next flight and we are all huffing it outside along a busy airport road, something was wrong with the system?

The line was standing still at the next terminal through the security check. One very lethargic employee was dreaming of some other place, while slowly checking passports against boarding cards. A glacier would have been advancing faster. After three hours later we were standing in front of our next gate.

We all walked back over to terminal three through the corridor, that we never found before and sat down in a restaurant. Karin and I both ordered the largest beer they served. We had another three hours to kill.

At ten thirty at night we touched down in Salt Lake City, all very dead tired and longing for a flat bed with plenty of legroom.

Today I have been stapling the Amsterdam paintings on stretcher bars.

Richard Boyer

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We had Lottie over for dinner last night. She is an old friend of Karin’s going way back to middle school in Stockholm. I made a chicken and rice dish and we ate in the dungeon. The building here has a barrel vaulted stone cellar that was painted and fixed up with a wood floor and large table for entertaining guests. It ended up being a late night with the wine, so we didn’t get up until ten.

This morning we had coffee out front in the sun light. After a leisurely breakfast we walked around the waterfront. I took this shot of a large double mast sailboat, some well to do American visiting Stockholm. The length seemed to occupy much of the wharf on the backside of the National Museum. I guess some people have more money to burn than most…….you can tell I’m jealous !!!

We drove back to Osthammar this afternoon. Tomorrow is a packing day; we fly back to the States on Tuesday. Both Karin and I feel another week here would have been nice. It’s back to reality.

Richard Boyer