Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Blue skies today with a cold snap in the air. It’s cold enough so the snow squeaks when you walk on it. We were reading in the paper this morning that the next front that moves through on Thursday could be rain, which will turn all this nice snow into slush.

Last night we had the figure session at Rick’s place. Our model was Nandi from South Africa in a sitting pose. I decided to work on a head shot and try to get it right. My problem is I always screw up with not enough contrast. I’ve told Bryce Liston and Rick Graham, who are on either side of me, to hit me with a stick if I start down the road of anemic painting. And sure enough halfway through the session I was doing it again. Bryce was the one to mention it and humble I went back and added darker darks. Mr. Liston on the other hand was scrapping off the lights; his was looking more Caucasian.

What can I say; it’s all a learning curve that sometimes I wish would just hurry up, so we could all get it right the first time.

Howard/Mandville send me an email, they have a client that is looking for a Brugge subject for Christmas and since I have been there, just perhaps I might have something. Well if they give me a week I will. Here is the start, just a block in and hopefully it will be developed more in a few days.

It's a 12x16

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, Nov. 29

Last week they were hyping up the so called “Storm of the Century”. And yesterday again they forecasted some snow that might stretch into the morning rush-hour commute. The media didn’t hype this one up, they wanted to play it safe and not face the embarrassment of any wrong predictions of a mega-storm.

Well it started to snow Saturday night and kept snowing until this morning. As you can see we got over a foot and a half. And both our cars were buried under what felt like a glacier of snow, especially the one in the street. The snow plow did a good job of sealing that one in with wet concrete salted snow.

I had to get the one in the driveway free first so the kids could take it to school. Now I know you are most likely asking, “Well why didn’t they dig it out?” They were still getting dressed and eating breakfast. I, who had no obligation to get to school or eat breakfast at a certain time, was elected the designated shovel man. Karin, my wife made that executive decision!

The problem soon became apparent as to where to put all this white stuff. Canyon walls were developing along the sidewalk edge and the extra snow was just falling back down on the area I was trying to clean out. After an hour and a half I had “Salad” free from the grips of ice. When the children were small they named our green Volvo “Salad and the name stuck. Karin needed to take that car into work with no if’s, and’s or buts’.

Our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday was a well anticipated event with the Strayers, Mike, Carlie and Brian. We started at five in the afternoon with some nice high-end Chardonnay’s and soon moved into the exotic appetizers. The main course was a fantastic spread of turkey and a dozen other dishes. We stayed at the table until late in the evening with the last guests finally heading home around midnight.

As usual we still have a few pounds of leftovers and the last think I want to eat now after four days is more turkey disguised in the form of a casserole.

With the snow flying yesterday we all decided to head up to Alta to see if we could get some powder runs in. The roads were slow going with all the snow and a very slippery experience going up the steep canyon. They have warning signs plastered by the road every few miles telling people that chains or four- wheel drive vehicles are the only thing allowed in the canyons. So what do we see, some Moron in a mini van coming down the opposite direction going three miles an hour, talking away on a cell phone and the cars bunched up behind him for miles. He was one of the many idiotic ski tourists we have inching their way down the mountain road, most likely from some place flat and warm, like Texas!

We did get some nice powder and stayed until closing. Karin and I did lunch together, talking about this and that sore muscle. Yes it is the first ski day of the season and every joint feels it!

Here is today’s project !

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So much for the storm of the century, we got a grand total of four to five inches. What did follow was some cold temperatures in the single digits last night. Looks like we are still able to walk to the store for food and that is exactly what I need to do. We are out of coffee……..good thing we weren’t trapped here or else I would have perished.

I pulled another one out of the box this morning and loosely blocked in some boats. After the holidays I’ll work on it and bring the contrast up more. All the boats will be back light with sun reflecting off the water.

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I’ve been listening to the radio this morning as I painted and they keep updating us about the storm of the century approaching. Or at least they make it sound that bad. Many functions at the schools as well as events in town are being cancelled and they are recommending leaving early from work. Once there we should not leave the house and make sure the porch light is on to help the power company determine who is with or without. At the last update the storm was just arriving in Ogden, about twenty minutes north of here. There they have howling winds over 60mph with snow….

Well I better hit the wine and grocery store this afternoon. The dog is looking at me, as if not to eat him when we get too snowed in. In some countries dog could be quite tasty, but not here. I’ll go down and get the turkey today just in case.

I pulled this one out of the box this morning and worked on it. This was the first painting we did when we were over in Amsterdam and not too long into the session, it began to pour down buckets of rain. I pulled out the umbrella and crowded myself next to the easel in a futile attempt to keep dry, within minutes I was soaked but the painting was dry!

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, Nov. 22

Three more days of snow, looks like any remaining leave raking will be done in the spring!

I worked a little on this piece today and decided to put a small café in the left side for more balance. This will be one of those pieces I need to put aside for a day or two and take a fresh look at it later on. It needs a little more some place and I just can not see where!

We ordered the turkey 18-20 pounds and hopefully it will be enough for two families. We are doing it with the Strayer’s and a few other friends at our place. I am expecting a lot of over eating with all the food dishes we have planned, like what else is new!

Richard Boyer

Friday, November 19, 2010


No broken glasses at the crit session last night, so I guess it was successful !

I just wanted to show you the details of the critique they can sometimes get into. On this one we have the before and after picture. This is like those newspaper entertainment sections, where they show you two some what identical images and you have to point out five things that are different from the one next to it. In this case there are also five things I worked on and changed !

This is the older version

and this is the new, improved version

First was the line of boats on the left side, they wanted the ones farther back to be blurred out a little. Second was the background boats on the right side, they needed more atmosphere, so I cast a yellow white haze over the top which pushes them back more.

Next was the red boat in the middle of the canal. It wasn’t standing out enough. The boats behind it had too much color and contrast. So I changed the color away from red which was competing too much with the boat in front. I also threw a little more blue over some of the boats behind to give them more atmosphere and push them back more.

Forth was the water needed to some work it was perhaps a little busy to the eye. And last was the figure and a few of the color on the main boat where punched up. Now it seems to be better………….or until the next crit when they suggest something totally different.

As with any critique session, people will always find something wrong with it. It’s up to the artist to pick and choose what he or she wants to change and ignore the rest. I think for me, it’s done !

Richard Boyer

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today is crit day at my place and Kay Strayer dropped by with a six pack of wine glasses that she picked up at IKEA. She was thinking of the crit members. I guess she knows the story with broken wine glasses on Thursday nights.

I worked a little on this piece today. It needs a few more figures in it and more contrast with the biker coming down the road. ALl of which I am sure the members will bring up at the critique session tonight.

It’s partly sunny and warm out today, that warmth one feels before the storm. Yes another snow storm is on the way. Another reminder that those glorious warm summer evenings are gone for good!

This is one of those days when Karin looks at me and says, “It’s a perfect day to rake up all those leaves at the duplex!”

My response is usually a mumbled four letter word. My afternoon now booked up with collecting water logged leaves and then trying to cut month old long grass underneath. We had some tenants move out and naturally the last thing on their mind would be to get the yard in shape for the winter, that’s what landlords are for.

Well I might as well enjoy that last warm day outside with the rake

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I reworked this snow painting a little today, changing the water to more rust colored and the snow shadows warmer. Also the trees were touched around a bit.

I'll send this one as well as the other snow painting off to Jim at Mockingbird Gallery. I heard from Ron in Scottsdale that the Willow Gallery on Main Street has closed its doors. The season is just warming up down there and still they decided to pack it up, leaving all their artists to run for cover!!! There have been quite a few galleries to close their doors down in Scottsdale, the market was really been hit hard there.

Too bad Simic Gallery still seems to be there, that's the one place I would love to see go under. They have the reputation of cheap mass production art and not paying their artists. So a word of warning to any prospecting artist in the area, avoid them like the plaque!

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, Nov 15.

The Howard/Mandville Gallery had their miniature show last Saturday and low and behold I actually sold both pieces. “It’s going to be a Merry Christmas, Clarence!”, if you remember the line from “It’s a beautiful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.

And last Friday I got a call from Jim at Mockingbird telling me that a client has bought the last two Amsterdam paintings I had there on a lay-away-plan. She wanted them for Christmas, which I am jumping up and down for. Sure I’ll have to wait a bit before I get payed, but at least it is a sale.

The galleries have been on a roll lately and it would be great if they could keep going, but alas that would only be wishful thinking on my part. Unfortunately I can not use Newton’s theory of once an object is in motion it will stay in motion. I’m afraid the friction level of a recession will far exceed the kinetic energy of a few sales!

I spent today just touching up a bunch of different pieces, to many to show. I feel the need to get the rest of the Amsterdam pieces done and out to the galleries if they are selling.

Richard Boyer

Friday, November 12, 2010


At last a sunny day, time to rake up all those pesky leaves lying around.

I finished off the commission piece; well actually I can’t really say that until the client looks it over and gives her final approval. Then one could call it done. The piece is based on a painting I did a long time ago in the late 90’s. The man on the dock reminded the client of her father, so hopefully I kept the figure loose enough to give the impression without going into the detail on how he really looked.

Morning Coffee 20x30

I sent off a JEPG image to her and will just hold my breath, well maybe not over the weekend. That might be over kill!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Just another gray day again. It started out sunny earlier in the morning, but nooooo that was just a teaser!

I worked on another Amsterdam piece from the box. The box is just what you think it is, a cardboard apple box from the local grocery store. After each trip I take the canvas and stretch them up onto stretcher bars. From Amsterdam I had a total of twenty five paintings. So instead of them just lying all over the place as a mess in the studio, I’ll stack them in a small box in the corner. Then I can just pull one out to finish it off as time permits.

This painting is from the Amstel River looking upstream.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I re-worked some of the snow banks and took out a few trees on this one. That opened up the painting more so one can follow the creek into the background. Now I just would like a sunny day so I can photograph some painting here and send the images off to galleries. The 20x30 commission piece of the man sitting on the pier also needs to be approved before I send it off. Just think in the olden days I would have taken a print picture, had it developed and then had to mail it off to the client. They in turn would have to wait for it to arrive and call or write back with any requests. Now it’s more or less instantaneous.

But today it is still cold and gray out, the pile of leaves in the backyard still frozen to the grass. Looks like they won’t be raked up today!

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


At the last crit session they complained about my sky in this smaller 11x14 Amsterdam piece. Nothing like a bunch of whiners!!!

So I repainted that part of it and gave the bridge more contrast, basically by panting the lights lighter and the darks a little darker. Now it looks like its being hit by the sunlight. The water needed some work also and after doing that I decided to add a small boat there to give it some more interest and lead in.

We got more snow last night. Yes we are now officially in winter, especially when you see Christmas decorations coming out in the stores!

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Nov 8

I got the plaque, started feeling a scratchy throat on Friday evening and by Saturday had the fever. Its the garden type variety of the common cold, which I most likely got from the parents who brought it to Utah from somebody they sat next to on the plane. It's amazing how fast these things can spread around the world.

I picked up Karin from the airport last night at 10:30, she had been up over 24 hours coming in from Sweden. And like all travelers from Europe landed in more or less a comotosed state from the long journey. She also brought the snowy weather with her, as I look out the window it's cold and gray outside with a layer of wet snow. The perfect weather for a cold!

Ron from the May Gallery called with news of a small sale, as he put it "Milk Money" Its the church in Bonnieux, Provence that I painted two summers ago.

Richard Boyer

Friday, November 5, 2010


I just sold four paintings at the Howard/Mandville Gallery

Yes, yes, yes !!!!

Time to pour a glass of wine for the crit evening.

Here they are
Cafe in Banon 12x16
Amsterdam - Canal Cafe 12x16
Garlic Sellers 20x30

Visiting the Ruins 20x30

Richard Boyer

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Here is today’s little work. It’s a scene up the road from our cabin in the Uinta Mountains. If you took the skis off you would sink down into the snow up to your waist, so hopefully I got that across in the painting.

Our dog considers this a living Hell to walk in, but still she wags her tail and follows along when ever we head out into the back country. Sasha will spread her paws as wide as possible and leap up into the air. This usually means that she clears about half her body mass above the snow level in a forward thrust. This momentum will propel her about two feet until she lands in another new crater. This hopping and partial swimming action is how the dog will follow us. Thank God she is a lab with boundless energy, wired on caffeine 24-7.

I found out the hard way that paint remover does not work on old lead paint, its one there as hard as steel. I’m referring to the front window, which I spent most of the afternoon scraping. It’s now ready for a coat of primer and then some fresh caulking, before the final trim paint.

With me here alone taking care of the house and kids, I’m moving the crit night to Friday. It’s hard enough getting up at 6:20 in the morning when its still pitch black outside. I don’t need to make it worse after a late night, red wine enhanced crit session. The idea of sleeping in on Saturday sound a lot better!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Here is a small 12x12 winter scene I did. Jim at the Mockingbird Gallery wanted a few snow paintings for a Christmas show. It could still use a little more contrast which I can work on tomorrow.

This afternoon I need to work on painting an old window on the front of our house. The bare wood had been damaged over the years by rain and snow. Normally one would just tear out the old window and put some newer high tech double pained, argon filled window in its place. But not here, the damn thing is over one hundred years old and I’ll do my best to preserve it. It’s all single pain with an R value of one, but nevertheless with the old wavy glass it adds character to the place. I just have to try and scrape off the old lead paint and prime it well. The window sill is made out of sandstone and seems to be flaking apart, so I’m not too sure how much I want to get involved with that ?

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I dropped the parents off at the airport, five and a half hours later they should be home in Buffalo. It was good to have them here and for the kids to get to know them better. We all went out to dinner last night at a nice Italian place downtown.

This morning I worked on another Amsterdam piece. Its one of those paintings where we were huddled under an umbrella as the rain came down for much of the morning.

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, Nov.1

Fridays show at the Southam Gallery turned out to be a Champagne event. They sold two pieces and one of them was a large one!

Early Morning on the Grand Canyon 30x44

Beauty before Age 18x24

My plan was to go down to the gallery a little after eating dinner at home with the family. Then Linda Southam called wondering in a frantic voice where I was because she just sold five paintings, two of which were mine to one client from California. I inhaled the rest of my dinner and raced down to the gallery. The show was AD Shaw, Kimball Warren and I; so it was good to chat with the other artists. AD Shaw I know from the May Gallery, but Kimball I had had never met before. It was fun to also meet some of the clients and hear their input. Especially when they say they are seriously considering a painting or two of yours. It was for me a healthy shot in the arm from the slow market I had been having.

Saturday they celebrated Halloween here in Salt Lake and it also decided to pour most of that night. The doorbell wasn’t ringing so often, but when it did I saw quite a few soaked trick or treator’s. I made sure to offer the drenched parent a hot fortified apple cider, which they gleefully accepted. Finally around nine at night the rain let up, about the time most small kids were back at home.

Richard Boyer