Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday, Feb 28

I’m back in Salt Lake City now. The drive was a little slow through the snow storm up in Flagstaff. A good sized front moved through southern Utah and northern Arizona Saturday and Sunday. In fact they closed down Interstate 17 in the morning because of it. I heard they were plowing it as fast as they could, so I started out from Scottsdale. Since it would take me another hour and a half to get up there I figuring it would be open by then and thank God it was!

Well so far the show has been rather dismal. Ron called me to inform me he took a deposit on the one vertical painting of the archway and wall I did in Provence. It’s a nice start, but I’m hoping things will pick up; sometimes these art shows have a time delay that seems to kick in before sales start.

I decided to work on another horse painting again with Charlotte, our relative in Sweden. I got this image when she was bringing the horse into the stale. The play of cool and warm lights was really interesting, so hopefully I can capture some of that. This is just the block-in phase, where I figure out composition.

Richard Boyer

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I’ve been staying at the May’s house, enjoying good food and wine. Dan seems to be as much of a fanatic about wine as I am, that’s probably why we get along so well together.

The show pulled in a large crowd on Thursday night. With wine and food this was to be expected. Ron became worried when somebody twittered about “free wine and munchies at the May Gallery!” That always tends to bring in the wrong kind of people; the last thing you want on an opening night is a bunch of freeloaders just hanging out for the booze. They caught a couple of guy’s stuffing food and beer in their pockets. I don’t think you can get lower than that!

Nothing sold as yet, but there seemed to be a lot more interest from last years show. With the economy picking I am hopeful for a better season. We just need to see the supporters of art adding some of my work to their collections. Most of the other galleries experienced the same result on Thursdays Gallery stroll night. Some thinking it’s just a waist of time to have a show that night, because the general populous is just out for a good time of wandering around. The serious buyer usually doesn’t like to deal with the large crowds.

I met Mike Malm, who had a show at Trailside Gallery that same night. He managed to sell one piece, but was hoping like me for the frenzied buyers.

Today I’m just going to walk around the other galleries and say hello. Elaine gave me a free past to the Phoenix Art Museum, which I want to check out later this afternoon. They have a good collection of Reynolds and Terpning’s there to drool over.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm here now at the May's house in Scottsdale. The temperature is in the sixties, so quite a bit warmer then Salt Lake City.

We just had a fabulous dinner and several bottles of wine. It was a perfect end to a ten hour drive. The trip down was uneventful, but I did notice a few curiosities. Along highway 89 through southern Utah some of the small towns love to park a police car with a mannequin inside. This was their idea of speed control. The only problem was that the squad car was always covered in snow so it looks more or less like it has been then for several weeks. It's kind of hard not to notice when the tires are encased in snow. Maybe you could say it's a speed trap sort of thing so you automatically slow down: at least until you notice that its a dummy inside. In most larger cities the car would be jacked up with all major parts missing, including the mannequin. So maybe we can all say that it works as an affective speed control in small town southern Utah.

Tomorrow I'll head down to the gallery and work on a few older paintings out in front. Its fun to do and it helps to draw in people to the gallery. Nothing like plein air painting outside on Scottsdale road!!!

Richard Boyer

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Feb. 21

I painted through the weekend and ended up with this. The flowers were added in the lower left to add a bit more color to the piece, since I know what Ron at the May Gallery would say “Where’s the color!!!” And I also curved the steps a little, so the eye just doesn’t race up to the top.

I sent off an image to the crit group, so if there are any last minute changes I still have time to work on it in the morning.

We got more snow last night and it sounds like there will be another big front moving in Saturday and Sunday. That should make the drive back from Arizona eventful. I remember being caught in Flagstaff for hours on one trip down to Scottsdale. We got there later in the evening and at their elevation the interstate froze. The highway patrol closed it off to all traffic. We finally convinced them to let us proceed. So with Robert hanging his head out the window to help see the edge of the road, we crept forward at about 25 mph. Two hours later we dropped down enough in elevation where the snow and ice changed over into rain.

Our arrival into Scottsdale was quite late at night; there we killed a bottle or two of wine sitting by the pool. What a difference seven thousand feet can make!

Richard Boyer

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I would like to congratulate Bryce Liston on making it into “Art of the West”. It was a nice article that showed a lot of his work and that’s something you can never complain about. It’s good advertisement. I’ve tried to get them interested in my work before, but it always seems to fall on deaf ears! The editor say’s he is interested and that I am on “The list”, but its sounding like a broken record over the years now.

With drizzle in the sky, I worked on the 40x30 some more. I have two more days to get it done, leaving me with Tuesday to do the final orchestration and nit picking. Then I’ll throw the wet painting in the back of the car and head down to Scottsdale on Wednesday.

They always love me when I show up the day of the show with wet paintings in hand! But what else can I do.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I’m going to try do finish off a 40x30 piece for the show on Thursday. The rest of the family is going down to Bryce Canyon for a little cross-country skiing, so I can work through the weekend none stop.

Here is a few shots of the beginning and the end of the days work.

The painting is based on a smaller plein air I did over in Provence. It’s from the same village, Bonnieux as the last vertical piece I did. In fact those steps lead up to the church courtyard where that old wall is with the flowers.

I found out today that I was rejected from the small Sonoma Plein air festival. They wanted recent examples of the artists work to judge for their week long paint out in June. So for me that was, of course Amsterdam. Some how they couldn’t see past that and figures that I was limited to plein air of canals ? The odd thing is that two years ago we were in fact painting vineyards in Provence, but since they were more than a year old, I could not submit them for consideration!!!

It all comes down to Murphy’s Law, you win some and you loose some L

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I got a phenomenal response to yesterdays painting on my facebook page, something I never expected in a million years. Well okay I maybe exaggerating a little, but still I was amazed to see all that input. And I thank you so very much!

And some of you were right I did forget to put the shadow of the cross in, “my screw-up”; so I went back in it today and added one, at least just the hint of it, so as not to draw too much attention.

I’m sending this piece, as well as three others down to the May Gallery today. Come next Wednesday I will be driving down there for my show next Thursday night, Feb 24th. It will be fun to be back down in sunny Arizona weather. We have another snow storm arriving tonight with a few feet of valley snow predicted.

I pulled another older piece out and worked on it today. Two summers ago we were in Provence and did a small day trip up to this mountain top village. The town of Vachères was located far away from any tourists and made for a fantastic painting location. The lavender was in full bloom and almost ready to being harvested. The scent drifted through the air on the back of a soft breeze as I worked on the piece. This would be one of those towns I could live in for the rest of my life !!!

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I had a religious moment and added a cross to the top of the arch; actually it would fit since it does in fact open up into a church courtyard. This morning I punched up the contrast and added some more glowing reflected light to the stone wall, which seems to give it more life.

This afternoon its back up to Mountain Dell for some track skiing. The sun is out with an afternoon high of around sixty, time for the sunscreen!.

Richard Boyer

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, Feb 14

It would seem Valentine’s Day brought some gifts in the form of a virus. Lina came down with something on Saturday and Karin has the same today.

The Scotch tasting went well the other night at the Strayer’s, at least nobody was being fished out of the gutters and we were all able to walk home on our own accord. I think with regards to single malt, you realize quickly enough that the stuff is potent and will sneak up on you. So at least I tried to pace myself. We were each poured up four separate snifters and had to identify the subtle differences in taste. I thought I had Talisker nailed down, but was fooled by an Islay variety. I don’t think anybody there was able to correctly identify a brand, but we could all describe reasonable well the smells and flavors. Once those were emptied the next four glasses were brought out and we started all over again!

I started this 36x24 piece today. It’s an old stone wall from Bonnieux, Provence. And of course it will need some more orchestration tomorrow, as I fine tune things to see what I want to bring into the center of attention.

Richard Boyer

Friday, February 11, 2011


Here is the final version. The crit session helped last night with a few comments about the background trees and buildings behind the boats on the right side. I then washed out some of the color in the sunlit areas, which is a characteristic of intense sunlight and now it seems to read better.

Tomorrow night we are having a single Malt tasting session at the Strayers house. They have ten different bottles from the various regions in Scotland and one of the requirements is that every guest should bring a different bottle to add to the selection. So I went out yesterday and bought a bottle from the Highlands. This could be one of those evenings where the guests will need to be brought home in a wheel barrow!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I was all ready to paint yesterday, when an old friend from the University of Utah called. Dave Young was in town for an extended weekend and called to see if I wanted to go skiing. The night before a fast moving snow storm hit the mountains and dumped about two feet of fresh powder….I couldn’t say no!

So I blew off the day and met up with them to spend the day shamelessly skiing. We were planning on Snowbird, but since the canyon there was closed for avalanche control with no signs of opening up anytime soon, we switched over to Big Cottonwood Canyon. There we decided on Solitude Ski Resort, with the parking lot almost empty we figured they might offer the best shot at fresh, untracked snow.

Dave and Fred were on regular downhill skis, another on a snowboard and myself trying to keep up on three pin or telemark equipment. We tried every steep run they had to offer through the woods in search of some good powder and today my quads are feeling it. The sun was shinning all day long as we raced down to empty lift lines. By mid afternoon we were all pretty much burnt out. It was a killer day and worth skipping work!

That’s why I felt guilty and spent a longer day on this one trying to get it close to done. It still needs another session to pick on the small details and maybe I can do that tomorrow after spending the morning at Lina’s school.

I’ve been reserved as the token ceiling painter artist for much of the morning, as the kids balance on tables to reach up there for the Sistine Chapel project………..this should be interesting!

Richard Boyer

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, Feb. 7

Why are Mondays always filled with problems? I had to run a few errands this morning, so I figured “let’s be real efficient and do a bunch of thing at once”; like dropping off the DVD rental at the “soon to be out of business” Blockbuster Rentals. I got back home to start painting when the phone rang.

“Sir……there was only one CD returned, there should have been two!”

The other CD was still in the player…….damn!

So much for being efficient and the part that kills me is that it’s not the first time this has happened!

I worked a little more on the Amsterdam piece again; mainly bringing up the water and boats on the left side. There are quite a lot of highlights that still need to be added to the water, but with it being so wet, I find it easier to wait a day. This way the bright highlights don’t mix into the blue, which would tend to cool them off.

I’ll finish off the right side tomorrow, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a feeling I might be called into Lina’s school to finish up with their Sistine Chapel project. Their next phase is to paint or draw on the ceiling!

Richard Boyer

Friday, February 4, 2011


I finished off the “Horse Whisperer” piece today, adding small details here and there. Most of which I could have left alone and nobody would be the wiser. This piece has been through a few crit sessions now, so in my opinion it’s done !

The rest of the morning was spent working on the latest Amsterdam piece, which I am hoping I can finish off next week.

Skiing yesterday wasn’t that cold, when we arrived up there the sun was out and it felt quite warm. The car thermometer said 26 degrees, which is just right for skiing around the track. As Victor and Lina were in training I did ten kilometers and had a good workout. It was nice not to have your nose freezing off and my hands were actually sweating, as opposed to the frostbite on Tuesday.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, February 3, 2011


It’s up for another bitter cold day of track skiing at Mountain Dell. I think we might be a little warmer today, but only by a few degrees!

I worked on the Amsterdam piece again, adding the trees and some of the figure action around the bridge area. Always with the architectural pieces they seem to take longer than normal. And this one won’t be done for tonight’s crit session. Even though I lost a day teaching Lina’s class, that extra time still wouldn’t have been enough. With all the boats and information on the right side I can see this going on for at least another four to five sessions.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Well yesterday we froze ourselves up at Mountain Dell, when we left the temperature was 4 degrees ( -15 C ). The parking lot was quite empty; manly just the diehards were up there, the rest deemed it too cold to even make an appearance. After a few laps around the course I felt as if the nose and inside of my lungs were frozen solid. It didn’t seem to matter how much cloths you had on, the cold would just penetrate though when ever you stopped and stood around. I guess the real cold front is in the Midwest with some highs for the day in the negative numbers !

Today I forfeited painting and taught Lina’s class at the Salt Lake Arts Academy. Her teacher, Lamar Holly is working on the Renaissance period and when he heard from Lina that I was a living and practicing artist I was enlisted into helping them learn about perspective and Chiaroscuro (strong lights and shadows on the form ). All of this, of course came about in the period of the Renaissance.

He has an idea of having the student’s paint the ceiling like Michelangelo did. Somehow I was envisioning paint dripping all over the cloths and floor of the school and the department screaming at the mess. Lamar considering the outcome of the project and quickly switched over to oil pastels. I agreed it would be less messy and you would avoid those frantic phone calls from irate parents wondering how the Hell to get paint out of their child’s cloths!

I brought some of my paintings in to show the perspective that I use and we went into showing the group, one point, two point and three point perspective. Then they all had a go at it on paper as I went around to see their progress. I was amazed at the different levels at which they could draw, some mastered it quickly and others for the life of them, couldn’t understand the concept at all. I have a feeling this will be one of those projects they will remember for the rest of their lives. It should be fun.

For me it was an interesting learning experience as well

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A clip of our weekend ski tour

Here is just a small clip of the ski tour we did on Sunday in the mountains. We went in a few kilometers, found an open area and built a small fire on the snow to grilled hotdogs. I know it's not the most exotic meal, but fun the less.


I worked on some of the background buildings today. As I was painting it I noticed how most of the building were leaning this way and that. Seems over the centuries most of the foundations have settled and it is now quite rare to see anything perfectly straight. The little guard house to the left of the bridge is really leaning over to the left, almost to the point of falling over. All of which makes it easier to paint, one doesn’t have to spent so much time making sure all the lines are vertical, in this case it’s perfectly fine to be off with your perspective!

We have skiing this afternoon up at Mountain Dell again, and to add to the fun, the temperatures have plummeted. Tonight it might be below zero, that’s negative 18 Celsius for those in Europe. So looks like everyone will be putting on a few extra layers to keep warm.

Richard Boyer