Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I worked on a copy of Anders Zorn’s painting today: just to get a little practice into the way he thought a hundred years ago. With that in mind I also used his pallet of only black, white, yellow ocher and cadmium red light and yes, it was a learning experience for me.

I just did a close up of the head and left out most of the surrounding area.

This is the original done in 1889; he was 29 years old when he did it!!!

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Here are two more pieces I touched up from the trip. The smaller 9x12 was done in Hälsingland one evening when the fog rolled in. The scene reminded me of something out of Jack the Ripper. It was so thick you could barely see five hundred feet, but yet the sound would carry and you could hear conversations from far off.

This other 12x16 is done in Östhammar, it’s some old boat houses that seemed to have a little character.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday , Aug 29.

Over the weekend we had the Crayfish party with some friends up in the small town of Wanship. The beer was flowing and there were piles of the red crustaceans heaped up on the tables. They invited a large crowd of Swedes to gather up there and that usually means one thing. “Heavy drinking!” With caps and bibs on we all looked like guests of a five year olds birthday party.

I think Hank and I ate the most crayfish, we figured the amount of energy used to de-shell the things was the same energy you would get from eating it. Somebody had to tell Hank to stop after several hours. The Weber River flows through their yard so people were just throwing the shells in the water. It was decedent with shot after shot of snaps and song.

The following day was a little slow going though. I think most of Sunday was just lying around.

It was a good party!!!

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 26, 2011


The crit went well last night, organized and to the point. Yes, you guessed it: that one member who can ramble on and on, the one who always seems to break his wine glass, or spill it across the floor, wasn’t here. He was kicked out of his apartment in the summer for failing to pay the rent and now lives at a friends house in the middle of the valley; a distance too far to walk!

Well I worked on a few of the pieces from Sweden. This first one they wanted the door to the left closed, so I left it slightly open and it seems to lead the eye more towards the center of interest.

The next one I opened the barn door and brought up the color in the second barn in the back ground.

Ditto to this one also, I opened the barn door and distressed the wood a little more. Another words aged the barn 50 years, something the home owned would never approve of in reality.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Another hot day again, but still the work goes on. Here are two pieces I finished up. With the crit session being tomorrow I’ll see what the fellow artists will say, maybe it might be back to the drawing board for some of them?

I’m going to have to face the heat wave now and ride the bike down to Phillips Gallery to buy more stretcher bars. Its about a mile away and all downhill, the only problem is coming back up the steep incline in 96 degree heat. I ran out of 12x16’s; so if I want to paint tomorrow I better get them ready today.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It’s hot out today, 95 degrees (35 Celsius); what a contrast from Sweden. I feel like I’ve walked right into an oven. Right now I would much rather be back in the cool weather of northern Europe!

I spent the day just touching up some of the work I did over in Sweden. Mainly bringing more light into the pieces since they all seemed a little dark. Maybe it was the overcast skies that did it?

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday, Aug.22

Yesterday was the big Cray fishing day up at Strawberry Reservoir. Our friend Hank was up there early with some home made traps pulling them in left and right. He had five traps going and was amazed at the size and abundance of the crustaceans. Hank was pulling them in just a few minutes after placing them. When our family arrived up there at 11:30 he already had a cooler full of the beasts. It was my job to cook them all in the traditional Swedish style. I borrowed an industrial four burner gas stove that I was able to set up on the shore. With plenty of water, porter beer, crown dill and salt I went to work. Two pots going and the production started. We were able to process them all. It’s generally a grueling procedure since all the Crayfish have to be systematically cleaned out by placing them in a series of clean water tubs, before they are boiled. We were finally done around six in the evening and I was exhausted, ready to sit down with a cold beer. But that was not to be, we still had an hour and a half drive back to our house.

Here is a short video clip Markus did of the life of a Crayfish. Unfortunately all the ones in the trap are slated to be executed !

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 19, 2011


I’m back in the USA and waking up every morning at 5:00am. God I hate jet lag!

Usually the best solution is to have a bottle of red wine, and then you sleep like a log through the night. The flight actually went well; I was some what expecting major chaos at JFK airport from the descriptions Karin and Markus were giving on their return flight. But with our trip the plane actually landed at the same terminal for our next flight out to Salt Lake. After hauling the luggage through customs we left it at the connecting flight area and went through a no-line security, up the stairs right to the gate. Some thing must have changed in their routine, since before you had to go to another terminal and through a long line for security. Who knows maybe they got wise at JFK.

After spending yesterday downloading all the pictures I took, unpacking and cleaning all the dried paint off the pallet; I was ready to paint again.

This one I just added a bit more contrast too.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It’s our last day in Sweden with overcast skies. I seem to have mixed feelings about going back, back to reality, back to the grind of everyday living. As Grandma use to say, “All good things have to come to an end!”

Right now we are packing and trying to keep the weight of the suitcases under the limit of 23 kilos. If not, then Delta will just smile and charge you some over the top fee for being heavier. With my easel and painting gear I am always at the limit, so I have to transfer over weight to the kid’s bags. It’s all a juggling game to fit in all the accumulated stuff you picked up along the way.

Next entry will be from Salt Lake City, unless we get stuck at JFK, which wouldn’t surprise me !

Richard Boyer

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It was a long drive yesterday; with the lunch stop and another slight embarrassing complication. We were on the road in a packed car for ten hours from Skåne to Östhammar. The road seemed to never end. Even after we got home, with a wine in hand at the end of the day I still felt like I was driving along a freeway.

So what was the embarrassing situation?

I hesitate to actually tell it, it’s something I never could imagine myself doing. Along the E4, the main four-lane highway that runs the length of Sweden, after just leaving Skåne at the southern tip we needed to stop for gas. We looked for the signs and took the first one just off the highway. I filled up while Lina and Elsie went to the bathroom located outside around the side of the building. I met Lina as she came out and watched her heading back to the car. I had to wait a bit for somebody else to come out of the bathroom before I could go in, cursing the gas station for only having one restroom. After finishing my business I came out and saw Elsie waiting in the car. Victor was fast asleep in the back seat, so I didn’t want to disturb him.

With Elsie in the passenger seat I felt that all were waiting for me, after all I took a while to get back to the car. Elsie made the comment, something to the effect that everything was ready to go and now we had a full tank of gas. I pulled out and was soon driving at 130 kilometers an hour north on the E4, looking at the farm country, as we zipped past. The backseat was quiet I figured both were asleep. The rear-view mirror was adjusted at a higher angle so I could see out over the top of the luggage and didn’t give me a view of the kids.

That’s when Elsie’s mobile phone rang to her surprise. The voice at the other end was asking if we had a little girl called Lina. Elsie started laughing thinking it was some kind of a joke from her relatives. I sat up to get a better view of the back seat in the mirror. Where Lina sat was empty, Victor was fast asleep in the other seat. I had a quick rush of panic and yelled out for Lina, halfway expecting her to pop up from behind the seat. I yelled out again louder and called back to Victor, who was just waking up with all the commotion. That’s when I realized we forgot my daughter at the gas station. Elsie told the concerned employee at the station that it was in fact our lost child.

We had managed to drive ten minutes without noticing the kids in the backseat. I did my best not to panic and looked for the next exit to turn around at. The sign said two kilometers, in my mind it might as well have been 20, it seemed to take forever. On the drive back we looked for the Shell gas station where we filled up at; a task not that easy from a different direction. We pulled off at one exit only to find out it was the wrong Shell gas station. I had a feeling it was farther than we thought and got back on the highway heading south.

Finally in what seemed like an hour we found Lina calmly waiting in the store with a magazine in her hand. The employee there had done a quick Internet search and pulled up Elsie’s mobile number when Lina told her that we took off without her. We thanked her profusely and hugged my nervous daughter with a thousand apologies. Apparently as she was heading back to the car, decided to run in the gas station store to just kill time and look at a few things. None of us realized this and assumed the car was fully loaded ready to go.

As they say it only takes once, then it will never happen again.

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 12, 2011


Yesterday we decided to tour “Slottsholmen”, maybe better known as Malmö Museum of culture and history. With non-stop rain it was a better option than driving along the coast. The forecast seems the same for today also, our last day here as another front moves through southern Sweden. According to the newspaper tomorrow should be sunny as we sit in a car for eight hours driving back to Östhammar. So #@%& typical !!!.

Well I have to see the trip this way, at least we had one good day on the beach in sunshine where I managed to squeeze off a painting and I did get plenty of pictures of Charlotte. She was the girl in the “Horse Whisperer” painting. Over two days where the sun would peek out behind rain clouds I managed to get her in different scenes with a variety of clothing; so now from 2000 odd pictures I should be able to find a few paintings to do. Most of the clan down here think I’m crazy any ways for taking so many, but what can I say, when you get it all back home in the dead of winter it never seems like you took enough images.

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
 Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
 the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
 Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,”

Here’s an old Viking from the museum they found in the area.

The next picture is my son playing around in the exhibition about the Black Plague. They had a cart set up in a dark corner with a plaster cast of a dead body on it. He decided to enhance the effect a little.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The rain is pouring down today. We had planned to do a small trip up along the coast, but are waiting now for a break in the weather. Right !!!

Yesterday in the late afternoon we took the train over to Copenhagen to meet up with Lina. From where we are here out in the country it took about 45 minutes with the new bridge, quite an achievement in modern engineering. Now anyone form southern Sweden can hop on the train and get quickly to Copenhagen’s international airport, the first stop across the sound.

I did a small YouTube clip of last years adventure, but with the rain this time I decided to just take the camera. We were only going over to meet her at Osterpoort, the train station a few stops after the central station.

We drove the car and parked it at Hyllie train station just outside of Malmö and after waiting ten minutes we were on a high-speed train racing across the bridge. There is a man-made island in the middle of the channel they build to change the rail line and road over from the bridge to an underground tunnel. There they basically sunk tubes down to the sea bottom and welded them together to make it airtight. Not a very comforting thought when the train starts it’s downward decent into the depths. One leak and everyone would be gone!!!

Well after a few minutes we were seeing daylight coming up into Denmark. We stayed on to Osterpoort and met Lina with he friend’s family. There we exchanged greetings and small talk and were back on a return train 15 minutes later. Siwert, our Skåne relative thought the whole operation went very slick. We were back for dinner within a short time.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We loaded Elsie in the car with the four of us and took a drive through the countryside and along the coast. The rain was coming down as usual, but we figured it wasn’t worth just sit around, depressed in the house wishing for a better day, its just not going to happen with rain predicted the entire week here. So we ventured out, taking a drive down memory lane for Karin’s mother. First was a stop at “Johanna’s Museum”. This man born sometime around 1912 started out as a car mechanic and builds his first car; from then on he began collecting old items from cars, bikes, tools and anything else you could imagine. The museum is filled with these things all in pristine condition and most of which you can handle. Great for those of us who like to press the old horns on the Model T’s and see how loud they echo in the building.

Our next stop was a farmhouse the family owned back when I met Karin. At the end of a long dirt road out in the middle of the fields was the small stone house. We use to spend some time here eons ago it seems. But now the place looks so much different, they had renovated it up to modern standards. We knocked at the door but nobody was home.

From there we drove a short distance to the coast and walked around the windy shoreline. With the storm clouds rolling in it made for some nice contrast. The waves were crashing along the break wall and spray was flying up in the air. It was a nice summer day with everybody in sweaters and raincoats!

Here are a few pictures.

Richard Boyer


Here is the game we played earlier on with the relatives. A slightly different version of soccer.

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, Aug 8

We are now down in Skåne at the very southern tip of Sweden. And its harvesting season down here, everywhere you look there are people out with the columbines cutting down tracts of wheat and oats. It turns into a mad rush to get everything cut before the rains arrive. The ground and the hay itself all has to have a certain percent of moister, it’s actually down to quite a science. If the rain gets everything wet again, they are committed to waiting a few days until the crops can dry out. The whole week here is looking very sketchy with rain every other day.

Well since I am not a farmer, we decided to go to the beach this morning. It was sunny with nice large fluffy clouds in the sky. Falsterbo was our location and with the wind blowing hardly anyone was there. I decided to do a small painting up in the dunes as the rest swam in the sea. I was having a fun time in the sun painting the blowing dune grass. I’ll have to improvise some people into it later to give it more interest.

We just dropped Lina off at the train station; she has a friend in Copenhagen and will be visiting them for the next two days. They came over by train to pick her up late this afternoon and we will do the same over there on Wednesday. On the way back from the station we watched a wall of dark clouds moving across the fields; a dark front coming from Denmark. The clouds had that eerie greenish blue color that one might be concern about if you lived in Kansas. Instead we got hit with the torrent down pour. So we are back at Elna and Sivert’s house now enjoying Gin & Tonics on a glass porch.

Richard Boyer

Friday, August 5, 2011


Tomorrow we will be driving down to Skåne, located at the very southern tip of Sweden. There they have a nice sandy coastline with an abundance of dunes where I have done many a painting. The easel is already in the car! This is where Elsie’s family comes from, and I should add that it is a very large family tree down there. It feels like most of the members of the village are some how related to her is some way or another. From here the drive will take about nine hours, even more since they are doing all this road construction through Stockholm. It would be nice if you could by-pass the city, but since it is surrounded by water the closest alternative would be hundreds of kilometers out of the way to the west.

One of the problems about being an artist, especially around relatives, is that you are asked on occasions to use your artistic ability in some way or another; be it to judge what looks best or if a color works well with something. Such was the case with Karin’s sister; they wanted to know if I wouldn’t mind throwing something up on the wall of their back porch. Its basically a three seasoned enclosed area which they have painted white inside and then realized it could use a little extra color here and there. They gave me artistic license to come up with something, so I painted a quick vine with flowers on it. I guess it’s one of the perks of having an artist in the family! Actually in Sweden painted furniture is quite common and during the long cold winters became quite an art form. Each region of the country developing it’s own distinctive style. A tour through Anders Zorn or Carl Larsson’s house and you will really notice the meticulously painted cabinet doors and furniture painted from the area.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 4, 2011


After dropping Karin off at the airport and waiting around for an hour as they did their long-winded security check. Asking important queries as to what you have and who packed it, so just for a moment lets try to visualize the terrorist answering these questions truthfully and to the best of his knowledge!!!

Markus friend actually had a camping knife in his carry-on that he forgot about, it made it though from Salt Lake City all the way to Stockholm. “So much for security checks.”

We took a short drive up to Öregrund today. The sun was out and the idea of sitting on a rock by the sea sounded ever so inviting. From our vantage point we could look out over open water and although you can’t see it; across the other side of the sea would be Finland. We basked in the sun for much of the afternoon. Now I know how those Walruses feel on the nature channel, not a care in the world!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We are still having sunshine here; it’s almost unbelievable for Sweden. Yesterday we drove about 30 kilometers south to Karin’s brothers house in the middle of a large track of land. I am jealous; they bought a nice place in the country right by a lake. Several of the structures are from the early 1800’s, with the main house up on a hill overlooking the water. It would be the perfect spot for a studio with plenty of subject matter to keep an artist busy for some time.

They have eleven hens and two rosters. The family has decided that two is more than enough; they tend to make a lot of racket in the morning, playing off of each other. And since the sunrises here rather early in summer, one of them has to go. With the coming of fall, the old roster will get the ax and be “coq de vin” for dinner.

Karin fly’s back tomorrow and I will stay on another two weeks with Victor and Lina. We have a trip to southern Sweden planed with Karin’s mother.


Richard Boyer

Monday, August 1, 2011


Nothing like a summer cold. A week ago Victor came down with a fever that soon developed into the classic runny nose and coughing misery. It was the inevitable time bomb waiting to move through the family, we were taking bets on who would be the next victim. It was Karin a few days ago, and now its me. I’ll be confined to a box of tissues for the next few days !

Yesterday afternoon the sunny weather finally arrived. I went out to do a painting down the road of some sheep in the morning and started under cloudy skies, which is always nice to paint in since you don’t have the glair of the sun on your canvas. An hour and a half later I was in full sun and had to quit; but at least I go a good start. I kept talking to the sheep as I painted, they can actually be quite social, asking them to keep still; but that didn’t get me too far! They would just look at me and run up the hill.

We’ll spend the day here then head back to Östhammar tonight.

Richard Boyer