Friday, September 30, 2011

So we had a large grouping at my place for the crit session last night. Besides the usual crowd we got a surprise visit from Robert Duncan and Bryce Liston; Robert lives and paints up in Midway, Utah so for him it’s an hour drive to my place. Bryce was having his Thursday evening figure painting session before the crit and they decided to pay a visit.

I’m always for having full time career artists at a crit session, the input to get the painting up to the level in which it will sell is priceless and who better to ask than an artist who is successful at selling in the galleries. And so I am grateful they came last night.

Here are links to those two artists

Today I worked on Charlotte walking through the dune grass. Some of the small changes were to add more of her waist in front of the basket and also to play down the detail in that basket. I defined parts on the face as well. Now I’ll set it aside in the studio and live with it for a bit. Maybe a few weeks from now I’ll see something that I could do to make it more appealing.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I didn’t get to much farther with the painting. I was side tracked into working on the frames. All in all I have build eight frames from a 9x12 up to the largest at 14x18. The only problem I am having now is dealing with the finish; I just can not seem to get it to look good. I’ve been using Rust-Oleum paints which I am sure are not the industry standard for frame makers. I painted a brown primer on first and added some red tones to it, and then after it dried I sprayed on black and tried to rub it off on areas where I wanted the red to show through. The main problem being that the black doesn’t rub off that easily and it tends to take off the underlying primer as well. I just need to research this a little better and see if I can come up with a more professional result.

Well here is what I did today.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Nothing compares to the furry and wrath of two female cats. This morning we let “Einstein”, our older cat in from being out all night, she wanted to replenish herself with something to eat and drink. But there in the middle of the living room floor was Mio, our latest cute little edition to the family. A kitten at six weeks of age is extremely curious and of course wanted to investigate our grumpy old alley cat, Einstein already has social issues with any kind of stranger let alone a new kitten. And she immediately let it be known.

The older cat started that obnoxious cat howl that is generally reserved for outside fights in the middle of the night below your window. Soon it was accompanied by hissing as Mio walked calmly up to Einstein, rather clueless about the potential danger of the whole situation. She ran right up to the time bomb.

Well the grumpy old cat started hissing uncontrollably and I walked over to shoo it away from the naïve little kitten. I stupidly thought maybe I could just pick up the older cat and put her back outside. Instantly I was covered in scratches all over my hands and arms; in what seemed like a split second the cat went ballistic on me. Words can not explain what came out of my mouth as I chased after Einstein. She knows my anger and was soon hiding some place on the second floor.

I was then by the kitchen sink with ice cubes on my fingers.

Here’s what I did today with bandages on my painting hand.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I really wanted to start another figurative piece today, but with real life obligations, I am committed to do a European landscape painting. Southam Gallery is moving into a new location, after thirty some odd years of being in a small narrow box on a street surrounded with abandoned buildings. Yup, they are moving up in the world, right down from the brand new City Creek Mall on Main Street and there grand opening will have a European flair. This is where I come into the picture; they called me and are looking for some catchy new Brugge paintings. They seem to have luck with my European works, meaning that this painting will most likely sell, so it comes first, business before pleasure as they say. The new spot will really be nice and a step upwards in location.

I’ve just blocked-in a vertical of the late afternoon sun racking across the canal. So I shouldn’t really complain, after all, this one will be fun to paint.

Richard Boyer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, sept 26

As it turns out we headed down to St. George, down to the heat of southern Utah and stayed in an air conditioned house one of the doctor’s sons owned. The next day they all took off to their seminar and Lina and I headed up to Snow Canyon. Now don’t let the name fool you, I wish there would have been snow there, at least some cooler temperatures, but that was not the case. Very soon Lina and I were baking in the mid-nineties.

We started out with a short hike in the shade, a small little box canyon called Jenny’s Canyon. At least there in the recesses of sandstone it was cooler.

Our next destination was not so pleasant. Out in the middle of the valley there exists an old lava field that once flowed some few million years ago. And in this jagged sun- backed rock oven there are what they call lave tubes; old remains of vent shafts where the lava spewed out over the surface. Now instead the black rock just radiates the heat as if it was still freshly molten.

Here is the entrance to one of them. I was hoping the caves would go on for miles, but alas they just went down about 20 to 30 feet and stopped. At least the temperature was cool down at the very bottom; it was most likely 68-70 degrees. I could have stayed there all day; But my daughter was pushing me back to the air conditioned house and the backyard pool. We hiked out in 100 degree heat and made a straight line back to the water.

On Saturday we drove up to a much cooler Cedar City some 45 miles north and 3000 feet higher in elevation. We had tickets to the Shakespearean Festival which has become very popular during the summer there. People from all over the world will come to partake and study acting.

We found a cute Bed & Breakfast, ate dinner next door at some small restaurant and walked to our 7:30 performance of “Dial M for Murder” It was well worth it, especially to escape the heat of St. George. For anyone near the area I would highly recommend taking in one of their plays, the ambiance and location is well worth it.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today it was the grass I worked on. The clouds still need some work, but that will have to wait until Monday.

We have been going back and forth with a trip to St. George here for the past few weeks. My wife has a lecture she needs to attend down there and her employer has rented a rather large house for everyone to stay in. The only problem being the forecasted temperature, which will be in the high 90’s; I was trying to avoid that heat wave. She was going to try and find somebody to carpool with for the five hour drive, but nothing came through. So it looks like I will be driving down after all. The one consolation is that the house does have a pool.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Here is today’s result. I worked on the face some more, mainly just checking details of her likeness. “When copying a woman, you had better make sure everything is spot on” The last thing you want to hear is the cold voice of, “I’m not that fat!”

I had to enlarge the hand a little also as I worked on the basket area. And that dress may need to be toned down, but I’ll see once I start massing in the dune grass.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I worked on the background clouds and her upper body today. There are a lot of blues in the skin tone from the sky, so I want to be sure and play those up where ever possible, especially when next to the warmer reflected light of the ground.

Richard Boyer

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, Sept. 19

I had this painting for a while at one gallery and got it sent back, as the proprietor usually put it, “We haven’t had much reaction on it!” Another words, something is wrong with it and we don’t want it anymore.

That being said I will usually put it in the studio and think about it for a week or two. And in this case it dawned on me that the painting needed more interest than just the carriage turning the corner. So I added some more greenery and flowers and broke up the wall a little to the right. Now I really think it has more to say. Again the real test is if it will sell or not! I was going to send it down to Ron at the May Gallery.

This other piece I also started today, it’s still just a quick block-in. When I was in southern Sweden in August I took a series of images of one of our relatives walking through the dune grasses. The wind was really blowing strong and it made for some nice effects.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The other small painting for the Howard Mandville’s show, I decided on a Brugge subject. This medieval town has always fascinated me after painting there several times. Where else can you find buildings from the 1300’s? In most European cities they build out of wood in the medieval times, so anytime a spark flew the entire town would burn up and they would have to start over again. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that most learned from their mistakes and started new construction out of fired brick.

Brugge started early on with brick since they cut down most of the forests near the town, they found it easier to fire bricks right on location.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The Howard/Mandville Gallery is having a miniature show in October. And I need to get them a few pieces before then. There seems to be a lot of galleries doing this; maybe the idea of selling something small just before Christmas might get people to think for ideas. “Just perhaps a few stocking stuffer items!”

Well I did this small 11x14 of a café in Amsterdam, actually the red light district in day time. If it was at night I would have to put in the “scantily clad evening ladies” and that might be harder to sell.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I finished off the Metz Cathedral painting. So now I can put it aside and look at in a few days to see what more it needs.

This afternoon I was going to work more on the frames that I am designing. I came up with a plaster relief pattern that will go around the inside edge of the frame. With modeling clay I made a rope pattern and then a silicone mold of that, so now I can just pour plaster into the mold and produce the same design to go around all the frames. I’m in the process of gluing them on to the wood now. Once that is complete I can gesso the entire frame with plaster design and work on the final finish.

Richard Boyer

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, Sept 12.

Saturday we had the Avenues Street Fair again and my job was to make and serve coffee in the morning while asking for a small donation. This, from what I have heard, is how you avoid getting a business license and charging sales tax which the committee at the Street Fair expects. Donations are tax exempt.

I borrowed the large peculator pots from the troups local church and got up at 7:00 in the morning to start the coffee for the fair. I told them I would have it all ready at 8:30 and poured the water in and opened up a pound of donated fresh ground beans in the top. The machine bubbled away and I thought all was fine as I made myself breakfast. Half an hour later it stopped making sounds and the little light went on. I thought it was done, until my wife came down and looked at it. “Aren’t you going to set this thing on?” The coffee at the top was bone dry; apparently the @%# machine didn’t heat the water up hot enough so it would peculate to the top. I tried the next machine and it leaked out from the bottom, another defect! Yup, the morning was off to a good start. After a frantic phone call, Martin showed up with a couple of replacement pots and I was able to get the coffee down there at ten in the morning.

We still ended up raising a couple hundred!

Sunday we did a steep hike up to Gobblers Nob from Millcreek Canyon. It was one of those trails designed by an amateur forest service employee, a trail that just went straight up 2000 feet at a thirty degree angle. Switchbacks were omitted.

After climbing up several thousand feet, your knees and leg muscles were feeling it. We finally arrived at the top for lunch. The views were spectacular looking down into Little Cottonwood Canyon. There we met another guy at the top who told us about a milder way of going down via the adjacent canyon and then switching back over to the path we took up. We agreed since the prospects of pounding your knee joints down a steep grade sounded painful.

The path was in fact less steep but about four times the distance in length. We made it back much later than we expected and as I expected the knee joints were aching

Richard Boyer

Friday, September 9, 2011


The crit went well last night and as usual I ended up with a lengthy list of small changes on the paintings I presented. Grant it most of the changes are so minuet that nobody would notice, but as artists must do, they will find something.

So, on this one I added some more color to the one side of the barn and added yellow to the grass.

Here I raised the shoreline behind the last boat and worked a little on the water. I also added Lilly pads to the back ground and even threw in a flower one of them for good measure.

The beach scene was also changed a little. The figure needed some work and I added some more pallet knife to the grasses, along with a few more flowers. And I worked a little more on the Metz Cathedral from yesterday. I figured it wasn’t worth a progress picture yet, that will have to wait until Monday.

We have the Avenues Street fair tomorrow, where they block off several blocks for artists and vendors set up their booths. I’ll be there serving coffee to get donations for the local Boy Scout troop 34. Its bound to be a fun event.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I got a call from one of the galleries yesterday. They have a client interested in the cathedral in Metz, France. So that was today’s project, an evening view with the church in light and the foreground in cooler shadows.

Here is a pic of the block-in, which I will work on more tomorrow. We have another crit session tonight so I’ll show it to them and get the group opinion.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Meet the newest addition to our household. We still need to find a name for the fuzzy thing ! I just have to keep it from scratching the paintings, since I am the designated caretaker during the day. It has free roam in my studio as long as I keep the door closed. We have another cat in the house that doesn’t like this new adopted child. On the first encounter our cat “Einstein” hissed and growled making it quite apparent that if we were to let go of kitty for even a second it would devour the prey for dinner. Our young kitty is oblivious to this life and death scenario!

I decided to try one more Zorn painting, a study he did of figures in water. The original is quite small, maybe 20x16; but in my case I went with a 24x18. This piece is where he introduced a fifth color into his pallet and used a green. From looking at the original one can tell it was done in one session as a sketch, nothing is really brought into detail and is left up to the viewer’s imagination. I tried my best to the same and figured I’ll let you be the judge of it.

Here is the original by Zorn


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We escaped up to the cabin for the long weekend, an excuse to get away from the heat in the valley. When we arrived Karin figured it would be a good idea to plant some trees, since the deer ate the ones we planted last year. This was already sounding like an annual event! But any ways we went down to the local hardware store in Kamas and bought three pine trees on sale. My job was to pull out the dead ones from last year and dig larger holes for the new ones. We also purchased a pick axe since as I found out the ground is composed mainly of rock. It seemed like every swing of the tool ended in a body wrenching thud against a large rock. After half an hour I had a small hole about the diameter of a bucket. The tree went in and I started on the other two. That evening I was feeling it in the muscles. A few gin and tonics help that.

The next day we decided to go exploring and picked out a lake just over the pass. Lake Cuberant was our goal and as usual the dog was right behind us waging its tail. On the map it was a three mile trip with another thousand feet of elevation gain. The lake itself was up at 10,500 feet and bound to be ice cold for swimming. The path took us by large meadows with streams wandering through the middle. A place where the dog instantly dove into the water to cool off; sending terrified fish darting left and right. After a while we hit the tales fields of the mountain and started a rather steep argues decent up the side. The lake was around the corner but up in a basin. We arrived several hours later at a pristine lake.

It was time for lunch. The dog jumped in the water again and sent ripples across smooth lake. So much for the “National Geographic” shot !!!

Richard Boyer

Friday, September 2, 2011


I’ve been trying to build some of my own frames, at least struggling to learn how. Rule number one would be to have a miter saw that cuts at exactly 45 degrees and not 45 and a half. So now none of the corners fit together tight and its going to be a @#% pain to get them to work right, at least to be strong. I have a feeling I’ll need to break out the Biscuit Jointer and the Pneumatic nail gun to keep everything from breaking apart.

I remember a friend of mine who had a frame shop eons ago and he had a large table saw built to cut at only a 45 degree angle. Alas the business went under and the saw was sold off at auction. The cost of one of those babies is several thousand, so I am forced to work under less than perfect conditions here with this stupid carpenters miter.

I tried another Anders Zorn study with the four colors again with so, so results!

This is the original by Anders Zorn.

Richard Boyer