Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, Oct 31.

It’s that time again. The time when all those small kids wearing plastic Spiderman masks come timidly to the door and stand there in bewilderment; or at least until a parent off in the distance yells out for them to say “Trick or Treat”.

We have the crosses and spider webs set up outside; the pail of candy ready as well as some hot cider with vodka for the adults who need some warming up. I know this for previous cold Halloween nights with the kids when they were small. They would keep warm running back and forth from house to house, the adults on the other hand were most of the time freezing with hands in their pockets waiting on the sidewalk. A stiff drink offered by a caring neighbor could make all the difference in the world.

In our neighborhood some have really caught the fever. Here you can see some people have gone the whole nine yards with the Volkswagen on the front lawn. It will be a must to visit them tonight.

Last night we had some friends over for dinner and pumpkin carving. Here is the result after gin and tonics.

And this was today’s project. It’s the last painting for Jim at Mockingbird Gallery, since I need to get them all in the mail today and off to the Friday show in Bend, Oregon. This small 16x12 is a scene from Wizard Falls and it really does have this dark greenish blue colored water. The river flows over an old lava bed and is a popular tourist spot. just north of Bend.

Richard Boyer

Friday, October 28, 2011


Last night we attended a party at Southam Gallery, they invited all the artists and spouses down for a dinner and drink to celebrate a month of good sales. They also pulled out some vintage VHS videos of their opening night thirty years ago. Many of the artists at her gallery are older than me and it was cool to see them all so young back in the eighties. Kim, Linda’s daughter was only twelve at the time they opened their doors for a show on Dan Baxter.

I remember doing a show with him up at the Kimball Arts Center in Park City eons ago. I had Randall Lake, a still life artist as a teacher during my first year at the University of Utah and several years later decided it would be good to get a little jump start on the artistic career. So with that in mind I went to the Kimball Arts Center and asked them if they would be interested in a show of some of the prominent Utah artists. They said yes; so I then went to Randall Lake told him about it and got him to ask his other colleges if they might want do the show. Dan and Ken Baxter came onboard as well as about three others. I was the unknown artist tagging along on their coat tails, but it got me some attention and a few writ-ups in the paper. As a beginner I was happy to get my foot in the door, I don’t think I sold anything, but the exposure was worth it.

Here is a small 12x16 for the Mockingbird Gallery, it still needs a little more work to the water, so that will have to wait until Monday.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Southam Gallery has been on a roll selling art work like crazy, so I’m happy for that. That’s the kind of news any artist likes to hear. I think for me it’s been close to eight pieces in the last three weeks and I also sold one small 12x16 down in Moab over the weekend. Kim was having a fund raiser for the Moab Trail Alliance, and I put a few pieces in thinking nobody would be buying art work in little old Moab, but I was wrong!

It paid for the trip down there!

Today I worked more on the Mockingbird Gallery piece, finishing off the water with some highlights and adding some warmth to the cabin, which helped a lot.

Richard Boyer

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, Oct 24

Our trip to Moab was fun and not just because of the warm weather and gorgeous fall colors; but more so from the workouts everyday.

On Friday Kim wanted to go exploring up one of the local canyons in Moab. Through her property runs a small stream called Mill Creek which starts somewhere up in the lofty heights of the La Sal Mountains. On its way down to the mighty Colorado River it passes through a beautiful sandstone walled valley called Mill Creek Valley. I was more into the hike for the fall colors since the Cottonwood trees were just screaming yellow against the orange and red cliffs of the canyon.

We followed a meandering stream up with camera in hand, here are a few shots.

Farther up we ran into some pictographs up on the wall. The hike took a few hours and then we were back for burgers at the local hangout called Milt’s. Then that afternoon we were up at the Slick rock trails to do the practice loop with my daughter. The up and down steep slick rock can be a challenge with the gears of a mountain bike, as Lina soon found out.

The next day the other half of the family showed up and we all headed back up to the Slick rock trails again. Karin took Lina on the practice loop and I naively headed out with the boys on the radical ten mile injury loop. A crowd of bikers were at the top of one steep downhill decent that had a nasty forty-five degree angle to the side limiting your traction on the rock. The boys raced down it somewhat oblivious and continued on. I, on the other hand timidly started off and found my wheels slipping out from beneath me and sliding down the eighty grit sandpaper on my side in an embarrassed heap at the bottom.

I knew from then on that this ride was going to be painful at my age. My bones were not made of rubber anymore, nor did I have that on-call adrenaline pump that most teenagers have. I watched them disappear up another steep incline as I huffed and puffed behind. Five miles out we reached the apogee, a rather nervous overlook point above the Colorado River 800 feet below. An energy bar would have been nice right about then, or maybe a Paraglider down to the cool river water below.

After several hours and endless hills of up and down slick rock I was able to make out people standing at the trailhead far off in the distance. My energy had run out several miles back and I was now walking up sections with bike in hands that were too steep to peddle, as twenty years pumped their way up past me with piston like efficiency. I promised myself to look into buying some newer legs.

We finally made it back to the parking lot, where my body felt like rubber. I had the luxury of sitting in the car for the four mile drive back down to Moab; the boys decided to ride their bikes down.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I still need to work more on the water, but at least I got most of the foliage in place. Once the highlights are on the water I can adjust some of the values better. So all in all it’s coming along and getting close to done, at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Tomorrow we are leaving on our Fall break, the kids have off from school so we are heading down to Moab for some mountain biking. We have some friends down there where we will be staying, which will be good since I have a feeling it might be crowded in southern Utah with the rest of Utah having the same idea.

Kim, whose house we are staying at is putting together a fund raiser on Saturday at one of the local mansions down there and I was asked to bring some art work along to try and sell at the show. I have a couple river pieces and European scenes. The big question will be if they sell or not, fund raisers have never been a big market for art work in my eyes, but it’s worth a try and it should be a fun event with catering and wine.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, Oct. 17

The Mockingbird Gallery is having a show at the beginning of November, so Jim, the owner wanted to know if I could do a few pieces for it. I said yes! This one I block-in last week and worked on so more today. It’s a scene up in the Cascade Range just outside of Bend, Oregon; a place called Camp Sherman.

I painted in the background pine trees and cabin rather quickly just to get the basic values started. Once I get the water in with all the highlights, then I can start to orchestrate the painting and bring up the areas that I want more detailed and blur out those parts I want to recede.

Its fall break with the kids this Thursday, so I’ll try to get most of this close to done before I leave. We have a little bike riding to do on the slick rock in Moab, Utah; which should be fun.

Richard Boyer


Location: 7000 feet up at the cabin.

Our goal was to chop up all the collected wood we got several weeks ago into the right length for the fireplace. This can be said to be the most manliest of professions. To take an over weight chain saw in one hand and single handedly chop up large logs into bight sized pieces to be split into smaller sections with the swing of a heavy axe. Yes, from such actions are the legions of the “Manliness of man” made of.

So after stopping at the factory outlet stores to buy cloths for Victor and Lina and a short stop at the local “Home Depot” in Park City to pick up a chain saw we headed up to the cabin. There I took out the device, filled it up with gas and oil for the saw blade and pulled the starter cord to fire it up…….. nothing. I tried again,….. still nothing. I just couldn’t get it to start. Four letter words began to flow out of my mouth. So I sat down and decided to read the instruction manual, not the manliest of things to do, but at least I had to figure out why it wasn’t starting up. My visions of a butch muscle loaded chain saw operator were vanishing. I was after all a city slicker, clueless of the art of swinging a Halloween gas driven death machine around in one hand.

I sheepishly when down to my next-door neighbor Mark for help. Mark is the kind of guy who re-builds front-end loaders in his spare time for fun. His entire basement has been converted into a car mechanics workshop with every tool imaginable for reconstruction of the most sophisticated gas powered device. His first response to me was “Is there gas in it?” Okay, I may be from the city, but I’m not that stupid, “Yes, there is gas in damn saw!” was my reply. He looked it over like somebody who knew what he was doing and pulled the starter cord several times. My manliness was saved; he couldn’t start it on the first try.

He looked at me and said, “Sometimes these things are a little hard to start for the first time!” and pulled a little harder on the cord. It started up with a gray puff of smoke. He swung it around like somebody who had been doing it since he was a child. I was saved, the store bough device worked. I thanked him and tried to start it myself. This was more or less out of embarrassment since the last thing I wanted was to come back again with a look on my face of not being able to start up a simple chainsaw.

It worked just fine from then on and I was able to cut up all our logs into usable firewood. We are now enjoying a warming fire in the house with enough wood to last for several seasons. At least when I get back to Salt Lake City, I don’t have to mention that my neighbor started it for me!

Richard Boyer

Friday, October 14, 2011


I finally dropped this one off at Southam Gallery. After playing around with different light scenarios on the umbrellas; I decided on just this simpler version that you see now. Sometimes the easiest solution is the best!

This afternoon as I walked in with the painting; so did the clients that were coming down to look at it as well. It was nice to meet the couple with their daughter. They already own a work of mine, so it was good to put some faces with names. We chatted about the old town of Brugge with their building dating back to the 1300. They had been there before and fell in love with the canals.

This weekend we are heading back up to the cabin to chop wood into smaller pieces.

It’s good to be a lumberjack!!!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Okay back when I was a student I learned very quickly that there was a limit on how long food would keep in the refrigerator. When it starts to turn that classic off gray color or develop patches of green growing like grass; it’s safe to say to throw it in the garbage can.

Now when it comes to items in a box I tend to be rather clueless. Such was the case last night with a box of taco shells. I pulled a chair up to reach the upper shelves in the cupboard and discovered a box of the store bought corn shells, blew off the dust and thought nothing more about it as I prepared the fixing for a taco dinner for the family. My wife was still at work and I had to get Lina and Victor feed before a parent teacher conference that evening.

When everything was ready I called them both and we sat down to eat. “These taco shells taste funny!” was Lina’s remark, “Kind of like chemicals”

Maybe they are just a little old, I responded

Victor made the comment that they tasted like cardboard. At least I figured that paper products are safe to eat, so they couldn’t be that bad?

They did taste like old cardboard, but once you filled them with the hamburger meat, hot sauce, lettuce and tomatoes; they were actually not bad. After all with most hot sauces you could be eating cardboard and not know it!!!

I did know it though at four in the morning as my stomach began to churn into knots and for the next hour or so I was back and forth to the porcelain God in the bathroom.

Now I’ve learned that it does make a big difference how old something is in a box, at least with Taco shells

After cleaning out the rest of my system this morning I worked on the painting here; adding some more contrast and a basket of flowers. It’s a least ready for the crit session tonight.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I decided to add the flowers and work a little on the field they are standing in. This will make it look as if they belong there and not floating in some mysterious green mist. I can also see that I need some more contrast in the girls. That will be tomorrow’s project.

So this bright sunny afternoon I brought down a bunch of paintings to Southam Gallery here in Salt Lake City. They sent out this flier last week to all their customers that read “after 30 some odd years they are finally closing our doors!”

After that length of time they have amassed a rather large cliental base. And naturally many are coming in with a concerned look asking why and having a last look around. Reality is that it gets them in the door and they usually walk out with something. They also inform them that they are not really closing, but moving down the street. Yes, a moving sale, but for me it hasn’t been too bad: they have sold several paintings so far with a few more in consideration.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It’s been a while since my last confession, as they say in the Catholic Church. Maybe I’m just getting ready for the religious showdown between the Mormons and the southern Baptists. Mitt Romney has retaliated, and now the ball is back in Texas!

We did end up buying a car yesterday, so in usual car dealership fashion, we were tied up most of the afternoon. Our car of choice was a Subaru Outback, something good for the snowy roads here in Utah and I might add something with higher clearance on those rocky dirt roads.

I started two new block-ins on Friday.

One for Jim at the Mockingbird Gallery

and one for myself

And today I worked on the figures a little in this piece. I have a feeling this one will take some time until it right

Richard Boyer

Thursday, October 6, 2011


It’s the second day of storms rolling through the valley; with darkness prevailing and an over all sense of gloom. I just remember the You-Tube video clip of “Johnny Nice Painter”…, black like the precession of night that leads us into the valley of despair !!!

Its classic, what can I say:

An hour ago we saw snow flakes coming down, they were short lived but at least it gave you an idea of the outside temperature. The one silver lining is that it is a good start for the ski season; the mountains above 8000 will be getting several feet after the system moves out on Saturday.

I worked more on the background today, since tomorrow I would like to move on to the figures. It’s a little bit of logistics getting the scene behind the girls finished off before I start painting them.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Dark rain clouds are hanging over my studio, in fact the entire week is forecasted to have these dark storm clouds. So how the Hell am I suppose to get any work done!!!

Every time the rain starts up the studio just goes black like night. I know I am exaggerating a little, but when you are trying to paint under natural light the right amount of daylight means everything.

Well here is what I got done today. I just worked on the proportions for the figures.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I was back to the Brugge painting today, working on the water and tree to the right. It still needs a little bit here and there, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

This 30x24 I also blocked-in of Charlotte in the wheat field, it should be a fun one top do!!!

Richard Boyer

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, Oct. 3

Over the weekend it was lumber jack time up at the cabin. Our wood supply was getting low and since winter comes early up at that elevation, we had to go out and collect dead wood. This is actually quite an easy thing to do; once you drive up into the Uinta National Forest you’ll find fallen trees everywhere. We found a good spot halfway up the dirt road at Soapstone Basin; just past the cabins there by the side of the road we found several large pine trees that had fallen down. With our small bow saw we cut up the logs into six to eight foot lengths and filled up the car three times. It was hard work hauling large logs around and cutting them up into manageable pieces; but now I think we have a good winters supply. We just need to cut them all up into smaller lengths for the fireplace. I think we were far too tires to do that this weekend, so it’ll be next week.

I decided to start another painting today of the relatives in Sweden. It’s a scene where they were all picking flowers on the side of a small hill.

Richard Boyer