Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, Nov 29.

Yesterday and today I worked on the Grand Canyon piece, finishing off the cliffs more on the right side and adding the rafters on the water. Now it looks like another one of those lazy days floating down the river, watching all the killer scenery go by. As they say it is a trip of a life time.

I’ll put the painting aside now and think about it for a few days to see what else it could use.

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 28, 2011


The quest for knowledge in painting is something that will follow the artist until death.

I did a painting of Charlotte and her horse a while back; using some reference material I shot two summers ago while in Sweden. Not knowing a whole lot about horses I copied the images at hand for the painting and sent it off to the gallery. Within a short while the owner, in this case Jim Peterson from Mockingbird in Bend, Oregon called me and told me a few of the negative client comments. I screwed up; I had gotten the horse wrong, too wide in the front shoulders and too fat of a neck. What could I say; my knowledge of horse anatomy was not that of Bill Anton!

I brought the failed painting out for one of the critique sessions and Bryce Liston’s first comment was, “ Why don’t you call up Robert Duncan, he has horses?” Within a few days Bryce told Robert and I was scheduled to head on up to Midway, Utah and photograph some horses to get it right. If his horse weren’t right, then he had a neighbor with a half dozen that might fit the ticket. We were heading up to the cabin any ways this weekend and figured Saturday at Robert’s would work, after all he was only about 15 miles away from our cabin.

It’s nice working with another established artist, who knows his way around horses. Within a few minutes he had his neighbor’s horse in a halter and was holding it in the right position in the barn. I was clicking several frames a second to capture just the precise angle, another words gaining valuable information form a digital camera about horse anatomy. Maybe, just maybe I can re-paint the beast right from the images I took.

It just dawned on me that true artist do this all the time. The process of learning about a subject matter for a painting will probably never end. There will always be something new to paint that I have know idea about. Something that I have to learn about before I can capture it on canvas.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In the back of the studio I had an unresolved painting of the Grand Canyon, one of those year and a half unresolved pieces. So I broke it out and saw what I thought was wrong. I had a more downward view of the river, as if you were floating a hundred feet above the water. With that in mind I lowered the perspective in the cliffs and brought up the water level. Now I think with some rafts and people floating down the river it might make for a nice painting.

So here is what I did today, the water and foreground cliffs are still unresolved.

I would like to wish all the Americans a Happy Thanksgiving and try not to eat everything in sight; it makes the house pets rather nervous!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I worked more on the café piece today bringing up the contrast and colors; so maybe, just maybe it might be close to done. I’ll look at it after the holidays and see what else it could use with a fresh eye.

Last night we had our model session at Rick’s place and I settled in on a portrait. Its one of those pieces where I feel if I had another session I could really nail it down to a finished painting. But then again the whole reason for the model session is to get quick at painting the figure during the heat of the battle. Trying to get a finished piece done in that small amount of time.

Richard Boyer

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, Nov.21

It’s going to be a short painting week with the holiday. So with that in mind I started a small 10x16. It will be another café painting for the Mockingbird Gallery show this January.

I just blocked it in and added a few figures. Tomorrow I can spend more time on it and bring up the colors better. The scene is in Gordes, Provence.....one of my favorite spots to paint!!!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I worked some more on the boat painting since we have crit night. The piece could still use a bit more sunlight, but I think it’s best to wait on that and see it with a fresh eye tomorrow.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Does anyone remember “The Borg” from “Star Trek the next generation”, with their line’ ”You will be assimilated…..resistance is futile!”

That’s what happened to an old painting lying around the studio today. It was assimilated, used as raw material to serve a greater cause! Several years ago I did this view over Stockholm’s Gamla Stan with some boats parked out in front. The painting didn’t really work for several reasons, but it did the rounds any ways to a few galleries and understandable never sold. Well this morning I took it outside and sanded the high spots of paint off and decided to start another boat painting using some of the similar underlying colors.

I’ve seen Richard Schmid do this to one of his older works and the results can sometimes be quite exciting. So with that in mind here is what I started today. There is more to do for tomorrow. I intend to play up the water quite a bit with the reflections of the boats and masts.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So how do you fit a six person corner sofa in the car?

Buy it from IKEA in boxes and stuff the car full. That’s what we did on Sunday; we needed a new sitting arrangement for the TV room, since the odd collection of old chairs were falling apart. So off we drove to the mega store in the south end of the valley and bought a nice large corner sofa collection. We asked the sales person how big it was for the car and she informed us that it all came in boxes. Another words you had to build the thing, including stretching the fabric over the padded frame with Velcro fasteners. Now that it is done it really looks nice in the room, but it was a major two day project to get it all assembled.

I worked today on the painting of Charlotte and the flowers, fine tuning things here and there. It’s to the point now where I’ll have to set it aside and see what it could use in a week from now.

The next small 12x16 I worked on was an older plein air piece I did up in Bend, Oregon. I didn’t really have time to finish it off on location like I would have wanted it. With an approaching storm it needed much more drama in the lighting. Now I think it reads better. The area is a popular climbing destination called Smith Rock.

Richard Boyer

Friday, November 11, 2011


We had the crit session last night and without the usual wine glass breaking member, it went rather smoothly. I showed this piece and got a few ideas on changes which I worked on today. So now I can call it done. That’s what I always say until it sits around in the studio for a week or two.

I also worked more on the wheat field in this piece. I will add some more blues to the grasses and whiten up her shirt so it will have a more harmonious feel.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, November 10, 2011


With the crit tonight I decided to get back on the figurative work again. I changed a few things around on her face; or as the Mafia members would put it, “I rearranged her face a little!” The reality was I wanted to capture Charlotte’s likeness more.

Next I blocked in more of the shirt and hands. It still is not the way I want it to look, but as I bring up the background and other parts I can always fine tune her features more and more. I went out yesterday and bought an extra easel to hold a giant mirror I had lying around in the basement. Now it is set up behind me, so I can just turn around and look at the painting in reverse. It’s amazing the mistakes you can then pick up; stupid little errors that you never notice as you work on it, but when looked at in the mirror they just pop out as glaring blunders.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


“The Evolution of a painting”

Several years back I did this painting of Gordes, Provence; thinking it was good and sent it off to the gallery. Years past by and the painting slowly migrated upstairs to a less prominent location; the crowds were just not reacting to the work, mo real interest. So as the concern artist, you call up the gallery and inquire why? They usually fire back with the proverbial expression that the painting is fine, lovely work, but that it just hasn’t found the right owner yet. To the artist this means the kiss of death, you fucked up somewhere, you just didn’t give it the snap, the “Je ne sais pas quoi?” it needs to sell.

Well after a few years it arrives back in my studio and sits against the wall for another six months gathering dust. You soon realize that this stack of older paintings is getting larger and larger over the course of time. So I will usually pull it out and look it over with a different eye; an eye that is some what wiser over time and maybe just a little more experienced.

“What about adding a stormy sky?”

“How about changing the light so it is coming more from the side?”

“And you think maybe a road leading the viewer into the picture with some summer dried grasses in the foreground!”

You begin to realize that maybe it just needed more drama, more contrast, or more detail in few areas. Before you know it you are having fun re-painting the piece in a different mind set; creating a new painting form the ashes of the old.

Now I will see how it does?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Just out of curiosity this is how our backyard looked on Saturday, the clouds rolled in and the snow was flying. In the end we had several inches on the ground. As I look out now it has all melted except for a few patches still remaining in the cold shadows. I’m hoping it all melts away since we still have leaves to rake up.

We had our model session over at Rick Grahams place last night and here is my result. Her name is Hillary. I have some photos of her so I might just finish it up a bit more. We actually got a nice picture of her just relaxing between sittings which I might do as a painting. She was leaning forward in conversation with another artist.

Richard Boyer

Friday, November 4, 2011


I was back on this painting this morning, something I blocked in a week ago but became distracted with other work. So today I worked on the head mainly and defined more of the body. She is walking through a wheat field with a basket of flowers and yes, I know it doesn’t make sense, but it looked good with the colors. So I am going to paint it any ways.

Mockingbird Gallery as well as Southam Gallery are having shows in January and they want a lot of work from me; then in February I have a show with the May Gallery in Scottsdale. Seems a little much and I am not sure just how I can produce enough for each show, but I said yes and now I have to live with it.

The pressure is on !!!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Winter is coming fast; we had heavy frost on the window of the car this morning.

I worked on the café piece again, just trying to keep it simple and loose. The place is Gordes, Provence; which is like the Palm Springs to southern France, a place for the rich and famous. I once walked to close to a parked Maserati there and the vehicle talked back, telling me to step away from the car. I had infringed upon its space bubble!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It’s the day after as they say !!!

Halloween was fun; I went around with Lina and three of her friends as they started their candy collection rounds at six in the evening. They kept going until 9:30 at night, basically until the pillow cases became too full to carry anymore. At around eight I came back home to let Karin have a go at following them. I grabbed a wine and threw myself down in the living room chair. That lasted about a minute until the doorbell rang with another dozen kids screaming “Trick or Treat”. There was a point when it slowed down, the time when most of the little kids had enough and were just too tired to go on. But then the second round started with older kids and the Hispanic crowds. Since we live in a neighborhood where the houses are older and closer together; and where I would have to admit the income level is higher; the selection of candy tends to be more, in some cases quite a bit more! So we are a popular area for the serious aficionados’ in candy collection.

At ten thirty the sugar buzz wore off and we were ready for sleep.

The weather was also nice and warm for the evening; the calm before the storm. This morning we woke up to rain mixed with snow. My studio was dark as could be, so I just worked a little on this smaller café piece. I’ll see if I can finish it off tomorrow.

Richard Boyer