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

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