Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, Dec 26

It’s been one of those light snow years so far, the ski resorts are desperately making man-made snow through the night in an effort to satisfy the winter crowds and all they hear is the long range forecast reports of sunny weather. The highway over the mountain pass by our cabin normally would have the gate closed at Soapstone basin with several feet covering the road over. The only option would be to travel with skis, foot or snowmobile the rest of the sixteen miles up to the pass at 11,000 feet plus and over the range to the other side. There, one could, if one was determined enough travel some 30 extra miles down to the small town of Evanston, Wyoming.

This winter has been different, a few inches are on the road and they have a small sign by the side of the open gate informing the adventurous traveler that there is no winter service from this point on. Another words go for it, if you get stuck in the snow on the road you are on your own!!!

We drove past the sign to see how far we could go up.

These are the people you read about in the paper who get stranded for days on end only to be discovered in the spring with the family dog half eaten up.

Yesterday we got up several miles below the summit before our cars, both of which are four-wheel drive started spinning sideways in the steep incline of snow. We gave up, parked the vehicles and did a small cross-country ski tour. That night we were scheming how to get the cars up all the way to the pass.

Today we packed a big lunch, loaded everyone up in both cars with skies and shovels and headed up to the closed highway to the point we made it to yesterday. There we put chains on the Volvo XC and continued on up the rest of the way. We saw only snowmobile tracks ahead of us, no four-wheel vehicle had ventured up so high, it was virgin territory for us and the car was sliding side to side as it slowly worked its way up higher and higher. At 11,000 feet with maybe a foot of packed snow on the road, in sight of the last curve over the top we decided to park it and break out the skis. Bald Mountain at 11,943 stood in front of us; we decided to try to ski around it. The sun was out, it was warm in the air and off we headed in a serenely quiet snow covered landscape. We worked are way through pine trees, rock fields and open meadows to a basin on the back side of the mountain at 11,500 in the dead of winter. A first for us in the middle of December and only possible because of the light snow fall so far.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, December 22, 2011


It’s actually sunny today; a small snow storm came through the valley and blew out most of the smog. That cold damp feeling in the air is finally gone and I can feel the warmth of that large yellow ball up in the sky.

I worked some more on the Colonial House painting. It‘s an old stately house up here in my neighborhood which the hospital bought to entertain guests. From what I remember reading about; it was first build by a woman who made it big from mining gold and silver in Park City more than a 150 years ago.

It still needs some work, but at least I can bring it to the crit tonight to see what people think. And for once this evening it is actually not at my place. Nick after a good month and a half of working on construction projects has said that he will host it.

Richard Boyer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, Dec 19

Here is another snow painting I have been working on. A few things still bother me about it, but I’ll live with it for a few days and hopefully they it will pop out at me!

Christmas shopping is ever so slowly coming along! Maybe I’ll have everything done the day before.

What else is new.

Richard Boyer

Friday, December 16, 2011


We had a good crit session last night and as usual I ended up with a page of notes on things to fix.

The snow painting here I decided to add a little more paint in the foreground and punched up the colors in the sky. It made for some more contrast and more interesting to look at as well. Now I am quite happy with it and I’ll call it done

Back to the horse painting for the tenth time as well; this one has gone through quite a few evolutions since the start. I’ve re-painted several of the horses in the learning process. I just have to keep in mind that it will take another 998 horse paintings before I get good at it!

Now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas Shopping!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It’s been a gloomy overcast day today; it would be a lot nicer if it would just snow.

Well that being said I decided to start another snow painting. Why fight it when you can join it?! It will be one of those architectural nightmares with the brick house but with the snow covered trees in front it should look nice when done.

The house is an old Victorian home back in New York State, another shot I took while visiting the parents. This place was a few miles from them in the town of Lockport. Back in the early 1800’s when the canal was in full swing this town was one of those wealthy merchant centers with cargo traveling through every day in record numbers. Mansions like this sprung up everywhere. Now fast forward 160 years and it’s more or less an economic dump with high unemployment. The house would most likely sell for under 200K.

As they say location, location, location


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I finished off the moody snow painting; it’s actually a section of the Erie Canal back near Buffalo, New York. My parents moved to a new house near the canal ten years ago. So the last time I was visiting them in the dead of winter I decided to go out and shoot some snow pictures. The canal goes from Albany to Buffalo and was used heavily to get goods out West before the development of the train. The view I have is at a wider spot as it enters into a river.

Richard Boyer

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, Dec. 12

Yesterday we celebrated Santa Lucia with the Swedes. Lucia was actually a beautiful woman back around 304 AD destined to be married. Unfortunately she was catholic and the Roman Empire didn’t like that idea. You see her wealthy mother was miraculously cured of some mysterious illness at the local church and so Lucia came up with the not so popular idea of donating all their money to the poor. Her fiancée was the one who thought it not so popular; in fact he found that generosity so appalling and turned her over to the Emperor Diocletian for torture and finally death. Her eyes were cut out and then she was hacked apart with a sword, a rather grim way to go. That’s why the candles are used now a day, to celebrate the light or vision.

Any ways for the Swedes this makes for a fun pre-Christmas celebration with fortified spiced wine, home made beer and food galore. We all gathered at the local school and carried out the festive occasion: making sure that none of the participants were tortured in the process.

With the low light and candles the signing ceremony really has a nice holiday feeling. It was good to meet up with people and chat about life, especially since we only seem to meet a few times a year. Most of the women and kids danced around the Christmas tree, while the men tried out Troy’s home made beer. Ah, somethings never change!!!

Back to the real world of art, here is a small 16x20 snow piece I’ve started for Jim at the Mockingbird Gallery. It’s just the block-in.

Richard Boyer

Friday, December 9, 2011


As expected the horse painting was filled with mistakes and so it’s back to the drawing board for some of the horses, which is what I was working on this afternoon. I should have it done on Monday

The café painting I changed around a bit also this morning, mainly the color of the umbrellas, which of course meant changing the color of the flowers as well.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Here is my second study of horses and I’m sure James Reynolds would be rolling in his grave with the mistakes I did. I’ll show it to the crit people tonight and see what the consensus is.

With reference to yesterday’s blog and the 1000 paintings the artist should do before he becomes good; a friend of mine, David told me the same holds true in most fields of expertise. In this case 10,000 hours seems to be the magic number, before say a person masters the art of fencing or javelin throwing. So with the average of ten hours per painting the artist would come out the same.

Food for thought!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I started another horse study painting today. It’s the only way to get good at it, just keep painting the subject matter over and over again. And maybe to but the horse anatomy book as well!

It’s just a block-in !!!

Back in the 90’s Joe Wade from the Joe Wade Fine Art Gallery once told me that an artist doesn’t really get good until after he or she has done about a thousand paintings under their belt. Sounds like an awful lot, but there is some truth to the saying; the only way to get good at something is through mileage.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We had our figure painting session last night at Rick’s and here is my result for what it’s worth!

I keep wondering what it would be like to have another day to work on it, how much farther along I could bring it. But, alas with these three hour figure sessions you are in the heat of the battle and only have a finite amount of time to make it work as best as possible.

Richard Boyer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, Dec 5.

I got one of those calls from the gallery on Friday; apparently some top executives from a law firm walked in and wanted to buy a painting for one of their partners who was planning to retire. In the back of my mind I was thinking about John Grisham’s book “The Firm”, where their partners were retired about six feet under; but any ways I’m sure they are not like that!?

They contemplated one artist’s piece and didn’t see what they were looking for; the firm wanted something with red rock and water, that’s when the gallery called me. They wanted to know if I could paint something over the weekend, something that would appeal to the client.

I took the bait and agreed to work through the weekend. Yes, let’s dangle the carrot in front of the artist and see if he will do it!!!

Here is the result, a quiet little stream in southern Utah in the early spring.

Sunday night it was Pepparkaka production at our house. Like most Swedish families vast amounts of gingerbread cookies have to be made before the holiday season and that is what our house turned into; a production line of baking. The smell permeated up the block.

We now have our holiday supply!

Richard Boyer

Friday, December 2, 2011


It was a cold sunset up at 9000 feet yesterday, but still it was fun to be up there. I shot this view of Mount Superior before it got too dark.

We had the crit session last night and I pulled out my French Café paintings, along with a pile of other stuff. Filled up a page of notes and this morning I worked on the suggested ideas for these two. I found it quite fun and relaxing to sit down while painting and to work on some of the smaller detailed things to bring the pieces to completion.

This one I just worked a bit on the foreground chair so it wasn’t so obvious.

And this one I painted in the figures a little better, so now the eye has something more to look at. The flowers off to the left were also changed around as well as the tree above. All in all I find it better than the old version.

The horses I also tweaked a little, although that will be harder to detect; mainly small anatomical corrections here and there. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to get a horse anatomy book and start reading it!!!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It was a blustery day in the hundred acre woods this morning, as it goes in Winnie-the-Pooh. Leaves and tree limbs were blowing across the yard and through the neighborhood; basically causing mild havoc throughout the valley with power outages and parts of roofs blowing off. To make it even better I am suppose to drive my daughter up to Alta ski resort for the start of cross country ski training at 4:30 this afternoon, they said with the wind chill factor the temperatures are in the negative numbers up at 9000 feet. Another word down right uncomfortable!

From my weekend session of horse photography up at Midway I decided to do this small 12x18 study as they were lining up in the afternoon light.

Richard Boyer