Monday, April 30, 2012


I’ve been told by some people to write about our cabin, mainly my sister, who is curious to see pictures and hear about the place. 

The seventies are one of those decades they could easily delete and nobody would really mind too much. What do we really cherish from that era, certainly not disco, bell-bottom paints or that puffed up buffo hairstyle.  The renovations in the housing industry were equally as bad, out with the classy Victorian style in the renovations and in with the modern cheap nouveau plastics.  Most houses, like ours in the historic Avenues area were gutted, all that fine oak trim thrown out to be replaced with lovely green wall-to-wall shag carpet and dark wood paneling.  Let’s not forget the large wallpapered living rooms depicting lavish Mediterranean scenes, the olive toilets and sinks decorated with yellow or brown tile in every bathroom.  How quickly they could erase 100 years of tradition in the name of modern renovation.

We spent a decade removing and correcting the faux pas of the seventies with our house from the 1890’s.  Our cabin was, unfortunately build in the 70’s, built to save costs, built to save on labor, aesthetics and functionality. Starting with the foundation that is shy eighteen inches above the frost line, because they wanted to save money and not dig down deep enough.  At 7000 feet the foundation should have been at five feet, ours is only three.  This may explain why the southwest corned is sinking down three inches; maybe also why the floors are so ice cold lacking insulation.

Why is it that one has to sit sideways on the toilet because your knees hit the wall in front of you, the floor laminate cut around the bathroom fixtures and filled with some off white, yellowed with aged caulking to fill in the gaps?  The cheapest of trim used around all the doors and windows.  This is why the cabin really needs to be leveled and re-built again. A process that I am not looking forward to since I have done it all before and know exactly just what it entails. The endless hours and labor involved, unless you happen to win the lottery and can afford to have some contractors do it all for you. 

With that in mind I am driving up to Idaho to buy a lottery ticket !!!

It’s nice to hang out there, but we all realize that it could use some major fixing-up, someday.

The best thing about it is the view!
Richard Boyer   

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, April 23

This piece is an older one I did a few years ago and so since I have it back in the studio: I figured it was fair game to attack. I blasted away the dark hill in the back ground, added sky and put some more umbrellas on the right side of the road.  The greenery at the upper left was also worked on, as well as a potted plant in the lower left side to balance better. The woman on the right hanging something on the wall was also given a dress with apron. 

Here’s a picture of how it looked before.

Richard Boyer

Friday, April 20, 2012


Well after the crit session I decided to add a little more to it, mainly take out the figure on the bike and add some flower pots to the bridges. They actually have quite a few of them decorated in flowers, it adds to the beauty for the boater’s instead of just looking at cold steal girder bridges.  Behind the flowers I threw a few figures in to give it some life.   

Richard Boyer 

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I worked on a few pieces today, first was the Amsterdam piece here where I added the boats in the foreground and played with the water. Still not sure about the figure on the bridge, maybe it needs another element like a giraffe or elephant?! But seriously it might need something, so I’ll put it aside for a bit and think on it. Hopefully an idea will come before the dust settles too much on it. We have the crit session tonight so I could see what others say and go from there as well.

The next painting is one that has been lying around in the studio for a while now. I keep asking myself what would Mian Situ do to it to make it sing? I worked on a few parts of it to see if that would help. Most likely another one for the crit session.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Grey skies this morning, as the drizzle came down. It must have made for a depressing 5:00 am ride to the airport for Oscar, who was bound for Sweden. My wife volunteered to get up that early to take him for the required two hour pre boarding ordeal. So they say with all international flights, personally from here I will cut it down to an hour and a half before the flight leaves. I figure they can’t really complain too much about that.

I worked on the Amsterdam Bridge in a dimly light studio this morning, just now at 2:30 in the afternoon the sun has broken out and a general feeling of happiness has come over everyone!

Richard Boyer

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16

Well after looking at this painting long enough I decided to kill it. Sometimes you get the feeling it’s just not going to work out and sure enough I was having that feeling with this piece. It just came across to dark, that little bit of sunset sky wasn’t going to carry the predominant cools in the painting. I found myself just staring at it thinking over and over what I could do to get it to work and when that happens, it’s best to kill it and move on or else you can get sucked into a black hole where you spend weeks working on something that in the end will just be mediocre.

I decided to do an Amsterdam bridge scene instead with a lot more light; at least I can visualize how this will look in the end, so it will be better for me to paint.

We had a bit of a problem over the weekend up at the cabin. We turned on the pump to get water and noticed that there was a leek, water was gushing out in the pump house. Damn, that meant no water for the house either!

So we were left with the task of digging down four and a half feet below the frost line at our location up at the lofty height of 7000 feet. It was a six foot frost line shut off facet that broke. The shut off part of it four feet down wasn’t doing the job and so it let water up to the surface where it froze and cracked the pipe.

We have the boy’s cousin, Oscar visiting us for a week from Sweden. It was his spring break. Any ways I figured a little bribe might work to get them to dig down five feet or so with a pick axe. We had free tickets to Deer Valley Ski Resort, so we all went up there, had a fancy lunch and they headed on to the cabin to spend the night and work the next day. The long of the short, we got it fixed and decided to dress up the dog to celebrate.

I can’t say that she was all that excited over the idea!!!

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I finally got the taxes in yesterday. It’s kind of like pulling teeth with me; I’ll just put it off until the last week dreading the idea of being an accountant. That would be my version of a living Hell!

I worked some more on this 12x24, mainly the sky and a little on the water. I’ll see if I can get it close to done tomorrow. The foreground might be tricky since I want to keep it dark for the contrast against the evening sky.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So last night Nick gave me a call and said that he had extra tickets to a band called “Lucas Nelson”, my response was “Lucas who? Never heard of him!”

“You’ll like him, he does old fashion rock and roll, and he’s the son of Willy Nelson!” Nick shot back.

My eyes rolled, I hated Willy Nelson and never did listen to him. I’m more into screaming modern rock like Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Blue October or Linkin Park. As my brother calls it “Angry young man music” But still I reluctantly agreed, they were playing in an old movie theater and you could literally get up right next to the stage without being pressed flat like a sardine at a major concert.

My son drove us down and we met up with his wife, Rose and a bunch of other friends of theirs ten years my age. They had a cocktail table set up next to the stage with drinks on it. This was to be a small relaxed concert I could tell. The warm up band soon started and I realized being right next to the stage and of course the sound system was a good way to go deaf in twenty minutes. The silence of the room went from a few decibels to 180dB in under a second with the first guitar cord. My eardrums were reverberating. That’s when I noticed everyone wadding up tissue paper, wetting it and stuffing it in their ears. The sound level dropped in half, but the vibration level was still that of a defibrillator. At least we were right next to the stage, close enough to see the sweat.

The first band, the lead singer actually crawled down from the stage to sing and mingle with the well mannered middle age crowd. They left her plenty of space to perform. If Bono from the band U-2 tried that at one of their concerts, he would have broken ribs from the pressure.

After an hour the main attraction came out, Willy Nelson’s 24 year old son, trained by the master himself since childhood, as well as helped from a few other big names from the previous generation like Eric Clapton. This might have explained why he was able to blast out cords and notes on his guitar like an old pro. In fact the entire band performed like an early 80’s rock band of high stature, being raised around music from birth what else was one to expect.

We had the base player right in front of us and good old Lucas ten feet away. The hormones were flying with the elderly women, reminiscent of the old times with Willy blasting away up on stage. They mouthed the words to each song. The eye candy this time was the two 24 year olds jumping up it the air with the energy of Yorkshire terriers on speed.

The connection to greatness was apparent when they played an older “Rolling Stones” song; most likely as a kid Mick Jagger showed him a few things or to with the guitar. At midnight the show wrapped up and we were able to meet the band members out front. They looked at their watches, at three in the morning their bus left for the next performance that evening in San Diego. They would sleep on the way.

I started a small 12x24 painting of a Roman Bridge in Provence today. It’s just the block in and I am sure to change a few things around with it.

Richard Boyer

Friday, April 6, 2012


I opened the cattle gate on a desolated sand road just outside of Bluff, Utah and reset the odometer; our destination was 9.2 miles along a long road seldom traveled. Our goal was a bird’s eye view of Eagles Nest, an Anasazi ruin in an alcove three hundred feet above the valley floor. A ruin or dwelling in this case that was at the end of civilization as we know it in the 1300. As Jared Diamond quoted, the drought had finally taken its toll after years of prosperity and rain, the population had exceeded the food production and survival instincts had taken over. They build their last holdouts on the side of rock cliffs, far away from the enemy, or in their case maybe their neighbor.

Our route leads us up the 400 foot sandstone ridgeline that overlooked Eagles Nest, a log arduous climb up petrified dunes from 150 million years ago. The view was over the cliff edge that offered us a sight of the ruin I had been in several years ago with Strayer, we set up a rope and repelled into the exposed cliff dwelling hanging over 300 feet above the valley floor. A ruin virtually untouched due to its location by modern day man.

We set ourselves down with a view for lunch. The dog perched precariously on the ledge over looking it all.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This was the view we had from our campsite Saturday morning, a view down the long sandy four-wheel drive road, a view worthy of a painting by most artists. I could see coming back to this spot with some plein air friends to capture the morning light. We are in an area where interstate 70 punches through the mountains and labyrinth of sandstone cliffs. Off on the horizon we can see the headlights of cars traveling east.

Today we decided to get squeezed through some tight sandstone canyons near Goblin Valley called Little Wild Horse. How a horse would fit through this is beyond me? But we worked our way up the serpentine maze to where it opened up and followed an old mining road about a mile to returned down through another tight canyon to meet back up at our starting place.

Richard Boyer