Friday, August 31, 2012

I'll be gone next week, spending time up at the cabin. There we will do some sailing over the holiday weekend.  The rest of the week I'll stay up there to work on some paintings.


Like most paintings you can race along and get 90% done quite quickly, it’s that last 10% that can take weeks if not months; those final small details or adjustments that bring the painting to life, the finishing stage to make it worthy of a signature.  I admit some paintings never make it that far.

So with this one I set it aside and found the water needed to be simplified a bit, some of the highlights were taken out.  I also painted two ducks in there to give it some life and threw in some birds flying up against the cliffs.

I’ll put it aside again and look at it with a fresh eye, through this process I can get the painting up to the level I want it to be at.
Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Here is another one I pulled out of the box from Sweden,  its the rose garden at Skansen.  I didn't have the time to finish it on location, so I worked on it today.

I have to admit it was fun sitting there on the bench in the shade just painting away in a peaceful flower garden.  It beats the nine to five job!!!

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I worked on another one of our studies from Sweden. This small 16x12 was done up in Hälsingland at the relatives old farmhouse.  The building itself is from the early 1700’s.

One this day we all three went there to do some painting, Robert Duncan and Rick Graham set up outside for a landscape.  I took one look at the clouds and decided it best to set up inside and do this interior piece, and thank God I did.  Within a short while it started raining again and those two were running for shelter.  I just took it easy in a dry room and worked on the window.

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 27

With the under paint of the water set up a little I can come in with green on top of the blue and vise versa without the purity of the color being polluted. There is a current running up the center so the water is quite turbulent and not showing much reflection. Instead it seems to be a mixture of the blue sky and greens of the river.  I carefully observe the characteristics of the water and try to capture that as best I can, taking note of where the main concentrations of highlights are.  There are some dark grasses growing out of the water over to the right where some of it is catching the reflections of the sun.  With the use of the highlights I can get the viewer to follow along a path through the water.

I now can work on the foreground vegetation, which overlaps some of the water at the bottom.  First I put some darker shapes in for the volcanic rock by the side of the stream, making sure they catch some sun on the edges, keeping in mind that much of this will be covered over with the grasses.

Now with a larger brush I can mass in some of the greens of the grass and use a pallet knife on top to get the finer stalks from the dried grasses.  I still want a little detail in a few areas down near the bottom; there I used a smaller number two brush to show some of the yellow tops of the grass in the middle.  Then used it again to bring in some of the green blades that are bent catching the sunlight.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I decided to take a break from the Smith Rock painting and let the water dry up a bit!

So from the crit session last night it was determined that this painting could use a few changes, mainly some chickens on the right side to add a third element into the composition.  I also worked on the girl churning butter, she needed to fit into the painting better, so I put a little more lean into her body and softened a few edges to make it more natural.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Next I took on the ridgeline to the right. The trees were in front of the background so I had to be careful to indicate that through richer color and a wider value range.  Cobalt Blue was still used for the trees, but I used Yellow Ochre to neutralize it and of course less white so the color comes across more intense. I added some Cadmium Yellow Light to the edges of some of the trees to give it that rim light feeling.

The cut field in front I used Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Dark and white.  As the grass crests on the hill I added more white to it to give it some of the sky color and to show distance.

With that out of the way I could move on to the green grasses growing by the side of the water.  This means I have to start thinking of how I want the edge of the water to look, another words I need to define the edges and the reflections in the water.  There is a dark shadow line as the water meets up to the plants, so I used Viridian Green and darkened it down with Transparent Red Oxide or Raw Sienna. As the water moves away from the shadow area I will cut the Viridian with Cadmium Orange to give it a warm reflective quality. 

The water I am going to do in two stages, since half of it is a greenish orange color of the reflected rock cliffs in the background and the rest a reflection of the blue sky mixed with white from the churning of the water from the current.  So I have separated out the major areas and just blocked in the predominant color. If I were to go into it now with the blue on top of the warm green color I would end up polluting much of my blue. So if I just wait a day the underlying color with dry up a bit and keep the paint that I lay on top looking more vibrant.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


After the block-in stage, I can relax a little.  The composition is all figured out, so I can pick on an area and work on it.  In this case the background is usually what I like to get completed first since sometimes you have objects in the foreground overlapping.  It’s nice to not have to paint your background around tree limbs for example. 

There is some distance involved in my landscape. That canyon wall in the background is most likely several thousand feet away, so I need to show this in the painting. The way I accomplish it is by using blue to create the atmospheric perspective. The farther an object is away the more it will become diffused through water vapor in the air, which give it that bluish haze one often notices.  The value is also diminished, instead of the full range where one is the brightest and ten being the darkest; the rock cliff back in the painting might only have a range of the lightest area being a 4 and the dark shadow area having a value of 6. 

With this in mind I made sure to have my values very close together to give it the illusion of being pushed back several thousand feet.  Most of the time I was using Cobalt Blue Light and Cadmium Orange, the two colors would neutralize each other quite nicely, then with a little Titanium White mixed in I could get the value correct. Most of the rock cliffs are defined through temperature change between the orange and blue, the value is basically all the same.

The sky I kept very light with a hint of yellow added for warmth. As I move forward in the painting my colors will become richer and the value range shall increase.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I threw some figures in the Mora House painting from Skansen, just some of the local employees from the open-air museum.  These two were making butter at one of the buildings so they seemed to fit the part. Most of these smaller works I am just going to leave as studies, I don’t really have a market for them in a larger format, unless one of my galleries decides they want to try 1800 period paintings.  That’s not going to happen!

The other larger 24x36 painting here is from Smith Rock again near Bend, Oregon. It’s just the initial block-in stage. That funny phallic looking thing in the background is actually Monkey’s Rock, a very popular climbing area.

Jim sold this larger piece I did in the spring from Camp Sherman and said he would like a few newer pieces again from the area.  So I’ll start with Smith Rock and then work on another mountain painting for him.

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This painting was done a few weeks ago at the open-air museum of Skansen, a collection of structures from Hälsingland. Robert Duncan was working on the same viewpoint next to me.  We set up in the shade of the flat bread bakery house and got to know the people working there as the crowds walked in and out. 

After looking at mine for a while, I figured it needed a figure to give it more attention.  So I used one of our models / relative to add the right flavor.  She has a piece of flat bread in her hand, which of course attracted all the chickens.  Now her true location was actually about a hundred kilometers north at her home.  I just used an image of her to put in the painting.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


It’s back to work again in the studio. The trip was good in that we collected a lot of future subject matter to paint. Now the weather could have been better, or maybe I should say dryer.  One cannot paint to well outside when it’s drizzling down; we ended up with a hand full of days where we were able to set up outside.

I pulled this one out and decided to finish it off. When we started it in Stockholm it was sunny, but the weather soon changed to rain and we were forced to seek shelter.  The water I never got a chance to finish off, so that is what I worked on today.  Tomorrow I have another one from Skansen I could finish off.

For anyone out there in who lives close to me in Salt Lake City, I was thinking of starting up a beginning painting class, maybe a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening group in my studio.  I would start out first with a little black and white oil to learn the values then move on to colors.  So if you might be interested send me an email at:

Richard Boyer

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I did a little too much driving today. We finally got away from the house at ten thirty or so and headed down to Carl Larsson’s house.  From Bollnas it’s a little west then a long hour and a half drive through endless forests down to Falun, then left through more forests to the small town of Sundborn.  The entire town revolves around Carl Larsson with shops selling anything and everything with his name on it.

The house truly is beautiful fantastic and the artist really put a lot into it. We all wanted to photograph the inside, but that was not allowed.  Duncan did manage to get a couple of grainy iphone pictures while inside, but nothing of any true quality.

The house has been hand painted with portraits on most doors, ceilings and walls; a work of art to live in.

Afterwards it was another long drive down to the airport outside of Stockholm; there I dropped them off at the hotel.  They have an early flight down to Paris tomorrow and there was no way I was going to get up at three in the morning to shuttle them and hour and a half from Östhammar

Richard Boyer   

Friday, August 10, 2012


Today was the pilgrimage to Mora. Like the Swedes flock to the summit of Kebnekiase, we artists flock to the studio of Anders Zorn.

We arrived and as usual you sign up for the next tour of his house, with me it is usually the one guided in Swedish, but when they heard I was with two from the States they told me there was an English version starting in twenty minutes.  I think they made that part up, since we were the only ones there for that time slot. We were in luck.  The woman guiding us around, opened up most everything for us to see, removed most ropes to keep back the crowds and let us walk around areas that were closed off to the general public. 

We exited next to his studio; I figured a photo in front would be the proper thing to do.  Unfortunately it doesn’t look much like a studio from the outside, looks more like a chicken coop with the net on the door. 

Here is a shot of the inside through the chicken wire to prove it!!!

After lunch Robert Duncan and I went to Zorn's Gammelgård, Here he collected old houses and structures to preserve.  We decided to paint there like many other artists before and the person in charge let us stay past the closing time to finish the paintings.  Sort of like “just lock the door before you leave thing” 

All in all we had a good day in Mora.  Tomorrow we are off to Carl Larson’s studio down in Sundborn.  There we might just paint again!

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Today we all went up to Växbo, just north of Bollnas about 14 kilometers; there they produce some of the finest linen tablecloths in the world.  The farmers in the area grow flax that is used in the production.  And they also have a collection of old Swedish buildings in a ravine to attract the locals to walk along up to the showroom.  We set up in front of the old mill and thank God they had sprayed for mosquitoes, we experience none by the side of the creek. The view was really spectacular.

Here is my result, the light was overcast in the beginning and for me anyways it was better.  Later on the sun peeked out and changed the light totally from my angle, so much so that I had to stop and wait for the cloud to come back.

Around four we did a field painting in the last afternoon light. We set up all along the dirt road; where some of the locals thought we were a local painting club practicing. I had to explain that we were not, just out for some painting for ourselves.  The rain hit us for about ten to twenty minutes, so I was glad I had the umbrella.

Tomorrow we are driving to Mora, the Mecca for all artists.

Richard Boyer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The rains are back, all daylong it’s been overcast with rain every half hour or so.  This isn’t the best weather for painting, as most artists would agree. 

 So we went to the relative’s old farm from the early 1700’s and photographed my daughter there with the Spinning Jenny, we found some old cloths for her to wear so as to add to the flavor.

 I could help but to take this shot of Robert Duncan painting what looks like marshmallows, its actually hay they roll up in plastic. It causes the hay to ferment over the winter months, which adds some kind of nutrition to the food for the cows.  In my opinion it just sounds fairly disgusting and must smell foul enough when opened. For the cows it is a delicacy, as opposed to dry hay all winter long.

Richard Boyer

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday, August 6

Our location this morning was at the Westlen’s fine house in the country, this was the guest house…..

Oh, sorry wrong picture, this was actually the guesthouse, a smaller version from the early 1800’s.  The large manor house is actually from Österbybruk, here Bruno Liljefors stayed for close to fifteen years and painted in their former cloths washing house by the water. They converted it into an artist studio for him in the beginning of the 1900’s.

Well we photographed the girls like the Paparazzi this morning,

With the sheep,

With the chicken’s

And the flowers.

I have to give the girls the utmost credit; they were really good at playing the role of models and fell into some great natural poses, perfect subject matter for future paintings.

Our location is now up in Hälsingland.

Richard Boyer

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Our last day in Stockholm, so we spent the morning lounging around, walked a little along the waterfront and cleaned the place up.  We took the 3:00 bus to Skebobruk, my wife’s brother’s house.  They live out in the country, by a lake with chickens and sheep wondering around; but that is not what we had for dinner tonight. 

Instead we had Robert feeding them bits of Knäckebröd. Actually he was doing this to get them out from hiding, they still may have been regarding us with caution, since it was close to dinnertime for us.  They survived another day, we had pasta!

Tomorrow we will visit Albert Engstrom’s and Bruno Liljefors studio’s on the way up to Hälsingland.  It will be a day of culture.

Richard Boyer

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Once again the weather was wrong, we checked last night and it said overcast, it was sunny most of the day. A perfect day for plein air painting; so we all decided to head back to our favorite place to paint, Skansen. Rick set up not far from the entrance but was forced to abandon his spot with the constant crowd of people standing in front of him. It really does make painting rather difficult with human bodies in your way !

Robert Duncan and myself found this quiet little spot in the morning. The view was actually quite nice looking down a path with some wooden sheds to the right and flowers out front.

Within a few minutes we had half a dozen Peacocks wondering around our easels, thank God they seemed to be passive, unlike the red squirrels, who loved to crawl into your painting bags and chew on the oily rags.  I had to chase several away, only to have the tenacious things bounding back again a minute later.  Next time it’s pepper spray against the vicious things!!!   I know they are cute as hell!

Here is my piece.

I think we spent at least three hours here in this tranquil spot; the tourists did get thick several times blocking our view. I thought it was a little funny, as did the women working in the building we were parked in front of. Normally people just walk on by, but because there are two artists out front, all of a sudden it becomes interesting and they all stop to take pictures right in front of us of the very scene we are painting.  Why oh why they don’t see these beautiful scenes without somebody telling them is beyond me!

The rest of the day we walked around playing Paparazzi, sometimes making the pour employees in costume nervous.

Tomorrow we drive up to my wife’s brother’s house and from there up to Halsingland.

Richard Boyer   

Friday, August 3, 2012


If there is one thing you can count on in Sweden, it’s certainly isn’t going to be the weather. Most everyday here we check it for the next day only to have it the opposite.  Today was supposed to be sunny; but we woke up to rain. That being said, it was a museum day today. Robert Duncan wanted to see Prins Eugen’s Museum on Waldemarsudde and the Thiel Museum. Both of these were located on Djurgarden Island. We climbed on the bus to the end station and took the trolley the rest of the way under blue skies, what else was new?! 

We did see a lot of new Zorn paintings and Rick and I decided to pick up another one!!!
Prins Eugen was a wealthy nobleman and a “want-a-be artist”; so he hung around Anders Zorn, Carl Larsson and Bruno Liljefors.  They all became really good friends and most likely helped Prins Eugen in his artistic struggle to get better known amongst his piers. 

Here is this fantastic headshot Zorn did at the museum there.  It makes me sick at how good he was early in his age.

We then walked down the coast to the Thiel Museum, a wealthy patron, who became friends to these artists and collected many of their works, including a lot of Edvard Munch from Norway.

Here is Duncan contemplating the work.

This afternoon since being inspired from Zorn’s water paintings we all set out for the harbor area in Stockholm, once again under fairly blue skies, with in an hour the clouds rolled in and the sky turned an ugly dark blue, the kind of color before a major downpour. Sure enough within half an hour we were running for the bus in heavy rain.  Thank God water and oil doesn’t mix. 

Now Rick Graham likes to work in Acrylic paints, soooo he had problems!  

Richard Boyer

Thursday, August 2, 2012


We headed back to Skansen today with easels in hand, caught the early bus to avoid the crowds.

I did this little piece in the morning of a traditional house from Mora in Dalerna.  They used a lot of just raw log and wood construction with no paint to cover it up.  Unlike their neighbors to the south that used more plaster to cover everything and then paint on top.  While I was painting I met a lot of people including David Tanner, another artist from the States, who I had never met before.  He was touring around Sweden and had just been up at the Zorn museum. Robert Duncan was painting around the corner from me, so he headed over to say hello to him also. 

In the afternoon I worked on this piece from the rose garden, they had these stone sculptures there and I thought if John Singer Sergeant could do it, why not give it a try.  Okay I admit. I need more practice.  I’m a long way from being him, but it was still fun to try it.

Richard Boyer

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Today we headed out to Skansen, on the island of Djurgården.  It is a large park where they have collected over the years old homes and buildings from all over Sweden.  The people who work there, dress up in period costumes doing the activities from that era, so it becomes an artists dream to paint and photograph there.

I talked to a lot of the girls and asked them to pose as if they were doing some activity from the time period they represented, told them we were artists and hoped for the best when three camera’s started clicking.  Sometimes we sounded more like the Paparazzi, causing guest to talk and wonder if we were from some magazine company.

With these two girls I think we spent a good half hour just talking and listening to them making cheese, they soon relaxed with the sound of camera’s and we really got some good material. 

This woman was collecting nettles to make a fiber for making cloths.  For anyone who knows this plant, if you brush up against the leaves you will know it. The burning sensation lasts for quite a while.  I had the unfortunate luck of falling face first into a pile of them once in Germany; tripped over a wire that was on the ground. I was swollen for several hours afterwards.

We all walked a lot of miles today and got plenty of good subject matter for future paintings.  Tomorrow we are heading back with the easels to do some paintings. They don’t allow it in the building but outside is okay.

Richard Boyer