Plein Air Salon paintings - Richard Boyer
Richard Boyer, "Last Light," oil, 30 x 30, June 2020 First Place Overall Winner in the Plein Air Salon

Congratulations to Richard Boyer, whose cityscape oil painting, “Last Light” won First Place in the June 2020 Plein Air Salon. We asked him to tell us about his winning work in this exclusive feature.

“I have always been inspired by the architect of the city, especially San Francisco,” Boyer said. “It’s a real challenge to capture the perspective, light, and feel of the buildings.

“I like the idea of being challenged in a painting. With so much information to put on the canvas one really has to simplify and get a little abstract in order to get all the information recorded down in the painting session. This is really evident in plein air work. I have some friends who I paint with in the city and the amount of time one has to paint the light is changing so fast you can actually see the shadows moving across the buildings.”

On Painting “Last Light”

“I created this piece based on a smaller, 12×12 plein air study,” Boyer said. He added that the light was moving so fast that he couldn’t complete the painting he wanted at that moment, so he took a photo, and later finished the winning painting “Last Light.”

Richard Boyer, “Last Rays of Light,” 30 x 30

On His Painting Process

To aid in doing the paintings, Boyer said he finds rollers and squeegees work really well. They “help give a loose feel to the work, then I can go into it with brushes,” he said. “I find treated Masonite works best for me because I can go at it a little harder and don’t have to worry about damaging or the springing effects of stretched canvas.”

Richard Boyer, “Market Street,” 36 x 36; First Place in the Plein Air Salon, August/September 2019

On Painting Reflections

“There is a beauty I find in the city with rain coming down. The reflections become much more intense and the atmospheric quality adds some nice effects. I use to paint a lot of European villages years ago, but when the recession hit in 2008 I started to find more inspiration closer to home. I remember doing a trip to Portland to paint with a friend and for the weekend it just poured every evening and I think that’s when I got hooked on all the reflections and lights.”

Richard Boyer, “San Francisco, Bike Ride Home,” 30 x 30, which will be in the Oil Painters of America Western Regional show in St George, Utah

Connect with the artist at

ART COMPETITION CALL FOR ENTRIES: Did you know? The Plein Air Salon accepts both plein air and studio works! Categories include best Acrylic, Oil, Pastel, Watercolor/Gouache, Floral, Landscape, Nocturne/Sunrise/Sunset, Figure/Portrait, Outdoor Still Life, Water, Animals/Birds, Western, Plein Air only, Buildings, and Vehicles. The next deadline to submit art is coming soon. You could win up to $15,000!

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