Lynne Boyer

Photo by Réka Domokos

When Lynne Boyer was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Aug. 7, 1985, she was a renowned surfer who pioneered the concept of professional surfing.

“We were the first generation who surfed professionally in the IPS (International Professional Surfers),” explains the 1978 and ’79 Women’s world champion. “It was the birth of the whole professional surfing.”

Prior to her back-to-back championship titles, Boyer took third place in the Hawaii State Championships in 1973 and first in 1975.

She says that surfing and art both are creative outlets for her, and Boyer currently is a full-time artist with a one-person exhibit running until the end of February at Gallery on the Pali.

“I thought one day I’d be an artist,” she says. “But then the surfing thing came in and it took over my life. It was new, and at that age (19) I’d rather travel the world surfing than go to school and learn art.”

Her “Opposites” exhibit features about 30 oil-on-canvas paintings of landscapes, seascapes and urbanscapes from Hungary (where she travels for two months out of the year) and Hawaii.

Boyer paints in plein-air fashion, meaning “in the open air” in French. “When I’m in Hungary, I paint the city, and it’s very opposite of Hawaii,” she says, explaining the reasoning behind her exhibit’s title. “The plein-air painting bug hit me, like surfing did when I was young. That changed my whole style of painting.”

Before she got into plein air, she took art classes at University of Hawaii to learn the basics of oil painting.

“I never worked with colors and paints, I just drew and sketched,” admits Boyer, who had her first gallery show in the ’90s on the North Shore. “I was scared of using paints, but I ended up loving it.

“And then I discovered plein-air painting, and I decided, ‘Wow, I want to go out and do that.'”

Currently, Boyer teaches plein-air workshops and says the experience is absolutely amazing.

“I’ve come to a level where I want to give back, and it works both ways: You teach, and you receive,” she says. “It’s a good feeling to be outside participating with nature. Part of the plein-air experience is to be outside and deal with the changing of nature.”

She relates her painting style to that of a sport.

“You have to paint quickly to capture the light, and you need to figure out the color and the tones and the composition. There’s a lot to it – it’s exciting, and you never get bored.”

The unique perspective of her Hawaii paintings are no doubt influenced by her career in surfing, and those who are fortunate enough to see her work this month can appreciate two cultures from opposite sides of the world.