S_V_H I Will image 3

•03/26/2020 • Leave a Comment

This image shows the color changes I made after learning where the artwork would be hanging.  My original color scheme was to create a softer look.  Besides using a lot of white, I also used a variety of pastel colors, giving each of the notes types a different color.  That became a problem.  Standing back and looking at the artwork, I saw all those pastel colors working only in a baby’s room.  That was absolutely not what I wanted from this music.  My client solved my concern when she mentioned that the artwork would hang in their bedroom.  Oh!  I changed out the blue color and adjusted the tints.  With those changes I kept the soft look idea, while giving the artwork more of an intimate touch.  Most notable with the addition of the words.  I will explain them in the next blog entry.

The only image of I Will showing the baby color theme.  I photographed it upside down but flipped it when enlarged.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H I Will 2nd Image

•03/15/2020 • Comments Off on S_V_H I Will 2nd Image

I Will the second image of the artwork shows good progress,  considering the times we are in.  I suppose that is not such a bad thing.  Except that the threat from COVID-19, being over seventy in age, has hampered my concentration.  Yesterday was a good day, as my focus shifted back to this art.  Still, my concerns, along with those who except the truth, is the coming danger in the next weeks.  It will remind us all how fragile is life.  That means, for me, my life is in the studio where this art, my piano, music, and books will be my busy support, along with walks with my doggy, Zelda.  That also means my wife and other family members will interact more so with others, to keep this home feeling as normal as possible.  Although all families will soon confront the unknown, for now we want our lives to remain as normal as possible. The Family is the first line of defense, no matter the crisis.

This wonderful small sized artwork is resulting in a busy-looking artwork, with smaller open areas.   Since Over the Rainbow in early 2019, I have focused on reducing the spacing in my artworks. This artwork may be the height of that trend.  The companion artwork for I Will, that I have been slow to work on, will not follow the direction of this first example.

Next up I want to repaint the music.  For some stupid reason, I spent my valuable time in a wasted effort to paint detail.  I displayed this issue in the close-up images of the music in the last blog post. Enough of that silliness.  I am not a detail artist. That runs up against one of my basic philosophies.  Although I am amazed by those who can realistically draw, personally I can accomplish the same results with a good photograph.  That thinking has defined this art throughout its development. My detail is in the artwork’s structure, where color is a tool not an end all. That is it.  I measure my artistic skill in millimeters.

For this artwork, I going to take this boring image two, and introduce a little color, to cover up all that silly detail.  Color to accent, or complement the structure and the voice of the music,  ain’t that special.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H I Will first Image

•03/12/2020 • 1 Comment

This is I Will the first image.  I put all the pieces for this music on the floor in a rough arrangement.  This will be a rare, tiny artwork. I am guessing over 32 inches by 22 inches in height.  It needed to be small, for it is an artwork already promised, and it will need to travel to its home to be.

Here is a closeup of the decoration I attempted with the music.  I am not really a detail style of artist, so I am not sure this look works for me, and this may change.

 

Back on my tables, I will glue down the music to the background.  The starting date on my worksheet is March 4th.  The progress of this artwork is especially good because I am creating two similar works of this music.  The first one you are now seeing.  The second artwork of I Will, will be more experimental, and its progress has not kept pace with this first example. That is what I expected.  I already know the difficulties I have working on two projects at once.

Here is a nice acoustic version of the song, I Will,  sung by Paul McCartney:

Here all the lyrics from I Will.  I am building this artwork around the enlarged lyrics.

“Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to, I will
For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will
I will”  – Paul McCartney
Interestingly, as I was writing this post, I played the video of Paul McCartney singing,  I will.   Forgetting to close the YouTube page, unexpectantly on YouTube, Paul McCartney sang another acoustic version of his music.  This time the song was Blackbird.  I painted the music Blackbird in early 2012.  Here is that artwork:
I like this artwork a lot.  It hung in my last studio over my computer desk.  “I was so much more painterly back then, I younger than that now.”
Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Blood Brothers (My Brothers) final image

•02/24/2020 • Comments Off on S_V_H Blood Brothers (My Brothers) final image

My Brothers, wood metal, canvas, acrylic paint L43.5″ x H41″ x D4.25

This is the final image of the project Blood Brothers, now titled as My Brothers.  This artwork has run its course.  My worksheet has a beginning date of 12-29-2019.  I finished this work on the twentieth of February.   Thankfully, my time was not all spent on finishing this project.

I finally step it up and built a new website, updated the links to https:// and had it installed with the help of Brett Widmann a friend from my old workdays. This new main site will be easier to maintain.  It also gives me the opportunity to present a greater range of personal artist insight and videos that explain the art.  On line and in these blog entries hopefully, I can build a stronger connection with the viewer.

My style with My Brothers now completes a phase of this evolution that started early last year.  I have seen good progress but would like even more changes in how I represent visually music.  One option I am looking at is to build my artworks in smaller sections and then mount them on some kind of background. If nothing else, I am looking at breaking away from the regimented look of my flow that still resembles sheet music. The music it is displaying will still define the art, but for 99.9 percent of all viewers, the fewer notation rules I follow the more interesting art.  And finally, I have to figure out how to better integrate the visual with the audio.   Like I mentioned, my audio is no longer that easy to follow along with the flow of the artwork.  So, that means most viewers don’t know what to do.   Either they can look randomly at the artwork while listening to the music or pay no attention to the artwork while listening.   Or finally, stick with how it used to be by trying to follow the flow of the artwork when listening to the music.  My challenge is to make the viewing of the artwork and the listening to the audio a seamless experience.  Once I figure out how to do that.  I think I am on my way.

My final thought on this artwork is that I like the scratched and dent look.  This artwork presents a real-life image with plenty of meaning, without preaching or lecturing the viewer. This look comes from the lyrics from the song Blood Brothers:

“On through the houses of the dead past those fallen in their tracks
Always movin’ ahead and never lookin’ back
Now I don’t know how I feel, I don’t know how I feel tonight
If I’ve fallen ‘neath the wheel, if I’ve lost or I’ve gained sight
I don’t even know why, I don’t know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all
But the stars are burnin’ bright like some mystery uncovered
I’ll keep movin’ through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother”  – Bruce Springsteen

Finally, moving along.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Blood Brothers image 4

•02/07/2020 • Comments Off on S_V_H Blood Brothers image 4

I already mention the influence of Will the Circle Be Unbroken on this project.  My explanation for the scratching and scuffing of The Circle was that I thought a less finished look better represented the edginess, the struggles, the roughness, and difficulties of the growth of early Country Music. The lyrics from the music represented the fear of lost and had nothing to do with the look of the artwork.  Although Blood Brothers also features a lot of scratches and scuffs, unlike The Circle, this time it is the lyrics from the music that shape, and define the physical flaws in the artwork. These are the lyrics from the song Blood Brothers that I built this artwork around:

“I don’t even know why, I don’t know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all
But the stars are burnin’ bright like some mystery uncovered
I’ll keep movin’ through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother” – Bruce Springsteen

These words and others from the lyrics reinforce in me the difficulties it is to keep near close and understanding relationships with those dear to us as the years pass by.  Unlike The Circle where the scratches and scuffs represent more the history of Country Music, in Blood Brothers all these deep cuts, scratches and scuffs although not stained with blood,  are stained with blue, red, and violet colors, which represents the flesh of three Brothers.  All those chips, and doubts, dents, and fears, cuts, and regrets, flaws, and disappointments, stand for decades of lives being lived day to day. That is what defines this artwork.

Scott Von Holzen

 

S_V_H Blood Brothers image 3

•02/07/2020 • 1 Comment

When I turn away from the computer image of Blood Brothers and look at the artwork, the difference is startling.  Although that is predictable, I cannot underestimate the visual difference. To see these artworks in person pulls the viewer closer, at less out of curiosity.  Then they see the push button that draws them dangerously near to the artwork. They press the green button.  Surprised, they realized that they have touched the artwork, breaking one of Art’s greatest taboos.  The music plays. It pushes them a step back to notice the depth, the precision,  and the diverse texture of the painted wood and canvas.  The artworks overall presence pops into their view.  The song ends. They move on.  That could be an experience of a gallery visitor or not as they pass by without more than a glance. It all depends.  Seeing this art being experience by strangers is an award. The problem is finding enough public visibility. Up to now, my best efforts to show these artworks have been by absorbing expenses and fees to apply to group exhibitions or even worse art displayed in tents at Art Fairs.  Last year was my best showing in exhibitions. The results from all those public viewings were zero responses.   Add that zero to the many other zeros of creating artworks for shows and not being juror’d in.

An example is the finely finished little artwork, Where Have All the Flowers Gone.  This project I made especially for a local exhibition that also features paired floral arrangements that harmonize with each artwork.  This is the local Pablo’s Center’s largest attended show. This artwork titled, Where have all the Flowers gone, I thought would be a perfect match for any florist. Where have all the flowers gone? Look there they are in the vase next to the painting.   As for this current project,  Blood Brothers, I am in search for exhibitions options.  The look of Blood Brothers and more on the influence of the artwork, Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Scott Von Holzen

 

S_V_H Blood Brothers image2

•01/29/2020 • Comments Off on S_V_H Blood Brothers image2

This image two of Blood Brothers I have staged to show the music before I attach it to the background.   My original idea was to attach two photos of me and my two brothers.  The first image placed at the beginning of the artwork would have been an early childhood image with me holding Jeff the youngest.  Then at the end of the artwork I planned to place a recent image of us three brothers.  The more I thought about this artwork and the great time being spent on its creation,  I decided to eliminated the photos.  I do not produce a lot of artworks in a year.  A personalize artwork would hurt its meaning.  The theme of this artwork, the bond of brothers, is  universal.  I left the photos out of this project and instead changed the white color of the music’s disks.

Instead of photographs representing my brothers,  I picked three different colors to represent we three brothers.  For the top section of the artwork I painted all the disks blue.  That color represents my brother Jeff, and the color of Chevrolet blue, that is his business over many years.  The middle color is a violet color to represent Roger. Violet is a color band from the Rainbow flag.  Finally, I choose a red color for me.   I have always signed my artworks in red.  That comes from Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature.  I did a paint test of these three colors.  I went with the artistic norm of the day and painted them in plastic solid colors.  Solid shades of color that I call baby colors did not look to be a part of the artwork.   Changing my mind, I took a damp cloth to remove the paint.  I stopped when my random removal of paint resulted in a look that worked with the artwork.  I then took a file and scraped each note hastily.  I then lightly sanded each disk.  Last,  I applied a light-colored  glaze that matched the note color.  There is some thought behind why I damaged the paint.

This art made a breakthrough with the artwork, Will the Circle by unbroken (rejected this year, my the Trout Museum SECURA exhibition).  I gave that artwork a rough worn look that I thought better represented the story of this classic country song,  and early Country Music.  I continued that look and idea of that theme with Blood Brothers I think the lyrics of this song tells a story of struggle, personal flaws, and faith in a family no matter the shortcomings or misunderstandings.  Maybe this music speaks to life full of complicated conflicts. That is what this artwork reflects in its lack of exhibition quality prettiness.    No bright, perfect art here. There is enough of that crap out there already.  Here you find bits of the truth in canvas,  wood and paint.   This art’s meaning is in the emotions of seeing that first paint scratch on your shiny new car, the red wine spilled on white linen, that decision you should have never made,  or the perfect life, that you never had.  Each morning we pick up the pieces of ourselves, and press on.  So it is with this artwork.

 

Scott Von Holzen.