S_V_H Three Little Birds final image

•01/16/2017 • Leave a Comment

threelittlebirds_finalThis Bob Marley artwork, Three Little Birds is finished. This artwork is one canvas 36 inches in length by a most 18.5 inches in height.  In this final image I have added a couple of simple things to better connect this artwork to the life of Bob Marley.  The three braided cords across the canvas represent Bob Marley’s dreadlocks which he called his “identity.” The six-sided wood pieces  bunched together on two of my notes are symbols of Bob Marley’s love of soccer.

The depth of Bob Marley goes well beyond his musical talents. His  influence on Reggae music, his strong belief in Rastafari, his use of ganja,  and his political effect on the people of Jamaica have all made him a larger than life personality.  This artwork is nothing more than a simple tribute to the music of one of his more uplifting songs.

Scott Von Holzen


Here is a Link to buy a canvas print of Three Little Birds and over a hundred other artworks.

Up next, I am finally going to give up the fight and paint Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. I have the urge to do a great Classic Rock artwork, and I just cannot ignore this monstrous Rock hit any longer.


S_V_H Three Little Birds image 2

•01/11/2017 • 1 Comment

threelittlebirds_2This is the second image of the painting Three Little Birds. This is a small forty inch long painting, with a fairly straight forward musical flow. The goal of this work is to help me figure out my routine in a strange new Studio. I am not trying to do anything magical with this painting.  I do have an idea to give it a unique look, but there is nothing radical going on with this project. It is almost like it is a test run:  start and finish it.

For the colors of the music I chose what I saw in Bob Marley, and his style of dress.  As for my chose of words  I believe they are one of the strengths of this painting. They open up this artwork to broad interruption and are a good ‘hook’ for the viewer, if this artwork is ever displayed in a public space.

Until then, this is Three Little Birds own little secret.



S_V_H Three Little Birds image 1

•01/06/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Three Little Birds image 1


This is one of Bob Marley’s most popular little songs, Three Little Birds. This work consists of one canvas 40 inches in length by 16 inches. This first image of the background uses the colors from the flag of Ethiopia:  Bob Marley was a committed Rastafari which”…..infused his music with a sense of spirituality”(Wikipedia), and that had its religious root in Ethiopia. These same colors dominate in many of the images of Bob Marley, and his merchandise.  So then when I watched his live performances, to my surprise it was rare that these colors were being worn by him. He appears to have performed  consistently in street cloths including a lot of blue jean shirts, and pants, like any other musical performer of that time.


Here are those same colors being used on the movie poster Marley:


To better understand Bob Marley I spent time listening to his music and watching the documentary film, Marley, about his life as a singer, songwriter and activist artist.  I soon realized that there were a number of great Bob Marley songs that I thought would make great paintings. From one day to the next all the choices had me going in circles searching for the right music to paint until I spoke on the phone with Dorothy.

Dorothy Von Holzen, a long time friend of the family,  married my father after the tragic early passing of my mother.  They enjoyed 15 pretty good years together, and even today after my dad’s passing, she is much beloved by everyone in the Von Holzen Family circle. I spoke to Dorothy on the phone after receiving an email from her about her need for heart surgery to replace her aortic valve.  She was very positive and anxious to actually get his done.  She sounded pleased because the doctors had found the solution to her extreme tiredness over the last many months.  Her talk and attitude  seemed to me to be positive and unconcern about the procedure. When I expressed my concerns about heart surgery she answered that she thought everything would be all right,  knowing that the physicians where experienced.  She then added that what good would it do  to think otherwise.  She explained that when you get to her aged (83) you stop worrying about what might or might not happen.  She said she would not concern herself with the possible outcomes and would accept whatever happens, and that she would be good with that. Although she did say she was going to put up a good fight, to make sure all goes well.  When I thought of her words I remembered the lyrics from Three Little Birds, and knew then what Bob Marley song I needed to paint.  Here are some of those lyrics from Three Little Birds:

“‘Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry
Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, I won’t worry
“‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright'”

I am dedicating this painting to a special person that is at the heart of the Von Holzen family, Dorothy. Here is the last Christmas picture of the family all together, with Dorothy in front holding her granddaughter, taken Christmas 2015 a few months after my Dad’s passing.



Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mr. Brightside Final Image

•12/26/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mr. Brightside Final Image

mrbright_finalMr Brightside is finished and is the final painting from this temporary studio.  Over the last three months, from my Daughters children’s toy storage room I have also finished Burgundy Shoes,  and Ave Maria.  As I am writing this blog entry I am working on the setup of my new permanent studio, in a new home, in this new city.  So begins this new adventure with many new stories to come.   To quote Semisonic “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”


Once again, here is the video that inspired this artwork:

Mr. Brightside is a simple song made up of mostly quarter and eighth notes in a fairly even pitch.  This than shows in the  musical flow, and in the solid blocks of color used in the background of the artwork. Besides using the colors from the video in the painting I wanted to represent the people and the spirit of the bar.  To do this I took my two eighth notes and added to them some left over wood pieces in different shapes and colors. I know that is not much, but that was all I had left after three months of working in a toy room.

Throughout the later part of my stay,  all through the day, no matter what I was working on, I would ask my Amazon assistant, Alexa, to play Mr. Brightside.  And she would respond “Playing Mr. Brightside.”  Then would come the guitar intro, and for some unknown reason I would feel instantly uplifted by this “feel-good” rock music, “I Never,..I Never…I Never,……..I Never………………………. This helped me through the last few weeks in the delightfully alien world of small children. “Bless their Hearts.”


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Ave Maria Final Image

•12/11/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Ave Maria Final Image

avemariafinalThe 2016 Christmas painting, Ave Maria,  is finished.  Here is this years Christmas Cards sent out to those who have purchased a painting,  and to recognize those who have supported this art in the past year.


What I have learned from Ave Maria is that I could paint a smaller artwork, and still keep the “look” of a larger painting.

Here is another version of Ave Maria by Vladimir Vivilov\ Giulio Caccini

Starting with this years Christmas painting, and soon adding the rest of the Christmas paintings that I have painted over the years, I will be donating any sales of these works to Charity.  You will soon find these paintings listed at my Etsy Store. I will be posting details on Etsy in the coming months.



S_V_H Ave Maria 2016 Christmas Painting Image 1

•12/02/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Ave Maria 2016 Christmas Painting Image 1


Ava Maria is this years Christmas Painting.  For those who have purchased one of my paintings they will once again receive a Christmas card with a signed and numbered canvas print of Ave Maria.

Of the different versions of this song this one written my Franz Schubert probably is the most well know, sung by the soprano singer  Maria Callas:

That is not the version used for this painting.  I prefer this aria of Ave Maria composed by  Vladimir Vavilov in 1970, and attributed later to Guido Caccini:

This year’s Christmas painting music,  by Vavilov/Caccini,  sung by mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca:

What convinced me to drop the Schubert version was the words.  Originally written in Italian, the translation to English loses much of the power of the music for me.  In this Vavilov version the only words are Ave Maria.  For me this projects a stronger message,  because the  singing of those two words, without sounding repetitious and boring,  creates a magical and hypnotic sound.

Scott Von Holzen

This is a small work forty inches in length by ten or so inches in height. I wanted this to be a small painting for a number of  a practical reason:  I needed to work on methods to produce, and feel good about,  small works in the same way as I have always felt with my larger works.

I am also trying to be practical, smaller works are easier to sell for they take up less wall space,  have a lower selling price,  are cheaper to ship, need less storage space,  and actually take less time to produce.  Another reason for small is I am still working under temporary and constrained Studio conditions.

For my Christmas paintings I never try new ideas.  Over the years I have learned to see these artworks as a summary of the year’s artistic style, which than eliminates any thoughts of risky style changes. Each year my singular goal with this artwork is to get the painting finished, photograph,  printed on canvas, signed, numbered,   create a new card design, address all the envelopes, and mail out a week before Christmas.

When finished I always have the feeling that all this extra work is worth it. I have never regretted this annual artwork. Those that have supported me over the years need to be told, at less once a year, how much I appreciate their belief in this art.   That includes you Pat, Kevin, and Matt.




S_V_H Mr. Brightside Image 1

•12/01/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mr. Brightside Image 1

mrbrightside_1This is the Wonderful, the uplifting, the emotional charged song,  Mr Brightside, that became more important  to paint once I watched this surprising video:

It was in the last few months of my last and final “job”  that I stumbled on this video. Watching this musical tribute and seeing the camaraderie  brought back memories of the times when I  lived, and worked,  in Northern Wisconsin. It was Up North that I  found a lot of entertainment and friendships in my favorite bars and supper clubs.  Those days are now long gone, but I could not help but drag my co-worker friends (Pat, Kevin, and Matt)  into my office to listen and watch this video. I guess my intention was to share and re-live my past glories, but that did not happen. They watched and it turned out, to my disappointment,  that they were “all wet matches,” (a Mom quote).

Maybe they never drank and sang with friends in a local bar full of  like-minded strangers, or maybe being at work ruins the mood,  Or maybe I over-estimate people’s ability to “see beyond the end of their own noses”. That last “maybe” is a quote from my Mom.  Lastly, and probably the best answer “maybe” my work friends could give a “rats ass” (common phrased used by my Mother), that I valued our friendships.

Then on September 30th months after retiring from “job work” (my first job was while in grade school was I delivering Sunday newspapers in the Ashland Wisconsin winter), I again sent them this video, along with this tweet: “……..the “music” Is what brought us all together. Let us always celebrate the songs of our lifetime.” That move to awaken the walking dead was as silly as their responses.   “I am not going to hold my breath”,  then came to mind, another saying my Mom.   We all moved on to fresh silly bantering.

Obviously friendships have their limits.  Just for “shits and giggles” (must I tell you)  I can see us four friends all in a big white box, with each of us standing in our own secure corners with sarcasm as our only method of communication.  Hey, guy friendships kinda amounts to that level, which than levels off.  Still, I realize that such guy friendships do offer each of us a choice of different  rewards.

Maybe, for me, the real outcome of sharing this video was not to “maybe”  build  deeper connections with three friends, but only to slow the guilt of letting the past fade too quickly away, including losing touch with three valuable friends.

As you can see from this first image, I have taken my color scheme from the video. That tells me a lot about Music’s versatility: A great song can have many meanings, and create different reactions in people. This than is my take on the Music in the form of this artwork inspired by a video: Just “maybe” unlike the video, this painting I call Mr Brightside, that I will dedicate to them,  will break through that “no chance in hell,” (Mom again) wall to eventually build a  stronger and longer lasting connection with my three amigos. …..Silly me.