Africa first image

•12/13/2018 • Leave a Comment

This artwork starts its build from the music of Toto.  For this first image you are seeing three separate pieces stacked up.  The top and the bottom aluminum sections, with the covered canvas for print protection, is for the music.  The only lyric, the word Africa,  will be in the middle section. Africa looked to be an artwork over eight feet in length.   Another long and narrow artwork caused me to think it was time to change the elongated structure common in my artworks.   I decided to break a apart the music, and stack it creating more of a rectangle artwork.  In order to connect, and separate both pieces of the music, I choose to add a wider middle size of canvas.  I bolted two 10 x 20 inches canvases together for the background, and to be the base for the two musical sections.  For this middle background canvas, to give this area value,  I choose the Serengeti to be the visual theme.  After a lot of taping and using a squeegee to spread a number of paint colors I got the look of a grassy plain,  with a few green trees in the shape of a musical staff, that worked.

The official, music video of Africa by Toto, is awful, dated, with a poor story line and token African references.  I prefer this later live version for the first 4 minuets or so, and then the rest is filler.

 

 

Better, is this video of  AFRICA, by the Angel City Chorale.  Africa has a Gospel sound, that for me, is the emotional appeal of this music.

 

Scott Von Holzen

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Final Image

•12/04/2018 • Leave a Comment

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, 42.5″ in length x 13″ high

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree sums up this years Art style.  I did come up with a style change in the vertical staffs. In the past they have all been square.  For the staffs for this artwork I cut round dowels into half rounds.  Nothing special, just interesting to make those small changes that add up to bigger movements in this Art.   Those four words “small changes….add up” have always been what pushes this Art forward.

The photograph of this final image is not bad. It comes close to capturing the look of the aluminum frame and of the coarse Pearl paint I used on the two canvases.  To improve the accuracy of the image I did have to cut back on the contrast of the entire work.  This dimmed the whites especially noticeable in the backgrounds of the words.  I can still  perked up the whites in Photoshop, to improve the accuracy of the prints.  I do sell my Art as prints on Etsy and Amazon.  Although, I need not rush to do so,  for I have never sold a Christmas print.

Of interest I have entered this artwork, a first for a Christmas painting,  in The Center for the Visual Arts 2019 29th Annual Midwest Seasons Prospectus, on the very last day of eligibility. In the information brochure it states:

“Original works should draw inspiration from Midwest seasonal impressions and
activities: i.e., the excitement of summer sports,
the fresh scents of spring awakenings, the
warmth of a cup of hot soup in the bitter winter,
or the crisp air in the autumn colors.
Interpretations of the season may be broad and
entries are not limited to representational works”

I believe I meet this criteria for the Christmas season is a season in the Midwest, and my artwork comes from a popular Christmas song.  After 28 years of jurors I am pretty sure those who know this show probably have seen every take on what the look of our weather is in Wisconsin, accept, in truth, not the way I present it.  That than may be a problem: this Art is different and unknown.  My take than is that no matter who jurors the 29th show including any of the last 28 jurors, the 29 juror will also reject this art.  A generic rejection notice bothers me less than the lost of my entrance fee of 25 bucks, which bothers me a lot less than not trying.

I see this art as too different from what is popular at Art Fairs,  and not understood enough to be exhibited constantly in local area Art exhibitions. Over the last couple of years, against my own instincts, I have tried to market my art through Art Fairs.  I have had some success and a few sales.  Those buyers both connect to the music and find my pricing , under 300 dollars, in their range.  I have also gradually lowered my pricing and the size of my works to be more in tuned with these type of price conscience buyers.   Unfortunately,  the effect of these moves did not lead to more sales.  Instead, I feel Art Fairs have actually undercut the direction, the value, and stunted this Art’s growth.

My experiences with Art Fairs along with discussions with veteran vendors has lead me to believe that Art Fairs from year to year don’t really change, they only reset back to zero each year.   Art Fairs tend to have lots of potential  browsers, but I have had only a few buyers and they existed only in their moment in my tent.  Art Fairs therefore are like the movie Ground Hog day.  That is the reason I wish to abandon Art Fairs.  I do not feel Art Fairs and those buyers will ever connect me to the larger world of high Contemporary Art.   Ironically, Art Fairs that can do that are only the large Gallery supported Art Fairs.

Currently, I have no connections to any large Galleries so that leaves me with the option that started this blog post:  participating in Call-for-Artists exhibits.  These exhibits open the door to another group of supporters that don’t go to Art Fairs, and only occasionally go to Art exhibitions if they are a supporting member.  The difference between Art Fair browsers and  “Call to Artist” Art exhibition supporters is the level of interest in today’s Art.  Buyers interested in contemporary Art attend  Art exhibitions. Art Fair goers are browsers interested in craft works and a lot interested in connecting to an artwork.  Even if some Art exhibit attendees see only an investment,  there will always be a few others that buy Art because they believe.  Even though they are much fewer in numbers than Art Fair goers, and at times are difficult to deal with, they do, at less in spirit, support the Arts.  Maybe not with their money, (let’s be real here) but certainly with their words and their egos.  This than offers a small opening to greater opportunities as long as I can self-support this Art.  Since I can I can therefore play the juror game knowing that Art exhibitions, can offer doors that may open out to a wider audiences and bigger opportunities.  Unlike Art Fairs, there are no doors, only my tent opening, to a closet I never wanted to be in.

And, if I make the 29 Annual Midwest Seasons Prospectus  show, praise Jesus,  you never know what new opportunity may be ahead.  I need to stay focused, participate, and continue to make all those small changes. When everything is added up, I may be surprised by the doors I walked through, and the doors I open on my own.  It all starts with baby steps, baby.

Scott Von Holzen

 

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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree image 1

•11/25/2018 • Comments Off on Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree image 1

To my surprise, Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree, is my thirteenth Christmas time painting. That is a lot of artwork time spent in the later part of the year, when I am not into Christmas music at Christmas time.  Instead I prefer an occasional Christmas song in the summer time.  For me Christmas music in July, is a diversion away from in-the-moment pop music, or when I am drowning in boredom from my own, aging playlists.  Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, sung by Brenda Lee, represents one of those great Summer Christmas songs, that will lift your spirit, and cool your temperature.

This artwork consists of two eight by sixteen inch canvasses, in a metal frame with a pearl colored background that does not portray well in the image. The music will be mostly in a Cobalt blue that worked well in the 2016 Christmas painting, Ave Maria.  A canvas image of this artwork will appear in this years Christmas card.

Scott Von Holzen

Por Una Cabeza The Tango Final image

•11/20/2018 • Comments Off on Por Una Cabeza The Tango Final image
The Tango Por Una Cabeza, 83 inches in length by 17 inches in height.

The Tango

I wrote these comments for this video:
“This artwork is a portrait of the Tango from the movie Scent of a Woman. What makes this work different from the previous other large works of 2018, Like Vogue, and the Mozart Serenade, is that I broke the music a part based on the two rests from the music. What I am trying to do is to capture that same feeling that I get when I view an actual Van Gogh painting. Its is his colors that pulls me closer to Vincent, but it is the seeing of his brush strokes and the interaction they have on all those bright colors that creates the connection. Although I am trying to use bright colors differently from Vincent, I do want to pull the viewer closer. I hopefully do that with their interaction with the music. That is why breaking the music apart I think creates curiosity with the viewer. I talk of immersive qualities of this artwork in the video. That may be over confidence on me, but no matter, it is a start, for better to come.”

I do not need to say anymore about this artwork. After two months of living with it, I wish only to move on.  That is what has happened. I am now working on 2018’s Christmas painting.  An image of this artwork will be a part of the Christmas Cards that I will be sending out to those who have supported me this year and in the past. Never forget.  Thank You

Scott Von Holzen

Por Una Cabeza The Tango image 2

•11/20/2018 • Comments Off on Por Una Cabeza The Tango image 2

The Tango, it near completion.  After the setback it is surprising how well I was able to put everything back with minimal issues. Every artwork has its moments of disappointment and testing of the artist determination.  The fact that every one of these artworks is like building something that has never been built before, proves my worth and will to succeed.  But not my confidence.

Por Una Cabeza on Tuesday morning.

This artwork is resilient.  Next up is the music.

 

Scott Von Holzen

The Tango Per Una Cabeza Image 2 plus what else is new

•11/01/2018 • Comments Off on The Tango Per Una Cabeza Image 2 plus what else is new

This artwork is stretching out to over 80 inches in length.  Of course this artwork reminds me of earlier works, especially with its length, but because of some resemblances, I will find ways to do something different with this work to not only make it unique looking, but to also coax this style forward. All I need to accomplish my expectations for this artworks is the ideas to make that happen, which at this moment do not exist. That may be because lately I have turned away from working on this work. That progress was held up, in order for me to work on new works I wanted for a couple of small art shows.

For the one day show this weekend at the Artisan Forge, I have created two smaller mini four note Beethoven 5th artworks including placing them in custom-built frames.

These mini Beethoven artworks each measure about 9.5 inches in length by 10.5 inches in height.  Also, new for this show I have created an extended musical version of Beethoven’s Für Elise.

This Beethoven artwork is also in a new custom frame with overall measurements of 33 inches in length by about 10.25 inches in height.  All three of these artworks have buttons to press to listen to the music:

For the Show all November at the Elmaro Winery near Winona Minnesota, I will be displaying only one artwork which is this updated earlier version of Für Elise. It was last year late that I showed my first version of Beethoven’s 5th that sold quickly at Elmaro, but without the music.

Finally, here is Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the last of the new custom frames, that has been on display for a number of months at the Artisan Forge Gallery, but in a much larger, 20 by 24 inch frame.  These new custom frames, built to fit the shape of the artworks, I hope will present these little works in a much more appealing way.

Lastly,  I have this other very little addition to my Art Fair and Show inventory:

Next up back to work on The Tango artwork, but again there will be some distraction,  for I also need to start work on the Christmas painting for the 2018 Christmas cards.

 

Scott Von Holzen

The Tango – Por Una Cabeza image1

•10/14/2018 • Comments Off on The Tango – Por Una Cabeza image1

Por Una Cabeza is an Italian Tango whose lyrics certainly do not translate well, and would not have been a first pick for the tango if it was not for the 1992 movie Sent of the Woman.  That dance scene made a lasting impression on me, that I had forgotten until I added this music to my potential artwork list.  Even though I have seen much better dancing on Dancing with the Stars, I am still touched today by this performance.

This Tango is my last major large artwork for this year.  It also uses the smallest canvases, five by seven-inch, and of immense importance this artwork, for the first time,  breaks a foundation rule that I shared with sheet music the entire twelve years of painting music.  What I have changed is that parts of the flow of the music are now offset. That means this art no longer matches the up and downs of sheet music.

I can blame that hesitation for this change on the musician in me that finds it extremely uncomfortable to break this greatest fundamental rule of sheet music.  The results of that decision is that I now can move this art style in different directions.   A bad effect will be that the casual viewer, along with musicians (my core support group), will find it difficult to follow the flow of the music.  This is a troublesome move that speaks to the art and not the reputation, to seeing where I can take music painting, and a rebuke to the need of conformation that all these ten-of-thousands of hours where worth all the effort.  So goes my choice, so goes I.

Scott Von Holzen

 

Scott