S_V_H Silver Bells final image

•12/09/2017 • Leave a Comment

Silver Bells this years Christmas artwork and the canvas print for my 2017 Christmas card is finished.  This work turned out to be a more  demanding and creative Christmas painting, than earlier years. Past Christmas artworks I kept the look and style predictable and functional to save time and stress because of the obvious deadline. Of course. Silver Bells did not turn out that way.

The result will be the same with this artwork as with the past Christmas works, which is that Silver Bells will become the newest member of my Christmas Club artworks soon to be quickly forgotten after the Holidays.

For now Silver Bells is where my art is at. It’s major influence is my earlier work, Runnin’ Down a Dream. You see that in the wide stems, and in the mix of colors.  Typical with my Christmas artworks I made use of metal paints, but even more so with Silver Bells.  I like their bright shiny Christmas look. Interesting,  I did a little practice glazing of the blue strips on the stems.  That doesn’t show well in the image, but this is something I will try again, and could be a possible step forward.

The words Ring and ring of course kinda throws this artwork in a different perception direction.   My original choice  was Silver Bells, but I decided to shake the tree instead.

That is it for Silver Bells. Next up something fun and different, that I know,  once I figure out what that would be.

Actually, I know exactly what I am going to paint. I am going back to my rock ‘n roll roots, with Bob Seger’s great Like a Rock:


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Silver Bells image 1

•12/04/2017 • Leave a Comment

Silver Bells is this years Christmas Painting. My original plan was to produce a mini-Christmas artwork probably about one foot in length.  I ended up choosing a larger 8 inch by 24 inch in length canvas,  with no clear reason other than I forgot my original plan.

Using a larger canvas with such a small amount of music, better suited for a mini artwork, cause me to look for ways to fill up some space. Well, as you can see, with much effort, I covered the background using large pieces of wood.  Because of their length and size of all this extra wood, I had issues with keeping a balanced look. What I did to balance the work, with the third group of two notes,  I turned the stems  down instead of the more normal up. Than with the fourth two note group, I turned my tie, that boxy object covering the notes, also down, instead of doing a more normal above the music curve wood piece. I would have not done any of this if I had stuck with the original plan, but here I am. To move on to the fun parts of this music, I am going to cover all those large plain-looking pieces of wood with a lot of  strips and shapes. When finished Silver Bells will be a bright, colorful, and undeniable another unmarketable Christmas painting.

Here is a Classic 1950’s version of Silver Bells, with Bob Hope as a mischievous Santa Clause, and that includes a dated insensitive action at 1:18, Ho! Ho!

I  angled the stems of the music back-en-forth as a symbol for a ringing bell.  Originally, I was going with Silver Bells  for the artworks words, but  realized that I had another sentence I could use : “Ring-a-ling,  hear them ring.”  The words Ring, ring, balance nicely, and are more fun visually, so that is the direction I am heading.


S_V_H Runnin’ Down a Dream final image

•11/21/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Runnin’ Down a Dream final image

The Tom Petty tribute painting, Running Down a Dream,  is finished with a big Woo Hoo!   Woo and hoo do not show up in any of the lyrics, but they repeat a remarkable THIRTY times throughout the song.  Okay, they are not the best lyrics of the song. My favorite line is ” me and Del were singin’ little Runaway.” But, woo hoo, sets the mood of the song, and reminds me of my Mustang days when driving could be just that,  driving. I do not do that anymore.  Now, when I am in my car it is to go get stuff, and that is about it. That reminds me of a favorite lyric quote from the famous, and missed, Leon Cohen:
“Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way”

This is an interesting looking, non commercial, non living room, artwork. This is also the first time I have altered the stems of my music in a way that is totally non sheet music like,  and surprise it still works.  In the past  the vertical look of the stems as the move up and down following  along with the music, was the obvious choice. What changed with this painting began with using extra small solid color canvases and then filling space with the metal frame. That got me to thinking that inflating the size and even going horizontal with the stems would add some bulk, improve interest, and fit the look and the mood of this artwork.  Because of their size I than could decorative the stems to add contrast with the canvases.  For their colors I found them on the album and single covers.

A lot of the other colors used for the painting come from Tom Petty’s other albums and his performances. For example,  the red used for those little circles inside the large bronze circle openings comes from the color red used in a number of Tom Petty’s albums, including Damn the Torpedoes.

Woo hoo, this completes this project in time to move on to this years Christmas Painting, which will be Silver Bells.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Chopin Polonaise in A Flat major Final image

•11/15/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Chopin Polonaise in A Flat major Final image

Chopin Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op 53, 24 inches by 36 inches

This Chopin artwork is finished, kinda.  Since it is going to be around the studio for a few more days, I probably will touch it up, because this is one of my rare artworks, that has to be framed to actually look finished. Of course, this is a commission work, so I will have to wait for the image of it hanging in the Music room to see how good this artwork really is.

That now means that it is time for me to get back to the good stuff of finishing my half done Tom Petty artwork,  pound out a few more Mini-artworks for my Etsy website, and get in the mood for this years Christmas Painting, Silver Bells.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat major 4 image

•11/15/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat major 4 image

This fourth image of this popular Chopin music is near finished. I am also surprised how well this painting moved along, without  any major issues.  The planning had to be good because of my limited working space, and that paid off for there is not much I would change. The overall look of the music is pretty good considering I had to fit a lot of Chopin into 36 inches by 24 inches without the artwork looking crowded. All that is now left is for me to do is to sharpen the edges, shape up the music,  clean up the background,  write in the title of the music, and finally sign and date.

Since this work is different from my current style I do have so thoughts on how this project is turning out.  I like the reflective qualities of the silver and bronze colors, and their changing colors in different light and angles.  That is a surface feature for me, but also it works well with my theme of simulating movement in these artworks. Reliving the past with the flatness, and especially the oblong shape of the music are two traits that can create  highly marketable artworks,  especially to musicians.  Although I will not return to this look unless commissioned, I still enjoyed the challenge and income of this type of project.

Scott Von Holzen

S_VH_H Classical Music Series of Mini Paintings

•11/10/2017 • 1 Comment

This is my first Series of mini-artworks based on four well-known Classical music composers.  Moving clockwise from the left I have Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto,  Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major ,and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  These are all individual artworks, that I will be making multiples of each.   The Chopin and Bach works are the largest being over 13 inches in length by 13 inches in height.   I have documented the production each of these artwork, using templates and some standardized parts, to reduce time along with the price.  I am looking at $89 for the Beethoven and $125 for the other three as a starting prices for this Series 1.  These works will be available on my Etsy painting site before December 1st.


In the video I referred to my neighboring vendor’s display of his 39 dollar sea turtles.  Here is that picture of these little critters that he sold all day long  and what became an awakening at my first Art and Craft Fair in Appleton Wis:

So it goes………….

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Chopin Polonaise Op. 53

•11/08/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Chopin Polonaise Op. 53

This is the third image of Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 53.  Even though I have eliminated every rule of sheet music that defines it, and none of my artworks if attempted to be played would actually sound like the music they are portraying, that look of sheet music is definitely in this painting.  This is not an issue with Classical Music because I choose music that is in the Public Domain.  Still, I don’t generally paint music this way, because of the look, and because I would like this art to appeal to a greater audience of music lovers who would not necessarily understand music notation.

But……, what separates this artwork from most of my other current work, is that this painting is marketable to a large segment of potential customers which are musicians and lovers of Classical Music. These people know their music better than I do, and want to see the music in their artworks, and know where the painting appears in the original music. That is true of my client for this artwork which will be a gift for a musician.  As this art keeps moving forward creativity I must not forget what has gotten me to where I am today, and what will still support this adventure in the future.

Besides viewing Image 3 you can also see and listen to this wonderful piece by Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat:

For the most part the music is in place, and it does fit in this constricted format. The next step, which I have already started is to add some technical musical items you find in sheet music. I see all this add-on stuff as interest.  In this short excerpt Chopin used a number of “grace notes,” two “trills,” a couple of “crushed notes,” and a “fortissimo.” Each of these items need to be drawn in, and I am not a drawer. I rather take a photograph to save time. Like the words you see in most of my artworks my drawing skills need a lot of time, patience and determination to make sure the results are beyond  acceptable. Next up I will be adding more interest like “ties,” and “diminuendos.”

if you like to see another image of this music take a look at this piece of the original Chopin signed manuscript of this music,


Scott Von Holzen