S_V_H Burgundy Shoes Image 1

•09/08/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Burgundy Shoes Image 1

brugundyshoes_2

Burgundy Shoes is small song musically by Patty Griffin, that elevates itself with its powerful lyrics. This song is a personal choice for me. I choose this music for I cannot listen to Patty Griffin’s music without thinking of my daughter Kinsey or her daughters Jordyn and Kendyl.  It also reminds me of a young boy, sadly a long time ago,  who also rode the bus home from school.  Without doubt I feel that my life has crossed paths with Patty Griffin’s.  Her music lets forgotten emotions know the warmth of acceptance and gratitude.

Burgundy Shoes Lyrics (in bold is the music of this artwork):

We wait for the bus that’s going to Bangor
In my plaid dress and burgundy shoes
In your red lipstick and lilac kerchief
You’re the most pretty lady in the world
Sun

The bus driver smiles, a dime and a nickel
We climb on our seats, the vinyl is cold
“Michelle ma belle”, the song that you loved then
You hold my hand and sing to yourself
Sun sun
Sun sun
Sun sun sun sun

Sun sun sun sun
Sun sun sun sun
Sun

The leaves are green and new like a baby
Tulips are red, now I don’t miss the snow
It’s the first day I don’t wear my big boots
You hold my hand, I’ve got burgundy shoes
Burgundy shoes, burgundy shoes
Sun

 

Patty Griffin first captured me when I saw a review of her Album 1000 Kisses on CBS’s Sunday Morning way back in 2002.  Until then I had never heard of her.  I bought the album  and have played her music,  and  have appreciated her song writing ever since.

Burgundy Shoes is one among of a number of other Patty Griffin songs that are special.   Some of my other favorites are Florida, Rain, Long Ride Home, Crying Over, Trapeze, and When it Don’t Come Easy.

Here is the studio version of Burgundy Shoes.  The music for this painting begins at 1:16 seconds into the song:

This is the only Live version that I thought was decent enough to present:

Scott Von Holzen

 

Burgundy Shoes  Technical Notes:

Below is the original first image of Burgundy Shoes.  You can see that the stripping is different from the latest image. What happened, is that I planed, calculated, thought it all through,  and still put the bottom vertical stripping in the wrong place. It could not be removed so I had to repaint the entire burgundy background.

brugundyshoes_1

I am lucky that although the lyrics are small they give me a lot of color clues for this artwork.  Of course it is easy to start with ‘burgundy shoes” which you see in the background. But the lyrics also mention “plaid dress,” “red lipstick,” and “lilac kerchief.” In the finish work you will see the influence of all those lyrics.  I am so lucky to have them.

As a note, my studio is down and packed away, for the big move to come.  Although disappointed,  to my delight,  I will soon be back with my music and my art, in a temporary home studio provided by my daughter and her family.

How lucky.

Scott

S_V_H We Belong final image

•08/22/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H We Belong final image

weBelong_finalWe Belong is finished. This is a commissioned work in which I learned about the women of 80’s rock.  To my surprise I knew, and remembered, more music from that time than I would have ever thought.  Creating this artwork was fun, enlightening, and a nostalgic look back to decade when I bought my first CD player, and  CDs starting with Steve Winwood’s Back in the High Life.

We Belong is sung by Pat Benatar, one of the best solo female rockers , who in the late 70’s early 80’s presented herself as an independent,  feisty, tough, defiant, aggressive, woman with a commanding sexuality, and flawless femininity.   I thought, oh my god, how do I paint that. Thankfully, the music is the foundation of this artwork and not a single artist or a performance.  We Belong certainly does accommodate Pat Benatar’s  musical style,  but like each artwork they evolve,  and finish presenting their own performance.

 

 

Scott Von Holzen

purpleRain_FPurple Rain (late April)

Before We Belong I had the feeling that my style was becoming rather redundant.  Painting Purple Rain did help.  Because of my musical appreciation for Prince,  I felt some comfort doing  different twists of old ideas that where fun and that worked.  Then We Belong followed,  and I walked into the disruption I needed to get me out of this boring style rut.  Unlike in past when other artists paintings had given me new direction, this time I stumbled on a new path when I viewed my first Pat Benatar ‘s music videos.

It was my client who specifically mention Pat Benatar and who suggested We Belong.  I agreed to do the artwork knowing that at best I had heard Pat Benatar on the radio. My history of music in the 80s is that MTV was a premium cable channel, and my CD collection leaned hard towards Prince and Madonna. In short, I knew her name not the music.  To prepare for the artwork, for the first time I watched Pat Benatar’s 80’s performances.  By watching videos, researching her story, and listening to her radio station on Pandora,  I developed a fuller picture of this 80’s rock star.   A part of that discovery, that captured  my fascination,  was how much the color black dominated, in her dress, and in the darkness of her stage performances.  It became obvious to me that to create We Belong I would have to paint with a color I never use before, black.

Black,  from the beginnings of this art, never appears on my pallet. It was because of the influenced of the Impressionistic painters, who like Monet,  that never used black, that I shunned it, using  a dark blue when needed. Only recently have I experimented with black decoratively in the Waylon Jennings artwork.   In We Belong, because of the influence of Pat Benatar,  I realized that black would have to step out of the shadows.  To meet my client’s expectations, and mine I saw the color  black dominating this entire artwork.  To accomplish that I covered the entire canvases with multiple layers of  Carbon Black to form a solid shade, that becomes my look of a horizontal monolith. Next, I had to consider how to apply the stripping.

In Purple Rain there the two areas of especially interesting  stripping, that because of their size and placement,  followed the flow of the music.  I realized  that covering the entire We Belong with stripping, which happens in Purple Rain would not work. I did realize that only doing the stripping to follow the music, as in Purple Rain, would be enough to be  a foundation for the music to hang on.  Doing no more stripping the color black in We Belong still dominates and keeps it inline with the style of Pat Benatar.

 

We Belongs influence shows in this years Birthday painting, Cherish.  The Birthday painting is always under pressure from a short timeline to complete.  Continuing the trend started in We Belong save time and planning.  Cherish turn out to be a basic artwork that like We Belong gets its message across using simple elegance.  That is the difference between it and the more decorative Purple Rain. I never thought that a singer would affect the style of this art, but a feisty 80s rock singer did just that.

cherish_finishedCherish (July 31st)

Scott

S_V_H Waymore’s Blues Final image

•08/19/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Waymore’s Blues Final image

waymoreblues_FinalWaylon Jennings Waymore’s  Blues is finished. It took a crazy long three months to complete.  I started it in early May, but after working on the background I  halted work on it to switch my efforts to the commissioned Japan Bach painting, followed by another commissioned, We Belong, and then Cherish this years Birthday painting.  Waymore’s Blues is even a longer overdue painting considering that it has been over nine years since I last painted a Country Music artwork,  Crazy by Patsy Cline.

The biggest unique look,  that is also the obvious hook for this artwork,  comes from the design of Waylon’s leather embossed guitar.  I stylized the look of his guitar into a cool design that is the music in this painting.  Since the music  has such a dramatic look that than allowed me to go with a straight forward  background with clean straight lines, and  pure colors applied right out of their jars.  This kept the desigin of the background deceptively simple,  in contrast to the music,  and visually offers another side of Waylon Jennings.  As for my choice of the colors, white, black, blue and brown, they all became obvious after watching a few Waylon Jennings videos.   Black and white show in his guitar and strap, the blues come from his blue jeans look, and the browns comes from his abundance of head and facial hair.

Waylon sings, “I ain’t no ordinary dude. I don’t have to work.”  Every time words appear in these artworks  I pick them so that they offer alternate meanings from the music. In Waymore’s Blues ” I don’t have to,” challenge the viewer, especially if the music is familiar to them.

Here is Waymore’s Blues from a live performance of Waymore’s Blues at the Grand Ol Opry in 1978, with his guitar that is where the black and white designs you see in the artwork come from.

Scott Von Holzen

 

I have always like Waylon Jennings, but I am not sure why.  My guess may have something to do with my earliest child recollection of music which would the songs of Hank Williams. To this day I still like many of Hank’s hits such as, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Cold Cold Heart, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Jambalaya, Hey Good Lookin’ and Kaw-Liga.  I cannot recall where or how I heard him sing, but probably it was my Mother’s love of music that I probably listened to Hank on the radio.  Another possibility is that  I may have heard Hank Williams being played on a jukebox. There is a good chance that my parents, in their twenties,  brought me along with them to one of the local taverns.  I would have heard the sounds of music like never before, and would have been apart of many memorable times my parents had in the early 50s with friends and family. Sadly, neither of them are around to confirm any of my short frames of memories of so long ago.

I know it is still a long stretch from Hank Williams to Waylon Jennings, especially after Hank Williams I have no other memories of Country music. In fact,  the next song I recall from my youth,  came about when I was taking accordion lenses.  I wanted to learn to play the music for Bye Bye Blackbird, but my teacher never found the sheet music ( Instead I painted Bye Bye Blackbird in 2012).  My next remembrance of music was the song High Hopes, probably song by Frank Sinatra (Painted and sold).  A few years later I do recall a pop hit, Speedy Gonzales  by Pat Boone. Then as a high school Sophomore in 1964, the music of the Beatles changed every teenager,  including starting me on this path to now.

I guess my appeal for Waylon Jennings, and his song Waymore’s Blue, could have come from it being more of a traditional Country song, without the twang, that was greatly influenced by the Blues.  Or maybe,  Waylon Jennings one of the original County Outlaws, involved from one of the most original, influential, and controversial singer, songwriters of his time,  which was also my time as a youth.   And now, much older, and in this time,  I have a moments opportunity,  to keep going down that musical path beyond just Hank to Waylon.

Here is Hank Williams singing his 1947 classic Move It on Over in this 1949 recording.  This early Rockabilly song greatly influenced  Bill Haley and the Comets classic hit, Rock Around the Clock, that became the anthem for the youth of the 50s, and brought Rock ‘en Roll into the musical mainstream:

Scott

S_V_H We Belong image 3

•08/06/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H We Belong image 3

weBelong_3We Belong  is starting to show of her charms.  All the parts of this music are now in place, which is always a major accomplishment for any artwork.  The color black along with shades of gray define this artwork, and the singer Pat Benatar.  To add depth to this look,  interest, and excitement to this painting, I am going to add a number of small, mostly curved wood shapes.  In contrast to the major neutral colors these add-ons, done in the  colors that define the eighties will soften, and enlarge the feminine.

Each of these artworks pushes this genre a bit more forward.  As long as the passion, and the need to know remains strong,  that is the direction I am heading. The one thing I am beginning to understand is that although I care deeply about each of these paintings, I know I can let them go if the time comes.  I am sure of that, for I believe it is this art,  that is leading me around the next corner, to the next piece of music, that will become the next painting,  that will steal my heart away, letting me, once more, feel seventeen again.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Cherish Finished image

•07/31/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Cherish Finished image

cherish_finished

Cherish, is finished with all the structure that makes up this music is in place.   Tomorrow, I will clean,  touch up, and add a number of small wood pieces to give the music at little more interest.

Cherish, is a wonderful song about unrequited love, that made it relevant in the 60’s and I believe it still holds today. That is one reason I painted it.  Many of my artworks I complete reflect the times I grow up.  Cherish is one of those 3 minute songs that have given hundreds of hours of remembrance,  and reflection to many of us. Sometimes it is good to look back, laugh at yourself, and realize how far you have come.  You envy your youth in those days, but know that the best is yet to come.

Scott Von Holzen

 

 

S_V_H Cherish Image 4

•07/31/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Cherish Image 4

cherish_4Cherish, what you are seeing now is the tweaks to the music that gives this music it uniqueness.

Scott Von Holzen

 

S_V_H Cherish image 3

•07/31/2016 • Comments Off on S_V_H Cherish image 3

cherish_3All the music you are seeing in this image are custom cut pieces of wood.  That has become a big part of the current style.  I think using wood add-on pieces gives this art the opportunity to create new looks, improves interest, and enhances that important three-dimensional look, although it is  still missing a key musical dimension: sound.  For now, at this moment, this is  a static image of a piece of music representing the sound of that music without being heard. Maybe the use of wood is just the next step, in my step-by-step adventure to try to figure out what I am trying to accomplish with these paintings.

Scott Von Holzen