S_V_H Time to Say Goodbye image1

•01/13/2018 • Leave a Comment

Time to Say Goodbye is a European pop  song sung by the Italian operatic singer Andrea Bocelli, made even more popular when he paired with Sarah Brightman, an English classical crossover soprano (Wikipedia).


I found this music, almost randomly.  I have maintained a list of odds and ends  songs that I think I might want to paint.  At times I refer to that list when I have finish a project, to see if anything interests me.  Rarely, do I choose from it, but looking for a smaller project, this music stood out.

I made this artwork more complicated by not framing out the music in aluminum or canvas.  That lead to a lot of  experimenting with pieces of wood and aluminum to find a way to  support the music on each end.  It would have been easier if both ends, like all by earlier works of this nature, where framed with canvas.  Instead, I took on the challenge to design a different support system for the music. What I have works, but I know I can do better.  I also confirmed that Tacky Glue, my standard, works well enough for bonding pieces of aluminum and wood.

The  dominant colors used in this painting come from the artists in the video.   This is a color technique I use often for it works wonderful to connect the music to the artist, or a performance through video or pictures. Black and white where obvious choices. My choice was to use shades of rose, to emphasize the strong influence and performance of Sarah Brightman.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like a Rock final image

•12/30/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock final image

Like A Rock three canvas, 19 inches x 34 inches in length, with aluminum and wood features.

This artwork for the music Like a Rock will catch the eye of the aware viewer with the words, “I Believed My Dreams.” I choose those words knowing their meaning would be varied and unpredictable.  I chose those words to take this artwork beyond the music.  I chose those words because I dream.

By the time I get to the final image of any of these artworks, I have lost my emotions and words for the artwork.  Except that when I turn away from the computer and look across the room, I do say that it surprises me. I never expected this music to turn into an artwork this good.  I like the browns and blacks for they fit Bob Seger.  I like the words for they take this artwork to another level.  And I like this artwork, because it builds from the past but does not imitate what has come before.

Other than that, I am moving on to once again paint some Italian music, but not Vivaldi. This time the music is Operatic Pop with a cover by my favorite Disco Queen, the fabulous Donna Summer.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like A Rock image 3

•12/29/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like A Rock image 3

Like a Rock partial  Lyrics:

“I was eighteen
Didn’t have a care
Working for peanuts
Not a dime to spare
But I was lean and
Solid everywhere
Like a rock……

And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams

Twenty years now
Where’d they go?
Twenty years
I don’t know
Sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone……

Like a rock, the sun upon my skin
Like a rock, hard against the wind
Like a rock, I see myself again
Like a rock”

This artwork has developed  its own look, and offering these innovations:

I rounded the ends of my ledger lines, square ends before, and allowed them to dominate the notes. Before these lines where either connected to or behind my notes Also,  I positioned my blue flat incidental to enhance the look of the artwork not because of the music.

In sheet music each group of musical notes has its own beam, but for my music I connected two groups of my music with one long beam.  I than added some stripping in groups of five like the five lines of a musical staff.

Over the years of painting eighth and sixteen notes I have tried dozens of different looks. With this artwork I have created one of my better looks for my own 16th note.  Very Art Deco.

Although,  I may not be done with this half dome tie, not done before, my blue Tie here sits on top of my notes

I placed this rhythm dot, again where it works with the artwork, and not with the music.

Of course my original idea, that I woke to in late 2005, was to some how paint music using sheet music. From its beginning I kept some aspects of sheet music in my artwork to make it work.  I also knew than that I did not want to just paint sheet music, nor did I want to create an abstract splish splash,  and call it music. Instead I decided to paint music that connects.

To that end I want my best works to relive that lost trill of removing the cellophane from a new CD or Album, placing it on the spindle, and for the first time to actually hear music, only listened too before,  through speakers bigger than a toaster.

I want Like a Rock to be part of that goal of connection. I want to stand between the music and the artwork,  in the sweet spot of sight and sound,  cellophane toss aside.  I want it personal.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Like a Rock image 2

•12/27/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock image 2

Like a Rock image two is where I put aside the subject of this artwork,  and work on bringing the music into visually harmony with the background.  As my saying goes, “…the artwork eventual seeks its own destiny, with little concern with its origins.” Image two is beginning to move to that direction, and by image three the harmony is in sight.

That is when I take another look to make sure my original plan for this music remains.  If needed the final steps  sharpen my vision for this painting. Finally, in key what I want to see is an artwork with a balanced sense of art and harmony

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like a Rock image 1

•12/23/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock image 1

Like a Rock is a small work,  30 inches in length by eight. My choice of browns and black fits the classic rock look seen in the images of Bob Seger. The colors silver and gold  are also a good choice that you can see in these album covers:

Bob Seger is a Detroit “roots rocker,” who found his first national success with his 1976 album Night Moves. Although I can not recall ever listening or certainly buying the music of Bob Seger, here I am today spending two precious  weeks painting his music. How did I get here?

The birth and the foundation of what music means to me began with The Beatles, and has spread wide from there.  I know the exact date it was on February 9th 1964 when I was a sophomore in high school.   That Sunday night The Beatles appeared on  the Ed Sullivan show.  I along with 73 million others watched them perform  in black and white, and unknowing joined my generation that night.

The range of my early sixties Rock band music tastes expanded to include The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Cream,  Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Doors, The Kinks, Jefferson Airplane,  The Zombies, Buffalo Springfield, The Who, Credence Clear Water Revival, The Yardbirds, but not Led Zeppelin. I thought their music was too hard Rock.  That tells me that my Rock music taste included a lot of bands like The Beatles like The Turtles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Dave Clark Five, The Four Seasons,  The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers,  The 5th Dimension, The Association, The Mamas & The Papas, Blood Sweat and Tears,  and The Byrds.

Musically I also enjoyed the music of  The Supremes,  Sly and the Family Stone,  Jimi Hendrix,  Ray Charles,  and the electric Blues of B B King.  I mentioned that because I grew up in all white environments even though my family moved  several times from different homes to different states.  My first memory of ever interacting with a black person occurred while I was in college. It was than that my best friend Tom Haley and I attended a B B King concert at a local Madison bar. I remember going up to B B after the show, saying something to him and he responded how hot it was. That was all I remember.  I cannot but think that it must have been the diversely of the University of Wisconsin environment, my Liberal Mother,  and the impact of music that made prejudice meaningless in my life.

My attention and compassion for music changed in the late sixties, and early seventies after the garage band I joined disbanded, and I finished college.  With the rise of Disco music and the Bee Gees through the seventies,  I skimmed along musically with these Beatles style groups including The Eagles, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, and Fleetwood Mac.

In the eighties I wandered through those musical years with Madonna and Prince.  In the eighties I bought one of my first CDs,  Back in the High Life. Steve Winwood was again another artist in the style the Beatles. In the nineties and on I  lost much of my  connection to popular music,  picking songs and artists, here-and-there along the way.

In early 2006 when I began painting music that expectantly became my second coming.  Suddenly, music no longer started with the Beatles and that February night in 1964. Today, I see music as having no beginning and it has no end.  From I Wanna Hold your Hand, to I am a Rock,  from the Classical Barque composer Antonio Vivaldi, to the Jazz master Miles Davis, as long as it is harmonic I am all in.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Silver Bells final image

•12/09/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Silver Bells final image

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 • Comments Off on S_V_H Silver Bells image 1

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.