S_V_H In The Mood image 2

•09/25/2017 • Leave a Comment

Glen Miller made In The Mood a classic as an instrumental, but I also like this vocal version by the Andrews Sisters. The Andrews Sisters sound makes me think of the time when my parents where young, rock & roll was still a few years away, and  the middle class American was beginning to prosper like never before. Of course my generation helped to changed all that.

You can see in image two the influence of Mondrian that I talked about in the earlier blog entry.  I like directly using the style ideas of other artists to shake up my style, to connect to the past, and to learn from them.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H In The Mood

•09/21/2017 • Leave a Comment


In the Mood, is a big band classic from Glen Miller & his Orchestra. This song topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1940.  I remember playing my Mom’s 33 1/3 albums on the console record player when I was young. That is when I first heard big band music, of Glen Miller, and Tommy Dorsey.  We moved a lot back than so all those albums are now long gone, but I did not lose my appreciation for the sound of big brass.

In college, in the 1960’s,  I listened to one of my favorite albums by Blood Sweat & Tears, made all the more enjoyable by their use of brass instruments.  I remember In The Mood resurfacing as a single released by Bette Midler in 1974.  All through my musical life, probably from my Mom,  I have enjoyed the music of Frank Sinatra. What especially appealed to me where his songs that featured big band brass  His album Live at the Sands released 1966 and made into audio DVD in 2003, is still a favorite of mine today. However,  my decision to paint In The Mood came from a different direction.

My artworks have always provided me with entertainment, that is up to the point that I begin to tire of them.  When that happens, and it always does, I than push to complete the work. My last artwork, I Will Always Love You, took forever to finish. That extra time needed to complete that work exhausted my want to use that same style for my next project.  Finding a new direction started from a casual mention, in an art video series I was watching, of an old favorite artist of mine,  Mondrian.

Thinking about Mondrian,  I pulled from my bookshelf,  one of my earliest art books: 125 Paintings from the Museum of Modern Art.  With the copyright year of 1973,  that book was pivotal in the early development of my passion for art.

The Mondrian’s artwork,  titled Broadway Boggie Woogie,  appears on page 39,

That image than brought to mind my visit to the Museum of Modern Art,  with my good friend Tom, where we explored all six floors of the museum in record time.  I saw a lot of the paintings that day that I recalled from the book.  I than checked the photos from that trip. To my surprise I had not taken a lot of pictures of the artworks, but there was an image of Broadway Boogie Woogie. No portrait with me, but that I took the photo confirms that on that day I had searched for it knowing it was a favorite from the art book.

Here is that photograph of Broadway Boogie Woogie,  taken in the fall of 2015 at MoMa in New York City:

After the finishing of my last artwork, and knowing I needed a fresh approach, the Mondrian artwork offered possibilities.  The title, Broadway Boogie Woogie, caught my curiosity so I search boogie woogie to learn about this music genre that originated in the 1920’s. It was not long after listening to a few examples that I came across one of the big boogie woogie hits, In The Mood.  I now had my next art project of a long remembered song, with a fresh approach from a favorite painting from an old art book.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H I Will Always Love you Final Image

•09/14/2017 • Leave a Comment

Two canvases with aluminum and wood features. 47.75 in Length by about 18.75 in height

I Will always Love you is finally finished. Although I did not have to, I picked an interesting, and challenging part of the music to paint. The problem is that it took so long to complete that I developed a new idea I would like to try.  This painting, I Will Always…., shares the same basic style of connecting  two canvases together with aluminum strips that I started in April with When Doves Cry.  Since than it has worked well with the music, but I don’t want my artwork to be too repetitive, so I am taking a little style break.

For this painting I was never crazy about combing the colors of turquoise and brown. That was the request of the owner of this artwork.  If I had to do it all over again I would have went with even smaller canvas to diminish the turquoise.  To compensate for the larger canvas I did try to cover up, or break up,  as much of the turquoise as I could with different shades of brown. I do like that I used different shades of the turquoise. I have been using a lot of solid colors for backgrounds lately, which is less interesting. For the future I think I will go with different shades of a single color, but keep the shading a lot closer together. I think in that way I can have the clean look of a solid, without being boring.

I used the Rainbow Flag colors to give this painting its own special look, and by only using the one word, love, I  covered the meaning of this music to the owners.

There you go. Another painting, that lucky for me is not headed to storage, but to Missouri.

Next up, I plan on doing something different.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H I Will Always Love You image 4

•09/14/2017 • Leave a Comment

This is the fourth image of this artwork showing the entire flow of the music. Next up is the non musical add-on wood items to  give this artwork  interest, and personality. 

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H I Will Always Love You image3

•09/02/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H I Will Always Love You image3

This is the third image of the music I will Always Love You. I think I have now found a shade of brown that visually works with the turquoise, for this commissioned work.  Because of the number of music pieces needed I also had to cut their size to keep this artwork under the planned 48 inches or less. I used eight inch canvases for this artwork, which resulted in the background being a little too large in comparison to the music. Saying that  I probably should have used six-inch canvas. Wow, that surprises me.

Only a couple of years ago did I lose the idealism of my youth that painting bigger artworks would have a larger impact, and would fit nicely along with the other big works in a contemporary gallery at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  I think the finishing of the Vivaldi Four Seasons paintings, in early 2015 drained my want to paint big.  Also, there was the dramatically increase in shipping costs,  the difficulty in storing large artworks in a limited storage space, and the realization that my patron class had small walls for artworks and even smaller wallets.  My smartest move became to paint small. To become one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen, you first have to be seen, and not just stored.

Here is a nice tribute video of Jennifer Hudson singing I Will Always Love You:


S_V_H I Will Always Love You image 2

•08/27/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H I Will Always Love You image 2

This image shows the most difficult part of this music theme.  I could have saved a lot of time by using a third canvas to place this music on. I did not want to.  That would have made this music too typical by sitting on top of another piece of  boring canvas background.  I like the effect and the challenge of letting great music float about and around the background. Doing this brings this art form closer to  representing the fluid movement of music.   Still, the canvases stabilize the music, make the artwork portable, and give a neutral back drop. That makes them useful. For now,  I am going to let it stay that way.

The requested colors for this artwork are turquoise and brown.  That combination would not be a first choice.  I started by painting the canvases a medium brown. I did not like that look. Brown is not a color I associate with the unrequited love theme. I painted over the brown using different shades of turquoise. Visually, that worked better.  For the music I used a different brown that I  applied in transparent layers. I still would like to cut the overall impact of the turquoise background.  I could do that by using different shades of brown and small pieces of brighter accent colors.

So it goes.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H I Will Always Love you image 1

•08/22/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H I Will Always Love you image 1

This is a commissioned work based on the theme I will Always Love you,  a song, written by Dolly Parton but made famous by Whitney Houston. I didn’t think much of this song, that is until I watched the video. For  reasons beyond music a good video can change a good song into a block buster.  Check it out and see what I mean:

They owners of this artwork requested the colors brown and turquoise.  At first I painted the canvases a brown look,  and that failed measurably: I could not see the color brown as a great love song color being sung by a woman.  Maybe,  I needed a different brown,  but I decided to cut-my-loses and repainted the canvas using short vertical strokes off different shades of turquoise. After drying I realize that because of music those lines needed to be horizontal, so I repainted the canvases with longer horizontal stripping.  That did work.  Than, I still needed the color brown, as requested, and I decided to use the color brown for the music. I did change my first brown choice from Burnt Umber light to a more transparent Brown Iron Oxide.  With this brown choice I had better control by being able to apply in layers.

I needed  the colors brown and turquoise to dominated this artwork, but I felt that such a combination was out of my comfort zone.  Judging from past experiences I knew such things is what commissioned works do. They always challenge, with the benefits being both educational and inspirational.

Scott Von Holzen