S_V_H When Doves Cry image 1

•03/24/2017 • Leave a Comment

This is the second painting dedicated to the music of Prince.  My first painting, Purple Rain originated from a request by a Prince fan.  The artwork ended up larger and a bigger project than first thought, and the fan turned it down because of the cost.  I was actually happy with the idea of keeping this work, considering it an unusually unique painting.  That lasted a week when, with regrets, I sold it to the Prince fan’s wife for their anniversary.

I am using the color ideas from the research I did for Purple Rain.  To make this small artwork stand out I have decided to give it its own unique twist:  I have chosen a new material to add interest and a unique look.

What is special with this painting is that hole in the artwork, in which I will float the music across. The idea of spacing between canvases originated with the artwork, Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix, where I used square pieces of wood along the backs of the canvases to connect them. The painted look of the wood looked great for that artwork,  but I had technical problems which included straightness. To avoid those issues for When Doves Cry,  I chose angled aluminum for its strength, straightness, and exceptional ease of use.

There are no YouTube videos available for When Doves Cry:

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H I’m Already There Final Image

•03/17/2017 • Leave a Comment


One canvas, 36 inches in length by about 22 1/2 inches in height

This is unusual, for this is the first and the final image for I’m Already There.  If you read this earlier post about the artwork, Please Remember Me, I explain why a song, I probably would never have painted, ended up as an artwork.


Here I am with the two painting set I mentioned in the earlier blog entry:

Both of these finished artworks have a country theme, shared colors, canvas size and compliment each other when place side-by-side. That means I can close the door on my time at Best Buy with the regrettable understanding that this is the only music I every remembered from that time.  Wait, I do remember one other song while I worked at Best Buy.  Not sure I heard it more than a couple of times, but it was the lyrics from Money for Nothing, by Dire Straits, that I do remember:

“We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s”

In that day that song was a great fit for me and Best Buy.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Please Remember Me Final image

•03/13/2017 • Leave a Comment

One canvas panel 36″ by about 24″ high

Please Remember Me, is finished and is the first artwork where I did not adjust the music to balance with the size of the canvas.  I let the music flow where it needed to go and that makes  this little work a pivot point for what will come next.  This painting along with its partial twin,  I’m Already There, are each 36 inches in length. This size makes it easier to find the needed wall space to get this art out in public view.  To help that happen I have applied for two local art shows, and I am working on a proposal for a local art gallery.  The art of marketing this art is as important as the art.  You can’t find an audience for paintings stacked away from sight.

Throughout this project I have kept the color range close together, working in shades of blue, and greens. In this final image I have decided to throw in some miscellaneous colors that probably have nothing to do with the theme of this artwork.  I added these little color pieces, similar as you saw in Satisfaction,  for a number of reasons.  I like using the little odds-and-ends pieces of wood in bright colors, here-and-there on an artwork to break up the work and add some interest.  I also think of these extra wood pieces as fragments of the music flowing around the painting. When listening to music there are a lot of sounds that echo, that blend, or taper off,  and that is what these little wood add-on pieces are there to represent.  It all adds up to making an artwork fun to look at.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Please Remember Me image 2

•03/09/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Please Remember Me image 2

With this second image you can see the music going where it needs to go, with little concern for the  attached canvas.  This less contained design needs extra time to figure out the details of design,  positioning,  and securing of  the wood pieces.  I find myself taking more time planning and constructing that has challenged my carpenter skills,  and that rivals my time painting the artwork. I would like to see, when it works, if I can let the music move even more freely off and around the canvas.

Wikipedia says that painting on canvas began around the end of the 15th century with Venice Italy as a leader. Now it is the 21st century, and in keeping with the past practices I started painting music by using the canvas as a containment for my subject, music.  Only in the last year has this relationship between subject and painting surface began to change. At this moment I am now wondering if I should look at a piece of stretch canvas as more of a docking source, for the music, instead of the traditional material needed to hold the subject.

With this work I have had a lot of issues at attempts and errors to find the right combination of colors that are in harmony with the artwork and the music. At first the starting colors comes from the music, Then later in the project the color plan shifts to the painting. That is when I balance the colors of the artwork to build a stronger harmony for visual impact, and hopefully a good first impression.  It is in those first few seconds when a viewer gazes at an artwork,  that the hook needs to be set.  That doesn’t guarantee a successful paining, but it does help the artwork to find its own story.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Satisfaction Final Image

•03/06/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Satisfaction Final Image

Two panels 26 3/4 inches in height by 50 1/2 inches in length.

Satisfaction, my first painting dedicated to the music of the Rolling Stones is finished. What I liked about this work is how well the dominate grays and shades of black worked with the here-and-there use of color.  The Impressionist painters avoided the use of  the black paint and only recently did I start using acrylic black.  I like the back-en-forth contrast between the blacks and grays and the brighter vibrant colors.  All these differences adds an extra push-pull to the music as it moves across these canvases.

The round wood pieces that are my musical notation, follow the flow or pitch of this song.  At first I painted them solid black with silver edges.  After I added and stripped those three half disks, which are my symbols for musical Ties or Slurs,  I knew that I had to do something similar with them.

The sharp edges of the stripping of the half disks reminded me of today’s digital images files.  Except, that when Satisfaction was going up the charts photography consisted of analog images on negatives. The look of half disks is dramatic, but for my notes to match the era of the music I chose short strokes of the different shades of gray and black, applied wet and blended to give the flow a symbolic look of negatives.

The different look of this musical artwork comes from its heavy use of neutral shades. This painting music brings back memories of a long time ago when I was young, and my world felt a lot more black & white.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Please Remember Me image1

•02/21/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Please Remember Me image1

please_1Please Remember Me, is on a short list of those rare Country Music songs that I have painted.  The trend for a country song to end up on my artworks list is that I have a story to tell about the music.  I passed story comes with the artwork, Waymore’s Blues, by the Artist Waylon Jennings. The story for Please Remembers Me follows below the video.

I think the video story board for Please Remember Me is awful, although I do like the colors.  In the beginning  Tim McGraw is sitting  on an out-of-place worn metal bench by the ocean.  And what is up with the flip lighter he seems to cherish?  As far as colors I am using that bench which shows up in the stripping and the  random red color.  I also used shades of muted blues and blue greens from the creepy and eerie opening ocean wave scenes.

Here is the video and lyrics from Please Remember Me:

“Just like the waves down by the shore
We’re gonna keep on comin’ back for more
‘Cause we don’t ever want to stop
Out in this brave new world you’ll see
Ov’r the valleys and the peaks
And I can see you on the top”

In a change of style,  I am greatly increasing the size of the music in proportion to size of the canvas.  In the past to give the music a solid foundation my standard practice was to generally match the size of the canvas with that of the music flow.  The results were that the smaller canvas the smaller the music. You can see this effect in the Artwork With a Little Help, and with Heaven’s Wall.  I have never been comfortable with small music, so that is one of the reasons why I have not painted a lot of small canvases.

It was with the larger length artwork Mon coeur s’ ouvre à ta voix that you see this trend beginning to change.  The issue I found with this painting, and that has held me back from pursuing,  was that this artwork turned out to be fragile, requiring careful handling.  With Please Remember Me using  improved techniques I think I can make the music bigger
than the canvas.




Here is a Story for the Country song that comes with a twist:

In 2000 I returned to a Technical College to re-train for a new career. To keep money coming in I also started working part-time at Best Buy in the Computer Sales group.  In a year or so I switched positions to the Computer Tech Bench doing mostly computer repairs, which was more in align  with my major.

It was during those working times before or after close of the store that they would turn up the volume on the overhead speaker system to play the latest eclectic Best Buy promotional music CD.  For me I enjoyed this musical connection as all of us went about putting everything in order, stocking or arranging shelves, updating the to do and check lists or going over items received for service and such.  It would be later when the discarded older versions of these Best Buy CDs would end up at the Tech Bench.  We than used CDs  for sound testing purposes, and that is when I first heard this particular country song that surprised me how much I enjoyed listening to it.

When working at the Tech bench I stood behind the customer service girls and faced the back wall of computers that needed setup or repair.  I actually enjoyed this small isolation with my computers over the frequent customer interruptions.  It was in those turned away moments where I develop this connection to this one country song. I kept coming back to this one track over a several weeks  when sound testing, until the CD finally disappeared from the Tech bench, and the song was forgotten. My Country Music list of likable songs is just a little longer than my Heavy Metal or Punk music, so when a country song affects me as much as that one did at Best Buy, you would think I would remember it even to this day.  Well, I did not.

Than along came the song Please Remember Me which popped up out of nowhere during my search for music I wanted to paint.  The song seemed familiar to me, but I could not place it. It wasn’t until I flash back to my Best Buy years that I began to wondered if Please Remember Me could be that lost special country song.

I worked at Best Buy starting in 2000, to 2003. According to Wikipedia Tim McGraw release Please Remember Me in 1999 and it became his biggest single hit,  spending five weeks at the top of the chart.  I could see that track showing up easily on a Best Buy CD, so it could have laid around the Tech Bench.  Also, my reaction to this music seemed to be deeper than just knowing the song, as if I had a lost history.   My conclusion was that it must have been that song from my time at  Tech Bench. That is when I decided to paint Please Remember Me.  I felt good about that decision until this blog entry.

In writing in this blog I kept thinking back to my time at Best Buy in search of more details. During one of those flashing back moments I recalled a song about a guy being away from his home and family on one of those Best Buy CDs. I checked the Billboard Hot Country Chart and in 2001 I found Lonestar’s I’m Already There, that match those memories. That songs timing was much closer to my time at the Tech Bench, and it spent six weeks as number one on the Hot Country chart.

Here is that video and the lyrics:

“I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground
I’m the whisper in the wind
I’m your imaginary friend
And I know I’m in your prayers
Oh, I’m already there”

Since I already have my first image of Please Remember Me, and on its own this music is powerful, well written and beautiful to listen to, my plan is to finish this project.  I  have this connection to it for unknown reasons, including a little part of me thinking that this Tim McGraw song could have been a track on one of those Best Buy CDs.  But, my conclusion for now is, that the mysterious country song that I listen to while working at the  Best Buy Tech Bench sometime in the early 2000s was, I’m Already There by Lonestar.

I consider Please Remember Me to be the better of the two songs.  I also know that I probably would never paint this Lonestar song unless it was a commissioned work.  Still, non of that changed my decision that I will paint both of these classic country songs on the same size canvases.   My plan is to treat them as if they are a set, connected by a misguided story about a lost song.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Satisfaction image 2

•02/18/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Satisfaction image 2

satisfaction_2This image takes the original Black & White theme for this artwork, and look I have added all those colors.  I discussed before that when I think of this music I remember my life back than in mostly black and white.  Also, in the sixties, to be in tune with the times, I wore bell bottom  blue jeans, own a number of Navy pea coats, liked corduroy browns, and in general wore a lot of dull solid colors.  For those reasons, that is why I chose shades of gray to black to dominate this artwork, while using blues and browns for accent.  When I looked at the words for this artwork, without at first knowing the why, I knew I did not want to paint them in any dull colors or shade of gray.  I felt that none of those colors represented the lyrics of this music.  That is when I understood, what my feelings about this music,  where all about.

I remember the joy of listening to Satisfaction when it was new,  and sixty years later the Rolling Stones are still playing it. The words are still as exciting to sing today as they where when I was listening to them on AM radio,  in my best friend Tom’s Volkswagen Beetle, on a cold winter’s night as he drove us to the local dance bar, The Airway.  His car heater, barely kept us warm, and defrosted the windshield enough to see as long as we had our noses to the glass  But we did not care, for we where into music and into drinking a few beers on live band Wednesday.  That than was all what mattered.

Putting all of that into perspective,  I chose four of many Psychedelic colors, unknown to me back then, for the words because of their vibrancy and later dramatic effect on fashion. This artwork remembers, in its colors,  a distant music memory, that lives on today as one of music’s greatest, long-lasting Rock songs,  Satisfaction.

Scott Von Holzen