S_V_H UP On the Roof image1


UP on the Roof is a new small work, 72 inches in length.  I decided to start this work while I wait the arrival of canvases needed for the next artwork in the Vivaldi Four Seasons series, Autumn Allegro 3rd movement.

Why paint Up on the Roof? That is a question that is as hard to explain, as it is easy to answer:  I like this music. I think it will hold well over time. The words say something that a lot of people can relate to, and the melody is catchy. Finally, the timing was right. This song happened to play in iTunes, and I became curious about it. I learned that Carole King, another old favorite of mine, co-wrote it. Searching for recordings I found a live performance of Up on the Roof with James Taylor and Carole King, and at that point the choice became clear.  UP on the Roof not only is a good song, it has history and depth with me, which all helps aid the decision-making process.  It comes down to this, I only have some much time to paint a limited number of musical pieces, so I have to pick wisely, or pick a song when it is hot, before I change my mind. Hopefully, I have chosen wisely, for unlike the just completed, Keep on Loving you, which has a buyer, this one is on its own to prove it worth.

I cannot remember which version of this song that I first heard, but I am thinking it may have been the version by the Crying Shames, a garage band, that dates to 1967.  The sound and the date sounds about right. Also, there is a slight possibility that it could have been James Taylor, because I have always been a fan of his music, ever since his Sweet Baby James album. Taylor’s version of UP on the Roof dates to 1979, which seems late for me. The last possibility may have been the original release, and major hit by the Drifters in 1963, but I doubt it.  I do not think music meant much to me until the Beatles, which was  when I was a sophomore in high school in 1964. I am going with the Crying Shames, for now.

One more personnel discovery about this song, is a rare cover by Laura Nyro, my musical first love when I arrived on campus in Madison in 1968.  Her record ,Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, was a heavy play in the dorm at that time.

The base colors are dark and gritty, to keep with the mood of the music. This changes as the work moves from left to right. The third canvas elevates about the first two, while the fourth canvas is another step up from the third  This artwork is another three-layered work, similar to The Four Seasons Work, Spring Danza, where you have to go to the firth canvas which is the first to touch the wall in my living room.

I am also posting this first image of Up On The Roof,  on Etsy, where you can pre-order a digital print for much less money, then when finished.

Scott Von Holzen