You are looking at Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons Autumn Allegro the third movement image 4. You can see there is a lot of tape to better define the musical beams. In the past I have spread different layers of colors across the beams, but since there is already so much of that with the background I needed to create a space for the beams to better have them stand out. That is why you see the use of raw umber lightened. I have to remember that this is a painting for late fall, which means that most colors are earthy and faded. Also, late fall is cold, and where I live there is a good chance of having snow on the ground. For my musical notes you can see and feel that cold in the use of light violet and dark purple. Still, this is autumn so I have other musical notes using variations of brown to counter the cool tones. As for the stems this is the first time I have built them of up with square pieces, and where I have also left them transparent, which modifies the texture of the background that is showing through.
If you look at the lower beams you will see that I have their base painted a darker shade of raw umber. The reason for this is that these lower beams solve the problem of where to put the words from the sonnet, and the darker color is better to have them stand out. Here is the third movement’s part of the Autumn sonnet from H. C. Robbins Landon’s book Vivaldi Voice of the Baroque:
“The hunters at dawn go to the hunt,
With horns and guns and dogs they sally forth,
The beast flee, their trail is followed:
Already dismay’d and exhausted , from the great noise
Of guns and dogs, threaten’d with wounds,
They flee, languishing, and die, cowering.”
Not very uplifting, but it is late fall, and such words fit the mood of the time. Since I am not a hunter, and since I have room for only one line, the line that best fits me is the first about the hunters off to hunt. The Italian words are “I cacciator alla nov’ alba á caccia.”
That was the first difficult choice that lead to even a more difficult decision of were to place the words? Since this musical part from the Four Seasons runs fairly flat across this 13 foot canvas, I decided to attach all the canvases together in a straight line ignoring the small amount of music flow changes. Because of that I did not want to attach other canvases to add the words, for this would remove the evenness of this artwork’s look. The chosen line from the sonnet I could break apart into seven pieces. Ignoring the four added canvases, I counted seven beams along the bottom. Painting them a darker shade of brown, gave me the background, and the space to place the sonnet’s words.
One other thing that has changed my direction on this work is those two separate notes at the far right that end the movement. I decided to do the squares like the other stems, but I gave them different colors that match the cool feeling of the notes. These two notes are the break point of this music, and from them the music changes. I then took their square color treatment and have begun to apply those colors to the upper beams. These colorful squares add a certain mystery to the work, and leave questions not answered.
I still see a couple of weeks of work to finish this piece.
Scott Von Holzen