The following gives you, an documents for me, a little detail about my working technique, beyond applying paint to canvas:
To entertain me, I of course, am always playing and listening to music in the background in my studio. When I start a new artwork, I search my music collection for the music, and then add other versions, by different artists that cover the music. I do this because at the start of a new work session, I listen to the music that accompanies the artwork, to get a better feel of the mood of the music, that then helps me choose what color range to work in. Listening to only one song, even though I might have a dozen covers, still gets boring soon. What I do then as in With a little help from my friends, I pick one word, such as ‘help’, and then I see what songs in my catalog use that word. In that way I get a lot of music about help, and helping, which, relates to the music for this artwork. Of the 20,000 plus songs that I have in my iTunes, I pulled 76 songs that have the word help in the song title or in the information for that song.
I have eight versions of With A Little Help From My Friends, mostly by Joe Cocker. Here is a partial list of the other songs from my With A Little Help From My Friends Play List:
I Need you, It’s Only Love, The Night Before, Help!, all from the album Help! by the Beatles, I Can’t Help Myself, The Four Tops, I Just Can’t Help Believin’, by Elvis Presley, Helpless, a big cover song, Neil Young, K. D Lang, The Band, by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Help Me, by Joni Mitchel and Johnny Cash, You Can’t Help Me Now, by one of my favorites, Amiee Mann, I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man), by Kenny Loggins, Heaven Help Me, Gretchen Wilson, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, by Billie Holiday, For the Good Times, by Kris Kristofferson, Help Me Make It Through The Night, also by Kris Kristofferson, Can I Get Some Help, by James Brown, Mother’s Little Helper, The Rolling Stones, Can’t Help Falling In love, by UB40, Let’s All Help the Cowboys, by Waylon Jennings, Heaven Help Me, by Wynonna Judd, Help Me, by Van Morrison, and how could I leave out B. B. King and Help the Poor, Crying Won’t Help You, Outside Help,and the Beach Boys, Help Me Rhonda. The list goes on.
Here is how I connect the picture of me with my bike and my art. For exercise I travel a six-mile route, averaging around five-minute miles. What makes the course interesting is near the end I have a small hill and then a large hill to climb. The small hill is the warm up. The big hill I cannot bike up it, although I do walk up it. Instead I approach the big hill from the backside, which is has a more gradual pitch to the top, and an exciting down the front ride. Of course the backside trip still is extremely demanding. What I have learned to help me overcome this climb is that as I start to climb the steep part of the hill I tilt my head down looking at my front wheel and only a few feet in from of me. By doing this I lose the sense of the height of the incline, and focus only on pedaling through the next few feet in front of me. And it works, when suddenly I am at the top of the hill, and can than relax. That is also how I approach this art by focusing on the artwork in front of me and not the next great art project or what I should do to become the truly fine, and known, artist I wish to become. In biking I hill climb by seeing only the road in front of my wheel. In art I do much the same: I follow the road in front of me.
Scott Von Holzen