I have completed the artwork, The Theme from Schindler’s List. This picture is the largest project using aluminum framing. The Theme from the movie Schindler’s List is six feet wide and sixty-five inches high. If I had designed this artwork in 2018, it would have been a long pencil-shaped flow of music eighteen feet. What changed began in late 2018 with Africa the first artwork with multiple sections. The boxy shape of Africa eliminated the limits of reasonable length and make hanging the finish works much easier. There is still cleanup, photography, and a video to produce. After, the plan is to hang this painting in the living room, for no other reason then hanging is a safe method for storing it.
Every new artwork comes with different challenges that need solutions. From this project beginnings, I wanted this artwork large. Big artworks have more impact on the viewer. What I found out was that big artwork are difficult to handle in the more limited space of my current studio. Not that I cannot do it. In the past, this was not such an issue for I bolted multiple canvases together to create larger works in a studio that had the advantage of length. I could then unbolt them for travel. For this project, I needed a similar approach with my current angled aluminum framing. The solution was to detach the bottom third aluminum framed section. I also experimented with another size reducing idea that allowed the music and the artwork to stay large but compacted. Instead of reducing the size of the artwork I eliminated the spacing between the three sections. The recent artworks, Africa, Giant Steps and Rainbow have a considerable spacing between sections. Although more manageable, I found that the build took on a busy confusing look. This concern increase with placing the ties and beams. All those narrow rectangle shapes painted black with gold striping could easily add clutter. I wanted no more added confusion to this artwork. My solution was to reduce their size and aligned them all across the artwork horizontally to counter all the vertical movements.
After, a long delay I upgraded the sound system used in this artwork. In the past, I used a small plastic recordable sound box, used with stuff animals. It comes with a 1/2-watt amp with an inch size speaker. This worked well in my artworks because one model came with a 10-inch extension wired play button. This allowed me to mount the sound box inside the back of a canvas and the push button on the artwork. For ten dollars each, this was an effective and cheap solution. My new sound system comprises two, three-inch speakers powered by a two-watt stereo amplifier along with storage for audio files which I add using a computer. In comparison, the price for this stereo upgrade is forty dollars. What makes it worth the cost is my growing understanding of the capabilities of the free notation software by MuseScore. I can now create ever better arrangements to play through a sound system with improved dynamic range, clarity, and depth that justifies the cost.
This artwork’s color style comes from the black and white movie Schindler’s List. Red is the only stand out color used on the one sharp. This color is to acknowledge the scene from the movie of the girl in the red coat. As for the color gold, I learned its effects from past artworks to enrich the color black. Finally, the small gray and black digital prints on canvas mounted wood I added for interest and to fill space. I used two as faceplates for the speaker boxes.
I am unsure about doing another large work. Looking back to 2012 I painted thirteen large The Four Seasons paintings over two years. I finished them in a larger size studio. More room made it easier to handle fifteen-foot paintings and larger. My current studio is nice but has less space for such size works. I can do large size works again, without a “bigger boat.” Organization of my studio space will be an important factor in my success with my next big one.
I accomplished what I wanted to with this artwork. It is a good portrait of a touching and enduring piece of classical violin music. My next project is Mercy Mercy Me (Ecology). This work will be my entry for a local exhibition that is due the first week in June at the local Pablo Art center. I already have three rejections from them. Hum, “things that make you go, hum?” This could be my fourth not interested, but by applying, I am in the game, where I need to be. Hum, at this moment, that is the way.
Scott Von Holzen