S_V_H I Will, The Artist version image 1

To save time and planning, I designed this artwork, I Will, from what I learned from Where Have All The Flowers Gone.  The plan with the Artist version of I Will was to use the first I will as the template to speed everything along.  Even though I still have finishing work to do on the first I Will, for now, I am setting it aside.  It is difficult for me to work on two artworks at once, although I created all the wooden stems and the music for both works together.  That was as far as my joint effort lasted.   I have now moved on to the Artist version of I Will.

This second, I Will, be larger.  The first used two 6 inch by 12 inch canvases.  For this second work I am using two 12 by 24 inch canvases and have increased the length six inches.  My main take-away from the first I Will was to use it as a guide especially for the colors and overall design.  The difference between the two artworks is the painting of the background canvases.   On the first, I Will,  I used layers of glazes to paint the canvases.  While, on the Artist version of I Will, I am using a new and unproven technique on the two canvases, and along with the music.  This new method allows me to scratch away the top painted white layer to reveal, unexpectantly the color rich layer below.   I can remove the top paint layer, for example, with the edge of a pallet knife without damaging the abstract layer below.  In this first image, the top layer is white.  All the colors showing are from the bottom layer.  I like this look and technique, but I have concerns.  The top white layer is soft, too soft.  Rubbing that layer off could become an accidental issue.  I have applied two layers of glossy clear glaze in hope to strengthen the adherence of the paint.   In time, this canvas surface will probably harden, but for now handling with extra care is important.

Once I finely tune this scratching technique, then I think I can say that I have finally found my personal Abstraction style.  Before this, my best abstract technique was a version of Gerhard Ritcher’s squeegee technique.  Having an artwork, that is not a major project,  was the incentive to set aside the first I Will and to try out some ideas with Artist version of I Will (the wrath of Kahn).   Removing paint after I have applied it is not the only idea I am trying out new with this artwork.

This is the first artwork since I started painting music,  that I have abandoned the standard horizontal flow you see in the lines of sheet music. Every artwork before in varying degrees shares some semblance with the style of artist Mark Rothko, whose floating images, that resembled sheet music, that gave me my starting point in early 2006.

Sheet music staff lines

In my early days when I showed my musical artworks to others, the main take away I received was that this art would only appeal to musicians.  That was what I heard over and over, and I may have agreed with that.  My thinking was that there were a lot of musicians and songwriters, along with a large group of people who understood and love music.  It was later that I began promoting the idea that this art could appeal to anyone who loves music. The ability to read sheet music no longer became a requirement to appreciate this art.  That change of thinking then allowed me to chip away at my connection with sheet music.  Over the early years and even to this day, it is my early artworks, such as Canon in D, that the public finds the most interesting.  The reasoning is that such works look more like sheet music.   When over the years I moved away from the look of sheet music, and all of its restrictions, the public and musicians all lost interest.  That market left the building.  It had to, because I wanted it to.  I could have stopped evolving and created clones of Canon in D (2009) or Imagine (2010), for example, which would have given me a nice lucrative niche in the art market.  But that was never my goal. Even after these many 10s of thousands of hours, that was never my plan.

Scott Von Holzen