S_V_H You were on My Mind image 1

This is the background image. Again, as in the past, nothing fancy or creative. My goal was to cover up the white primer paint with colors that fit together. The final top layer of paint will again cover up this high school abstraction. Later, after scrapping the top layer of paint, a higher abstraction painting will appear.

This image shows my graffiti words from the song, and the two layers of Prussian Blue topcoat. I learned from Play that Song, out-of-frustration in trying to cover the entire base coat, to let some of the base show through adding interest and depth. This next image shows the results of taking a small pallet knife and scrapping away the Prussian paint to reveal the base layer. The scrapping across the graffiti scrabbles the words’ presence while intensifying the abstraction. The use of a small scrapper creates narrow lines that display the action of the artist’s hand (Jackson Pollock without the dripping)

Starting with the first music painting back in early 2006, I had to deal with what to do with the background canvas. From the beginning, I had straightforward ideas of how I was going to apply the up and down movement of the music the artwork was portraying. What I did not have was what to do with the background. Since I did not want to paint sheet music. I knew I would not paint in the five lines and four spaces that make up a music bar line staff. What I came up with was to paint background rectangles that had the basic shape of a staff but more so resembled the artwork style of Mark Rothko. Here is an image of an early music artwork and a masterpiece by Rothko.

Over the years, my backgrounds became less Rothko looking and more generic. Probably out of the repeating need to apply pretty paint to blank canvas, to form a foundation for the music, and/or maybe to add some value to the artwork. Here is an example of a well used horizontal abstraction style using a roller.

American Pie 2008

A latest new background style came about when I constructed my own squeegees and practiced the technique developed by Gerhard Richter. This large Bach work BWV 1065 from 2014 is an example of my squeegee efforts.

I used those background styles and many others less unique for my backgrounds over the years. For each new painting, I had the same goal to fill in the canvas behind the music. It was not until early 2020 that I developed the idea of scrapping paint. Now, in later 2021, and with this latest scrapped work, I believe I am close to replicating this technique consistently. To this day, I am surprised with each first scrap of the pallet knife that what I am actually doing actually works.

Scott Von Holzen