S_V_H One Thousands Years image 1

One Thousand Years,
with the notes turned incorrectly to the right

This is a commissioned work requested by my brother for his son’s wedding later this August. I will not say anymore about this beginning of this project, for there is an interesting technique I stumbled carelessness into.

The music for this project was written and sung by a Christina Perri that I have never heard of. It has over 2 billion views on YouTube. Watching and listening to it I number of times did not change my opinion of the song. For me it falls into the category of ordinary love song. I song I would never have painted.

Even though I could have had many artwork sales for wedding songs, I have chosen not to. Songs like this are the reason. I chose and paint songs I am, at the time, emotionally connected to. That is my choice. My art. My way.

This art has never been about money, no matter the cost of time and monies of the last sixteen years painting music. This art is big. How big I do not know, nor can I grasp its true meaning or value. I do know it is part of a personal challenge to accomplish something special that started early in my life. Through the creation of these music artworks I am seeing an opening to an eventual self awareness. Back to reality, and out of my comfort zone, this commission work from my brother is a worthy and appreciative challenge. To quote the poet and philosopher Coldplay ” Nobody said it was easy.”

Well, that is the background of the music. Once I had a decent start for my cover music, I switched over to producing the pieces for the artwork. Now, I am going to lose everyone not into music notation rules. I broke a big one. Strange, I thought I had already demolished all the rules of notation accept the up down movement. I will explain.

In music notation generally and individually, the notes from B down the musical staff face left with the stem to the right. Notes above B than are turned and face right with the stem to the left. As you can see in the image provided. All the notes from my cover music were turned to the right with the stems to the left. That is wrong. All the notes for this music are lower than the B position and therefore should have been turned to the left. I have always obeyed this notation rule in the past, thinking the left-to-right and back-en-forth of the notes added interest to the artwork.

At first I could not believe I made such an error, but this project is rare, in which every note of the cover music faces the same way. I got in a note putting together rhythm that ended up with every note pointing the wrong direction. I thought I could easily solve this issue by flipping top to bottom. That did not work, everything was off. I also noticed that when turning the notes correctly to the left, I did not like that look.

The music flow felt blocked by all those stems, one after another. My solution was an easy mix solution. I decided for multiple reasons to leave most of the cover music notes pointing in the wrong direction. The change I made was to take a few notes that are below the music staff, remove the notes from the stems, and replaced them turned to the left.

Example of notes turned the correct notation direction.
Final note setup with a mixed of upper right facing
and lower left facing notes.

Three attempts at the background canvas.
Final, in the middle

In the above image the 24×36 inch scratch off canvas on the right is my first attempt. The plan for that canvas was to use the colors from the YouTube video of the music. Then my wife, Barbara, informed me that was a no no. I had forgotten the bouquet image. Even though I tried to repaint that first scratch off canvas was beyond a simple recovery. My next attempt is the 24×36 canvas on the left.

This time after trials, the plan was to use the Golden Acrylic colors of Permanent Violet Dark, Alizarin Crimson Hue, Permanent Maroon, Titan Green Pale and shades of Neutral Grays, along with Titanium white to mix whatever that other color is.

Starting with the base color design based on the banquet image on a new 24×36 inch size canvas, I tried to figure out what would look the best with the color Maroon and its various tints and close relatives. After I did the scratch off, I decided my plan for the base did not turn out as I wished it would have. Out of desperation and thinking in terms of wedding pretty, I glazed the entire canvas with Iridescent Pearl Fine. That move ended up covering everything, which luckily included the scratch off that displayed my crappy base paint layer.

I liked to look, and so did Barb mentioning the gray color that she could see in the base coat. The problem was that the base coat was actually shades of Maroon and Violet Dark that I had partially covered with a coat of Pearl. Her comment got me thinking. In the banquet flower image, strangely, there are gray flowers, so I thought I would go with shades of gray and a little of the other colors for the base, once again on a new canvas. That solve another problem I finally noticed: the 24×36 canvases I started with were too large for the music notes I had created earlier. I chose a smaller 16×40 inch sized canvas which better balanced with the size of the music.

Scott Von Holzen

Roger’s poem, dedicated to the memory of my Brother Roger who passed away a year ago this coming August 9th. In each new blog post I will add another section of this poem. Here are sections 1 & 2 of 15.

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring.

Scott Von Holzen