S_V_H I Will first Image

This is I Will the first image.  I put all the pieces for this music on the floor in a rough arrangement.  This will be a rare, tiny artwork. I am guessing over 32 inches by 22 inches in height.  It needed to be small, for it is an artwork already promised, and it will need to travel to its home to be.

Here is a closeup of the decoration I attempted with the music.  I am not really a detail style of artist, so I am not sure this look works for me, and this may change.


Back on my tables, I will glue down the music to the background.  The starting date on my worksheet is March 4th.  The progress of this artwork is especially good because I am creating two similar works of this music.  The first one you are now seeing.  The second artwork of I Will, will be more experimental, and its progress has not kept pace with this first example. That is what I expected.  I already know the difficulties I have working on two projects at once.

Here is a nice acoustic version of the song, I Will,  sung by Paul McCartney:

Here all the lyrics from I Will.  I am building this artwork around the enlarged lyrics.

“Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to, I will
For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will
I will”  – Paul McCartney
Interestingly, as I was writing this post, I played the video of Paul McCartney singing,  I will.   Forgetting to close the YouTube page, unexpectantly on YouTube, Paul McCartney sang another acoustic version of his music.  This time the song was Blackbird.  I painted the music Blackbird in early 2012.  Here is that artwork:
I like this artwork a lot.  It hung in my last studio over my computer desk.  “I was so much more painterly back then, I younger than that now.”
Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Christmas 2012 & Vivaldi’s Winter Largo


I am starting a new feature call CloseUP.  The above image is from this years Christmas painting 2012.  I like the idea of close up images, just to get you closer to what I see.   This image is very abstract.  Of course you can see that I was running out of time and failed to clean up the edges of this painting. and yet the image still works, balances well and creates tension between the two main objects.

I have also included a video about this painting and an introduction to the next Vivaldi painting from the Four Seasons, which is not Winter Allegro mentioned in the Video.  It was an honest mistake, for Winter Allegro was the first piece of Classical music that I completely fell in love with. To put it in perspective I have over thirteen thousands songs in my current iTunes collection. In that collection there is a  piano version of Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen, and Vivaldi’s Winter Allegro Non Molto which are the only pieces of music with a five-star rating.  So, the Vivaldi work that I am about to start is actually Vivaldi’s second movement from his concerto RV 297 The Four Season Winter Largo.

I have also updated the Website with the latest Vivaldi Painting.

S_V_H Let It Snow final image


Let it Snow 2012’s Christmas painting.  This artwork consists of five panels with a length of 76 inches (1.93m) by a max height of 28.75 inches. What came to mind when I was rushing to get this work completed, was that this Christmas work represents the style of 2012.  When I look back at the earlier years Christmas works I see a lot of changes have occur between the years.  That is something you do not see in the Birthday paintings.  Those are also unique works, but because of the time constraints I tend to take the style path of least resistance. But with the Christmas painting I have the time to show what I have learned for the year, and it shows with each years work.

With this years Christmas artwork you actually see some style uniqueness that will probably be carried forward.  Examples are the snowflakes and how they have evolved.  Last years Christmas work you did see the first use of snowflakes, but this year they have been greatly enhanced and stylized.  I did not think I had another option with a title like Let It Snow.  The stripping which can represent a staff in music, reflects not only what I did in other works from this year, but it also, by accident, created some extra motion in that the angle stripping  appears to vibrate to the eye.  This I find  interesting. I will try this idea in future works to see what options exist to create that all important sense of motion across the canvas. The extensive use of shading on those blue circles, that represent the music notes, to create a rolling look work well with this work and that is something that will show up more in next years projects.  Lastly, the design of the beams, two of which you can see above, are quite interesting, and unique to my style.  In the past the beams have been stubbornly static and boring rectangles. Fragmenting them help somewhat, but at times they can lose structure, but in this work you see the motion in an object that is  and a lot more

Next up is another Vivaldi work. It is cold here, so I am thinking the third movement of Winter, but I have not decided that. This has been a busy end of the year, and this blog entry finally allows me to feel that I have caught up.  I see 2013 as the year to watch. I would like to thank  everyone that linked to this blog.  Although the main purpose of this blog site is the history of this art, it  is nice to know others, find some interest in what is going on here.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Let It Snow image 2


Let it Snow 76 inches with a maximum height of 29 inches.  This is just a quick update and a snapshot of this years Christmas 2012 painting.  I am not sure I will be able to complete this artwork, photograph it, attach a canvas image to the Christmas Card, and get them delivered all before the 25th.

Progress lately has shown some potential, and I do have a couple of ideas to try.  I see a lot of snowflakes and I believe I may decorate the notes to appear like Christmas tree bulbs. It may work, it is Christmas, so I allow myself more style leeway with this one work.

There is an earlier image of this work, not shown, where I attached some removable circles, so that I could protect the surface under the notes from the background.  It was just a test,  but if I can find the right sticky material, this technique has potential, especially if that backgrounds are heavily painted.

So far I like the two different colors themes that are going on in this work.  I see the background using reds and greens, while I see the music painted in a pastel palate.   That should make for good contrast between the background and the music, and yet the gold of the background will hold the entire work together.

It is funny, when I look back at earlier Christmas works, to see the style and techniques used, they really do not help that much.  You would think, but my overall style has changed in a year. What you are gong to see in this work is the results of this art for 2012. Even more so then this years Birthday painting which I feel did not move forward enough.

What is the deal with WordPress embedding my larger image in the webpage. You are not seeing the full size that I have up loaded. I will have to find a work around, but until then this is all you get.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – allegro Final image

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons Autumn Allegro RV 293.  Finally, a final image.  This took forever.  I am glad to move on. The truth is I have no other choice, because of the approach of Christmas, and the need to paint this years Christmas song.  Each Christmas time  I paint a song that is then photographed, printed on canvas, and sent out in this years 2012 Christmas card to all those who have purchased an Artwork, a few friends and family.

The following video sums up a lot of my feelings about this work.  Although fairly raw, this video clearly demonstrates my need to learn how to stay on camera, and to practice out loud the art of speaking the English language.  Time will improve all that, that is for sure.

The photography I did outside  in the shade on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon in the crisp North land.  It is kind-of-nice to take your work outside, it puts things in a different perspective.  One thing,  made obvious with this last work, is that the growth in this Art has been too slow. A lot of that lost time is because of my working for the Man.  Soon, it will be time to take that jump.  I am thankful that I will  have this opportunity that many do not.  Still, to do it will take  courage, that at this point the financial risk  makes that seem risky.  Although, I do not know how real the word risk is, I do know that the word soon is a nagging adverb.

Back to Vivaldi’s Autumn Allegro, the only parts that disappoint me are the background and the beams of the music.  When it comes to the background, the style I am using to paint them is boring. In the past I have done better.   I need to figure out someway of applying acrylic paint that does not create a static background.  I have done this in the past, so maybe it is time to take a second look. The other disappointing part of this work is my handling of the beams ( those long rectangles that form the base of the music).  I need to break some new art ground and like the background find my own way.

That brings me to the Birthday paintings.  The use of a pallet knife, to create square patterns of multiple colors to build the background image, reminds me of Van Gogh and his use of  flowing multiple brush strokes.   Those elongated  brush marks  flowed across this works, which is not happening with my little squares.  I am wondering if I can developed a similar technique.  With music, the subject of this art, the kicking of the background across the canvas is a must.  The problem, so far, when creating backgrounds that move is the layering of paint, which creates a rough effect that is quite dramatic, but shows through to the music layer.  This is not what I want.  I want the music to float, over the background untouched.  So far that has not been accomplished.  Take a look at this artwork and you can see in the those light violet not heads the background poking through.

Listening to:  Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb

Chopin Nocturne # 18 in E

The Eagles – Train Leaves Here This Morning

I Need You – Tim McGraw

Wow, I started this artwork on August 23rd.  I cannot believe it took this long.  The Music Class and the size of this work is much of that, but still I cannot continue on that pace.  Now, I have a blank six-foot canvas sitting on the ease.  It looks so small, and so limited, but I can work on that. A fresh start is long overdue.  Time to let loose.

Iron & Wine – Free Until They Cut Me Down

Mozart, Symphony #29 K 201 Allegro Moderato

Antonio Vivaldi Summer Allegro Non Molto

You Learn – Alanis Morissette

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – allegro image4

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – Allegro. This is my first attempt at Photo merge using Photoshop, and there is room for improvement, but not for today.

I mentioned in the video that I am taking a Music Theory class at the local campus of the University of Wisconsin.  It is challenging,  that consumes an enormous amount of my free time, and the free time that I have left to work on this painting has been drastically cut.  It is worth it.  This class only lasts through December, so I will be back deep into the Art soon after,  with a greater depth of understanding of the structure, and the harmony that is music.

Listening to Dave Brubeck – Take Five

Until that time, lets move on and talk about the music of this great composer.  The more I listen to classical music the more Vivaldi’s music rises in importance and meaning to me.  I still have Mozart and Chopin, along with Bach and Beethoven, but ….aaaaaaaaaaaa….Viavldi your music reaches deep inside.

As far as my progress on this work, the beams,  which are discussed in the video, have greatly improved the emotional impact of this work.   To not make the disruption of the beams too predictable there is a change with the last set.  I pulled them back  away from the increasing breaking apart that is occurring as you follow the music.  By painting this last set of beams, not so much as flying apart, but as cracked pieces, they have halted their destruction. This than lets these 6 seconds of music to end, and the flow to continue  into the next measures.

Listening to Vivaldi’s Great Concerto for two Cellos in G minor, RV531.  When it comes to Classical Music it does not get any better than this,  with only Mozart at times its equal.

Aimee Mann’s – Little Tornado

Next up, is finishing the cracking beams, painting in the words, which will be interesting because they, at times will move over the beams, and work on those violet note heads, giving them more depth, character and speed.

Listening to Jack Johnson – Upside Down.

Scott Von Holzen

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – allegro image3

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – allegro the fifth is a series of thirteen artworks that will represent these four great concertos.  When you enlarge the image you are seeing about nine and one-half of this fifteen foot (4.57m) canvas.

Since this is the first music of the Autumn concerto there is a lot of bright fall colors, but interestingly when you read the sonnet for this allegro it is about the celebrating the harvest with plenty of liquor that ends with the country-folk heading off to sleep.  The words chosen for this artwork are from the first line of the Autumn sonnet, with one translation being, “The country-folk celebrate, with dance and song.”  The feeling of the rest of this paragraph does speak to the coming of the night, maybe referring to the arrival of shorter, cooler days. Because of this feeling of change in the air the colors of this artwork move from the bright to darker; but too dark.  The darkness of  Autumn was the theme in an early artwork.

A personal note: I am taking a class in Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin, which will consume a lot of effort and time, including painting time.  The thought is this will enhance my understanding of music which will improve my art. It should also give me a better understanding of the piano, and maybe even improve my play.  So far, it has been a lot more difficult class than I thought it would be, so the rewards may also be greater than I anticipated.  That is if I survive.  Already two people have dropped out. But that would not be my style, for I am in it for the very long haul.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn – allegro image1

Image one on Monday:

This is the second image from Monday night:

The studio is not large enough where I can take a full image of this artwork.  What I have is drawing of the outline of the artwork which is 15 feet(4.57m) long with a height of 41 inches.  These pictures are not pretty and probably never be  throughput this project, until the last photograph outside.

This is my favorite YouTube video of  Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Autumn – allegro :

At 1 minute 26 seconds is where this artwork begins.  It ends at 1 minutes 32 seconds. That is right this 15 foot artwork using only 6 seconds of Antonio’s Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons,  RV293, Autumn – Allegro will try to capture the feeling of this entire movement. This may take time.  I am guessing over a month to complete.

Since this canvass has an irregular shape, the two preliminary yellow strips are there, for balance, and to pull this work together.  The green, is a starting color.  Even though this is a fall picture, it is early fall, and so the landscape would  still has plenty of green color used here for parts of the background to better help the yellows, oranges, and red colors stand out.

If you look closely at the first image you will see a lot of pencil marks that are apart of the math to  calculate where to connect the six canvases. This artwork flows with the movement that the music that drops down the scale.

S_V_H Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons – Summer- adagio” final image

This happily, is the completed image of Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, “L’estate” (Summer) 2nd movement, adagio. With a name like that no wonder it took over a five weeks to paint. This painting consists of five canvases ranging in size from 36 inches by five feet, to as small as five by five inches. This length of this artwork is 12 feet(3.66m) with a greatest height of 41 inches(1.04m).

Listening to Eddit Boyd – I’m a Fool

Count Basie – JJJump

With the artwork, The Pretender, the idea of mounting canvases in various  arrangements is dramatically displayed. To revisit The Pretender check the March 2012 blog entries. Especially by stacking canvases these artwork have taken on a sculptural appearance. This work is using stacking on a two dimension plan, which lacks the visual punch of three dimensions. Looking ahead I would like to find in the music a phrase to mapped tightly to one or two connected panels.  This would then push the rest of the music to spill over the canvas.  By letting the music flow I will then follow it with add-on canvases, which would allow more options for two-dimensional, and especially three-dimensional additions.

As I have probably mentioned in the past, a long-standing rule had been that I must make the music fit the canvas that was available.  Obviously, I could custom build a single canvas to fit, but that would be time-consuming, difficult to transfer, and of course expensive.  I am 50% Swiss, so I am always aware of how difficult it is to earn money, and how easy it is to spend it.  The realization that I can add canvas to an artwork, when needed,  has now eliminated the music must fit the canvas issue.  This not only opened up a massive amount of opportunities but gave me the excuse I need to drop that silly rule. The Music Rules.

Johann Sebastian Bach – Sonata in G major BWV 1021 adagio

Don Henley – The Heart of the Matter (Live)

Listening to Elton John – Levon

Vivaldi – Opus 3 no2 in G minor – L’estro Armonico.  Magnificent.

Tori Amos – Silent all these Years (live)

Final thoughts:  this was a challenging  painting.  Just moving it around has been a problem. A concern with this work, was to somehow make its physically awkward appearance balance.  The little add-on canvas helps this. The emphasis put on that single high note also helps.  The strong white line along the bottom of the right side strengthens  that panel, especially when it cuts over the top of the beginning bass notes. Finally, the overall business of the left side works to keep this work  level, for the most part,considering how soft in color the left side is in comparison to the  exuberant reds and oranges on the right.

The most  interesting new technique used on this work was the way that the thunder part of this music rolls and twists, and how  the beams of those notes distort the background.  This creates an interesting effect and reinforces the message of the music.

To sum up the painting progress, of Vivaldi’s Fours Seasons Series, here are the other three works that completed so far:

The first painting is Summer – Molto nonmolto

Next work painted is the Spring – largo

This third painting, my favorite,  is Autumn – adagio molto.

One reason that I am mentioning the summing up this effort so far, is that eventually there will be the need to find a place to display this Series of thirteen paintings.  Galleries or museums  plan exhibitions  years ahead.  At this point  I believe I have enough completed works  to begin the promotional push to search for a host or two.  This is not an easy task.  There is much doubt, but what choice is there, if obscurity is not an option.

Listening to Julie London – Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, along with the older Sarah Vaughan and her wonderful Body and Soul

The Temptations – The Way You do the Things you do.

Mario Winans – I Don’t wanna Know

Cream – Politician

Counter to the video I have not painted the middle movement, Largo,  from Winter. The reasons why is that it is too early in the year for a Winter painting.  So for now, it just seemed like the right spot to stop  and move on to the 1st and 3rd movements of the first three seasons. These movements are where the energy and the major interest is. They are the parts most people have heard.  The first and third movements artworks from this series will be the quality benchmarks.  The thinking is that the prepping and practicing is over.  The toughest challenges are ahead along with greater possible awards. I am upping the ante.

It has always been important to present on this blog and my website the best photography of this art. It has become difficult later because of their large sizes and with the attaching of other canvases. For example today I spent two hours plus retaking the  photograph of this painting for my website.  I first tried to photograph this artwork inside the studio, with artificial and  fill flash lighting. All that time was to no avail for I could not get a glare free image, no matter how I managed the lighting, except by resorting to an extreme positioning of this large bulky artwork.  I than took it outside, and photographed it in mere minutes.  Although it was completely cloudy my Canon 7D handled that light, as it should, and I could not asked for a better photograph: evenly lit and free of glare.  Obviously I need a studio with a large North or eastern light source.  Until that day arrives, I guess the best use of my time photographing these artworks will be best spent outside.  Winter will be the challenge.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons – Summer- adagio” image5

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons 5 panels,  12 feet in length.  I have completed the main features of this painting.  The efforts now will be on sharpening the edges, improving contrast and  the intensity,  a lot of cleanup, and improving the color and improving the flow.  The background will need some rework to pop-it, and to add interest.   When  talking flow I am referring to the music, which moves across the canvas from left to right.  Every artwork strives to display motion.

The inspiration for these 4 eighth notes, comes from the work of Leo Valledor.  Here is a link to a gallery with some nice examples of his hard edge abstractions. It has been a challenge come up with  designs  for interesting eighth notes.  The last successful depiction of them appeared in the painting Body & Soul from November 2011.  The just completed 2012 Birthday painting shows just how out-of- ideas this artist had to represent the eighth note.

In this work, I needed to finally move beyond Body & Soul.  We  do see this in the triangles, and curved shapes, that make up those four eighth notes.  They remind me of different types of sails attached to the masts of the notes, catching a strong wind.  Although, the look in Body & Soul  works the use of the circle in those eighth notes does resemble other objects in that painting. In this work every part now has its own, style, that will surely evolve.  I should mention that I have fond memories of sailing,  a long time ago, on Lake Mendota in Madison. Little did I know that they would end up being depicted in an artwork.  Doing so feels good.

Listening to Rag Doll – The Four Seasons.  I cannot believe I still like this song. Maybe, it is because I remember this song playing at a  dance when I was maybe 16 or 17 years old.

Stop (Think Again) by the Bee Gees.  What is going on here?

Michael Jackson – Blood On The Dance Floor.

A very mature Sara Vaughn in a nice version of My FunnyValentine  along with one of my favorite County Songs (rare) Unfulfilled by Jessi Alexander

Prince – Purple Rain

Little Bombs – Aimee Mann

Vivaldi – Concerto Grosso In G Minor RV578

Scott Von Holzen