Like A Rock2 final Image

LikeARock2 52.25″ x 20″ in height. Three canvases, aluminum, wood features, and added music

Like a Rock the second version is finished.  I must admit I was a little concerned about how to go about this project, but to my surprise ( every time I say it is a surprise) but it is not, (for I always figure it out in the end), the results of this artwork are beyond my expectations.

This artwork’s theme is from one of the longest advertising campaigns that ran for over a decade. This video demonstrates this artwork’s added tribute to the music from those Chevrolet commercials over the years, and is for the private use of the owner.

Because this is a commission work with a specific theme I kept the design and the colors of this project focused on what I would consider is a good representation of the subject matter, with a small amount of creative interest added, so not to bore me or the viewer.

Commission works are challenging,  educational, and rewarding.  At the same time they are restrictive in every creative way.  That means for my next project, my choice,  I will be looking for music that allows me to do it differently. Maybe it is time for some Team Spirit, or a little Thriller, or how about what’s in Vogue.  We shall see.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Like a Rock final image

Like A Rock three canvas, 19 inches x 34 inches in length, with aluminum and wood features.

This artwork for the music Like a Rock will catch the eye of the aware viewer with the words, “I Believed My Dreams.” I choose those words knowing their meaning would be varied and unpredictable.  I chose those words to take this artwork beyond the music.  I chose those words because I dream.

By the time I get to the final image of any of these artworks, I have lost my emotions and words for the artwork.  Except that when I turn away from the computer and look across the room, I do say that it surprises me. I never expected this music to turn into an artwork this good.  I like the browns and blacks for they fit Bob Seger.  I like the words for they take this artwork to another level.  And I like this artwork, because it builds from the past but does not imitate what has come before.

Other than that, I am moving on to once again paint some Italian music, but not Vivaldi. This time the music is Operatic Pop with a cover by my favorite Disco Queen, the fabulous Donna Summer.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Silver Bells final image

Silver Bells this years Christmas artwork and the canvas print for my 2017 Christmas card is finished.  This work turned out to be a more  demanding and creative Christmas painting, than earlier years. Past Christmas artworks I kept the look and style predictable and functional to save time and stress because of the obvious deadline. Of course. Silver Bells did not turn out that way.

The result will be the same with this artwork as with the past Christmas works, which is that Silver Bells will become the newest member of my Christmas Club artworks soon to be quickly forgotten after the Holidays.

For now Silver Bells is where my art is at. It’s major influence is my earlier work, Runnin’ Down a Dream. You see that in the wide stems, and in the mix of colors.  Typical with my Christmas artworks I made use of metal paints, but even more so with Silver Bells.  I like their bright shiny Christmas look. Interesting,  I did a little practice glazing of the blue strips on the stems.  That doesn’t show well in the image, but this is something I will try again, and could be a possible step forward.

The words Ring and ring of course kinda throws this artwork in a different perception direction.   My original choice  was Silver Bells, but I decided to shake the tree instead.

That is it for Silver Bells. Next up something fun and different, that I know,  once I figure out what that would be.

Actually, I know exactly what I am going to paint. I am going back to my rock ‘n roll roots, with Bob Seger’s great Like a Rock:


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Runnin’ Down a Dream final image

The Tom Petty tribute painting, Running Down a Dream,  is finished with a big Woo Hoo!   Woo and hoo do not show up in any of the lyrics, but they repeat a remarkable THIRTY times throughout the song.  Okay, they are not the best lyrics of the song. My favorite line is ” me and Del were singin’ little Runaway.” But, woo hoo, sets the mood of the song, and reminds me of my Mustang days when driving could be just that,  driving. I do not do that anymore.  Now, when I am in my car it is to go get stuff, and that is about it. That reminds me of a favorite lyric quote from the famous, and missed, Leon Cohen:
“Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way”

This is an interesting looking, non commercial, non living room, artwork. This is also the first time I have altered the stems of my music in a way that is totally non sheet music like,  and surprise it still works.  In the past  the vertical look of the stems as the move up and down following  along with the music, was the obvious choice. What changed with this painting began with using extra small solid color canvases and then filling space with the metal frame. That got me to thinking that inflating the size and even going horizontal with the stems would add some bulk, improve interest, and fit the look and the mood of this artwork.  Because of their size I than could decorative the stems to add contrast with the canvases.  For their colors I found them on the album and single covers.

A lot of the other colors used for the painting come from Tom Petty’s other albums and his performances. For example,  the red used for those little circles inside the large bronze circle openings comes from the color red used in a number of Tom Petty’s albums, including Damn the Torpedoes.

Woo hoo, this completes this project in time to move on to this years Christmas Painting, which will be Silver Bells.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Chopin Polonaise in A Flat major Final image

Chopin Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op 53, 24 inches by 36 inches

This Chopin artwork is finished, kinda.  Since it is going to be around the studio for a few more days, I probably will touch it up, because this is one of my rare artworks, that has to be framed to actually look finished. Of course, this is a commission work, so I will have to wait for the image of it hanging in the Music room to see how good this artwork really is.

That now means that it is time for me to get back to the good stuff of finishing my half done Tom Petty artwork,  pound out a few more Mini-artworks for my Etsy website, and get in the mood for this years Christmas Painting, Silver Bells.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H In The Mood final image

Acrylic on three canvases, 40.5 inches in length x 17.5 inches in height.

In The Mood  is  finished. This is an upbeat jazz music, so I used different shades  of yellow, red, and multiple blues to add to the feeling of   movement. For the flow of the music the first coat I painted a light magenta. I than lightly painted the music with a gold color pick from the brass instruments.  I also used a light gray for the Mondrian squares, and to represent the suit color of the band  on the vertical shafts.

In the middle, out-of-place, I placed three notes that represent the lower bass music.  To separate them from the rest of the music flow, I reduced their height  and used darker colors, to represent the lower tones.

This is also the first painting where the aluminum frame defines the size of the artwork. The  three canvases are than used to fill in the spaces inside the frame, and to more importantly offer support for the flow of the music. The metal frame makes it a lot easier to work with different heights of canvases. That flexibility is nice, and framing the artwork may be a direction to follow.  My problems with using more aluminum is finding lengths with few flaws,  the increased complexity, and issues in making sure everything ends up looking square.

I can judge my feelings for an artwork by a glance, and am happy with the results of this one.  This painting is more fluid in its movement,  and is less musical looking, when compared to the recent artwork,  I will always love You.  That artwork I feel has a structure that is too rigid like notation. This change in thinking means that I am looking to paint artworks  that are less notational, and far less sheet musical, looking.

With the death of Tom Petty, next up I am going to paint one of his great classics, Running Down a Dream.

Scott Von Holzen








S_V_H I Will Always Love you Final Image

Two canvases with aluminum and wood features. 47.75 in Length by about 18.75 in height

I Will always Love you is finally finished. Although I did not have to, I picked an interesting, and challenging part of the music to paint. The problem is that it took so long to complete that I developed a new idea I would like to try.  This painting, I Will Always…., shares the same basic style of connecting  two canvases together with aluminum strips that I started in April with When Doves Cry.  Since than it has worked well with the music, but I don’t want my artwork to be too repetitive, so I am taking a little style break.

For this painting I was never crazy about combing the colors of turquoise and brown. That was the request of the owner of this artwork.  If I had to do it all over again I would have went with even smaller canvas to diminish the turquoise.  To compensate for the larger canvas I did try to cover up, or break up,  as much of the turquoise as I could with different shades of brown. I do like that I used different shades of the turquoise. I have been using a lot of solid colors for backgrounds lately, which is less interesting. For the future I think I will go with different shades of a single color, but keep the shading a lot closer together. I think in that way I can have the clean look of a solid, without being boring.

I used the Rainbow Flag colors to give this painting its own special look, and by only using the one word, love, I  covered the meaning of this music to the owners.

There you go. Another painting, that lucky for me is not headed to storage, but to Missouri.

Next up, I plan on doing something different.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Bach Chaconne BWV 1004, Final Image

Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor – Chaconne, BWV 1004 with a maximum height of 20 3/4 inches x 29 1/4 inches in length.

Bach’s Partita No. 2 Chaconne is finally done.  The work sheet for this music I dated July 3rd. I mentioned that for it is hard to write this entry for this project has exhausted my love and appreciation for this great music.  Like earlier works this deliberately small-sized artwork continues the trend of consuming huge amounts of time. I don’t expect to shorten production time until this art has fully exploited the current sculptural look.  For me, a three-dimensional look better represents the full range of music.

Taking a look at Bach’s notation from his Chaconne manuscript,  I used his hand writing style to personalize parts of the design of this artwork, and kept my color choices limited to mostly browns and grays.  I added a splash of violet,  to relieve color boredom, which I like doing when a few colors dominate an artwork. After photographing, I spend time cutting out this final image from its background only to discover that I had use Photoshop to paint two small parts,  pale green. Finally, I spend more project time adding two other small pieces to the music that are missing from this final image. Here is a sample from the Bach manuscript:

I was curious about a recent New Your Times article  that maps the musical taste of the fans of 50 current popular musical artists on YouTube.  I wanted to know how out-of-touch I was with today’s popular music. Going through the list I found that I was at least aware of, or have actually listen to the music of 21 artists on the list.  When I checked my iTunes for their music,  that list changed. Putting both observations together,  my a musical connection to today’s popular musical artists expanded to 28 out of fifty.   I thought that was a decent number for only being a casual fan of current music.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H So What final Image

L70.25″ x H12″ x D 2.5″

So What, a Jazz artwork using Miles Davis as its theme was actually finished a few days ago. This is my 2017 Birthday painting.  My past plan was to finish Birthday paintings on my Birthday.  What changed was that I wanted to take this work to an Art Fair in Appleton.

On Sunday I showed So What and 11 other paintings,  and one nicely framed and matted print. The print was the only item sold yesterday, and although that sale helped, I certainly came of short of covering expenses.  Of course the purpose of attending any Art Fair was to have artworks out in the public view. My reasoning is that no matter what I do and how I good I present my artworks on-line, all those images are two-dimensional.  Actually seeing So What, like many of my newest works, you are viewing are three-dimensional artworks.  The depth in these artworks can make all the difference.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H My Back Pages Final Image

Two Canvas with Aluminum and wood, 26 1/4 x 17 1/4

My Back Pages is one of the smallest of my artworks, under thirty inches in length, and has the least amount of music. Since there is so little music present there is also little in visual interest.  That is the reason I decided to go further with my use of words in this artwork. I took what I learned from Lovesong, and in a free poetic style I brought words together from different parts of the music.  I deliberately chose words that have meanings far beyond their appearance in the song, and then I placed them randomly.  It is the words that connect this artwork.  I think this trend will continue because it worked so well in My Back Pages and Lovesong.

I cannot but wonder what would have happened with my art if I had not stop painting in the early 1980’s?  Back than I had no connections to the local artist community, and few opportunities to show. Basically, when I started I had a dream,  a few art books, and a spare bedroom to paint in.  From 1975 to the early 1980s I painted a number of portraits mostly from photographs of family and friends. I than ran out of subject matter, and along with the demands of earning a living my artist ambitions faded. In reality an artist prodigy I was never. In truth the drive and the limits of painting portraits,  and the lack of interest in any other alternate artistic genre,  brought it all to an end.   That was back than: “Ah, but I was so much older than, I’m younger than that now.”  Twenty-five years later I found a vision and a genre, music, that offers endless possibilities. The internet gives me the start at building connections, and I now have the time and the money to pursue  it all.  The biggest difference from than to now is that I  finally have the knowledge, the drive, the purpose, the goal, and the ambition to see all this through. As I have said before I am in it for the long run, and I hope you as the reader find this pursuit interesting enough to check in once in a while.

Scott Von Holzen