S_V_H No Rain Final Image

 No Rain_Final

This is the final image a tribute painting to the music of Blind Melon, called No Rain.  What is different about this artwork is that I did not follow my normal flow pattern for the music:  horizontally from left to right. Rarely does it move vertically, which this artwork does.  In No Rain the music flows left to right starting with the top left panel. It then hops over to the top right panel. The music flow then moves, left to right across the larger bottom panel.  In order to improve the logic of this flow I decided to physically mount each panel at a different depth, creating a step movement in this work.

The following  side image shows these changes in canvas depth:

Side View No Rain

I did not have to do it this way.  An alternative design, typical of this art, would have been one longer horizontal combination of panels.  I could have also created a horizontal stepped look (actually never considered) to this work following such examples as this years Birthday Painting, and last years  Up on The Roof.  I choose neither of these paths, and at first I could not remember my original thinking about this artwork.  Then I remembered: if you listen to the music you will hear a  series of short pauses after the word ‘escape.’  What it  came down to was I wanted to create an artwork without displaying these stops in the music flow.  And yet I wanted to keep up the logical movement of the music across this artwork.  I realized I could reach these goals by placing each  ‘escape’ on a different level.

It all came down to this reasoning:  what convinced me to paint this music was the word, ‘escape.’  I wanted this artwork to focus entirely on that repeated word, and  so I eliminated the rests. The pauses are actually still there, it is in the change in-depth between the three canvases. I accomplished what the music does, but in my way.  I think any viewer who sees this work and says that word three times, will understand and find their own meaning  in this artwork. I know I did.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H No Rain by Blind Melon image 4


In image four you are seeing the colors from the video that will dominate the music. I could not resist taking the colors from the girls bumblebee outfit, that starts the video, for the background.  Now, I cannot help but transition, as the video does, to the brighter greens, yellows, and blues, for the music. If it was not for the music video I do not think I would have ever used these color contrasts between the browns, and bright blues and greens.  Now, it is important to assure this artwork ‘s success,  that I find ways to transition the background colors into the music colors.  This approach would be similar to what happens in the video.

The video starts with the bumblebee girl in a world that is neither kind nor understands her. Eventually she finds her way out of that disappointing,  and  drab world into a new reality filled with color, music and dancing.  This low quality video can have a deeper meaning than that of a 90’s musical group, portraying their version of a 60’s Peace, Love, and Rock en Roll band out in the country for the day.  Maybe, this video speaks to the magic of music to rescue people’s lives.  Here is that video again:

If this video is about transition, then in its simple, predictable way, I would say, it speaks to my belief in the power of music to change people’s lives, for a few moments, or even a life time.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H No Rain by Blind Melon image 3


This is a tribute painting to Blind Melon’s 1992  No Rain. This update is showing you the music flow. The two shades of blue for the music come from the shirt and jeans worn by Shannon Hoon, the voice of No Rain.  In my own little comparison of Bind Melon to Canned Heat, Shannon Hoon, died of a drug overdose at 28, in 1995, while Alan Wilson from Canned Heat,  the singer of Going up to the Country that became know as the unofficial theme song from the original Woodstock festival, died also of a drug overdose at 27, in 1970.


You can see in this side image how the music flows up from the canvas, and then back down on the bottom panel. I like that idea,  because for me unlike what you see in the any sheet music, the music when played becomes a unique experience to the listener.  No two live performances are the same, as well as no two artists singing the same music will sound the same. That is the key to understanding this art. I am presenting, like I do with any of the music I chose,  a single performance as an artwork.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H No Rain by Blind Melon image 2

No Rain image 2This is No Rain image 2 with the background completed for now.  Here is the album cover again so you can see some similarities, in stripping and colors.

blindMelonAgain,  this is a difficult artwork to visualize because the three canvases you are seeing are physically on different levels You can see these steps better with this side view of No Rain.

No Rain Side View

This background, that is a part of the trend lately, is rough in appearance. You are not seeing a lot of clean solid coloring. You are seeing  more transparency in the layering of colors, which creates uneven looks,  and variety in shading.  You are looking at an edgy, feisty, muddled, slipshod background,  but one that is organized in its mood, and presentation.  This I will counter when I portray the music in solid colors, and softer shading, like what you see in the video.

The music is next, so it will be off to the work shop to cut out the thirteen pieces needed to represent this music

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H No Rain by Blind Melon image1

norain_1This is the artwork, No Rain, a tribute to the music of Blind Melon. This artwork consists of three panels of stretched canvas. The largest panel is 20 x 24 inches, and the two smaller upper canvases are each 12 x 16 inches. What I have done special here is that the flow of the music will be from the back canvas to the most forward canvas. It is hard to see in the image, but the upper left panel is two steps back, while the upper right is one step back, from the larger lower panel.

In this first image of the background you are seeing what an artwork looks like when you want to cover up the white of the canvas. Much of what you see will soon disappear under layers of brown,  yellow, and yellow gold paint based on the Blind Melon album cover:blindMelonThe album offers limited interest which works for the background,  only.  It is the Blind Melon’s video of No Rain, with its use of lighter, brighter  greens and blues, which I will used  for the music.

I chose this music specifically because of the words I picked to be displayed on this artwork. Those three words are ‘escape,’ ‘escape,’ and the third word is also ‘escape.’ Part of the reasoning is my mood, but mostly I chose ‘escape’  for that word repeated offers up a world of interpretation for the viewer.

Also, I chose this music because this group reminds me of a favorite group of mind from the sixties, Canned Heat.  Although I never purchased their albums, their music on the Woodstock album made a lasting impression. The reason I never purchased their music back then is because I was on fairly  sparse budget as a college student in Madison.  Each album buying decision was always a debate. I do remember having the money for some of the biggest artists, such as Ray Charles, or the Beatles  and their White Album.  I believe I paid around twelve dollars for that Beatles double album. I then taped it on my big reel to reel recorder and sold it.

Scott Von Holzen