S_V_H All About Soul image 3 & 4



All about Soul 7:53am.   I am going with the lighter colors on the second panel because that panel is closer to the viewer. This is a Hans Hoffman technique, of push and pull.




All About Soul 8:30am.  I am using a lot of green tape, but so far no green colors.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H All About Soul image 1& 2




All About Soul  6:46am

This is the start of this years Birthday painting.  At this point I had no idea what color I was going to use to start the background



All about Soul 7:12am.  As you can see I picked purple.  I used purple in the Vivaldi that is on the easels right next to this artwork.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H All About Soul The Birthday Painting

This years Birthday Painting is Billy Joel’s All About Soul.  I actually decided that I wanted to paint this music months ago.  It was not long after I return home from emergency surgery that I heard this song and the words reminded me of the nurses that had help me in my recovery at the Hospital.

After my surgery I ended up in room near the Cancer Center.  In the few days I was there I  was lucky to get to know a couple of the nurses.  They made me feel comfortable, and they made it easier for me to work through all those small obstructions to back to normal. Both girls, Tina the shorter, intelligent, with curry hair and glasses, and Brianna the very tall, and slim, with short-cropped slightly stringy hair,  with the most invigorating deep voice, made my hard moments better, my small victories seem like great accomplishments, and my recovery stronger.  Their devotion to their jobs, their sincere caring,  and their sacrifices for me and all the other strangers that were their patients,  deserves way more credit, and celebration than just this musical art piece.

Although they do not ask for anything in return, when I heard Billy Joel’s All About Soul, I thought of those nurses. When I heard these words “The woman’s got soul,___ the power of love___ and the power of healing”, I knew this was a the song I had to paint and dedicate to all the nurses that make a bad time, seem pretty good.

So, I will start this work tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I will be posting my first images at 8 am and then every hour until the work is finished.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Bach BWV 1065 – Allegro image1& 2


This is Bach 2 of the two Bach series.  After I finished the first Bach the client asked for changes that I could not make: once signed, done.  I offered two options: returning their money or painting another New Bach.  They choose  the New Bach.  The client suggested that the work be less geometric in appearance, less pop art look, less white in the background,  more spontaneous to the feel of the music,  and that the coloring consist of  deeper colors such as  red oxide, which they like in that old canvas they choose for an example.  Luckily, I had already ordered more canvas which arrived on Friday.  It was Sunday, with the wonderful help of my son-in-law Steven,  that we able to get it nicely stretched.  Late in the afternoon I started the background and finished that night. Monday late afternoon into the evening, I put down all the notes, and did some testing on the beams and stems of the music.  Last night I finished painting the music, and started to work on the color contrast.  All through this new work, I had to keep reminding myself to keep the colors muted, and the style loose.  Actually, their request to make the work more ‘spontaneous’ worked to my advantage. I did not have to create the perfect artwork, like I tried with Bach 1.  All I had to do is keep the precision, using  sharp lines sparingly to keep up the structure , and let the paint go where it wanted to, when it did.  I was being spontaneous.  Well,  I was making it look like I had swish splashed the artwork.


Bach 2, the sister work,  image 2 BWV 1065, almost midnight last night.   Here is a link to the music.  This painting starts at 4′ 19″ and goes to the end.

As I am writing this blog entry, the work is actually finished. I spent more time then I thought, fixing mistakes, adding interest, and doing something very special (I like to shake the tree) with that lone tie that you see curving along the middle bottom .  I have sent a near finished image, to get the final approval of the work. Now, I am waiting for my go-ahead-and-ship email.

Hopefully, I can post the finished image, yet this evening.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Beautiful Day 2013 Birthday Final Image


Beautiful Day 3 panel artwork about 60 inches by 24 inches in size.   Since the goal is to produce a finish artwork in a day, that normally takes two weeks,  the push is to find style short cuts to save time and effort.  Below are the last three years of Birthday Paintings. The shortcuts I used for these paintings was to use a Vincent Van Gogh master artwork as the color scheme.  I then used quick, less structured brush strokes, to speed up putting down the paint.  Still, all three of these years it was a struggle to complete the work in a day’s time. Then with last year’s  painting I felt especially frustrated with this van gogh’es  look, knowing that it had nothing to do with my current style.

For the 2013 Birthday Painting, the Van Gogh look  was out.  I never even considered breaking with my current style.  What made that decision easy was the reduction in the total length of the painting from six feet to five foot.  That one foot difference, plus my advance construction of all the needed canvas, allowed me the extra time to paint in the same style that I was using for the current Vivaldi work.

The day did go fast, and all the decision-making was swift, and there was a certain level of stress in the constant need  to move it along, but in the end I finished the rough final by early evening.  And the reason this plan worked was because all I had to do is look over at the fifteen foot, unfinished Vivaldi work, to know what moves were up next.

My conclusion,  after a several hours of clean up,  is I do not think I could have done any better even if I had painted this work over a two-week period.  This work not only strengthens and reinforces my current style it, in some ways, helps to mature my current look.


2010 Birthday Painting Long & Winding Road


2011 Birthday Painting Don’t Stop Believing


2012 Birthday Painting Forever Young

Now, we are moving on with another five foot, four panel artwork.  Of course this painting will take two to three weeks to complete.  What I am doing is to try to produce smaller paintings that I can charge a lot less for.  I am thinking from $300 to $600 for another five foot or less artwork.  The point is I have accumulated a wide stack of artwork that has not sold in the last two years and more.  I have reach a point where it has become necessary to try something different. I may find that these smaller size works are the answer to how I can improve my sales.

The light bulb came on when I meet Professor Buchholz  in the U W Music Department to discuss where they thought Blue Rondo a La Turk could be hung.  Although, by my standard this artwork , about 76 inches by 32 inches  was small, the Professor kept walking and pointing to walls and spaces, telling me it would not fit any of them. Finally, we ended up in the large orchestra room. He, again pointed to this and that wall, explaining for each why the artwork would not fit.  Finally he pointed  to the last wall, a long-span of large windows. That is where he thought it would have to go for at less two years, until the  finishing of the remodeling.  My beautiful Blue Rondo, for now, will hang above the windows,  ten off the ground where no one will know it is there unless they happen to look up, way up, yea way up there, yea that is an artwork, way up there. I said that would be OK, because the painting would be out of direct sun light, and because it would eventual be hung lower for viewing directly.  What else could I have said.  He said he had discussed Blue Rondo’s placement with the Art director, and that was the conclusion.  He asked about how many hooks, and I said two. He said he would let me know.  We shook hands and I left.

That is the reason I have started to paint  smaller, cheaper,  and probably compromising artworks.  That is if you think five feet is small enough, and that  it is OK if I chop the musical phrase when needed,  to make the music fit.  Oh, no, I am back to the beginnings, making the music fit the canvas.  At less, so far, I’m not vertically challenged.


This is a requested work based on that eighties great love song Keep on Loving you by Reo Speedwagon.  This constructed artwork consisting of four panels with the largest being 24 inches by 24 inches, and with a total length of five feet four inches.  Oh well, I find it hard to set limits to my artwork.  I will keep trying. You dreamer you.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Beautiful Day 2013 Birthday Painting Rough Finish


Beautiful Day has all its stuff that needed to be on these canvases, done.  It is rough-looking in many areas, and I have not signed it yet.  Later on tonight I will return after my first break for the day, and start doing some tweaking, some fixing, sharpening edges, and touch ups all over the canvas so that it looks like I cared when I painted it.   I will probably sign it later tonight, and spend a few more hours making tightening the fit tomorrow.

That is it for now.  Thanks to everyone who spent their time checking in on me, especially all those of you that where working today.

Scott Von Holzen