S_V_H Bach Minuet in B Minor on canvas

My next project is another version of the Bach Menuet, BWV 1067 that I recently completed.  This artwork on canvas is a followup companion piece to the Bach Menuet in G Major canvas project. The title of this 2nd Menuet version is Bach Minuet in B Minor.  The image above shows my base image.  It would not matter how I paint these types of backgrounds, because they disappear after I apply the top coat.  Turning around as I am writing this blog and looking at this canvas, I like what I see.  Seventy-five-years ago this would have been an interesting abstract work.  Today, these backgrounds are enjoyable and interesting practice.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H J S Bach’s Chaconne BWV1004, image 1

It sure is a long ways from Miles Davis’s, So What, to  Bach’s Chaconne, but this Bach melody seems to have been cutting-edge in its time which fits well with the many experimental styles of Miles Davis. Chaconne uses a support canvas that is only is eight inches by twenty-four in length.

Like my recent works this project will be small, because of the complicated issues of building the music.  Consider that unlike using paint applied to the canvas surface to define my music,  I am applying a three-dimensional object that is the music.  Those two notes you see in image one, all sit on top of the canvas. Because they are the first pieces,  and the guides for the rest of the music,  it took parts of a whole day in the Studio to correctly  place and mount them securely.

Here is Bach’s Chaconne considered by some of the best violinist to be the greatest music ever written.   The part that is the theme for this painting is heard at about 30 seconds in.  It is very short.

I have already added more to this canvas and you can see those in-between images by following me on Twitter.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro Final Image

SpringMvt1_FinalImageThis is the Final image of Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro, first movement of his Four Seasons Concertos.  This 36 inch by fourteen foot painting that I started the end of June, I finished the end of August.  That is too long to paint one artwork.  My emotion toward this work varied over the months.  Of course I started with a lot of enthusiasm.  As the time flew by I change to more  of a technical approach to this work. I wanting  this artwork to display the colors of peak spring,  and that is what you see in the background. That is also what caused me the most second guessing of this artwork.

Since this is one of those rare works where I am depicting the up and down steps of the music from three different instruments, I knew I would have lots of open spaces, because of the balancing act of the music.  In the past I would add some extra banding of colors in open areas, but this work, my heart was not into doing that.  I decided to let the background breath through the music and hopefully it has all turned out for the good.   We shall see.  I do not see this work as a favorite from the Vivaldi Series, because of my issue of constantly balancing the background with the foreground.  But, because of its uniqueness in this series I think others may see that I have depicted in this artwork a greater depth of the music, not seen in any of the others in the Vivaldi Four Seasons series.

That only leaves one more to do. It will probably be big in size, and I see a lot of blues to come.

Scott Von Holzen




S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Winter Largo image2


Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons Winter – Largo. This work not has 10 panels and is just over 15 feet in length.  What I did find interesting about the progress of this work, is the idea that each panel can have a unique style.  Of course all the panels do work together, which is important in that they support the musical theme which flows across the entire work. The beams in the past appeared as simple rectangles with patterns of colors, or as pieces from a rectangle scattered about, or even left out of the picture.  In this work they are now being portrayed in a far more interesting way.

With a good start learned from The Christmas Painting of 2012, the beams now are adding a dramatic movement to the artwork.  As said many times before, the feeling of motion is a must in these artworks. So, if you look at the beams you can still make out parts of the original rectangles, in Prussian Blue, so there still is structure; but then over them comes the curving figures, that add interest and motion that just was not there in the past.  This is good approach that offers lots of options for future works.


As for the CloseUP view, you can see how sketchy the artwork appears at this stage.  In the final week of this work, I will spend a lot of time cleaning up edges, filling in the gaps and giving the entire work a cleaner look.  Actually, getting to that finished look, still surprises me, in how much difference that does make in the overall feeling to the painting. It is only getting to that looked that I know it is time to move on.

I think that a video is useful in portraying  the Artist and his connection to the Artwork.

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 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” 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

S_V_H Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons – Summer-adagio” image4

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Summer – adagio,  painting number four of  thirteen needed to complete this series. This artwork consists of 5 canvases with a total length of 12 feet (3.66m).

This painting is coming along, slowly, and will reach a month of work in two more days. This project is similar to the last Autumn piece.  A regret is that taking this long of time to complete a work, at times, can  take a toll on enthusiasm and concentration. Still, I have not found a way or the need to round the corners. Surprisingly, the need to complete this series has not diminished. It is as if Time does not matter, at less when painting Vivaldi.

Listening to Pearl Jam – Gone

Bill Evans – Young And Foolish

Next up is there are four eighth notes, represented in music as this symbol.

Unlike the Birthday painting that also had eighth notes, this time, the search is on to find a new way to depict them.  Of course that will take extra time.

Listening to Red Vines – Aimee Mann

Electric Light Orchestra – Rock And Roll is King

Seal – Don’t Cry

Scott Von Holzen