S_V_H Shape of my Heart

Shape of my heart

My next project is Shape of my Heart, written and sung by Sting. The above image shows an artwork plan that will accommodate over forty pieces of this music. My note size is 2 3/4″ (64mm). In this image I have lined up 22 of these notes along the bottom area to make sure there was enough length for them. As mentioned before, to fit in our Toyota for traveling, I need to keep the individual length of these artworks under 72 inches, and even less if the artwork is wider than 24 inches. Although the two side 16×16 speaker boxes will be elevated above the supporting frame, right now the look of this artwork is reminiscent of the previous project. To give the artwork more depth, I am looking at adding curved 6 inch wide steel sheets, like in Crazy, this time attached to the speaker boxes.

Here is a YouTube video of a live performance of Shape of My Heart by String.

Shape of my heart – Sting

The plan for each new music box project starts with the creation of the cover music. That audio is below and although it is not finished, this cover music has all the structure that I want.

That means the music starts with an introduction that is followed by a combination of melodies that captures the sound and the emotions of the original music while staying close to a minute. The escape ends the music, hopefully leaving a listener happy and surprised, while keeping the music box music under one minute thirty seconds. Already from this cover music, I have selected the measures that the artwork will be sampling.

These are the lyrics from the cover that I will sample:

“I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart”
– Sting

Draft Music box audio for shape of my heart project.

This rough cut of the cover music is all I need now to plan the artwork.


This is the first four sections of the fifteen section poem I wrote on the passing of my brother. A new section will be added in each new blog entry. 

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 
....to be continued.

Sadly, for most of our lives, Roger and I lived many hours' distance away from each other. Reading a small part of his story and editing it for this blog site, I recalled that when together I cherished those moments, although I now realize that I never fully appreciated all of his wonderful achievements. I have those regrets, and like all brothers that are separated, I wished I would have found more ways to have been a part of his life.

Here is background information detailing my brother's education and employment.

Roger Von Holzen graduated in 1971 from High School where he was
was a high achiever, including Track and Field, where his running record stands to this today.
Roger attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with an education degree. He then returned to his graduating High school to teach history and computer science for 10 years. 
Roger then received a horticulture degree from Gateway Tech in Kenosha, WI.
Furthering his education, Roger obtained his Master’s degree in Computer Studies from
North Western Missouri State University in 1987.
He then taught Computer Science at Northwest Missouri State.
In 1993, Roger received his Doctorate in Instructional Technology
from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, in 1993.
Roger enhanced his career by being extensively involved in various technology initiatives undertaken by the University. These efforts of his lead to his appointment to the Director of the campus Faculty Technology Center, in the spring of 1999.
He retired on June 30, 2020 from Northwest as an associate professor of
computer science. 

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday image 1 & 2



itSoHard_1It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye is a painting consisting of three canvases, with a length of fifty-two inches.  I have three images to show how I advanced the background for this music.

When you get to the third image is of the ,done for now. Next up I will be placing in the music flow, once I have cutout the music.


itSoHard_3Below is my attempt to learn how to simile, without looking silly, like I lost it, or fiendish, the last thing that I am. I would say I achieved none of those goals. Actually, I will be including more pictures of me with the artwork, to better the connection between me and all you readers, viewers, visitors, or whoever, or whatever you are. My thinking is that I would like to counter the fact that I do not see a lot of Blog sites that have images of the Blogger. I have already added a Contact option to this Blog, to again add another point of connection. It is a learning, and understanding process I am trying to development to better connect with the public,  and not by becoming a door-to-door peddler of this art.itSoHard_3b

Let me get back to the story of this artwork, and why I picked this music for my last artwork for 2015. Early May I attended the funeral of my favorite Uncle, Walter Von Holzen. He was the first family member that had graduated from college. He was the one that said to me, why would you go to the tech when you can go to the University of Wisconsin.  I took his advice,  and it and he changed me.

Then within a couple of weeks later we had to put Roxy, our favorite cat down.  She was dying from an eye disease,  and starvation because of it. Having to make that decision made for some emotional moments.

Then in mid September I received a distraught call, at work, from my step brother, telling me that my Father had passed away. I thought I would handle this better than I did with Mom’s passing, but I have not. It is a Life reality check when you lose both of your parents, the only people you have known all of your days.

Finally, our favorite, Aunt Selma, who was still mentally sharp at 95 years old until she contracted pancreatic cancer quickly past away in October.

All of this,  and the need to consider other life changing decisions has had an impact on me.  And yet, I have found ways to move myself, and this art ahead, probably with the help of my Mother.  She told me many times, “Never cut yourself short.”  She must have always knew how lucky I was, but she obviously also thought that I needed constant reminding.

Life really comes down to what you do with the opportunities that present themselves in good times and bad. It then come down to this: It up to us yet type of people, to carry on knowing that the best is yet to come, that Time has granted us all a pardon, and oh by the way, just as a reminder,  don’t forget to never cut yourself short.

This painting will look back. This painting will also carry me,  into a better 2016 with these words from the music, ” And I’ll take with me the memories to be my sunshine after the rain.”


Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Losing my Edge image 5

losing My Edge  _5

Here is a minor update that required a lot of effort. What you are seeing in this image is the flow of the music.  Everything does fit in the just enough space of this artwork.  I used math to plan and calculate the amount of space that the music flow needed, but as always my best results are a smart guess.  Actually drawing in the flow in place usually has its surprises, and with this artwork there were issues.  I had to remove, shift, and replace the music flow of this artwork several times.  Luckily, my goal was to have this part done by five o’clock, and for once I was on time.  Next up,  I think,  I will have to put in the flow using my new technique using wood cutouts.

This painting will have a special discounted price. Contact me in comments for the details to buy Losing me Edge.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Losing My Edge image 4

losing My Edge _4This is the, for now, the completed Losing my Edge background. I wanted this part done by three PM, and it is now after three-thirty, so that is not too bad.  I had to rush somewhat to close out this part of the artwork, but it is worth a little stress.  Having a schedule for this painting, for completing parts,  keeps me focused on the limited amount of working hours I have left.   Next up adding the music.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Losing My Edge image 3

losing My Edge  3Losing My Edge, I am working on adding depth to the base image.  My first discovery of LCD Soundsystem occur strangely as I was looking for music documentaries on Netflix. I came upon Shut Up and Play the Hits.  This artwork is coming out of this version of Losing My Edge from that documentary:

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Losing My Edge Image2

losing MyEdge _2Losing My Edge from the Music by LCD Soundsystem.  This artwork composed of three canvases is about forty-six inches long by about thirty-four inches in height.  All I am doing here is to putting down some paint down, to cover the white canvas,  and that fits the music theme. To keep it simple, which is important when time constraints are an issue,  I picked purple for all three canvases.  Nothing special with the technique mostly just having fun.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Losing My Edge image 1


Losing My Edge is this years 2015 Birthday Painting.  I will be starting this work today and finishing it tomorrow on my Birthday.  I have done this tradition for a several years.  In the past I have started and finished my Birthday work all in one day, on my Birthday.  This year, I am going to be kinder to me.  I have proved I can paint a work all in one day, but for the most part that time has been extremely demanding and stressful. One years I finished the work just before midnight.  So enough is enough.  Now, it is time to have fun for my Birthday.  And anyway in the past I have taken days  before preparing and lately construction the work, and  yes I did paint the entire work all in one day, but I spent much of the next day cleaning up the work, so that it has that finished look.  This year I will be starting this work today and finishing it probably on Saturday with the clean up.

Here is the video for Losing My edge.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Sweet Little Angel Image 2

Sweet Little Angel image 2This is a small update about Sweet Little Angel.  What makes this update important is that I have moved this art into a new direction.  I now have the tools and the resources to let the music flow stand out from the background.  I do this by using quarter-inch  aspen wood.  At first I was only going to do the two notes on the center panel, but quickly I could see that I have something special starting, and so the entire music flow is now made up of painted wood.  This changes this art,  and helps me carry out my goal to portray music more fluidly like the way music is actually played.  I am on to something here, and I am going to push this technique forward with this years Birthday Painting.

Up next for today,  and tomorrow is the story of my 2015 Birthday Painting which will be LCD SoundSystem’s Losing My Edge.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Sweet Little Angel image 1

sweetLittleAngel_1This video of Sweet Little Angel shows B.B. King’s totally immersed in the music.  The sounds from Lucille, his guitar, flow through his fingers up and out through his voice and facial expressions.

Sweet Little Angel is a music in art two canvas composition, forty inches by about twenty-eight inches in height. This is the third in this current series of small works. This artwork is a part of a larger experimental trend of putting a lot more effort in the taping and applying of the paint, to increase the drama  and aggressiveness,of the backgrounds. I no longer want backgrounds whose main purpose is to provide a decorate look to hang the music on. I am seeing in the early stages of these artworks compositions that on their own could be seen as abstract art. Still, my true goal of these advanced super charged backgrounds remains consistent with the past, to set the mood, and anchor the music in its rhythmic movement across the canvas.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H The Ghost of Tom Joad Final Image

The Ghost of Tom Joad final image

I have completed The Ghost of Tom Joad. This artwork proves to me that it is easier to test new ideas when working on a smaller size canvas. I used two new techniques in this work that I plan on developing, and experimenting with in future paintings.  The first one is drip painting.  Dripping paint is not a great artistic breakthrough. It is a technique that I have ignored, until I stumbled on a dripping method that was convenient to use, consistent, and with fairly precise control. The second new technique, if you look closely at the enlargement,  you will see a number of small square wooden pieces that I have attach to this artwork.  I am fascinated by the unlimited opportunities that attaching painted pieces of wood to canvas can offer.

These two methods each can add interest, and more important depth, in edition to using multiple layers of canvases to make that three dimensional, sculptural look possible.  But not every artwork works well with layered canvases.  Now,  with the option of dripping, and adding small wooded pieces to the canvas surface,  I can give even a traditional flat rectangle artwork a little of that three dimension look.  I am always after this to better reflect the depth of the music I am portraying.

My original idea for The Ghost of Tom Joad  was to use earth tones to keep the coloring muted and the contrast lower.  I found out once again, that it was hard for me to limit my pallet.  I may have an opportunity to actually limit my pallet with this years Birthday painting, at the end of July.  My Birthday painting I start and complete in one day.  A simpler color scheme, with smart use of tints and shades, could save painting time,  and be an opportunity to experiment with a cleaner appearing,  less cluttered looked.


Up next is another small artwork, and a Blues Classic, Sweet Little Angel. I cannot seem to get enough of B B King so I thought it was time to do one of his own classic songs.  Since this is a Blues piece I can see this as an opportunity to create a simpler artwork.

Scott Von Holzen