S_V_H Crazy first image

Final preliminary design

In my first layout below the speaker canvases, similar to past works are extensions on the sides. The width of this setup was around 45 inches in width, and six feet in length. I wanted to work to have a wider look away from the long rectangles in past 2020 music boxes. This first preparation image turned out to be too wide for our Toyota RAV to carry without dismantling. That is what I must do with all my previous 2022 works. I did not want that to continue with Crazy.

For Crazy I choose to keep the music for this artwork simple, and in four parts, so that I could have a more vertical work. The final design that was a good-enough-to-get-going arrangement is pictured above. This artwork will fit in the car being less than 42 inches wide and around sixty-four inches in length.

First layout.

As for my choice of the music, I remember I liked what I heard watching a guy dressed strangely, like an airline pilot captain, singing Crazy at the 2007 Grammy’s. I was able to find that performance on YouTube:

His outfit gave me the idea to go with a black theme accented with gold.

Early audio for this music box

My first step always is to create a basic soundtrack. Form that sound track I then choose the music the artwork is to sample. This current audio is lacking a lot, including drums. All that will be improved later when the physical artwork is near completion, and I am starting to build its sound system.

Scott Von Holzen

SVH Play that Song 1st image

This is the first image of the artwork Play that Song from the music by the band Train. This is what I call the back image. I picked two shades of blue that represent the sky in the video. Since this blog is taking forever to write below is another image of the final top layer of paint, which consists of two coats of Bone Black and a third which is a more here-and-there coat of Payne’s Gray.

Image from the new Studio under construction.

The image above with the two examples of the attached music is a proof-of-concept test. I wanted to confirm that I can use magnets to attach the music to the canvas. This would then make it considerably easier to store and move the artwork about. Using magnets to attach the loose canvas to a frame, and magnets to attach the music to the canvas creates a constructed and assemblage artwork.

My past artworks using the scratch of technique involved attaching the wooden music to the soft and vulnerable top layer with glue. Making things worse, the canvas is attached with magnets to the support frame and not stretched. The attaching anything permanently to what is a loose piece of canvas to a layer of fresh paint that can be scrapped off, can be a challenge. Even with careful handling, the attached music can tear away from the top layer of paint and canvas. A solution was that by scrapping down to the original background canvas the glue in those contact areas would hold to the canvas. I am also seeing some evidence that over time the top paint layer may harden enough to diminish the attachment issue. Using magnets attached to the wooden underside of the music and then attached to other magnets placed on the backside of the canvas, eliminates the need for glue, and creates a secure, and a safer to move temporary hold of the music to the canvas.

This is the top background image. Once I paint on the words for the artwork I will then scrap this layer of paint, to reveal the blue and white original background.

This top image differs from my past efforts in that some areas of the background still show through. That happened because I only applied three layers of paint to cover the back layer. In the past I would apply many more layers until the background image was completely covered. I have given up on that idea. I don’t know why I was thinking I needed a solid cover background, other than that would be a traditional art technique that others would approve of. But I was never trained in traditional art techniques. I have only seen them in museums, books, and videos. At this point in this art’s development, my time is too precious to accommodate.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Rhapsody in Blue final image

Rhapsody in Blue 87 3/4″ in length by 21 1/2″ maximum height.

I built Rhapsody in Blue from the previous artworks, Vogue, and Ronda All Turk.  These three works are the major artworks for 2018, not only because of their size, but because they may have given me the opportunity to shake the artistic tree.  This final image of Rhapsody’s contributes to that shake up.

Rhapsody in Blues obviously quivers the tree visually, because of its unusual handling of the subject matter.  Portraits, and landscapes, and abstract paintings are all positioned  on their backgrounds. This is not true with Rhapsody where the subject matter is physically independent from the background.

What is that rustling of the leaves I am hearing?   Well that is Rhapsody presenting a  look that drops the stylistic use of the splish-splash use of color seen in much of today’s art.  Rhapsody also combines two different forms of abstraction seen in the expressionist coloring of the music  while the rest of the painting uses the solid colors of colored color field painting. The limbs and leaves of the artistic tree are now swaying about.

And finally, to shake the fruit from the tree,  I replaced much of the background with space and air leaving the stretched canvas, decorated in Art Deco, to symbolize a background that serves little purpose.

Each of these paintings could help to define music to the viewer as something that is not to be heard but felt.  If that is so than I am heading in the right direction. If the viewer see these three paintings as original fine art pieces than I am certainly staying this course.  And yet I am far from seeing any of that happening.  None of these artworks have sold,  or received any attention including appearing in public.  Until that day arrives I will keep doing what I have always done: move on to the next project, while keeping my focus on shaking that damn tree.  To step up the pace I might have to bring out the saw.

The Giving Tree, a favorite book of mine by Shel Silverstein


Scott Von Holzen