S_V_H the shape of my heart final image

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: This is the actual (not the one in the video) end image of the music box, Shape of my heart L85.25″x H34.5″x D5.5″
This is a sample of the cover music for this music box.
Photo 2: A more detailed image showing the TalentCell Rechargeable 12V 3000mAh Lithium ion Battery Pack
Photo 3: This is the backside of the artwork, with the speaker now facing the wall when hung.
Photo 3a: New two-way speaker with front cover.
Photo 4: This is a close of image of my now reversed scratch off technique.
Photo 5: The QR code location to play the artwork’s cover music
Photo 6: First attempted image of the added middle canvas

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Going deeper:

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My YouTube video discussing this finished music box artwork.

Photo 1 & 6: When I shot this video of this artwork, I thought I was finished. After posting it later that day I could no longer avoid my dislike for the empty center of the artwork. I had a growing feeling that I was looking at a throwback idea of the music being able to cast its shadows onto the wall. There was also an issue with the color relationship between the blue center canvas and the outer green speaker canvases. I concluded I needed to fill the empty center with another canvas.

I found a slightly used 24 x 30inch canvas that would fit the current artwork frame and prepared it for my scratch-off technique. For the base color I went with different shades of lighter browns. The top scratch-off layer was in green. I wanted to only leave a small amount of the green top layer but what was revealed on the base brown layer that not only was too light, but the browns chosen did not complement the wooden musical notes. I tried to rescue this canvas by painting it a darker green color and adding contrast with the dark Payne’s Gray, seen in photo 6. It was all too much.

Eventually, I remembered what I have always thought of my backgrounds, which is keep them simple and in the background where they belong. I ended up once again over painting the center canvas, but this time using the color Light Burnt Umber. This worked, for its tone was different, but close enough to the look of the music to pull together all the other canvases.

This project was exceptionable in pushing this art forward with four surprising changes.

Photo 4: The first change was to take my scratch-off technique and reverse its steps. Originally, I would paint on my top finished coat, add words, and then scratch that coat off to review the decorative base underneath. I reversed that process with this artwork. The major advantage is better control in that I now will scrap off the decorative layer instead of the main layer.

Photo 2: I will now offer, starting with this latest music box, the option to battery power my music boxes instead of using my standard plugin 12V 5A switching power supply. In the photo above the battery is connected to power the stereo system. Next to that connection is the 12V supply connection, that the user can switch out.

Photo 3 & 3a: The third change is the speakers. I have resolved many of my sound quality issues. With the switch to two-way 4 inch speakers that are open to the back. I now have a more open range of sound with cleaner highs, mid-tones and even a modest improvement of base, without the mud.

Photo 5: I have the concern not knowing the life expectancy of my stereo systems installed in these artworks. I now feel better with the addition of an attached QR code. When scanned, the user will be directly connected to my YouTube channel and the music of that music box. This option will last as long as the YouTube service is available. As a final backup all the masters of my music boxes are stored on Microsoft and Google’s servers.

QR code sample of the On-line version cover of the music box, The Shape of my heart.

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What is Art?

This is a small updated definition that is built on other statements I have read, all attempting to define what is art. The key is “perception.” There is no way I can get around that word. Its simplistic honesty is shared in this familiar statement “Beauty (as is Art) is in the eye of the beholder”

All art is craft.
Not all craft is art.
The difference,
art was and always will be
an ever opening revolving door
of perception.
Craft is a product
-svh

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Roger’s poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about accepting and moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in Life with them.
(This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-8)

____________________________________

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_, 
curious,
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. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

sections 1-8 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H The Shape of my Heart image 4

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: All the major pieces of this music box, including the sound system, are together, along with a quick arrangement of the sample music to check spacing.
Photo 2: I chose Target cotton balls for the speaker box fill because of their firm shape.
Photo 3: Audio Test of the newly constructed audio system for this music box.
Photo 4: This is a close-up of the finished audio system.

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Going deeper:

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Photo 1: This is an open artwork with a large amount of empty middle that will fill with the shadows from the music that are not as noticeable in the bright North light and studio lighting. Although a little unusual, none of the cover artwork music is attached with magnets to the canvas. All the music is firmly held to either of the 6 inch by 18 inch steel sheets or to the two 1inch galvanized steel rods I purchased from Menard’s, described as 60″ S Cleat Duct Fittings. The surprise was when moving from the tables to the easels, how heavy this music box felt with none of the music attached.

Photo 2: I started speaker building with no fill except for strips of corrugated cardboard that I thought was a great idea. Obviously, I should have asked for a second opinion. Finally, I came to a better understanding of speaker technology. The suggestion was to use polyfill. I looked around the house and found a bag of cotton balls on a bathroom shelf. Using the cotton balls for fill proved to be an outstanding improvement in the sound coming from my undersized speaker boxes.

The inside dimension of the speaker boxes is about 10 inches by 13 inches with a shallow depth of only 2 inches. Because they come with screen covers, these new 2-way speakers no longer need to be encased inside a box for protection. That changed allowed me to reduce the speaker box depth by 1.5 inches. This change improved the balance of the artwork, making for a better fit with the canvases that are only 1.5 inches wide.

My speaker boxes, no matter the artwork, have fallen well short of the recommended sizing for a 4 inch speaker. That has not been a factor. The sound, for multiple reasons, including speaker box design, has been steadily improving. This tells me the size of the boxes is not critical.

Photo 3: What is being heard are the built-in test sounds that bounce from the right to the left speaker to confirm that all the fifty plus connections, mostly by soldering, all work. The sound comes from a 16 MB little Adafruit mini sound board.

Photo 4: This image is an interesting accomplishment. Pictured is the first 20Watt stereo system setup that can be played either with a DC 12V power adapter, or a 12V lithium battery simply by switching the power connection. The extra female connector seen hanging inside the 8 inch canvas is not used.

Final Thoughts:

I am not really crazy with the look of this artwork. Maybe it is the large open spacing in the middle of the artwork. I am not sure. The music notes and stems are done, but not finished. I will add to them the necessary beams and flags, and other notation touches that will give the artwork an added decorative and interest look. Those additions offer the opportunity to punch up the look of this music box.

_________________________________________________

Roger’s poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about accepting and moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in Life with them.
(This poem is in fifteen parts and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part)

_________________________________________________

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_, 
curious,
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. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass the diminishing forest light
and our late start,
fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

sections 1-7 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Shape of my heart image 3

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: The final setup of the canvases for the music box frame, along with a few notes from the cover music, the two 16×20 inch music boxes on the sides and the central tall canvases now painted a bluish Paynes Gray.
Photo 2: The original painted central tall canvases that were then quickly over painted.
Photo 3_1: My original scratch-off technique, used to remove parts of the top layer of paint, failed on the right side canvas. That top layer was removed and replaced.
Photo 3_2: The current replaced image of the right canvas alongside the left canvas that was over painted to match.
Photo 4: Backside of a canvas framed speaker box, still in construction, showing the new two-way speaker. This placement with the speaker facing out hopefully will improve the overall sound.

_________________________________________________________________________

Going deeper:

Photo 1: The top left and bottom right 16×20 speaker box canvases, which I have written the graffiti lyrics, share the same green color used in the musical notes. Those two canvases and the two smaller 8×8 canvases will be mounted on top of the two central tall canvases. This will then also elevate the placement of the music, creating more depth and stronger shadows. The sheet metal plates laying on both the speaker boxes will be attached and bend in half circles like in previous works.

Photo 2: I chose the brown color, Van Dyke, for the music, thinking it went well with Sting’s look (broad term). I then compared several colors that I thought would go with that brown. The central two tall canvases are Maroon. My guess judging from the image was that I was trying to replicate a Mark Rothko background style like I used a dozen years ago. The results looked bad. I then made the Maroon blocks larger and added blocks of Van Dyke, thinking that the music color would pull everything together. It did not. It all looked worse.

The Van Dyke brown on the smaller wooden music pieces looked good. Blending it on the larger surfaces of the canvases made the glossy look of the color stand out from the matte Maroon. This shine would make the background a distraction to the music. I do not want that. The backgrounds I create are there to help the music stand out, add a little interest, and to support the music, enabling the artwork to hang on a wall without making a statement. I painted over the two central canvases, returning them to my style of broadly applying solid colors that lack depth and detail, but with a touch of added interest. Those canvases are now painted a solid gray blue color seen in the Photo Image one above.

Photo 3-1: I have been experimenting and using a scratch of paint technique for years. Although the results have always varied, only now did I have my first failure. The top layer on the right 16×20 canvas easily pealed away and slid about when I attempted to scratch it off.

Photo 3-2: In the image you see the same arrangements of the canvases in Photo 3-1. The right image I removed the top layer down to the base and repainted it. On the left image in 3-1 is the same in 3-2. This canvas was difficult to scrap off. For that reason, unlike the right canvas, I did not remove it. What I did was to treat that layer as the bottom layer.

What this means instead of applying the top layer and then hoping to scratch of the right amount of that layer exposing the background, I have now reversed that process by putting the final layer of paint as the base coat, an scratching off what once was the bottom layer, now move to the top. As you can see in the new images of these canvases, so far I have been reluctant to scratch of the additional top layer. That is why the look between the two images appears different.

There may also be one other benefit of reversing this scratch-off technique, in that the first and underlying layer of top paint to be scratched off will be titanium white. Once that has dried, then I can apply the colors I want the top scratch off to look like. By always using white as the first layer of the scratch off top I am hoping this may improve the consistency of the technique.

Photo 4: I have had an issue with my past 4″ speakers in that the higher sound levels were lacking. I have learned to fix some of that using my DAW software, Studio One. It was when looking for a better hardware solution I stumbled across a set of 4″ speakers that are two-way. The tweeter in the middle of the speaker may improve the music’s high end quality. They also came with a surprising benefit of covers. I can finally face the speakers towards the wall, eliminating the canvas obstruction.

With few exceptions over the years, my speakers have been mounted inside their boxes, on the backside of a framed canvas. I compensated for their needed depth by placing the speaker canvases on top of the background canvases that are hung on the wall (see Photo Image 1). These new two-way speakers that protrude outside their boxes, with protective covers, allow for the sliming down of the speaker boxes. The hope is they will also improve the overall sound quality.

Final thoughts?

I realized the mistakes in the recent wedding artwork that I am not a fine art painter in touch with detailed nuances. Why, with this project, did I repeat this struggle with my paint application, I do not know, but I have concluded that although the artist Mark Rothko was a major influence at the beginning of this art, he no longer is. I have move closer in style to the other Color Field painters like Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland.

___________________________________________________

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_, 
curious,
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. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass the diminishing forest light
and our late start,
fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

sections 1-6 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Shape of my Heart first image

This is the current image of the next high end music box with the cover music, The Shape of My Heart.

On the floor of my studio, again using my large supply of stretched canvas, I have put together a frame that will hold all the artwork cover music. This study of the artwork is thirty inches wide, making it an easy fit in the car. The length, although, is over seven feet. That means I will have to remove at less one of the square boxes that will hold the speakers in order to travel the work.

For this project, the artwork is going to sample this part of the cover music:

Go Deeper:

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_, 
curious,
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 One Thousands Years image 1

One Thousand Years,
with the notes turned incorrectly to the right

This is a commissioned work requested by my brother for his son’s wedding later this August. I will not say anymore about this beginning of this project, for there is an interesting technique I stumbled carelessness into.

The music for this project was written and sung by a Christina Perri that I have never heard of. It has over 2 billion views on YouTube. Watching and listening to it I number of times did not change my opinion of the song. For me it falls into the category of ordinary love song. I song I would never have painted.

Even though I could have had many artwork sales for wedding songs, I have chosen not to. Songs like this are the reason. I chose and paint songs I am, at the time, emotionally connected to. That is my choice. My art. My way.

This art has never been about money, no matter the cost of time and monies of the last sixteen years painting music. This art is big. How big I do not know, nor can I grasp its true meaning or value. I do know it is part of a personal challenge to accomplish something special that started early in my life. Through the creation of these music artworks I am seeing an opening to an eventual self awareness. Back to reality, and out of my comfort zone, this commission work from my brother is a worthy and appreciative challenge. To quote the poet and philosopher Coldplay ” Nobody said it was easy.”

Well, that is the background of the music. Once I had a decent start for my cover music, I switched over to producing the pieces for the artwork. Now, I am going to lose everyone not into music notation rules. I broke a big one. Strange, I thought I had already demolished all the rules of notation accept the up down movement. I will explain.

In music notation generally and individually, the notes from B down the musical staff face left with the stem to the right. Notes above B than are turned and face right with the stem to the left. As you can see in the image provided. All the notes from my cover music were turned to the right with the stems to the left. That is wrong. All the notes for this music are lower than the B position and therefore should have been turned to the left. I have always obeyed this notation rule in the past, thinking the left-to-right and back-en-forth of the notes added interest to the artwork.

At first I could not believe I made such an error, but this project is rare, in which every note of the cover music faces the same way. I got in a note putting together rhythm that ended up with every note pointing the wrong direction. I thought I could easily solve this issue by flipping top to bottom. That did not work, everything was off. I also noticed that when turning the notes correctly to the left, I did not like that look.

The music flow felt blocked by all those stems, one after another. My solution was an easy mix solution. I decided for multiple reasons to leave most of the cover music notes pointing in the wrong direction. The change I made was to take a few notes that are below the music staff, remove the notes from the stems, and replaced them turned to the left.

Example of notes turned the correct notation direction.
Final note setup with a mixed of upper right facing
and lower left facing notes.

Three attempts at the background canvas.
Final, in the middle

In the above image the 24×36 inch scratch off canvas on the right is my first attempt. The plan for that canvas was to use the colors from the YouTube video of the music. Then my wife, Barbara, informed me that was a no no. I had forgotten the bouquet image. Even though I tried to repaint that first scratch off canvas was beyond a simple recovery. My next attempt is the 24×36 canvas on the left.

This time after trials, the plan was to use the Golden Acrylic colors of Permanent Violet Dark, Alizarin Crimson Hue, Permanent Maroon, Titan Green Pale and shades of Neutral Grays, along with Titanium white to mix whatever that other color is.

Starting with the base color design based on the banquet image on a new 24×36 inch size canvas, I tried to figure out what would look the best with the color Maroon and its various tints and close relatives. After I did the scratch off, I decided my plan for the base did not turn out as I wished it would have. Out of desperation and thinking in terms of wedding pretty, I glazed the entire canvas with Iridescent Pearl Fine. That move ended up covering everything, which luckily included the scratch off that displayed my crappy base paint layer.

I liked to look, and so did Barb mentioning the gray color that she could see in the base coat. The problem was that the base coat was actually shades of Maroon and Violet Dark that I had partially covered with a coat of Pearl. Her comment got me thinking. In the banquet flower image, strangely, there are gray flowers, so I thought I would go with shades of gray and a little of the other colors for the base, once again on a new canvas. That solve another problem I finally noticed: the 24×36 canvases I started with were too large for the music notes I had created earlier. I chose a smaller 16×40 inch sized canvas which better balanced with the size of the music.

Scott Von Holzen

Roger’s poem, dedicated to the memory of my Brother Roger who passed away a year ago this coming August 9th. In each new blog post I will add another section of this poem. Here are sections 1 & 2 of 15.

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.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Crazy Final Image

This is the final image of Crazy with its stands attached. When close to finishing an artwork, I will build the stands to allow better access to complete the work. The alternative would be to place the artwork on easels, making it difficult to access the stereo system, or the music notes attached to the canvas with magnets on the backside.

Although I signed and dated this artwork on July 22nd, I soon realized that I was not done. I forgot all those interesting musical items that add interest to the work. I am referring to all those small white objects attached to the music that in musical terms are the dots, beams, sixteen notes, and staff lines.

Crazy W66.5″xH45″xD8″

Here are my, this-work-is-finally done, comments on the Music Box Crazy posted on YouTube:

I have created a new website, emptywallsart.com, to better market this art and to support and promote the works of 6 other artists that are a part of the group. Organizing artists was only made possible with the help of two of the other six members, Jeff Nelson and Christy Skuban. This website is to be used to sell group exhibitions for Galleries and Art organizations.
Our group has the foundational connection in that we are all three-dimensional artists. Four of us are wall mounted and two are sculptural artists. We then offer the flexibility to a gallery, for example, the option to choose which artists would fit their best interests. Because of the diversity and the talent in this group, there will be kinks to be worked out. A positive side of this collaboration will hopefully come with the larger resource in ideas and venue opportunities to promote and sell our three-dimensional art to ever larger markets. My thinking is that the group will become greater than the sum of its members.

This is the Home page for EmptyWallsArt

It is obvious, even to me, after reading a few of these blog posts, how frustrating it has been to find ways to, as I would say, “break on through to the other side.” I have tried Art fairs, in and outdoors, local and distant exhibitions, and websites to market this art, and they all eventually reach the same level and result: no movement in this art. A show begins and ends, an exhibition begins and ends, an art sale occasionally begins and ends. As a wise man at an outdoor art fair told me, all these art venues reset every year.

These types of art exhibitions are fine to add names and dates to an art resume, but that is all their worth. Understandably, this art is not your typical craft work (make up your own definition of craft versus art, mine way below) that fills these shows and is appealing to the public for their prettiness, highly polished look, or eye-catching use of color. Therefore, I have made this turning point: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein.

Something I wish to document and share:

The one-year anniversary of the passing of my brother, Roger, is drawing near. In my tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months for me to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement from my family. I believe this story poem contains many universal moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you that others may relate to.

I started writing this story poem in early February and finished the last changes in early June. It took so long to produce that I felt for me and Roger’s memory I would release it slowly. The poem is in fifteen different sections. The plan, starting with this post, is to make public the first section of this poem. Then, in the next fourteen blog posts, I will add another section until the poem is complete. Here is the first of fifteen sections of my poem dedicated to my brother Roger Von Holzen.

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.

Scott Von Holzen

Art vs Craft

All art is craft
Not all craft is art.
the difference is
art was and always will be
an ever open revolving door
of perception.
Craft is a product

S_V_H Crazy image 2 update

The Music Box Crazy

I have always liked this song for reasons unknown. I never thought of painting it until I was watching a YouTube Art video and heard another cover of it by a street singer. Here is that cover of Crazy heard right from the start of the YouTube video by James Kalm:

The colors for this music box come from Gnarls Barkley’s outfit at his Grammy performance of Crazy and the violin section in this other YouTube live version:

The backside of Crazy showing the speaker install.

This is an advanced cover of the audio for the song Crazy. Like the YouTube video versions I liked these slower versions of the original.

This artwork needs to be completed. Its time has passed. The audio, as mentioned, is not done. At this stage the audio is being tested through computer speakers. The audio system for Crazy is my hand built system with its own custom speakers. When I am good with the sound of this cover on my computer speakers, a Bose system, I will then install that copy onto the music box and listen to that sound. Since the artworks speaker system is only two 4″ speakers, no doubt I will have to adjust it. I will then need to tweak the equalizer, the reverb, and balance, for example, until I hear a sound that is as good-as-it-gets. Then that is it.

Scott von Holzen

S_V_H Just Another Day image 3

Just another Day L64″xH44″xD6″

This is the project Just Another Day, with the artwork music in place. I changed the original design by dropping the bottom canvas lower, which allows easier access for attaching the music.

The Dancing house images from the LACMA exhibition catalog.

I have found the inspiration for this artwork in the architecture of Frank Gehry. It is his freedom from standard architectural rules, made possible through computer software, that allows him to create the buildings that match his imagination. His accomplishments give me the encouragement to break completely from any of my own artificial limitations I made up for this art. Now what works for me, I will make work for these artworks. That sounds simple, but the getting to this understanding has taken years.

The definition of this art starts with sheet music and accordion lessons when I was seven. My appreciation of music has grown ever since, including the grasping of music theory and my interest in learning to play different musical instruments. It was knowing the fundamentals of reading sheet music that I discovered a unique painting technique.

Before I started painting music, I searched “art in music” and what I found were paintings of people playing musical instruments, or abstract images given a title of a song. I chose a different way to paint music by using the up and down flow of a song seen in its sheet music. I felt I could paint this approach if I kept this art to only representing this movement. I wanted the viewer to visualize the music in an artwork built around a song’s pitch changes, and not a painting of sheet music. Now, with Frank Gehry’s creative push over-the-ledge, I am letting go of those artistic restraints that have forever defined these music works. It just took me forever to get to this point of seeing the value of Gehry’s designs, along with a little help from Bach.

I see Gehry’s finish, especially his commercial projects, as high craft, especially in his use of speculator materials like titanium. I do not consider my artwork high craft and do not present them that way. I understand the beauty and high craftsmanship of great art that is favored. I just think it is a waste of time and has little to do with my message. I see my approach, for example, in the varied model pictures of Frank Gehry’s “the Dancing House.” I feel these models harmonize better with my artistic style. Add to that a little help from a rediscovered 2020 Bach project.

J S Bach Minuet 1067

This Bach artwork was experimental, for it allowed me to slide the music sections about using mounted arms. Those two white mounted arms in the lower middle of the artwork are examples of what I used to connect the music to with bolts and wing nuts. When loosen, this then allows the music to slide up and down those arms. This Bach work is the first attempt at what I now take for granted. The problem back then was how to secure the arms of the artwork, which turned out to be not reliable.

It was the CVA show the summer of 2021, that this Bach artwork got the worse of it, coming home with pieces of it in a tote. This artwork was a mess, and an irritation that I ignored for months. The worse issue was the mounting arms that pushed out the music a lot further from the canvas. This exposure and the weakness of the mounts resulted in more parts of the artwork being loosened or even falling off at the show and breaking loose on the U-Haul truck rental drive home. Eventually to store, I repaired the damaged from the CVA show. It surprised me I was only missing one small piece. Although still fragile to the touch, I took what I have learned since its build to strengthen the attachment of the artwork to the canvases.

After the repairs were done, I took another look at this work, and how the music stood out three inches from the canvas surface. This distance creates an amazing look of depth lost in a picture. Also, the beautiful curved white shapes give a superior strong look of motion across the artwork.

Taking my current mood, the depth and style of the Bach’s work, and Gehry’s let-it-all-hang-out style, the results are in. Just another Day’s looks results from the largest canvas being painted like the look of corrugated sheet metal, the curving of wood pieces, and an eighteen-inch steel plate, resulting in an artwork with a depth of six inches.

I believe in my early days of group exhibitions, I could only find one standard art genre name that fit somewhat, which was Mixed Media. When I added a push button to play the music, the artwork was portraying, I then went all-art-genre-in and came up with the description of Interactive constructive sculpture. I now have simplified this genre down to Sculptural Music box. We will see how long that lasts.

Up next, I will work on the installation of the stereo system, which will complete this music box project.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Just Another Day Image 1

This color theme comes from a building. I will explain.
The setup
This is an advanced version of the music box software created in the StudioOne DAW software.

Just Another Day is music by Jon Secada. Here is a better live video and sound presentation from a Stound Stage performance in 2017. This music was originally released in 1992.

This music is not a classic from my past. I do not remember if I ever listened to it when it was first released. It is a nice catchy pop tune that I thought I could work with. I have new drum software and this music has a simpler drum beat to start the learning process. Also, I wanted to do a smaller artwork and the song’s chorus length works for the artwork and the cover music.
I must admit that I have forgotten any other motivations I could have for painting this music. Many of my music choices just happen. I probably heard this song on a Spotify Daily Mix, and it fit the mood and the size of the music I wanted to paint.

The plan was to use canvases from my ample stock for this project. These blog images and the audio sums up what I have been doing, for 60 to 70 plus hours 7 days a-week, since the middle of February. The smaller image is the setup for this project. I should have done that on Your Song. One goal of Just Another Day was to reduce the over length of the artwork by placing the speakers inside the artwork and not attaching them to the outside. This would create a smaller size work easier to store when that time comes, and it will. This project will be under six feet by four feet in height. Because of the limits of these four canvases, I had to cut back my original music sample. When laid out, the artwork music stretched to ten feet.

As for the larger blog photo, the colors and the design come from these Images from the LACMA Museum exhibition catalog, Frank Gehry. Not only has this art style been influenced by dead artists: Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Henri Matisse, and Jackson Pollock, it also has many other influencers, including the living architect, Frank Gehry. On the large canvas, the striping did not photograph well with the iPhone. The silver color looks awful, while the contrasting color is a lighter shade of black, meant to represent the Gehry image of corrugated metal.

As for the cover music, I am astounded by what I have accomplished with the software. Even though what I am doing is basic, simple, fairly straightforward, and nothing that anyone could not also do. I cannot help but being pleased with my growth and understanding of digital music, created using the (DAW) StudioOne. So it can be.

Scott Von Holzen