S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Final Image

•08/06/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Final Image

Summer can be busy and that may be the reason I forgot to post this final image of Mozart’s Serenade.  Besides not posting this image earlier I also forgot to create a video demonstrating the music that is part of this artwork.  That happened because I wanted to add this artwork to a show of my recent works at our local gallery, Artisan Forge.

This is the second of my works, Rondo Alla Turca was the first, to have the music built into the artwork. If you look at the lower left of the above final image there is a red button to play the music that represents this artwork. Top to bottom on this forward panel on display through this month of August, are the artworks, Runnin’ Down a Dream, The Mozart Serenade, In The Mood and my favorite polka, Polka, POLKA! artwork. In the back display, the long green and tan artwork on display for the first time, Mr Brightside, I painted in 2016.

I have mentioned that the use of a lot of solid bright colors on this work and the earlier Rondo Alla Turca are very similar.  I hope to change that trend starting with my current project Rhapsody in Blue.  I plan on pulling back on the miscellaneous, splish, splash, use of solid colors.  One  reason for making this change, is that too many solid colors placed randomly on an artwork, lessens the value, and impact, of the adjacent colors. I will explain my decision to change direction, and why so quickly,  in my next blog entry. For now,  if you wish to buy this amazing bright-colored Mozart artwork the price is a reasonable $800.00 at the local Artisan Forge gallery.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Image 2

•07/17/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Image 2

This artwork carries on the freer use of color and design that originated with the last two works, the Art Deco inspired Vogue and the brightly colored Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca.  What makes this Serenade different is that I moved the music to the center of the stems. That technique first appeared in the artwork Liechtensteiner Polka. In the polka project having the music centered in the middle of the stems made sense because of the accordion bellows referenced in the shape of the stems.  In this artwork I centered the music for the reason that I wanted to break another sheet music rule of aligning the music along the edges of the stems.  This change had no affect on the flow of the artwork, the foundation of this art style.

This Serenade then follows the design of Rondo Alla Turca  by using a small spacer to connect the music to the stems so that the music is at different levels based on the changing heights of the stems.  This is also a change from earlier artworks where I kept the stems separated from the music or their connection diminished as much as possible. For this Serenade allowing the music to flow not only up and down across the horizontal, but also up and down the depth of the artwork, makes this representation of Mozart’s Serenade closer to the visual representation of the sounds of the music.

By moving the music away from the edges of the stems I did create an interesting possibility.  This artwork could be viewed as having the look of different flavored lollipops. To take this further it is easy to see the music in the Liechtensteiner Polka artwork as ice cream cones. Yes, I have come a long ways with even further to go.  Until the next big idea comes along, it looks for now, that the treat look is in vogue.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13

•07/07/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13

This first image of this popular Mozart musical piece does not show how complicated this project has become.  The original idea for this serenade was to create another mini type artwork. That would mean a simpler time-saving project to produce an easy to reproduce artwork. That did not happen. This work started on June 25th, and from that day on I this project has challenged my decision-making process. Every step forward has led to a step back to fix issues. The worse example of my obvious poor planning came over two weeks  into this project.

The original design of the artwork was to have a 4 by 6 canvas on the left side and the larger 6 by 8 inch canvas on the right side. After several attempts to glue down the first few notes, I realized that I had forgotten about the music box that was too big to hide behind the 4 by 6 canvas.  Although,  I had created and painted all the needed pieces of the music, I also forgot to make a note to hold the push button.  My concerned about my timeline with this artwork,  probably caused me to push ahead to quickly.  Reality hit when I realized I had no option to put the music box near the music note I needed to change for a push button.  That lead to the my only time-saving option, which was to remove my music progress, so I could then flip the artwork around to use the 6 by 8 canvas to hide the music box.

This artwork represents the first four bars of this famous Mozart music:

With this mini artwork I can see that I am under the influence of the earlier artwork, also a Mozart piece, Rondo Alla Turca.  In past mini artworks my notes would be all one color and the stems all a gray, but with this project it is all about color diversity.  With all my other mini artworks I  restricted my pallet to save time knowing that even small original artworks can take a week and more to complete.  With this Mozart,  my quickly involving style, and its influence, made it difficult to save decision-making and construction time. I should have realized that would happen once I lengthen this artwork.  To accommodate more of the music I pushed this artwork beyond the two foot limit that works best for a mini artwork.  That resulted in a  serenade that has evolved into a major mini artwork that is no longer a cost and time-saving mini artwork.  Time, that may be an underlying issue.  This art style is evolving quickly, which requires me to solve new issues with each artwork.  Maybe, this would not be an issue if I was in my twenties, but it certainly is as I near seventy.  So much music to paint. So much Time to live.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Mozart Alla Turca image 4

•06/18/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart Alla Turca image 4

This is a work-in-progress image that I sent along with pictures of Vogue and Like a Rock, for consideration, by the Pablo Inaugural Art Exhibition. Today is the deadline.  To finish this project I still need to add a Trill, and repaint, once again, a couple of the beams located along the bottom. After that there remains some touch up and cleaning to do. Finally, I will have to find a place for the signature.

Here is that short video that was part of the submission that features the round red push button used to play the music.

The video makes this artwork look smaller than its actual size which is almost seven feet in length, and requires two people to move it safely around.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ image 3

•06/17/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ image 3

Where did I get the idea that 230 year old Classical Music needed to be painted black and brown. Maybe it is from looking at 200-year-old Mozart manuscripts. This music by Mozart is also known as the Turkish March, the English translation of Alla Turca.   Actually,  I decided to use brighter colors once I listened to the astonishing speed of this music.  I should have known that Rondo refers to music that is to be played fast, maybe really fast.  For example here is a video from the Summer Night Concert 2014 with The Vienna Philharmonic with Lang Lang on the piano:

I made the choice of colors quickly because of the tight production schedule with this artwork.   I picked blue to start this music.  I than move up in intensity to the color red, and then back down to end with a light green.  This artwork has a random look and placement to the colors, and again, that is because I needed to move along. Where needed I will adjust on the fly.  So far I am also not feeling or seeing a personality in this artwork, which is disconcerting, considering how major this painting is.  What that means is that I have no straight path to complete this work.  That also means everything is up in the art and that I will be making some bad choices that I either live with or change. Change is always my first priority.  So it goes, and so will I.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart’s Rondo Alla Truca image 2

•06/14/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Mozart’s Rondo Alla Truca image 2

This is an artwork in progress, and not sections of a ladder with marshmallows attached to one side.  This  Mozart piece needs to be finished by June 18th, to be entered in the Inaugural art exhibition at the Pablo Center of the Confluence.  If selected this artwork will hang in exhibition on a wall, as a combination three-dimensional painting, sculpture, an assemblage artwork.  Until then,  this artwork is currently laying on a table in pieces waiting to be glued to a six-foot aluminum frame.

This image’s construction demonstrates the amount of craftsmanship that is now needed to portray Music. This art started as paintings of music.  Even today when asked what I paint, my response still is, “I paint Music.” Because of the physical work now needed to assemble these artworks I have lately wondered if I am becoming too crafty. This came to mind recently when a customer picked up a commissioned work.

On seeing their artwork for the first time, he quickly mention how the aluminum frame could be given a high gloss finish using wet high grit sandpaper.  I felt guilty when he said that. Than I thought his suggestion deserved some merit because the aluminum, even when carefully picked,  always has small scratches and abrasions that need to be removed.  I thanked him for his suggestion.  Latter, that discussion reminded me that most local art is exactly that,  ‘high gloss.’  The public sees a high quality finish as quality Art, and Artists comply.  I am sure many see such a finish as a way to improve sales and to charge more for their artwork.  What I see is a lot of local artwork that lacks originality and creativity, but sure is pretty.

Are you becoming to crafty?   For now the answer is probably, yes, but I see this art constantly evolving. My guess is that in time I will loosen up on accuracy in portraying music. This will allow me to move away from craftsmanship to more true assemblage. I think the true meaning of this art form will then begin to come into focus.  I also believe the fundamentals of the flow will continue, but everything thing else that depicts that movement is up for grabs. That openness to change is the product of me needing to innovate to avoid the fear of boredom.  I am also kinda-of-a geek: I am always looking for the next best thing.

Scott Von Holzen




S_V_H God Only Knows

•06/02/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H God Only Knows

God Only Knows, 29 3/4″ x 13 1/2″ Canvas, aluminum with wood features.

This little commission artwork is finished. It took a lot longer than I thought. The issue, and I already know this, is no matter the size of the artwork the prep, the decision-making and the problem solving ends up consuming the same amount of time no matter the size of the artwork.

I am not comfortable working with the color green. That really is silly for I have a great range and variety of greens in jars to work with, and for this music green had to dominate the look.
So it does, but don’t expect the next artwork to carry on this look.

The words you see in this work, “God knows you,” come from the music’s lyric, “God only knows what I’d be without you.” What you see in these two sentences, are some shared words with different meanings.  My need, for any words that I use, is that together they do not refer directly to the music.  I always Google down three pages to confirm that there is no connection.  I actually like working with the words in this way.  These artworks go beyond the music that they start with, in direction and meaning. They also have greater depth than any abstract image of the music. As mention in many blog entries before, these artworks are a portrait of an individual piece of music. They represent a musical piece uniqueness and character.

I have to comment on two aspects of this artwork.  The blue you see above the canvases represent the sky. The lighter blue rectangles represent clouds.  The brighter greens and browns you see below the canvasses represent different layers of the earth.

Finally, I do not think I have ever used the word “God,” in any of my artworks. For this music it made sense. My lovely wife, Barb, pointed out that the word ‘knows’ was harder to read than the other two words.  Like all my earlier artworks I have always used one color for all the lettering.  This became a contrast issue after coloring in of the word ‘God,’ on a darker blue-green background,  and then using the same light blue for the word ‘knows’ that is on a lighter green background.  But, when I than tried a darker color for the word ‘knows’,  that made that word too prominent for its use.   My solution was to use the same light blue for all the words. This than allowed the important words “God and You’ stand out while the lighter looking word ‘knows’ to still connect the phrase.   A result, in doing the words this way, is that people will first see the capitalized words ‘God’ and ‘You, and then be presented  with the choice to read, or not, the softer looking in between word ‘knows.’  All this adds complexity, and challenge for the viewer to define their own meaning of this artwork and the music it is portraying.


Scott Von Holzen