S_V_H Vogue Image 3

•03/28/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Vogue Image 3

With image 3 of Vogue I am using a technique for the music first used for the Vivaldi Artwork RV 531. It was that project that l first used a cutting mat with its measuring marks. That allowed me to accurately group together sections of the music. This method also works with Vogue where the background is mostly empty space, and the music groups well together.

Here is my low-keyed explanation of this technique:

This artwork requires an exact plan to place 22 pieces of  good-sized music, in an intentional small length of 64 inches. To make everything fit I knew I had to tighten the spacing of the music.  This action than improves the tension in the artwork, filled up the space of the background, and enhanced the sense of movement of the artwork.

Vogue will be over five feet in length when finished which is a change from my tendency of late of creating artworks around the three-foot range.  My thinking for Vogue was that I needed to create a larger work that  would have more visual impact on the viewer. Bigger would have been even better, but I also want an artwork that I can reasonable price to fit the local market. It does me no good to add to my already large stacks of unsold, 8, 10 foot and longer artworks, all in storage, and all out-of-sight.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vogue 2nd image

•03/18/2018 • 2 Comments

This is the artwork, Vogue. The background, for now, is finished.  The two side canvases where purposely kept small to give the background a sparse look, but that made the attaching of the music a challenge. Having the aluminum frame mounted to the front of the canvases resolved that issue.  I can now attach the music, or even extra support, all along the frame edge. This results in an open look of the background, and at the same time, will allow the music to seem to be floating across the artwork. Exposing more of the metal also enhances the Art Deco appearance.  

I have always liked the look of Art Deco. My first painting, in that style, was 2015’s I Won’t Dance.  Art Deco is also the theme of the Vogue Madonna video, and now this artwork.   I am looking for new ideas and a fresh new look for 2018. Each artwork builds on the last, but for 2018 I am planning some major new construction starting with Vogue.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vogue image1

•03/15/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Vogue image1

This early first image is of the music Vogue made popular by Madonna. This work is 10 inches by 60 inches in length.  You can see the influence of the previous commissioned work, Like on Rock, that pushed me to try fresh ideas, and techniques to meet the customers expectations. I want to keep that trend going.  Vogue  does that by allowing me to return to a favorite design theme, Art Deco.  That can be seen in this black and white video of Madonna’s Vogue.

In the eighties and early nineties my favorite first name wonders where,  Prince and Madonna. I consistently bought their CDs. Vogue is my favorite Madonna song, while Purple Rain, at that time, was my favorite Prince music. I have already painted Purple Rain. That artwork pushed me to innovate.

Now,  it is Madonna’s turn. It is like the restlessness one feels as winter slowly gives way to Spring. I am looking for a new trend.  I accomplished a tiny fraction of that with Prince and Purple Rain. Vogue feels like it has that same possibility.  Madonna’s  music can be a great incentive to create a feisty, spicy, unpredictable, an innovative performance of art.  Time to “Strike a pose.”

Scott Von Holzen



Like A Rock2 final Image

•03/10/2018 • Comments Off on Like A Rock2 final Image

LikeARock2 52.25″ x 20″ in height. Three canvases, aluminum, wood features, and added music

Like a Rock the second version is finished.  I must admit I was a little concerned about how to go about this project, but to my surprise ( every time I say it is a surprise) but it is not, (for I always figure it out in the end), the results of this artwork are beyond my expectations.

This artwork’s theme is from one of the longest advertising campaigns that ran for over a decade. This video demonstrates this artwork’s added tribute to the music from those Chevrolet commercials over the years, and is for the private use of the owner.

Because this is a commission work with a specific theme I kept the design and the colors of this project focused on what I would consider is a good representation of the subject matter, with a small amount of creative interest added, so not to bore me or the viewer.

Commission works are challenging,  educational, and rewarding.  At the same time they are restrictive in every creative way.  That means for my next project, my choice,  I will be looking for music that allows me to do it differently. Maybe it is time for some Team Spirit, or a little Thriller, or how about what’s in Vogue.  We shall see.

Scott Von Holzen


S_VH Like A Rock 2 image 4

•03/01/2018 • Comments Off on S_VH Like A Rock 2 image 4

My current trend  is to let the music  define the size and shape of the background.  That is not the case with Like a Rock. The rigid shape of the background of this work, like the recent Chopin commission, means that I had to adjust my music to fit the backgrounds. I don’t like doing that, but commission works have exceptions.

The wood features of the music evolved from my standard Classical music shapes. This simple style is flexible in the spacing, and in dimensions, allowing everything to fit in the  background.
Up next I will be doing some stripping to add interest and movement to the artwork.  After that I will be finishing up with the words.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H New Like A Rock image3

•02/26/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H New Like A Rock image3

This is a commissioned artwork for the Chevrolet Like A Rock commercial that aired from 1991 to 2004. In this image, as I have always done,  I place the music moving from left to right. The color of that music is a tinted Primary Cyan, which is a close match to the blue across the front of every Chevrolet dealership.  I am using darker shades of that same blue for the other parts of the music, to avoid one-color-boredom. At the top of this image is a clamp, to improve the glued bond between wood and aluminum.

Although my Father, a lifetime car guy,  made his money with a Ford Lincoln Mercury, heavy truck dealership, I think he was generally more a General Motors car person.  Of course being a true car lover,  his last, most favorite and greatest car he ever owned was his S Class 500 Mercedes sedan. Still, my early car memories are of his first Cadillac. I can see it today as a 1964, probably an aspen white, De Ville.  For Dad buying a Cadillac was more than having a great car.  Thinking back I wonder if for him that Cadillac  was a defining moment.   Maybe that was the point where he no longer thought of himself as a son of a Swiss immigrant. From then on,  he wanted to be known as a respected and successful American businessman.

My 2006 picture of my Father Warner, and his Mercedes

Creating the Chevrolet logo brings back those memories of growing up in the automobile business that my Father built. To this day I still love the sight and smells of new cars on the showroom floor. And like my Dad’s Cadillac, I had a car passion: “Like a rock, I was strong as I could be, Like a rock, nothin’ ever got to me, Like a rock, I was something to see.” My car was my red 1968 Mustang, and then my yellow 1970 Mach I Mustang. There where the road and bar trips with friends,  but the best part came in fall when I drove my Mustangs back-and-forth, and around the streets of Madison. I was particularly proud, to let the campus ladies, take full advantage of getting around that little big city, with me, in my cool wheels.  I too, like Dad,  once thought, I was something to see.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H New Like A Rock image2

•02/18/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H New Like A Rock image2

For now the background is finished for this second Like a Rock project, and to my surprised it turned out better than I expected. Even though I stock many different canvas sizes I was lucky to find two sizes that where a close match to the dimensions of the client requested Chevrolet logo.  Because silver surrounds the logo I decided I would do the same with angled aluminum.  The problem was the difficulty in finding decent lengths of aluminum that where not marred or scratched. I searched three stores to find enough aluminum for this project. That made me realized that the issues of marring and scratching using aluminum needed to be resolved.

What resulted was that I learned that rubbing compound works for cleaning, and triple and quad zero wool removes most flaws, giving the aluminum a clean-looking finish. Finally,  using a Dremel with a buffing wheel gives me an extra backup for removing the worst mares and scratch marks.

Next up I will be placing the music.  For the music I went to the local Chevrolet dealership with a color chart to narrow the range of possible blues.  On my second trip to the dealership I  compared my painted test samples to what I call the “Chevy blue”  you see in this example:

With the help of my wife it turned out that the best option, for the music,  was a slightly tinted Primary Cyan.  I know my color pallet for this artwork is extremely limited.  That means adding contrast and interest to this artwork will probably be limited to those colors already in the background, or shades and tints of the music color. That may be an interesting challenge, something only commission work offers.

Scott Von Holzen