S_V_H I Will Always Love you image 1

•08/22/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H I Will Always Love you image 1

This is a commissioned work based on the theme I will Always Love you,  a song, written by Dolly Parton but made famous by Whitney Houston. I didn’t think much of this song, that is until I watched the video. For  reasons beyond music a good video can change a good song into a block buster.  Check it out and see what I mean:

They owners of this artwork requested the colors brown and turquoise.  At first I painted the canvases a brown look,  and that failed measurably: I could not see the color brown as a great love song color being sung by a woman.  Maybe,  I needed a different brown,  but I decided to cut-my-loses and repainted the canvas using short vertical strokes off different shades of turquoise. After drying I realize that because of music those lines needed to be horizontal, so I repainted the canvases with longer horizontal stripping.  That did work.  Than, I still needed the color brown, as requested, and I decided to use the color brown for the music. I did change my first brown choice from Burnt Umber light to a more transparent Brown Iron Oxide.  With this brown choice I had better control by being able to apply in layers.

I needed  the colors brown and turquoise to dominated this artwork, but I felt that such a combination was out of my comfort zone.  Judging from past experiences I knew such things is what commissioned works do. They always challenge, with the benefits being both educational and inspirational.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Bach Chaconne BWV 1004, Final Image

•08/19/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Bach Chaconne BWV 1004, Final Image

Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor – Chaconne, BWV 1004 with a maximum height of 20 3/4 inches x 29 1/4 inches in length.

Bach’s Partita No. 2 Chaconne is finally done.  The work sheet for this music I dated July 3rd. I mentioned that for it is hard to write this entry for this project has exhausted my love and appreciation for this great music.  Like earlier works this deliberately small-sized artwork continues the trend of consuming huge amounts of time. I don’t expect to shorten production time until this art has fully exploited the current sculptural look.  For me, a three-dimensional look better represents the full range of music.

Taking a look at Bach’s notation from his Chaconne manuscript,  I used his hand writing style to personalize parts of the design of this artwork, and kept my color choices limited to mostly browns and grays.  I added a splash of violet,  to relieve color boredom, which I like doing when a few colors dominate an artwork. After photographing, I spend time cutting out this final image from its background only to discover that I had use Photoshop to paint two small parts,  pale green. Finally, I spend more project time adding two other small pieces to the music that are missing from this final image. Here is a sample from the Bach manuscript:

I was curious about a recent New Your Times article  that maps the musical taste of the fans of 50 current popular musical artists on YouTube.  I wanted to know how out-of-touch I was with today’s popular music. Going through the list I found that I was at least aware of, or have actually listen to the music of 21 artists on the list.  When I checked my iTunes for their music,  that list changed. Putting both observations together,  my a musical connection to today’s popular musical artists expanded to 28 out of fifty.   I thought that was a decent number for only being a casual fan of current music.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H J S Bach Chaconne BWV 1004 Image 2

•08/10/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H J S Bach Chaconne BWV 1004 Image 2

J. S. Bach’s Chaconne is a small work, under three feet, but is turning out to be a time-consuming artwork. I have mentioned the advantages of smaller artworks, and have created them when needed, but only recently have I known the real need to limit the artwork’s size.

Smallness become the guiding rule as this art evolved from applying acrylic paint to canvas, to  applying acrylic to canvas and then attaching the music as wooden pieces of sculpture on and off of the canvas. By adding this unconstrained extra dimension the amount of extra time needed to completion has greatly increased.  Smallness to save time has become a practical necessity.

Here is a video of Chaconne played beautifully on the guitar by John Feeley:

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H J S Bach’s Chaconne BWV1004, image 1

•08/05/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H J S Bach’s Chaconne BWV1004, image 1

It sure is a long ways from Miles Davis’s, So What, to  Bach’s Chaconne, but this Bach melody seems to have been cutting-edge in its time which fits well with the many experimental styles of Miles Davis. Chaconne uses a support canvas that is only is eight inches by twenty-four in length.

Like my recent works this project will be small, because of the complicated issues of building the music.  Consider that unlike using paint applied to the canvas surface to define my music,  I am applying a three-dimensional object that is the music.  Those two notes you see in image one, all sit on top of the canvas. Because they are the first pieces,  and the guides for the rest of the music,  it took parts of a whole day in the Studio to correctly  place and mount them securely.

Here is Bach’s Chaconne considered by some of the best violinist to be the greatest music ever written.   The part that is the theme for this painting is heard at about 30 seconds in.  It is very short.

I have already added more to this canvas and you can see those in-between images by following me on Twitter.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H So What final Image

•07/31/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H So What final Image

So What, a Jazz artwork using Miles Davis as its theme was actually finished a few days ago. This is my 2017 Birthday painting.  My past plan was to finish Birthday paintings on my Birthday.  What changed was that I wanted to take this work to an Art Fair in Appleton.

On Sunday I showed So What and 11 other paintings,  and one nicely framed and matted print. The print was the only item sold yesterday, and although that sale helped, I certainly came of short of covering expenses.  Of course the purpose of attending any Art Fair was to have artworks out in the public view. My reasoning is that no matter what I do and how I good I present my artworks on-line, all those images are two-dimensional.  Actually seeing So What, like many of my newest works, you are viewing are three-dimensional artworks.  The depth in these artworks can make all the difference.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Miles Davis, So What, image 2

•07/30/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Miles Davis, So What, image 2

The idea for the style of this artwork comes from Jackson Pollock’s painting Blue Poles. His painting is about 6 feet in height and about 16 feet in length. By using the look of Pollock’s blue poles I have finally broken the from-the-beginning tradition of always having perfect vertical shafts for my music.

Jackson Pollock


There are eight blue poles in the Jackson work, but So What has eighteen notes.  To make the number differences work I made my first and last notes vertical.  I then used two notes to match the angle of each blue pole.  I did stay consistent with the back-en-forth motion of his poles, even through their rhythmic look I thought I could improve on.

The effect of not keeping everything vertical was to enhance the sense of motion across the canvas.  That technique may have possibilities beyond motion attempts that I have used in the past.  I knew this painting years ago.  I should have tried Pollock’s idea then, although today’s timing could be better. Lately, I have found ways to loosen up many of my self-inflicted restrictions, that I hung to from the past. Finally, I even did some experimenting, once again,  with splattering paint.  I found out, once again,  that for now, that technique does not work. Baby steps.


Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H SO What image 1

•07/29/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H SO What image 1

This is my 2017 Birthday painting:  So What. This artwork theme comes from Miles Davis album Kind of Blue. I have linked a live version of this music.  This early television video of Miles Davis is strangely different from how it would be done now. Today, everything needs to be short, not so deep,  and in the moment to not lose the audience’s attention.  Back in 1959 that moment lasted for over nine minutes:

So What,  consists of 9 canvases for a length 70 inches.   The  largest canvases are only eight by ten inches.  I am looking at this artwork to be a directional changed.  Once again, I am on the move with the inspiration being Jackson Pollock and his abstract painting Blue Poles.

Scott Von Holzen