Mini-Artworks from Für Elise to Ode to Joy

•02/09/2018 • Comments Off on Mini-Artworks from Für Elise to Ode to Joy

Artwork acrylic paint, with aluminum and wood features, 20 1/4 x 12 inches high.

This is Beethoven’s Für Elise that is part of a Series of Mini artworks that includes works  by Chopin, Bach, and Mozart.  These Series of mini-Artworks, priced between $200 to $400 dollars, are for the local art market and their size and convenience might work for Art Fairs.  But, my take is that most Art Fairs are held outside, at best are quality Craft Fairs with high expenses, have unpredictable weather, lots of time-wasting lookers, and  few buyers for this style of Art, that is totally out-of-place in a 40 dollar yard art craft environment.  That means this year I will be searching for compatible indoor places to market these mini artworks.

Für Elise is place inside a 18 x 24 inch shadow box that I have removed the glass.

 All of these Mini-Artworks are part of name Series. This means for the mini-artwork Series, Für Elise, they are each signed, dated, and numbered on the back. This Für Elise is obviously No. 1 in this Series. Right now I have two other  Beethoven’s in Series. They are Beethoven 5th Symphony, and my latest Beethoven,  Ode to Joy.

Ode to Joy artwork will be in a pop-up Gallery show sponsored by ArtFly the last Saturday in February. The show’s theme is audience participation works.  In order to make my art interactive I added the music the artwork represents.

I am not thinking of adding music to all these mini works or my major Artworks. The music for Ode to Joy and the two other works in the Art Fly show came from Wikipedia’s List of free Sound Files.

Für Elise and Ode to Joy are both the largest in these Series of mini artworks.  They are time-consuming so they have an introductory price of $349. Right now I am trying to see if this area has a market for these larger beauties or even the smaller lower price mini-artworks.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Time to say Goodbye Final image

•01/19/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Time to say Goodbye Final image

Two Canvases with aluminum and wood features, 29 inches wide by 15 1/2 inches high.

Time to Say Goodbye is finished and looking at it I think this little painting is kinda adorable.  I see that in the first time stripping of the music and the overall use of black and white I saw in the videos.  To contrast colors I painted the canvases a light rose to represent Sarah Brightman’s and her performance.  I than connected the music with the canvas with the gold and bronze accents and the added vertical magenta stripping on the music.

I choose to paint music from my lifetime,  for different reasons. For example I like to paint music that I think is exceptional,  or that I grow up enjoying over the years. I also like to paint music knowing other artist have done cover versions. That tells me the music has wider appeal.  The first time I heard Time to say Goodbye, I thought it was beautifully sung in Italian, but it was the title sung in English that caught my interest.  A later surprise was to find out that Donna Summer , “The queen of disco,”  also covered the music as I Will Go With You, in 1999.  The Italian title of this music is actually Con Te Partirò. Those words, and the words I chose for the painting, te partirò con te, both translate to I’ll Leave with You.   

I am happy to be moving along to my next project.  I did not build a full aluminum frame around this artwork and that created a lot of extra work to properly support the music on both ends. I wanted to experiment, but actually wasted a lot of time for such a small work. I do like placing my words on pieces of wood for this allows me to place them wherever it works  visually with the artwork.  This artwork completes this word evolution that started in 2014, when I began to not break up my words into their syllables,  or at less stop using those silly little dash lines in between.  Good riddance, for I want this artistic style, that started out with the idea of painting sheet music to eventually reach a creative level that has nothing in common with sheet music.

I have no idea what project I will start next.  I know only that I plan on doing a larger work, probably not Classical in style.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Time to Say Goodbye image1

•01/13/2018 • Comments Off on S_V_H Time to Say Goodbye image1

Time to Say Goodbye is a European pop  song sung by the Italian operatic singer Andrea Bocelli, made even more popular when he paired with Sarah Brightman, an English classical crossover soprano (Wikipedia).


I found this music, almost randomly.  I have maintained a list of odds and ends  songs that I think I might want to paint.  At times I refer to that list when I have finish a project, to see if anything interests me.  Rarely, do I choose from it, but looking for a smaller project, this music stood out.

I made this artwork more complicated by not framing out the music in aluminum or canvas.  That lead to a lot of  experimenting with pieces of wood and aluminum to find a way to  support the music on each end.  It would have been easier if both ends, like all by earlier works of this nature, where framed with canvas.  Instead, I took on the challenge to design a different support system for the music. What I have works, but I know I can do better.  I also confirmed that Tacky Glue, my standard, works well enough for bonding pieces of aluminum and wood.

The  dominant colors used in this painting come from the artists in the video.   This is a color technique I use often for it works wonderful to connect the music to the artist, or a performance through video or pictures. Black and white where obvious choices. My choice was to use shades of rose, to emphasize the strong influence and performance of Sarah Brightman.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like a Rock final image

•12/30/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock final image

Like A Rock three canvas, 19 inches x 34 inches in length, with aluminum and wood features.

This artwork for the music Like a Rock will catch the eye of the aware viewer with the words, “I Believed My Dreams.” I choose those words knowing their meaning would be varied and unpredictable.  I chose those words to take this artwork beyond the music.  I chose those words because I dream.

By the time I get to the final image of any of these artworks, I have lost my emotions and words for the artwork.  Except that when I turn away from the computer and look across the room, I do say that it surprises me. I never expected this music to turn into an artwork this good.  I like the browns and blacks for they fit Bob Seger.  I like the words for they take this artwork to another level.  And I like this artwork, because it builds from the past but does not imitate what has come before.

Other than that, I am moving on to once again paint some Italian music, but not Vivaldi. This time the music is Operatic Pop with a cover by my favorite Disco Queen, the fabulous Donna Summer.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like A Rock image 3

•12/29/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like A Rock image 3

Like a Rock partial  Lyrics:

“I was eighteen
Didn’t have a care
Working for peanuts
Not a dime to spare
But I was lean and
Solid everywhere
Like a rock……

And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams

Twenty years now
Where’d they go?
Twenty years
I don’t know
Sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone……

Like a rock, the sun upon my skin
Like a rock, hard against the wind
Like a rock, I see myself again
Like a rock”

This artwork has developed  its own look, and offering these innovations:

I rounded the ends of my ledger lines, square ends before, and allowed them to dominate the notes. Before these lines where either connected to or behind my notes Also,  I positioned my blue flat incidental to enhance the look of the artwork not because of the music.

In sheet music each group of musical notes has its own beam, but for my music I connected two groups of my music with one long beam.  I than added some stripping in groups of five like the five lines of a musical staff.

Over the years of painting eighth and sixteen notes I have tried dozens of different looks. With this artwork I have created one of my better looks for my own 16th note.  Very Art Deco.

Although,  I may not be done with this half dome tie, not done before, my blue Tie here sits on top of my notes

I placed this rhythm dot, again where it works with the artwork, and not with the music.

Of course my original idea, that I woke to in late 2005, was to some how paint music using sheet music. From its beginning I kept some aspects of sheet music in my artwork to make it work.  I also knew than that I did not want to just paint sheet music, nor did I want to create an abstract splish splash,  and call it music. Instead I decided to paint music that connects.

To that end I want my best works to relive that lost trill of removing the cellophane from a new CD or Album, placing it on the spindle, and for the first time to actually hear music, only listened too before,  through speakers bigger than a toaster.

I want Like a Rock to be part of that goal of connection. I want to stand between the music and the artwork,  in the sweet spot of sight and sound,  cellophane toss aside.  I want it personal.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Like a Rock image 2

•12/27/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock image 2

Like a Rock image two is where I put aside the subject of this artwork,  and work on bringing the music into visually harmony with the background.  As my saying goes, “…the artwork eventual seeks its own destiny, with little concern with its origins.” Image two is beginning to move to that direction, and by image three the harmony is in sight.

That is when I take another look to make sure my original plan for this music remains.  If needed the final steps  sharpen my vision for this painting. Finally, in key what I want to see is an artwork with a balanced sense of art and harmony

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Like a Rock image 1

•12/23/2017 • Comments Off on S_V_H Like a Rock image 1

Like a Rock is a small work,  30 inches in length by eight. My choice of browns and black fits the classic rock look seen in the images of Bob Seger. The colors silver and gold  are also a good choice that you can see in these album covers:

Bob Seger is a Detroit “roots rocker,” who found his first national success with his 1976 album Night Moves. Although I can not recall ever listening or certainly buying the music of Bob Seger, here I am today spending two precious  weeks painting his music. How did I get here?

The birth and the foundation of what music means to me began with The Beatles, and has spread wide from there.  I know the exact date it was on February 9th 1964 when I was a sophomore in high school.   That Sunday night The Beatles appeared on  the Ed Sullivan show.  I along with 73 million others watched them perform  in black and white, and unknowing joined my generation that night.

The range of my early sixties Rock band music tastes expanded to include The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Cream,  Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Doors, The Kinks, Jefferson Airplane,  The Zombies, Buffalo Springfield, The Who, Credence Clear Water Revival, The Yardbirds, but not Led Zeppelin. I thought their music was too hard Rock.  That tells me that my Rock music taste included a lot of bands like The Beatles like The Turtles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Dave Clark Five, The Four Seasons,  The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers,  The 5th Dimension, The Association, The Mamas & The Papas, Blood Sweat and Tears,  and The Byrds.

Musically I also enjoyed the music of  The Supremes,  Sly and the Family Stone,  Jimi Hendrix,  Ray Charles,  and the electric Blues of B B King.  I mentioned that because I grew up in all white environments even though my family moved  several times from different homes to different states.  My first memory of ever interacting with a black person occurred while I was in college. It was than that my best friend Tom Haley and I attended a B B King concert at a local Madison bar. I remember going up to B B after the show, saying something to him and he responded how hot it was. That was all I remember.  I cannot but think that it must have been the diversely of the University of Wisconsin environment, my Liberal Mother,  and the impact of music that made prejudice meaningless in my life.

My attention and compassion for music changed in the late sixties, and early seventies after the garage band I joined disbanded, and I finished college.  With the rise of Disco music and the Bee Gees through the seventies,  I skimmed along musically with these Beatles style groups including The Eagles, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, and Fleetwood Mac.

In the eighties I wandered through those musical years with Madonna and Prince.  In the eighties I bought one of my first CDs,  Back in the High Life. Steve Winwood was again another artist in the style the Beatles. In the nineties and on I  lost much of my  connection to popular music,  picking songs and artists, here-and-there along the way.

In early 2006 when I began painting music that expectantly became my second coming.  Suddenly, music no longer started with the Beatles and that February night in 1964. Today, I see music as having no beginning and it has no end.  From I Wanna Hold your Hand, to I am a Rock,  from the Classical Barque composer Antonio Vivaldi, to the Jazz master Miles Davis, as long as it is harmonic I am all in.

Scott Von Holzen