S_V_H Where have All the Flowers Gone Final Image

•12/27/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Where have All the Flowers Gone Final Image


36″ Length x 26″ Height x 3″ Depth

I have finished the artwork for the music, Where have all the Flowers Gone.   I am going with a short title of, Flowers because the words on the artwork say it all.  I want to explain why my little circles of music are all white.  They are that way because the flowers are all missing from the artwork.  That should then be a convincing incentive for the Pablo center to have a local florist create an arrangement of flowers to display with the artwork.  The floral and art reception is March 18th through the 22nd.


I am thinking that I heard this 1962 version on the radio sung by Peter Paul and Mary:

Although I have finished this artwork,  the audio addition is not.   I am waiting for parts. Once done, I will post a video.

There are two things different with this artwork that most viewers will miss.  The most important change is that the stems are flat but wide.  The extra width of the stems allows me to better adhere them to the frame.  Also, the shorter stem height makes them less vulnerable to be twisted loose when being carried or shipped to an exhibition.  Of lesser importance, on the top section, the second and the fifth stems have no connection to their extensions.  I like this idea and plan to carry this forward from now on.  I also taped all the stems for each section together.  This allowed me to paint images across multiple stems, before mounting them.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Where have all the Flowers Gone image1

•12/21/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Where have all the Flowers Gone image1

This is my first image of the classic Folk song, Where have all the Flowers Gone.  This music is one of my Greatest Musical Hits, the Early Years.   I am guessing, but I believe it was the Kingston Trio version of this song that created that connection.   Here is a video from 1966 of The Kingston Trio on the Andy Williams show singing Where have all the Flowers gone:

This is a 1960s live video of Pete Seeger, who wrote the song, that starts at one minute forty seconds:

Finally, this is the 1986 live version of Where have all the Flowers Gone, by Peter Paul and Mary. This group’s musical diversity, through the sixties, kept alive my interest in Folk music even as my musical tastes turned to the Beatles and rock n’ roll music.

There are a lot of good reasons to paint Where have all the Flowers Gone, but in reality, it was this email that finally motivated me to set aside the time for this project:



Pablo Center at the Confluence is seeking visual artists and floral designers to participate in Pablo Center’s group exhibit: Fabulous Florals & Fine Art. This popular annual exhibit will run March 18-22, 2020. Fabulous Florals & Fine Arts is a five-day exhibit paring visual art with floral interpretations of each art piece. We invite visual artists to submit images of their completed work for jury. Artists may submit up to three artworks. After artwork has been selected, images of the artwork will be sent to floral designers and will be the inspiration of their floral design. Selected works of art will be on exhibit at Pablo Center in the James Hansen Gallery.  APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 11, 2020.”

This well-attended, and colorful exhibition,  comes at a good time in our Wisconsin winter.  I have submitted the last two years,  and both times I have received kind email rejections.  This year I am stepping it up.  I have kept this work small. The artwork will be full of colorful plant looking shapes, and for the first time, I will include playable music.  This artwork will also have an ironic title, Where Have All the Flowers Gone.  The color of the music, only white,  says where have all the flowers gone.  The florist will provide that answer.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Happy Christmas Final Image

•12/07/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Happy Christmas Final Image

37″L x 23″H x 2.75″ D

Happy Christmas surprised me by taking only two weeks from start to finish.  I like the melody in which I could stop at a good point in the lyrics.  This enabled me to leave out the ending of the first stanza, including these lyrics “let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.” This music is not only a Christmas song but an anti-war song.  Lennon recorded this music during the Vietnam War, in 1971.  Although those lyrics are still relevant,  I wanted this artwork to be a celebration of Christmas.

If I had not included the word “Christmas,” along with those giant snowflakes in the background,  visually this artwork is more in the style of the Blue Danube project, and nothing like my previous Christmas works.  Over the 14 years that I have created Christmas paintings, I never attempted to create anything new.  The take on all my Christmas artworks was to take the easy Christmas style route and create a summary work of the year.  My main challenge was to get it done.  Then I could take a picture, and print out a pile of eight-inch wide canvas prints, to put inside the year’s Christmas cards.  Once the cards were out the door, like past Christmases, I will quickly store the artwork away to remain an unknown unknown.

Left to do is the music.  I have some understanding of music theory but not so musical composition.  That means I am early in my understanding of how to create and arrange a decent sound.  That is why the music it not yet done.  This year has seen the improved sound quality of increasingly sophisticated arrangements that are now a part of each project.  I believe that adding sound to the artwork is becoming vitally important to the success of the artwork.  That makes sense. This art, from the start, has been about portraying music.

From the beginnings of this art back in 2006, it was all about displaying, in a semi-abstract way, the up and down flow of a piece of music.   What it never was about was to replicate sheet music which would stifle the creative effort.  That style defined this art until recently when I added the play button to my artworks.  I guess I thought my musical arrangements would allow me to follow the art.  I soon found that difficult. Although the arrangement and the artwork share the same music, their artistic presentations are widely different.  Like everyone else that enjoys this art, for now when I play the music I will listen.  When I look at the artwork, I will then enjoy the artwork as I have always done, as a portrait of the music.  So what we have is one sculpture with two features,  with this one caveat: the artwork is the value of the project that represents the project goal which is to present itself as Art.  The music is there only to support the Artwork.  That is the difference.  The Art can exist without the music.  My music is meaningless without the Art.

The Art is the portrait; the sound is the hook.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Happy Christmas 2nd Image

•11/27/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Happy Christmas 2nd Image

Happy Christmas is swiftly moving along.  Right now this is a white artwork with too much metallic gold. I will fix that.  Following the lead of my last artwork, The Circle (Will the Circle Be Unbroken) I have added and connected two canvases.  I painted them white and placed store snowflakes on top of a wet white glaze.  I then applied several more coats of clear glaze over the canvases to hold the flakes in place. I did tried to follow the instructions to fold a sheet of paper and cut out my own snowflakes, but all I accomplished was to create a lot of misshapen, jagged edges and paper waste.  So off to the store I went.

I am planning on adding other colors to add some depth and interest to this project.  Right now I am not thinking of sticking to the traditional Christmas colors, such as a bright red and green.  I would rather use softer pastel versions of these and other colors. I want white to remain the dominate color.  I will see what I can come up with.  It is kind of hard to picture Santa Claus dressed in a light hot pink, red suit, but for this project it could work.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Happy Christmas first image

•11/27/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Happy Christmas first image


This first image shows how much construction I have completed before I can put together the basic image of the artwork. To this point, it is the designing of the artwork, along with tedious repetition, that includes cutting, building, a lot of sanding, priming, more sanding, and evaluation to confirm all the pieces work with each other.  Only then can I paint.

Happy Christmas, by John Lennon, is my project for Christmas 2019.

This is the fourteenth year that I will have created a Christmas painting and a small canvas image that is a part of the Christmas card I send to those who have supported this art.  I know that my Christmas project will be the last work for the year.  Because of this, I look at the Christmas work as an opportunity to summarize how this art has evolved in the past twelvemonth period.   That is about it. None of these artworks have ever been on public display, nor has anyone ever ordered a print or requested a price.  That is fine.  They are works meant to add interest to a generic Christmas card, and a fancy way for me to thank those who have influenced this artist’s life.  Although after so many years you would think enough with the praise.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Will the Circle be Unbroken Final image

•11/23/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Will the Circle be Unbroken Final image

Will the Circle Be Unbroken 56.5L x 54H x 4D inches


Here is my YouTube Channel review of Will the Circle Be Unbroken:

What I did not mention in the YouTube video was that The Carter Family’s lyrics still sung today, tell the story of the loss of their Mother.

“I was standing by the window
On one cold and cloudy day
And I saw the hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away

Lord, I told the undertaker
Undertaker please drive slow
For this lady you are carrying
Lord, I hate to see her go

Oh, I followed close behind her
Tried to hold up and be brave
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave

Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye
There’s a better home awaiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky”

-The Carter Family

Reading those words I cannot help but remember my own Mother that passed away many years ago.  We three boys knew her as Namie, a name she chose because she did not want to be called Grandma.  Her mother Ann’s nickname was Namie.  We shorted the name to Nam.  She was a strong woman that did not “mince” her words.  Still, many times I saw that strength dissipate into frustration saying that nobody listened to her.  I think we three boys did, but my Mother grew up in a time when Men were in charge.  My Dad made the money and the rules.  Two little memories of my Mom that I will always remember (there are plenty more) is that she told me numerous times that I would “lose my head if it wasn’t attached.”   That is true to this day.  Even more important, was this advice from her “don’t cut yourself short.”  I live those words in this art, also, to this day.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Will the Circle be Unbroken image 3

•11/10/2019 • Comments Off on S_V_H Will the Circle be Unbroken image 3

The current size of this artwork is 57 inches by 53 inches in width.  To travel with this artwork, the bottom section needed to be removable to fit inside the usable 42-inch width of the Toyota Rav.   That meant I also needed to remove the two connected canvases which cross all three sections of the artwork.  I first attached to the top and bottom front of the canvases  L-shaped aluminum strips.  The distance between them was enough for the artwork to fit in between.  I then drilled through the upright aluminum and artwork’s wooden frame to connect the artwork together with screws and wing nuts.

I was concern although 2019 with balancing the space between the art.  Early on I realized that the shadows created by the artwork features were not enough to fill the space.  That is when I started to add small pieces of canvas images between the gaps in the artworks.  The larger size and placement of the two canvases may be the better direction to explore.

The canvases purpose was to balance the negative space (that which is not part of the subject. I first called it empty space), and to add depth, and not to add contrast or interest.   The canvases are not original in style or design.  They are more like Walmart art.  I prepared them by layering multiple satin glazes using the same colors in the artwork.  The final gazes are of Iridescent Pearl.   My preference was that the canvases blend with the artwork and the off-white background support.   Although, there is separation.  The artwork has a matte finish while the canvases have a shiny satin look.

Finally,  it would be good to reduce my large stock of canvases.  I have probably thirty different sizes of canvases that have remained squirreled away since I finished the Vivaldi The Four Seasons series in early 2015.

Left to do is adding the words.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken with Johnny Cash, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many others:

Scott Von Holzen