S_V_H Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531, Allegro, Final Image

This Vivaldi artwork is finished.  Like each of the Vivaldi Four Seasons series of thirteen painting, this Vivaldi also took considerable amount of time, almost two months, to complete.  The length of the artwork, over eight feet,  and the complications in the building the music that flowed all over the edges, slowed the entire process.  My thinking for the next painting is to choose a subject that will be a quicker to complete. Of course, that plan is practical only up to the point of starting.

I do not plan on selling this work, although two-thousand would tempt me.  One reason not to sell is that this Vivaldi is already hanging in our living room. My practical reason to keep it apart of my collection,  is that it would be extremely expensive and complicated to package up and ground ship,  such a delicate eight foot artwork.  Finally, my personnel and best reasoning for not wanting to sell this artwork,  is that it represents my emotional attachment to the music of Antonio Vivaldi.

I believe this Vivaldi is a leap forward for this art. I am not sure how I will reproduce this look, but I do know all the following artworks for this year will display its influence.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531, Allegro, Image3

I have the rhythm of this artwork in place.  With this painting I am using shades from black to light gray to present to the eye a sense of movement (a fundamental of music).  Not only does this adds interest,  but it may also generate the look of motion in the rhythmic up and down flow across this artwork.  I actually tried this before as you can see in the 2012 painting Blackbird:

BlackBird, 2012

In this artwork I inserted smaller circles inside the music in different positions with the hope that a viewer would sense movement.  I used this technique, with mixed success,  on a number other works from early 2011 to early 2012,  and then stopped.  I am not sure if different shades across the artwork will work  any better to capture that illusive sense of movement in a still painting, but it may be worth pursing at least until I reach creative boredom.  Than I can move on. This is all part of my education in that elusive chase of the next dangling carrot on my way to developing a unique artist style, and offering my never-ending curiosity, about how this all will end, renewed faith.  Maybe, over time I may even convince myself that there is a future in painting this one theme, over and over again.

In tribute to doing it again, this is my Five-hundredth blog posting.  My goal is to match Vincent Van Gogh’s  letter total of 651 to his brother Theo.  That made up challenge is in reach, as I see that the pace of development of this art form is speeding forward as planned.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531, Allegro

This painting will never be for sale, and will forever hang in my studio, for this music is my theme music. I do not think I can call the first movement from a concerto a song.

This artwork is a little over eight feet in length, and uses a style busting disruption of three ten inch wide canvases that are not directly connected to each other.

Here is the first movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto RV531:

This artwork is as much about building a painting, as it is about painting. I am increasingly spending project time planning, building,  solving construction and placement issues of the music, that at this point in this art history, I can say that it is not correct to call this art form acrylic painting, anymore. 

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Summer Presto Final Image


This is the final image of Vivaldi Summer Presto Third movement from The Four Seasons concertos. This twenty-foot artwork is  the last artwork in the thirteen painting Vivaldi series that I started almost three years ago, March of 2012.  I have always believed that I could actually accomplished this project.  The surprised is that this could be done.

This is the longest painting in the Vivaldi series.  I can say that this is also the most complicated painting from that group that took an incredible long time to complete.  Looking at my notes I put together the plan for this artwork on November 5th, actually starting the project on November 8th. I put a finish date on the back of this artwork of February 25th.  I actually signed it on the 26th, and on the 26th I realized I had missed a part I wish to add from the music. That small addition, added to all eight panels I finished on the 27th. Summer Presto was then photographed, and I created the video for the walk through.

This painting owes much to the other Four Seasons paintings, but like the other twelve artworks, this one stands out as its own unique work of art. When I approach this last artwork I kind of wanted it to be a summary of  the past works, or an artwork that took from the past, and turned it into more than the sum of the rest. That did not happen. Each artwork eventually finds it own way, and eventually I see that and then I do my best to catch up to the obvious in front of me.  They become something beyond me. They guide, they demand, they expect, and they always win. I do their bidding.

I became an artist, in the hope, to get back my definition of me,  that I felt I lost in 1993 (long story). That might sound ridiculous, and I agree, but I want to be known as Scott the Artist (another long story). A secondary goal is that I would like to be the boss of my life (silly but true).  I may eventual gain my identity back, but the boss I will probably never be. These Vivaldi artworks make it clear to me each time I sign my name, who is in charge. I am their caregiver.

After working on a single artwork for almost four months most of the excitement that goes into creating art gets spread  thin across such a considerable amount of time that there is little emotion left when done. Right now I feel good that this series is over, but I do not feel any urge to celebrate. I guess my feelings towards the Vivaldi Group will not change because the only way I can see all thirteen paintings is to view them on the website. Even though all the Four Seasons painting are within fifty feet of me stacked away where all I can see are the parts that stick out from storage. The only three paintings, I can view in their entirely,  are Summer Presto on my easels, Winter Largo that has hung below my bookshelf ever since I completed it  a year ago, and hanging in the living room wall is Spring allegro.  My joy and pride will be there when all thirteen painting are on view. I am thinking my reaction of seeing them all together would be the same as Vincent Van Goghs, when he first saw his artworks scattered all through the apartment, while visiting Theo in Paris.  When and how that day is going to happen is the next chapter in this story.

Let me talk about chapter two of the Four Seasons Paintings.  I will be putting together a new website dedicated to these thirteen paintings, to display, and to promote them. This website will have one goal and that is to give free to an art museum, hopefully in America, this entire Vivaldi The Four Seasons series. This will be an interesting chapter, that hopefully adds a lot charm to this story of a boy and the dream to be something more than me.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Summer Presto image6

summerPresto6Vivaldi The Four Seasons Summer Presto.  If you compare this image with the other twelve Vivaldi paintings from the Four Seasons Series you would think I am near done.  I have finished adding the music, but I am far from done with the background.

This next video is by the soloist Julie Fischer. The Summer Presto starts and the 7:30 mark.  Listen to the music that is this  painting from 7:52 to 8:02. That is a total of ten seconds being preformed on a twenty-foot canvas, which means this music moves fast.

In this artwork I need to now add the speed of the music, and the feeling of a driving rain storm.  I plan on doing that by painting contrasting motion with a freer hand.  I have some ideas how to do this. The obvious risk to this artwork, is making bad judgements, and damaging what I have already accomplished. And yet, I have known for weeks, that  I have to somehow depict the storm, in some form by letting free my inner Jackson Pollack, and the musician Prince.

I have a lot on the line with this the last Four Seasons Vivaldi. I want this artwork, that  ends this project, to finish with a big crescendo. It is not that I actually have to present images of rain. What I am after is more the idea, or the concept of a downpour during a storm I will be looking for. This will need patience, for I am going to error, and I am going to have to quickly wipe away my mistakes.  This part of this artwork is gong to be frustrating and it is going to take a few weeks, that I am not looking forward to. And maybe, when done, I will not quit end up being there in bringing out my inner Pollack and Purple Rain.  How ever this artwork finishes, it will end with a big image that sticks, and pops, that hopefully moves this style just a bit more forward.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Summer Presto image4 & 5


The Four Season’s Summer Presto sound and feel is that of pounding rain during a raging summer storm.  To capture some of the quickness,  excitement, and the sharply cutting sounds of this music  I am using the contrast of colors in light and dark shades.  By using all of the different elements of this music, hopefully this twenty foot artwork will eventually take on the look of a big bad storm on canvas.

Because the color blue seems a natural  for depicting  bad weather I have a range of contrasting shades to represent the flow of the music.  To introduce areas of brighter colors  I have turned to other musical elements in the music such as  the rests and the incidentals.  These smaller pieces from this music are minor, but besides filling spaces, they add lots of points of interest.

In the image above, a number of the rests are painted in red and green. A rest  pauses the music for an exact amount of time,  based on its style  Below, are two examples of rests, with the first pause being an 8th of one beat, followed by a 16th of a beat.
restsIn this painting the red lines, of a rest, have a stopping effect, while the green for the circles are the complementary color of red, creating a back-en-forth effect.  Besides the rests  the other objects that add interest are the sharp, flat, or neutral, which in musical terms are all incidentals. The sharp raises the pitch of a note a-half step, a flat does the opposite, and the last image is of a neutral which is the natural sound of the music.Accidentals
With the sharps. I first tried using a deep red for the legs, and a light magenta for the two arms.  It looked awful. Those bright colors, in between the blues of the music,  blocked the flow.  I  toned down the sharps by painting them a light blue, but then noticed that  the size of the sharps where too large in comparison to the the music. Since I had already framed in all sixteen sharps, which took considerable time, I needed to find  way to reduce their size without removing and redrawing them. My solution was to use darker shades of blue, to make one side of the sharp recede into the canvas. That help,  but in a serendipity moment, I removed a piece of tape that I was using to edge a color, and under the tape was a small strip of the original light blue color.  I knew then that by striping the sharps, and later the flats, would give them a unique look without conflicting with the flow of the music.  For the red and green rests they all appear before the music, and not in the flow, so I left them alone.

When I first started to put together my plan for this final painting of the Vivaldi Four Seasons series, I went back and looked at the twelve other paintings  and how each of them came up with their unique solutions.  My first thoughts about this last painting, was to do a composition that uses many of these different ideas from the past Four Seasons artworks.  I suppose, I thought it might be an easy way to start probably the most important artwork of the series.  But that idea soon was forgotten. I found, like  with so many starts in the past, I can borrow but not steal.

To explain, I have always looked at previous works to see what worked well with them, and what if anything that would help me with a step or two with new artwork. That actually does work, but only in minor ways, because certainly there are some common techniques that are shared between artworks, but because the subject, music, is so diverse I never end up following only one path on the way to complete a painting. With growing experience from producing these paintings I have learned that the best way to start a new artwork is to find the right amount of canvas for the music, pick a couple of colors that seem natural, play the music a lot,  and then make that first move to put paint on the white canvas. That is when a new affair between the music, the artwork, and me, all begins.

After painting many paths I finally reach that next special moment when I am seeing the true personally of the artwork coming to the surface of the canvas. It is seeing that special something on that canvas, that convinces me that a new artwork can be cool. It is like that first touch in a new relationship, when you go from smiles to a kiss.


It has been a number of days since I started writing this blog entry. I have now made significant progress with Summer Presto, actually reaching the kissing stage.  I am confident I am seeing this works own unique identity coming into view.  It is a good feeling. A sense of finally understanding the direction this artwork wishes to go.  And the relief of knowing “I am good to go,”  and that soon there will begin, all over, the anticipation of what the next artwork will bring.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Summer Presto image2


Summer Presto from the Vivaldi Four Seasons series.  Composed of eight panels each thirty inches, this artwork reaches a length of twenty feet.  What you are seeing is the background completed, for now.  Blue dominates this artwork because  the theme of this movement, from the Summer concerto, is a  storm.  Along the edges I have created the forward and backward flow that appears in the clouds of an approaching storm. The narrow strips in the two wide bars of color is where much of the music will appear.  Then between the music I again have gone with another back-en-forth created from using two different patterns. This neutral area does then add interest, drama, and variety to the artwork.

Understand, this music is about a  summer storm, but I am in no way trying to physically depict a weather scene. Thousands of artists that can do that better than I would ever.  Instead, I am going for something less predictable, which I would think, can represent nature, but also shows the range of this artist’s style. If you stand far enough back, to take in the entire work,  you would see that it is the center area of this artwork that dominates this work. Those sections are there not to represent the storm theme, although, they strangely enough, work will with the rest of the background.  Their main purpose is to shake up this artwork,  challenging me, and the viewer to take this artwork beyond the music.

For now, this is it for this artwork. With the Holidays coming up I need to turn my attention to this years Christmas painting.  For 2014 I am painting A Big Red Sled, made popular by the band, The Killers. It is an interesting piece of music that I can relate to, and I find the music interesting.. Normally, my first thought about the Christmas artwork,  is to keep it simple and easy. I tried that with this music, but I could not do that which lead to the struggle to except that part of the music that was the most difficult. Next, I had difficulty finding a physical design for the music. Last night I thought I figured it all out, and prepped three larger canvases for the artwork. This morning I was looking at my earlier Christmas works, and the 2012, Let it Snow, made me change my mind.  I have now finished a new setup for this artwork that consists of smaller canvases, but more of them.  I have gone from three large flat canvases to six, with four to be attached on top of the background. As far has the look, I am seeing wide bands of gold with narrow silver strips for separation. That is about in for Big Red Sled, for now.

As for the Vivaldi I will work on it, here and there, over the next month, and post a new update in early January.

Scott von Holzen


S_V_H Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Summer Presto image1



This is the last great painting of The Four Seasons, that I started in March of 2012.  When finished this series will consist of be thirteen paintings in all. You can see the previous Vivaldi Four Seasons works at this Page.  You can tell by  the enlargement,  of this first image, that this is a large painting. It consists of eight canvas panels each thirty inches by thirty inches, for a total length of twenty-feet. This is certainly the longest work of the Vivaldi series, and very near being the largest in the group. The length of this work quickly adds up when you consider that the 64 painted strips, in this first image, total  1,280 feet of paint.

Here is a good orchestra version of this 3rd Movement from Summer.  What you will see in the painting is from the 24th second to the 32nd second of this music.

I have a David Garrett version that is a favorite of mine,  but could not find it on YouTube.  Here is another YouTube version by him:

This third movement is nickname The Storm, so it is a bad weather related image I see.  I picked those 8 seconds from the music because you can hear and feel the driving rain and hall. The words I have chosen from the  Summer Sonnet are from the line: Thunder and lighting split the Heavens, and hail-stones.

Obviously, I expect to be using a lot of dark colors, mostly blues, maybe with some dark greens, along with a lot of different splashes of bright colors to increase the drama and movement in the work. You can see some beginnings of this sense of movement by looking into these two wide strips at the random shades of blue.

All eight canvases are of the same size, with each representing, in musical terms one measure. By being connected at various heights they follow the up and down of he music, which adds to the sense of movement.

This work along with the other twelve canvas will eventually be sold as one. As I have mentioned in the past, I do not want these works split up.  I do not expect, except on rare occasions,  that I will ever see all thirteen artworks on display together.  I do see them being shown,  by the season they represent in smaller groups of three, with Summer having four works. Whoever purchases these works, I am certain will be strongly connected to all of them. I can say this  from what I have learned by the reactions from the patrons of this art.

These are people with money in the game, and so I know they are being honest. I have been constantly surprised by the bond that forms between the artwork and the owner. I cannot explain it. I do not understand it. But it is there.

What I do know is that even though I put everything I have into creating these works, that in itself appears to have little to do with how others react to them. They see something else in their artwork that becomes important for them. They do not visualize whatever I did to create them, or my reasoning behind the works creation.  They do form a special attachment to their artwork.  And that I do understand. In whatever shape that bond is, I too have it.

For me it is that mysterious something, that captivates, and pushes me to see, to know, and to find out how far this art can go. In short it is that something that is unknown, not only for me, but for those that own these works, that brings this art meaning.  And for the owners of these artworks, I can only thank them, for I have consistently fallen short of understanding just what is going on. I guess, that will remain, the conundrum that so far I have no right answer.  That is just fine with me. I find it fun not knowing.

Scott Von Holzen










S_V_H Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro Final Image

SpringMvt1_FinalImageThis is the Final image of Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro, first movement of his Four Seasons Concertos.  This 36 inch by fourteen foot painting that I started the end of June, I finished the end of August.  That is too long to paint one artwork.  My emotion toward this work varied over the months.  Of course I started with a lot of enthusiasm.  As the time flew by I change to more  of a technical approach to this work. I wanting  this artwork to display the colors of peak spring,  and that is what you see in the background. That is also what caused me the most second guessing of this artwork.

Since this is one of those rare works where I am depicting the up and down steps of the music from three different instruments, I knew I would have lots of open spaces, because of the balancing act of the music.  In the past I would add some extra banding of colors in open areas, but this work, my heart was not into doing that.  I decided to let the background breath through the music and hopefully it has all turned out for the good.   We shall see.  I do not see this work as a favorite from the Vivaldi Series, because of my issue of constantly balancing the background with the foreground.  But, because of its uniqueness in this series I think others may see that I have depicted in this artwork a greater depth of the music, not seen in any of the others in the Vivaldi Four Seasons series.

That only leaves one more to do. It will probably be big in size, and I see a lot of blues to come.

Scott Von Holzen




S_V_H Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro image4


This is the fourth image of this 16 foot artwork, and the second to the last painting in the Vivaldi Four Seasons Series.  I must admit that after completing 11 of the 13 canvases for this series, that I am antsy to finish.  I have three smaller works that may turn into jobs, and I will have to drift off to hopefully lock up that business, so this work will take that longer.  My disappointment is that I have not finished this artwork. That means, sometime this fall I will start the last Vivaldi, and finished it hopefully, by late, late, fall.  I actually like to paint these Vivaldi’s during the season in which they are a part off, but that goal has slip away this last year.

I am still out on this work.  It is much different from past Vivaldi’s in that I am depicting three flows of the music. Most of my past Vivaldi’s I have painted only the violin movement only.  I have done a couple with two flows,  For example, I am thinking the Fall Vivaldi that I completed this last January. But this work is my only three-part picture. That make the smaller notes necessary, but because of their size, that leaves a lot of open spaces that I need to find a way to fill with some interest. Also, the choices for the background colors come from my notes and memories of this years spring; the apple blossom trees, lilacs bushes, rhododendrons, and spring weed colors. I have debated those chooses of colors, not feeling for the most part, pleased by them. I have, because of that, countered the background in the more free use of the color green with the music.

I am about three-quarters done with this work. My goal is to finish this painting by the end of September.

As for this years Birthday painting,  it has not sold yet, so it hangs beautifully in my other office closet at work. It is just fine that it is there.

Scott Von Holzen