I dated this work April 1st as finished (seen in the image below) then realized that I forgot the finishing touches. In the video I mention those still-to-do-things calling them Incidentals. My term is broader than the musical notation term Accidentals that only cover sharps, flats, and naturals. My term Incidentals covers those items and everything else, not my notes.
All of my projects, including these music boxes, are built from my cover sheet music. This sheet is used to create the project guide and music for the artwork. Of course, out of necessity and choice, I separate these artworks from sheet music, eliminating as many pieces of notation as possible, leaving this arts foundation, the up and down flow of the music. I then have the option, for artistic reasons, of putting back parts of my cover sheets’ information. For example, in the finished image above, I have added two eighth note rests. I rarely do this anymore. I included them in this project, for no other reason, then visual interest.
I am surprised by the sound quality of this Music Box, considering the smaller size of the speaker boxes. Besides improving box design, what may contribute to the better sound quality are my production skills. Those improvements in my understanding of the software I use comes slowly. On average, my time spent on each project is around four weeks, with my actual music production taking only a few of those days. I did have a start date of March 8th for this Beethoven piece, which is a quicker turnaround time only because of the visual part of this project comprised only nine notes. Here is the finished music for this project.
The final music box music for Beethoven 5th Allegro non brio
The two first image shows the testing arrangement of the opening notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony place on sheets of curved steel crossing the main Frank Gehry background canvas. The side view image shows the right side speaker box now placed out front.
Even though the artwork will represent those first famous beginning notes to the 5th Symphony, the unfinished music box audio instead places that dramatic starting music at the end. It is my effort to create anticipation of the obvious.
The image below shows the original concept, with the speaker canvases bolted to the Gehry canvas. This worked fine until I created the speaker boxes. Because the speaker canvases were mounted even with the main canvas, their added depth of 60 millimeters extending from the back brings the main Gehry canvas out from the wall. This is not ideal for the hanging wire on the Gehry canvas. Plus, having all three main canvases even across the artwork flattens the artwork. This is seen in the earlier image below. Bringing the two speaker canvases out front of the larger main canvas pushes the music of the artwork out to a depth of 8.25 inches. This is the deepest artwork I have ever created.
For the four smaller 6 by 6 inch canvases I chose the Beethoven’s friendly colors Iridescent Copper and Copper Light. Those colors also work in the style of Frank Gehry’s. I see his art as disruptive architecture. That is exactly what I want this art to be: more arty, less crafty. Their solid coloring needs more interest and maybe a closer connection to the Gehry canvas is my concern.
This video, of course, is a two-dimensional display of a three-dimensional artwork while the sound heard is a reproduction of the actual music. This artwork needs to be viewed in person to grasp its physical size, depth, and the sound production that is generated from within the canvases. That speaks to a key problem I have with what I now define as Sculptural Music Boxes, or SMBs
I will store this work with the previous project, Your Song, for now, in the studio behind the main easels. And like Your Song, I will use this artwork as a reference. Otherwise, I have no plans for a public exhibition of it or of any other artworks. I have come to a display halt hesitant to show these works in public. Some of that feeling comes from the disruption caused by COVID, when all exhibitions either went away, or came back as an unexceptable virtual event. The rest comes from within.
What am I to do with my Etsy storefront where I once listed dozens of artworks for sale? Since I open that store I have sold 14 items. The first year I sold seven artworks with the first selling for $260 in early 2014. The two most expensive paintings I sold occurred the following year, one for $1045 and the other for $1050. Then sales slowed to one here, one there. The last artwork, a commissioned work, I sold through Etsy in late 2017 for $575 dollars. Looking at the site, I see I let 50 listings expire in 2019 and put 21 in inactive status. My pricing range for the expired listings was from $325 to $2,800, plus a small shipping charge that varied, but was under $100. That reminds me of my local gallery experience when finally, after hanging and expensive work for a long time, I exchanged it out with two smaller pieces priced under $1000 each to see if cost was the issue. In time, the Gallery asked me to remove them. They knew what I have known: I don’t sell.
All those previous artworks were standard two-dimensional canvases and not interactive. My current artworks are all three-dimensional and interactive, which makes them a lot more complicated, expensive, and fragile to handle. The thought of trying to ship one of these new artworks in some kind of packaging bubble that would be required concerns me. It would not only be a timely endeavor, it would be an expensive package to produce, costing hundreds of dollars to ship. Then my next issue would be the unpacking after it arrives at its destination. Who and how will they unpack the artwork? Will they hang it safely? Finally, will the music actually play? I am speaking from experience of handing each of these artworks. I have had equal concerns with exhibition professionals handling these artworks and have communicated directly with them to insure all goes as expected. Trying to explain, or fix, or help or understand a buyer on a phone, a thousand miles away, whom I know little about, reminds me of a past that is that, past. Add in that selling on Etsy comes with high customer satisfied bar and what do I do if the customer is not happy? That too I would rather leave in the past.
Although all this hassle is to be expected when selling online, I believe no amount of financial compensations would overcome the complications and the difficulties of selling, packaging, and customer satisfaction needed to sell. I know what I know and that known is no matter what; I don’t sell. Updating this artwork store would end up being nothing more than a vanity Etsy store, with monthly renewal bills from Etsy. COVID is going out the door; I am going to shut the door on this store. For now.
For my next project. I have decided for no particular reason to challenge myself with the opening movement of Beethoven’s fifth Symphony number 5. I actually painted an artwork that sold in 2014 from this movement.
The building pictured is by Frank Gehry. I am planning on using the building’s facade and colors on the main three foot by four-foot canvas in the setup image. For the two smaller side speakers’ canvases, I am considering a Beethoven quote. So it is to be.
This artwork is stretching out to over 80 inches in length. Of course this artwork reminds me of earlier works, especially with its length, but because of some resemblances, I will find ways to do something different with this work to not only make it unique looking, but to also coax this style forward. All I need to accomplish my expectations for this artworks is the ideas to make that happen, which at this moment do not exist. That may be because lately I have turned away from working on this work. That progress was held up, in order for me to work on new works I wanted for a couple of small art shows.
For the one day show this weekend at the Artisan Forge, I have created two smaller mini four note Beethoven 5th artworks including placing them in custom-built frames.
These mini Beethoven artworks each measure about 9.5 inches in length by 10.5 inches in height. Also, new for this show I have created an extended musical version of Beethoven’s Für Elise.
This Beethoven artwork is also in a new custom frame with overall measurements of 33 inches in length by about 10.25 inches in height. All three of these artworks have buttons to press to listen to the music:
For the Show all November at the Elmaro Winery near Winona Minnesota, I will be displaying only one artwork which is this updated earlier version of Für Elise. It was last year late that I showed my first version of Beethoven’s 5th that sold quickly at Elmaro, but without the music.
Finally, here is Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the last of the new custom frames, that has been on display for a number of months at the Artisan Forge Gallery, but in a much larger, 20 by 24 inch frame. These new custom frames, built to fit the shape of the artworks, I hope will present these little works in a much more appealing way.
Lastly, I have this other very little addition to my Art Fair and Show inventory:
Next up back to work on The Tango artwork, but again there will be some distraction, for I also need to start work on the Christmas painting for the 2018 Christmas cards.
Beethoven’s 5th first nine notes. 21 3/4 inches high by about 25 inches in length.
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony first nine notes is finished. I created two versions of this artwork that I showed at the Lakeville Art show this last weekend. Everyone enjoyed playing the music, with reactions of surprise and smiles all around. In this image you can see them both on opposite sides of the entrance.
This first image shows the two similar artworks I am creating for the tent Art Show in Lakeville Minnesota. My theme for each of these paintings is The Full Beethoven. What that means is that I am portraying the first 8 notes of his 5th Symphony.
Music courtesy of Wikipedia. Wow, that sounded good. So good that I will be adding the music to each of these artworks.
It is unusual for me to make all the pieces ahead of time and then build the artwork. Generally, I build complete sections of a project and then attach them on the artwork. The plan to create these two same artworks together, was that I thought creating two of everything would save time. What actually occurred is that I lost efficiency by doubling everything, while at the same time trying to fix errors and solve multiple build issues. I have loss a lot of time and materials creating two of every mistake along the way. All the delays have resulted in me doing the three-step Tango throughout this project.
To paraphrase a favorite poet, Robert Frost, “Moving right along, for I have no where else to be, and miles to go before I am finished.”
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.
This is my first Series of mini-artworks based on four well-known Classical music composers. Moving clockwise from the left I have Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major ,and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. These are all individual artworks, that I will be making multiples of each. The Chopin and Bach works are the largest being over 13 inches in length by 13 inches in height. I have documented the production each of these artwork, using templates and some standardized parts, to reduce time along with the price. I am looking at $89 for the Beethoven and $125 for the other three as a starting prices for this Series 1. These works will be available on my Etsy painting site before December 1st.
In the video I referred to my neighboring vendor’s display of his 39 dollar sea turtles. Here is that picture of these little critters that he sold all day long and what became an awakening at my first Art and Craft Fair in Appleton Wis: