This is one of Bob Marley’s most popular little songs, Three Little Birds. This work consists of one canvas 40 inches in length by 16 inches. This first image of the background uses the colors from the flag of Ethiopia: Bob Marley was a committed Rastafari which”…..infused his music with a sense of spirituality”(Wikipedia), and that had its religious root in Ethiopia. These same colors dominate in many of the images of Bob Marley, and his merchandise. So then when I watched his live performances, to my surprise it was rare that these colors were being worn by him. He appears to have performed consistently in street cloths including a lot of blue jean shirts, and pants, like any other musical performer of that time.
Here are those same colors being used on the movie poster Marley:
To better understand Bob Marley I spent time listening to his music and watching the documentary film, Marley, about his life as a singer, songwriter and activist artist. I soon realized that there were a number of great Bob Marley songs that I thought would make great paintings. From one day to the next all the choices had me going in circles searching for the right music to paint until I spoke on the phone with Dorothy.
Dorothy Von Holzen, a long time friend of the family, married my father after the tragic early passing of my mother. They enjoyed 15 pretty good years together, and even today after my dad’s passing, she is much beloved by everyone in the Von Holzen Family circle. I spoke to Dorothy on the phone after receiving an email from her about her need for heart surgery to replace her aortic valve. She was very positive and anxious to actually get his done. She sounded pleased because the doctors had found the solution to her extreme tiredness over the last many months. Her talk and attitude seemed to me to be positive and unconcern about the procedure. When I expressed my concerns about heart surgery she answered that she thought everything would be all right, knowing that the physicians where experienced. She then added that what good would it do to think otherwise. She explained that when you get to her aged (83) you stop worrying about what might or might not happen. She said she would not concern herself with the possible outcomes and would accept whatever happens, and that she would be good with that. Although she did say she was going to put up a good fight, to make sure all goes well. When I thought of her words I remembered the lyrics from Three Little Birds, and knew then what Bob Marley song I needed to paint. Here are some of those lyrics from Three Little Birds:
“‘Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry
Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, I won’t worry
“‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright'”
I am dedicating this painting to a special person that is at the heart of the Von Holzen family, Dorothy. Here is the last Christmas picture of the family all together, with Dorothy in front holding her granddaughter, taken Christmas 2015 a few months after my Dad’s passing.
Scott Von Holzen