S_V_H Cherish image 1

cherish_1Cherish is this 2016’s Birthday Painting.  This artwork consists of two canvases  15 inches by 60 inches in length.  Cherish,  was released by The Association  in 1966,  the same year I graduated from High School.  My four high school years were divided, with my freshman and sophomore years in a very small Wisconsin town that we move to in 1962.  I then  spent my Junior and  Senior years at a smaller Catholic High School, when we moved again, to a much bigger small Wisconsin town.

What that means is that all through my High School years I was kind of an outsider, not quit fitting into a normal teenager’s life. I do remember this song for its theme of unrequited love. Being a teenager in new towns, with only a few good friends, the emotions that came from listening to the music of The Association,  and The Four Seasons was felt and lived.

Looking back, I think I  should have enjoyed those times a lot more. I should have realized that I was fairly naïve about the art of  dating, and it certainly showed, and that is was all about the learning, and all about asking girls out,  and slowly figuring out step by step what the game of love was all about.  But I did not, quite get that right, during those times.

” …I was so much older than, I younger than that now,”  (The Byrds My Back Pages, 1964).




S_V_H We Belong image 1

weBelong_1Here is the first image of a classic Pat Benatar song We Belong. This is prime Eighties music. This artwork consists of three canvas panels with a length of 52 inches by 16 inches in height.  Looking at this first image of We Belong, the background is a surprisingly sparse in comparison  with earlier works, with a solid black color dominating the artwork and not the stripping.   The influence for this first image for We Belong comes from the Bach Aria artwork I did for Japan.

This is American Pie from 2010, that the Bach client picked for a template. It did not surprise me that they prefer my older style. What did surprise me was the required amount of  adjustment made by everyone involved to make the older look work in 2016.


When we reached agreement on the background style and coloring, I than went even further back for another idea found in this Mozart work.  It is in this early 2006 artwork where I used a wide stripping to resemble my take on the musical staff or stave:


Here is a musical staff used in sheet music:


All these adjustments  resulted in a contemporary retro artwork the  Bach Aria work, 2016,


Now, free from the need for approval, I took the Grand Bach painting ideas and simplified the entire background with the color black that works well with this artist.


This is the 1984 music video of We Belong.

I could not find a live early 80’s.  This is the best of live versions from 2001:

Scott Von Holzen




S_V_H Bach BWV 988 – Aria final image

AriaBWV988_ImageFinalThis is the final full size image of the Bach work that I will be shipping to Japan.  When it arrives in Japan it will be re-stretched losing about 60mm around each edge of the frame. The final image that will hang in the Grand Bach Hotel in Kyoto Japan will be 1600mm x 500mm or about 64 inches by 20 inches in height.

The video below pretty much sums up my thoughts,  and feelings about this artwork.  Actually, I did this video to do a short lighting check, except that I kept on going. It is kind of funny in spots,.  Still,   I should have worn a better shirt,  turned off the fan I was using to dry the painting, been organized,  and stood up  straight.  Otherwise, the message is good, and it certainly documents the progress of this art, so I went with it.  Next up I will be finishing my Waylon Jennings painting,  and  starting another commission work, the Pat Benatar song, We belong.

Check out this video of an artist that needs a staff of advisors if he is ever to make it in the Big Town.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Purple Rain final image


Purple Rain,  which I started from a suggestion on April 6th, I have now finished. The canvas is three feet by four feet in length. This artwork, following my current trend uses many add-on wooden features.  Besides using a lot of shades of purple and violet I search the internet to find as many images of Prince to get an understanding of his fashion look.  I then took as many of those colors,  and put them into this work. All of those circles, of various sizes, I custom-made and they, you guessed it, represent purple rain.

I have listened to a lot of Prince this last month. I have also felt a closeness to this work, and the thought of selling this artwork, will separate us, which I am having some doubts. I am seeing,  in the over one hundred music paintings that I have done, that certain artworks I should keep in my possession. Examples of those would be Thunder Road, Hallelujah, and I Won’t Dance.  Now, I am thinking about Purple Rain if it belongs with the few.  Hard decisions they all are, but selling some works is good for business, and even better than piling Purple Rain up with the rest of my unsold potential masterpieces.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present Purple Rain, my unsure of artistic creation to the memory of Prince.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Purple Rain image 4


Purple Rain the artwork is taking on it own personality, and direction. It is enjoyable to try to capture some of the feel of Prince, but it is more fun to let go of the work to develop without the feeling of obligation to this superstar performer.  It is an artwork, and not so much a tribute painting, but more so my version of a unique cover of a great piece of pop music.

In this image you will see that I have placed the number 2 and 4, along with the letter U on this artwork. It is amazing how hard it is to find smaller size letters at the three craft stores I visited. They are a little large, so to tone down their size I blended them into the background. Truthfully, I did not think originally of adding any extra lettering, until I read that great blog tribute to Prince by Shawn S, and saw his use of the number 2 instead of the word two, and so on throughout his blog.  Of course,  that is his tribute to the titles of some great Prince songs such as I would Die 4 U,  The question of U, Take me with U, U got the Look, 2morrow, Nothing compares 2 U, Joint 2 Joint, 2 nigs united 4 west Compton,  and Love 2 the 9’s, for examples.

The next image, in a few days from now, will be the final image of this enjoyable painting.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Purple Rain image3


An Artist’s music can live forever, but they don’t, and if  touched by them, maybe this tweet says it best:
Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.     — Juliette (@ElusiveJ)

Here is a beautiful tribute 2 Prince Rogers Nelson, by a co-worker and extreme fan,  Shawn S.

I was and not I am even more focused on doing my best to make Purple Rain the painting a fine example of contemporary musical art. For What it’s Worth.

With this image you are seeing the music flow in place. Working with wood, and then attaching it to the canvas is a learn as you go experiment.  For example,  after gluing the music on to this canvas,  I had to figure out how to carefully remove dried glued wood from fragile canvas.

In this work two of my I beams dropped out-of-place, and needed to be removed, and re-positioned. It was not until I applied heat from a hair dryer to these misguided sticks,  that the damage to the painting dropped to almost nothing.  I was lucky that the move, and the repairs worked, and the painting is back to original condition. All of these mistakes are well deserved, and paid in full by a self-taught artist that is pushing Musical painting to extremes.

I am aware that when I start each of these artworks, that when finished they all fall a little short, have minor flaws, or don’t quite meet my expectations, and yet that works for me.  With each of these painting I start out with high expectations, and then slowly the artwork takes on almost human characteristics. May be a little of me moves into them.  Anyway, when completed they become,  a lot more real then perfect. Much more alive than, lets say, any Digital artwork. It is that human touch,  that ends up in them, that makes each of these artworks a part of me, or what connects us.  Each is an example that tells this artist that the best is yet to come.


Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Purple Rain image2

purpleRain_2This is a short update.  This second image of Purple Rain, for now,  shows the background finished.  I call this artwork  Purple Rain, but so far violet has been the dominate color.  The plan is to save the many shades of purple for the music, and other add-nos. In this second image I  have striped out some of the violet with colors I found in Prince’s clothing in a small number of his video interviews, appearances, and performances.

While looking for a mix of colors that make up Prince’s image I saw,  and learned more than I usually do, about the artist and his music. This was intimidating, for Prince certainly is a well-respected song writer and musician.  In comparison I am just a guy painting music artworks, only starting to build a career.  That kind of thinking I had to put aside for it was too restrictive.  This painting is not a tribute to Prince.  Obviously Prince is a fabulous  artist, but if I am to succeed at being a painter of musical artworks,  Purple Rain, as an artwork, has to stand alone, as my cover of a great pop rock song.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Purple Rain image1

purpleRain_1This is the artwork Purple Rain based on a single larger canvas instead of my recent trend of using small combinations of canvases.   After my first years of only using single canvases I began to combine them  to paint larger artworks. These larger size paintings peaked with the Vivaldi Four Season series where I joined single large canvasses together to produce works twelve feet, and more,  in length, by three feet in height.  The largest, and last of this series, Summer Presto, stretched 20 feet. After finishing the Vivaldi paintings I decided I needed a break from big.

The change to producing smaller artworks, came about out of exhaustion, and the practical consideration that smaller paintings are easier to hang for more buyers which could help to increase this art’s market.  They are also less expensive to make, cheaper to ship, and take a lot less time to complete.  Since March of last year the size of my artworks have ranged from around three feet to five feet in length. The results of these small works, so far, have been disappointing, with little interest generated all through 2015 to the present.

When I began to put together my ideas for Purple Rain I looked into my storeroom,  and all I saw where stacks of large unused canvases. This got me wondering how I was going to use them up. With that thought on my mind I decided to reject the idea of using a number of small canvases for this artwork.  My new direction for Purple Rain, that you see in this first image, is to go bigger and simpler, with the choice of only one two foot by four-foot canvas.

That brings me to this general feeling that my backgrounds have become too predictable. With a new thought in mind for Purple Rain,  I decided to mark the music on the canvas before applying the first layer of paint.  This then allowed me to place the stripping so that it moves along with the music. For the background colors besides shades of purple,  I checked out Prince’s fashion look in his music videos, and  images. You can see in this first image of Purple Rain where I used colors from Prince’s performance at the 2007 Super Bowl:

Awful official NFL video.


I am painting this music because of a request by a possible buyer,  and because I am a fan of Prince’s original Funky sound.   Purple Rain stands out as an outstanding pop rock song, and a choice that might appeal to many Prince fans, as it certainly does for me.

Here is an early, and a rare live version of Prince singing Purple Rain.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix Final Image

monCoeursouvre_FinalI have completed this my first Aria. Unusual,  but true, I cannot pronounce the title of this artwork in French.   Softly Awakes My Heart is this music’s English name, but I prefer the original title that comes from the French Opera,  Samson and Delilah. One of my goals for this  painting was to let the music move off the canvas. As you can see above that is what I did accomplish, after solving a number of technical issues. The wire I finally ended up using, annealed aluminum,  is actually used for training of Bonsai trees.  It is a lot easier,  and lighter than copper, with the advantage of being thicker, but easier to mold into place. Of course even this fairly large wire is not enough to create a strong visual effect. That is why I grab a bunch of scrap pieces of wood, and had some fun. If you go back to late 2012 and this  Vivaldi painting from the Four Seasons Series, Autumn Allegro,  you can see the origin of that idea using  paint only.

4SeasonsAutumnAllegroFinalSimilar  what you see in the Vivaldi artwork, and in this French Aria painting,  those assortment of shapes around the flow are there to create the look of pieces of the music being toss about.  When sounded a note’s tone often continues, although diminished, until drowned out by the next note.  In these two artworks I express those reduced  pitches in the form of panted pieces, and scraps of wood, with the side effect of adding interest,  movement, and in this artwork, adding mass around the wire.

This artwork has an odd shape, and construction, but I think the look turns out to be fine because the painting looks balance. Again, as I mentioned before, the background is good, but it is not the fresh look I am looking for. This is a beautiful Aria, and I believe this artwork stands out as a great visual representation that honors the music.



Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mon Coeur s’ouvre á ta voix (Softly Awakens My Heart) image1

softlyAwakensMyHeart_1Mon  Coeur s’ouvre á ta voix,” quoting Wikipedia, “..is a popular mezzo-soprano aria from Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah, known in English as “Softly awakes my heart”. It is sung by Delilah in act 2 as she attempts to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength.”

This quote from Wikipedia explains the change made to this Opera song, that convinced me to paint this music:
“In the opera, Delilah is responding to Samson’s words “Dalila! Dalila! Je t’aime!” (Delilah! Delilah! I love you!) which he repeats between the first and second verses of her aria; these interjections are omitted in recital performances or sometimes sung to the changed words “Samson! Samson! Je t’aime!“; Samson’s part in the final 22 bars of the stage aria where he joins Delilah in a duet is also omitted in a recital, although some performers, notably Marilyn Horne and Jessye Norman, have sung Samson’s final words – changed as above, rising to a high B-flat (my emphasis).”

Here is the link to the video to a wonderful performance of this change to the music, beautifully sung by Elina Garanca.   At the end of the aria, starting  at 5:45 minutes, there is a small pause, and then she softly sings, “..Samson.., Samson, ..I love you.” That is the music of this Artwork.