Seeing this artwork in the studio only then can you grasp its three-dimensional effects. Since I am in the Studio, I see enough pieces of this never ending puzzle snapping together to confirm this is the way forward. The long path of this art genre, Interactive Constructive Sculpture, or to simply (MusicBoxArt (MBA)), is opening to a clearing of whatever-I-am-doing, wherever-it-is-going, it all appears good-to-go.
When I started this project, I took a ruler and open up the tailgate of our RAV 4 to measure what was the longest and widest artwork it could comfortably fit. That turned out to be an artwork 6 feet but no wider than two feet. I then returned to the studio to cut two feet off a 6 foot wide primed canvas roll for this Chopin project. Although the canvas was two shorter than I needed, I figured that was a problem I would eventual solve. I did. The length of this artwork (MBA) is eight feet, and the added two extra feet expanded the depth of the artwork, creating a dramatic effect. That is good. This music is dramatic.
Since the beginnings of this art I have tried different techniques to add movement and drama to these artworks. That was done in the effort to bring an artwork closer to the many emotional dimensions of the sound of a song. This latest music box is showing new promise.
This image shows my first test hanging of this Chopin project on a canvas that comes up short. I knew I would need eight feet of artwork to accommodate my already truncated version of this music. The canvas length is only six feet. I picked that size canvas because that is the maximum length, along with a width of twenty-four inches, that I can comfortably load in our 2014 RAV 4. If you look behind my 1974 self-portrait in the next image, you will see part of the artwork titled Schindler’s List. I cannot fit this work in the car, therefore I cannot show it. To make this capable of travel, the plan is to break this half of the artwork into two smaller pieces. That will not be easy, and that is why this Chopin project will be made to fit. I want to exhibit it. Also, the image below of the layout of the music on front tables shows my later plan to accommodate an eight-foot artwork on a six-foot canvas.
This outstanding ArtinMusic video shows my first test to confirm that I have solved the problem of an eight-foot artwork work on a six-foot canvas. It includes a minor mishap that confirms the toughness of this construction, which just may add to the definition of what is art.
I would like to make a brief comment about today’s elevation of high craft as art, which blurs the separation of what is Art and what is a craft. Let me add to the confusion with the idea that all art is craft, but not all craft is art. Much of today’s art is craft disguised as art. That is because craft sells. The public does not want to spend their monies on an object that has no physical value unless it is finely crafted. That means the artist must have put in a lot of effort into it, which then justifies the buyer paying an excessive amount of money for an object that has little physical value or use. Art Galleries and Art Exhibitions see that also and that is why everything out there that sells today is short on being Art and high on craft. Of course I said that all art is craft, but not all craft is art. That points directly at the problem of defining Art which is a lot easier to grip if an object has a quality finished high craft look therefore it must be art. The Art Galleries and the Art Exhibitions see that and run with it for their own survival. The Art market is all in on maintaining the flow of money. Calling something that is actually nothing, Art makes it easier to sell. Especially if it’s pretty.
The obvious answer is Art, because of the monies. Or is the answer craft because neither the balloon rabbit nor the urinal present anything original. Or is there something else to consider?
Chopin Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op 53, 24 inches by 36 inches
This Chopin artwork is finished, kinda. Since it is going to be around the studio for a few more days, I probably will touch it up, because this is one of my rare artworks, that has to be framed to actually look finished. Of course, this is a commission work, so I will have to wait for the image of it hanging in the Music room to see how good this artwork really is.
That now means that it is time for me to get back to the good stuff of finishing my half done Tom Petty artwork, pound out a few more Mini-artworks for my Etsy website, and get in the mood for this years Christmas Painting, Silver Bells.
This fourth image of this popular Chopin music is near finished. I am also surprised how well this painting moved along, without any major issues. The planning had to be good because of my limited working space, and that paid off for there is not much I would change. The overall look of the music is pretty good considering I had to fit a lot of Chopin into 36 inches by 24 inches without the artwork looking crowded. All that is now left is for me to do is to sharpen the edges, shape up the music, clean up the background, write in the title of the music, and finally sign and date.
Since this work is different from my current style I do have so thoughts on how this project is turning out. I like the reflective qualities of the silver and bronze colors, and their changing colors in different light and angles. That is a surface feature for me, but also it works well with my theme of simulating movement in these artworks. Reliving the past with the flatness, and especially the oblong shape of the music are two traits that can create highly marketable artworks, especially to musicians. Although I will not return to this look unless commissioned, I still enjoyed the challenge and income of this type of project.
This is the third image of Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 53. Even though I have eliminated every rule of sheet music that defines it, and none of my artworks if attempted to be played would actually sound like the music they are portraying, that look of sheet music is definitely in this painting. This is not an issue with Classical Music because I choose music that is in the Public Domain. Still, I don’t generally paint music this way, because of the look, and because I would like this art to appeal to a greater audience of music lovers who would not necessarily understand music notation.
But……, what separates this artwork from most of my other current work, is that this painting is marketable to a large segment of potential customers which are musicians and lovers of Classical Music. These people know their music better than I do, and want to see the music in their artworks, and know where the painting appears in the original music. That is true of my client for this artwork which will be a gift for a musician. As this art keeps moving forward creativity I must not forget what has gotten me to where I am today, and what will still support this adventure in the future.
Besides viewing Image 3 you can also see and listen to this wonderful piece by Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat:
For the most part the music is in place, and it does fit in this constricted format. The next step, which I have already started is to add some technical musical items you find in sheet music. I see all this add-on stuff as interest. In this short excerpt Chopin used a number of “grace notes,” two “trills,” a couple of “crushed notes,” and a “fortissimo.” Each of these items need to be drawn in, and I am not a drawer. I rather take a photograph to save time. Like the words you see in most of my artworks my drawing skills need a lot of time, patience and determination to make sure the results are beyond acceptable. Next up I will be adding more interest like “ties,” and “diminuendos.”
if you like to see another image of this musictake a look at this piece of the original Chopin signed manuscript of this music,
This is Frederic Chopin’s surprising Polonaise Op. 53 image two. The surprise is to see so much music already in place. I have not painted in this style since the Japan artwork in early 2016. I do remember the difficulties with that similar commissioned Kyoto artwork, and because this time of the year is busy, I knew I needed to find time-saving measures to meet my client’s timeline. My first idea was to draw in lines that I could than use to guide the orderly placement of the music. I changed the size , color and brightness, of each group to blend in with the background while still being able to connect to the music.
I than improved on an idea I used with the Kyoto painting. Using a thin piece of plywood I cut out the music to size. I than attached a square post and guide markers. It did not take long to than learned that I could use it as a musical stamp. This saves me from the tedious task of free hand drawing in each note.
This artwork has a background of Burnt Sienna that I covered with Burnt Umber light. I than added Burnt Umber light to the bronze paint to get the shades I wanted with the main music lines. The smaller accent lines I painted bone black. For the music I am using the same Winsor & Newton Silver I used for the Japan work. When I show the Japan work, as an example, my customer like it for the silver made the music stand out from the background.
Scott Von Holzen
Both the silver and the bronze are reflective acrylic paint colors, that change shades when viewed at different angles and in different lights. This effect creates a visual delight to the eyes. It is as if you can see the vibrations of the music of Chopin move across the canvas. Looking at this painting I feel the joy that is on display. This unfinished Classical artwork is already making an impact. Chopin’s Polonaise defines this arts philosophy of making visual music that grabs at you emotions as if my notes where the sound.
I have painted Chopin in the past and certainly in the future, but, in the now I am also painting Chopin. This time it is one of his 23 Polonaises, and one of Chopin’s most admired compositions, published in 1843, according to Wikipedia. The casual listener to Classical Music will know this melody if not the composer.
Here is Vladmir Horowitz cruising through the hard parts of this Chopin Polonaise. It is at 1:18 minutes and over the next second you hear the music of this artwork. Also, using Wikipedia I found the meaning of polonaise which is a dance of polish origins. Okay!
The smaller detail image and the full first image look a lot a like, and are not much to look it. That is because this artwork is a flash back in style to the 2016 Bach painting for the Grand Bach Hotel in Kyoto Japan. This Chopin artwork is obviously different from my last post featuring the music of Tom Petty, and that is because it is a commissioned requested artwork to be done in the Grand Bach painting style.
Here is the Bach BWV 988 – Aria painting, which is 64 inches in length, while the Chopin work is 24 inches by 36 inches.
Next up I need to add a foundation to place the music on. It will be something like what you see in those darker brown rectangular strips in the Bach painting. This is important to do for by adding an intermediary structure on top of the background that will than connect it to the music. Otherwise, if it is left out the music would seem to be floating in an empty space. My challenge is to accomplish this in way so that this Chopin painting updates this style. I am not doing this project to repeat the Bach painting with a name and music change only.