S_V_H Up On the Roof Final image


Up On The Roof is signed and ready to go on sale.  You can buy this artwork HERE, or a print HERE. This artwork uses a technique where I have lighten my musical notes as they flow across the canvases from left to right. The whole idea of this work was for the viewer to see a change in mood in the work, from gloomy to hopeful.  From the first canvas I then pushed the next three out from each other to bring the final canvas work closer to the viewer and to the brighter mood of this last panel. This work has been a challenge, that has taken to long to complete.  I wanted to finish this work in two to three weeks.  Instead it has taken eight weeks. Of course there was the big interruption with the Christmas artwork, but this only confirms my difficultly in working on two works at once and finishing each of them in a reasonable amount of time.

The struggle continues:

I have looking for a new home for Blue Rondo, so I stopped by the Jefferson Street Inn, and strange, Tim the head maintenance man and a friend,  mentioned two other options. One was over the main entrance door and the other space was over the elevator door. Just the sight of those two suggested locations sent dread through me, as memories of walking with the Professor into the orchestra room caved in on me.

The dream lives:

This art will find it’s way, which includes Blue Rondo, with or without me. Of course I would like to be a participant in bringing these artworks to the surface, before I drown in neglect, but there are no guarantees, only choices.  And those choices I have no other option but to choose: the art leads, if I want to be an artist.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H You Raise Me Up image4


This artwork, You Raise Me Up main components are in place. It is rough because there is a lot of clean up and finishing still to do, but what you see is a good look at what the final work will be. I part of the music that I would like to mention, is the lyrics, and how I pick them from the music. This sentence from the music appears over an over again in this music:

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.”

What I try to do is first to find a part of the music that would be interesting for me to portray. Usually I look for a short phrase from the music that has a sharp beginning and an end.  I may find a couple of potential pieces of the music that might work. I then look at the length and the words that are in the music. The length is important, for lately  I have trying to keep these smaller works under six feet. If I can keep the size down I then look at the words from that part of the music, and what combination I can use that when read together no longer just represents the music. In other words I choose the words carefully so that they are not apart of any particular piece of music.  My chosen words in my artworks can be found in any common conversations.  In the case of this music I choose the words “I am strong I can be.” Sure they can be found in the music, but the way I have placed them in the artwork, their meaning can be from the music, or their meaning can mean many, many other things. As always, I make it a must to separate the music from the art.

Talking about words brings me to a correction, or better an addition to an earlier blog post where I mention three things that separate this art from others, let say. Those three things are the number of canvas and they ways they connect.  The second is the backgrounds on these canvases are in many ways different form each other to the point that if separated each canvas could stand on its own. The third point is the way I portray the music that goes across all the canvases, and how that brings everything together as one artwork.  I need to add the fourth item, the words.  How could I forget that.  My words not only can capture the emotional feel of the music, they also can go beyond the music by reaching out the viewer and pulling them close in.  When words appear in an artwork I pick them carefully, to present the broadest range of emotional impact, which I hope will enlarge their meaning way beyond even the music.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Up On the Roof image5


Up On The Roof is coming together.  As you move across this work, the mood of the artwork changes, along with the physical movement of the canvas which is a total of five inches closer to the viewer as you move across the work from left to right. It is impossible to see this in the image but trying to rest this work on two connected easels require adding an extension arm to hold the final canvas steady. This next week I will be spending time adding the finishing musical touches, cleaning up, and finishing the artwork, to give it that look, every artwork requires.  I am hoping to finish this work about the same time that I complete this years Christmas music.  I go back en forth between the two, which helps give me a better feel for the works, and moments between, to check their progress, and what I should do next.

Just a reminder here is the video of the Carole King, who wrote the music, and James Taylor that made in popular:

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Up On the Roof image4


Up On The Roof is a Classic Pop song written by Carole Kin, and first recorded by the Drifters in 1963. Years later it made it back to the charts with a recording by James Taylor in 1979.  I picked this song to paint, for some reason, somewhere, at some time,  I had good feelings towards this music. That feelings is constituent even today, every time I hear it.  I am not sure whose version I first heard, and fell for,  or when it made such a lasting impression on me.  Maybe, It is the lyrics or the way the words connect,  that puts it in my iTunes three stars plus list,  that now numbers 291 songs out of 20,000.

“When I come home feelin’ tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet
Up on the roof
I get away from the hustling crowd
And all that rat race noise down in the street
Up on the roof”

For this artwork it was the next lines of this music that are the inspiration:

“On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let’s go up on the roof
Up on the roof”

Of course this  music may have stuck in my head, because it is a rare pop song that has nothing to do with wanting, having, losing, or not getting it on with someone.  It is only about finding peace and maybe sharing it with another.

“And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two, up on the roof
Up on the roof”

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H UP On the Roof image2 & 3


Up on The Roof Image 2


UP on the Roof Image 3

Up on the Roof is a Classic pop song from the sixties and on. There has been a major change that you may find hard to see in the full images.  In the first image  the first two canvases butt together.  In image two, and now three, what you are now seeing is that I have separated the first two canvases using  canvas two as a first step up.  Canvas three and four then are each another step up. This is my first artwork with four different levels.  The obvious reason that I am stepping these canvases is to follow the flow of the music. This artwork is going to look interesting, on a wall. Right now, it is hard to hold the work safely on the easels, without adding an arm to let the artwork move out from the support.

Next up is to put in the musical flow.

You can buy a finish print of this artwork at a discounted price at my Etsy site for $30.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H UP On the Roof image1


UP on the Roof is a new small work, 72 inches in length.  I decided to start this work while I wait the arrival of canvases needed for the next artwork in the Vivaldi Four Seasons series, Autumn Allegro 3rd movement.

Why paint Up on the Roof? That is a question that is as hard to explain, as it is easy to answer:  I like this music. I think it will hold well over time. The words say something that a lot of people can relate to, and the melody is catchy. Finally, the timing was right. This song happened to play in iTunes, and I became curious about it. I learned that Carole King, another old favorite of mine, co-wrote it. Searching for recordings I found a live performance of Up on the Roof with James Taylor and Carole King, and at that point the choice became clear.  UP on the Roof not only is a good song, it has history and depth with me, which all helps aid the decision-making process.  It comes down to this, I only have some much time to paint a limited number of musical pieces, so I have to pick wisely, or pick a song when it is hot, before I change my mind. Hopefully, I have chosen wisely, for unlike the just completed, Keep on Loving you, which has a buyer, this one is on its own to prove it worth.

I cannot remember which version of this song that I first heard, but I am thinking it may have been the version by the Crying Shames, a garage band, that dates to 1967.  The sound and the date sounds about right. Also, there is a slight possibility that it could have been James Taylor, because I have always been a fan of his music, ever since his Sweet Baby James album. Taylor’s version of UP on the Roof dates to 1979, which seems late for me. The last possibility may have been the original release, and major hit by the Drifters in 1963, but I doubt it.  I do not think music meant much to me until the Beatles, which was  when I was a sophomore in high school in 1964. I am going with the Crying Shames, for now.

One more personnel discovery about this song, is a rare cover by Laura Nyro, my musical first love when I arrived on campus in Madison in 1968.  Her record ,Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, was a heavy play in the dorm at that time.

The base colors are dark and gritty, to keep with the mood of the music. This changes as the work moves from left to right. The third canvas elevates about the first two, while the fourth canvas is another step up from the third  This artwork is another three-layered work, similar to The Four Seasons Work, Spring Danza, where you have to go to the firth canvas which is the first to touch the wall in my living room.

I am also posting this first image of Up On The Roof,  on Etsy, where you can pre-order a digital print for much less money, then when finished.

Scott Von Holzen