S_V_H With a little help from my friends image5

helpFromMyFriends_5With this fifth image of With a little help from me friends you are seeing two new major features added to this artwork. I have applied little sails to a half-dozen of the items in this musical flow. And I have also did the drafting of the words that I choose for this music.

The interesting part of this image, for me, is those little sails, and yes they do look like the sails you see on sailboats.  They first showed up as a powerful image in the Four Seasons work, The Four Seasons, Winter Largo, a favorite.  After finishing the Vivaldi series I drifted away from that style in Fine and mellow, Ghost of Tom Joad, and Losing my edge, my  2015 Birthday painting.  I returned to the sails with my B.B King painting Sweet little angel, and to my surprised I thought they worked well with that work.

Since starting this musical art in 2006, I have struggle to find some way to represent what an eighth note would look like in this art.  The sail idea makes sense to use for it make the music seem to move across the canvases, greatly improving the flow of the painting.

I am not sure that the sails style will work with every canvas.  For sure I thought it work well with Classical Music. It was not until I tried it with the Blues work that I saw it could also work on more contemporary music. I will probably tweak my notes with sails in this artwork to add interest, pull things together, and maybe to give them a more sixties look, whatever that means.

This work is nearing completion.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H With a little help from my friends image4

helpFromMyFriends_4Image four of a little help from my friend, shows the basic structure of the flow of this music.  Stylistically  nothing too different with the exception that I did try a new technique on the beam on right blue panel (that long slopping rectangle at the top). I edge it out with multiple layers of tape so that when removed I had an object with some added depth to it.  Even though the height of the beam turned out to be small it was enough to stand out from the canvas. This is especially noticeable when you compare it with all the vertical rectangles that are my staffs that follow along with the music.

Of interest is my color choices for the vertical  rectangles.  I searched out psychedelic colors, a sixties thing,  and found such a range and variety that I figured as long as I went with bright, and contrasting colors, all would be fine.  As for the large beam, I wanted a connection to be made between it and the music so I used the same color for each, Cobalt Blue.  I also swirled the wet color mix, in a small way, to represent musical sound waves

I am doing this artwork for a specific reason that I cannot talk about at this time.  That means that not only do I want to create something unique, I also want an artwork that appeals. Those desires are similar to my basic goals for every painting, but more meaningful for this small  artwork with a destiny.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H With a little help from my friends image 3

helpFromMyFriends_3This third image displays the music flow for With a little help from my friends. By portraying a dimensional flow of the music this now adds even greater depth to these artworks.  This move advances this art forms multiply layered trend which started when combining canvases to form different depths. What you have in this artwork is a painting that by combining different parts, to form multiple layers, helps to move this art form closer to the structure of a music.  A  musical performance occurs inside a structure with a stage in front of the audience, the musicians behind their instruments, people sitting around tables and moving about the room.  Live music performance exists in different depths and layers except for the sound that is everywhere, and though harmony,  focuses the interaction to and the connecting of strangers. This artworks  canvases  can also be a structure for the music and the viewer.  Even though this artwork lacks sound it can still present the music, as a multiple dimensional snapshot of the flow of the harmony.   This art then can offer another method for people to connect to  music. If that explains this art or not, that is okay, for even I am winging it most of the time.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H With a Little help form my friends image 2


This is the second image of With a little help from my friends, that consists of two canvases fifteen inches by fifty-eight inches in length. What you are looking at, for now, is the finished background for the music. I did have a lot of issues in choosing the right mix of colors, because each of these panels represents a different emotion in the music.

The music that I have chosen, in my chosen versions, goes from loud, and questioning, to soft and thoughtful. For the stronger left panel  bright colors seemed obvious.  Starting out with that first image I posted in an early blog entry,  I tried adding brighter yellow and lighter magenta colors.  This did not work. Finally in a spontaneous move I painted over those colors, leaving the blue and pink strips alone. I applied multiple transparent layers of Quinacridone red, that created different shades of red that brought that panel into harmony.

Those efforts with the left panel then created issues with the softer looking right panel. I had to find different ways for that panel to compliment the strong left panel, and create a smooth looking transition that follows the changes in the music. After some indecision I decided to stay with the base colors that you see in the first image of the right panel.  I then matched the structural changes I had made with the left panel which brought the two canvases closer together. Finally, by again using multiple transparent layers of blue-green colors, I was able to bring the right panel into a good color balance.

At this stage I now have two panels that work well together, and hopefully will work towards representing the huge range in the performances of this music. Between The Beatles original  version, and the most obvious cover by Joe Cocker, you can understand the difficulty in choosing a musical direction for this artwork.  These two completely different, and wonderful interpretations of this music, left no choice for  me but to borrow from each. With luck I will create an artwork, that when finished,  will represent the wide range of this classic sixties music.

The Beatles from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Joe Cocker from the album Mad Dogs and Englishmen. I remember distinctly having, and enjoying this two record album, when it first came out in 1970


Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H With a little help from my friends image 1

helpFromMyFriends_1This is the first image of With a little help from my friends. What made this good Beatles song great was this performance by Joe Cocker at Woodstock, in 1969:

The following  gives you, an documents for me,  a little detail about my working technique, beyond applying paint to canvas:

To entertain me, I of course, am always playing and listening to music in the background in my studio.  When I start a new artwork, I search my music collection for the music,  and then add other versions, by different artists that cover the music. I do this because at the start of a new work session, I listen to the music that accompanies the artwork, to get a better feel of the mood of the music, that then helps me choose what color range to work in. Listening to only one song, even though I might have a dozen covers, still gets boring soon. What I do then as in With a little help from my friends, I pick one word, such as ‘help’,  and then I see what songs in my catalog use that word.  In that way I get a lot of music about help, and helping, which, relates to the music for this artwork. Of the 20,000 plus songs that I have in my iTunes, I pulled 76 songs that have the word help in the song title or in the information for that song.

I have eight versions of With A Little Help From My Friends, mostly by Joe Cocker. Here is a partial list of the other songs from my With A Little Help From My Friends Play List:
I Need you, It’s Only Love, The Night Before, Help!, all from the album Help! by the Beatles, I Can’t Help Myself, The Four Tops, I Just Can’t Help Believin’, by Elvis Presley, Helpless, a big cover song, Neil Young, K. D Lang, The Band, by Crosby, Stills & Nash,  Help Me, by Joni Mitchel and Johnny Cash, You Can’t Help Me Now, by one of my favorites, Amiee Mann, I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man), by Kenny Loggins, Heaven Help Me, Gretchen Wilson, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, by Billie Holiday, For the Good Times, by Kris Kristofferson,  Help Me Make It Through The Night, also by Kris Kristofferson, Can I Get Some Help, by James Brown, Mother’s Little Helper, The Rolling Stones, Can’t Help Falling In love, by UB40, Let’s All Help the Cowboys, by Waylon Jennings, Heaven Help Me, by Wynonna Judd, Help Me, by Van Morrison, and how could I leave out B. B. King and Help the Poor, Crying Won’t Help You, Outside Help,and the Beach Boys, Help Me Rhonda.  The list goes on.

meOnBikeHere is how I connect the picture of me with my bike and my art. For exercise I travel a six-mile route, averaging around five-minute miles. What makes the course interesting is near the end I have a small hill and then a large hill to climb. The small hill is the warm up. The big hill I cannot bike up it, although I do walk up it.  Instead I approach the big hill from the backside, which is has a more gradual pitch to the top, and an exciting down the front ride.  Of course the backside trip still is extremely demanding. What I have learned to help me overcome this climb is that as I start to climb the steep part of the hill I tilt my head down looking at my front wheel and only a few feet in from of me.  By doing this I lose the sense of the height of the incline, and focus only on pedaling through the next few feet in front of me.  And it works, when suddenly I am at the top of the hill,  and can than relax.  That is also how I approach this art by focusing on the artwork in front of me and not the next great art project or what I should do to become the truly fine, and known, artist I wish to become. In biking I  hill climb by seeing only the road in front of my wheel.  In art I do much the same: I follow the road in front of me.

Scott Von Holzen