You Raise me up 99 inches of all Christmas. What is not to like about Christmas and Christmas Artwork. You see those two candy canes in the above image? In the world of music they would be 16th notes, like these:
In pointing this out I hope you can see that the real music is only a starting point, and that the artwork opens up into many different directions. I could not have it any other way, for copying sheet music to canvases would be boring, and meaningless. It is how I see that music and how I depict that flow of the sound that is important, and what my objects, can and do not represent, has not substance, except in my mind. This has all to do in understanding the difference between art and wall decoration. A Jackson Pollack painted by Jackson Pollack is art, but a Jackson Pollack painted by your local zoo animal is not. And a simple answer to the why of this is, because when a zoo animal paints an abstraction there is no subconscious attention to detail. What separates art from imitation, is the artist grasping what cannot be held and knowing exactly how to use it to free the artwork from being absorbed by the wall.
This artwork is the largest Christmas work that I have done. Starting this series in 2006 with a single two feet by four canvases, we have now arrived at six panels and almost 100 inches in length. This painting grew so large because I needed to use two sentences from the music, “I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.” It was obvious that the strongest words are “I am strong.” and “I can be,” and worked in perfectly to start and end the work. They also best describe my favorite Uncle who ill. Still this work could have easily been over ten feet if my flow notes would have been my normal 70 to 80 millimeters wide. In order to shrink this music, to a size that would fit my timeline, I dropped their size to 55 millimeters with 5 mil between. It is still big, but done. My art is all big. I believe that is an issue, for most collectors do not have large empty walls, or they would not want one art piece dominating, like all these artworks would certainly do. It is a concern for me.
Remember back to that uncomfortable situation I walked into at the U W of Madison Marathon campus, while walking with my music Professor down the hallways of the music department. He told me several times the different possibilities for hanging Blue Rondo that would not worked because the artwork did not fit. Then he walked me into the orchestra room and I thought here was a big space. That quickly turned to disappointment when he again began eliminating walls, until the only place left was ten feet up, above the windows. Well, after of months of waiting for him to call and tell me that the wall hangers for the painting are ready, I have changed my mind. I am taking Blue Rondo back, and I will have a new construction for them.
What I plan on doing is to paint another Dave Brubeck masterpiece, Take five. Take Five is one of my penny paintings I did when first starting out. This new version will consist of five panels and with a length of 60 inches, by no more than 24 inches in height. I will let the professor know, of my change of thought, when finished. Blue Rondo hopefully can be sold for $1600.00. The other option, for now, would be to hang Blue Rondo behind the front desk at the Jefferson Street Inn, downtown.
Scott Von Holzen