S_V_H Twinkle Little Star Final Image

Twinkle Little Star L44.25″x H65.50″ x D4.25″

I finished Twinkle Little Star, on October 11th.  I delayed this blog entry because my attention quickly pivoted to my next major project, Unbroken, based on the music Will the Circle Be Unbroken.  When I first put together and then started this project, my enthusiasm was high.  That feeling came from my arrangement and from Twinkle Little Star being highly recognizable music.  I felt this artwork would increase awareness and appeal for this art.   Later, after over a month of work, I lost that excitement, except for my arrangement of the music.  You can see those feelings in my final video of Twinkle little star.

What I forgot to mention in the video is my concerned with the dominates of these sculptural artworks by the musical flow while smaller and smaller backgrounds are adding less interest and support to the music.  My direction in 2019 has been to minimize the backgrounds while emphasising the flow of that music.    In Twinkle I have pushed this idea even further with such small backgrounds that add little interest.  Part of why this happened was because of Twinkle’s theme,  Mozart’s piano version number 5, and not today’s version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  I may need to change this direction made obvious by this artwork.  This all became part of my concerned when I found it hard to follow the musical flow while listening to my arrangement of Twinkle Little Star.  Then the question became, why should anyone follow the flow today, if It never mattered before?

From this art’s beginnings I have portrayed a small flow of a particular piece of music, that only a trained musician had any chance of understanding.  I thought nothing of it.  I was creating artworks that contain much more canvas so I could add lots of visual interest and colors to enhance the flow of the music.  That began to change when I took the flow of the music of the canvas and made it three dimensional.  That resulted in a reduction in the background’s value.  I then discovered sound when I added it to a small artwork of the first four notes from Beethoven’s fifth symphony.  Pressing the play button brought smiles.  That caused me to add sound to my artworks thinking this helped the viewer better connect to the artwork.  I then made improvements to the sound and the quality of my arrangements to where I have found it hard to follow the flow and the sound of the music.  It looks like I am back where I started in 2006.

That tells me to succeed, I need to go “Back to the Future.”  I look at it in this way using my mentor Vincent Van Gogh and two of his images, courtesy of Wikipedia  The first is Van Gogh’s masterpiece The Potato Eaters done early in his career:



On my art path, The Potato Eaters may be where I am today with this art.

This other image is of Van Gogh’s popular Sun Flower artworks.   The big change is his lightening of his palette.   That is where this art needs to end up.  I thought my “big change” was adding sound.  That may be only part of this story.  There remains some extra volumes to write if I want to reach the “lightening” of this art.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Twinkle Little Star image 3

Twinkle Little Star.  Again, I have laid out the pattern of this four-part artwork on a slanted canvas. I have finished all the major parts of this artwork.  Up next I will connect the sections.

I have been working on this artwork over a month which lately seems to be my current pace.  That includes most of those days in the studio, morning, afternoon and evenings.  Like other images of this artwork, it is disappointing to not see the effects of the reflections of the added mica flakes.  The reflections of the metal flakes add to the “twinkle”  of this musical theme and add to the night sky look in the darker areas.   I also used mica flake on other parts of this artwork.   I did so to add interest and to avoid the use of unnecessary added, in-your-face colors, that are nothing more than fillers.

I can see looking at all four sections of this artwork spread around my tables that it may be time to move in a new direction.  I do not want to abandon how I got to this point, but I would like to see what other ways I can design the look and incorporate the improvements I have made in sound.

Here is the latest version, using the new software, of my arrangement of this artwork’s music.


Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Mozart K265 Var 5, Twinkle Little Star Image 2

Here are the four sections of this artwork, laid down on a 4 foot by six-foot canvas.  Not seen in the photograph,  the blue stems have an iridescent look when the light and viewing angle changes.  Also, the music is white with a pearl iridescent glossy glaze that adds depth but again, does not show in the image.

I recognize, before even starting this project,  the importance of the music to define the quality of the artwork.  I created the score, with Mozart’s guidance, using the free notation software Musescore 3.  As a first, in the previous blog entry, I uploaded the audio, with the thought it was too good not to show off.  Since then I purchased another notation software, Notion 6.  The advantage of this paid software is the sound library is huge.  I will use both for I have more to learn.  The one goal for the audio is to create a natural and realistic sound equal to the quality of the artwork.

For this artwork’s color choices I will continue to control the use of multiple bright colors. This artwork is a children’s song with a classical musical twist, so the logical range of colors would be bright multiple pure colors to black and deep browns.  For Twinkle, I am using a few pure colors to add and not distract from a general overall soft look of the artwork.  That sounds like a line of art speak found in countless artist’s bios. The next sentences are practical and not art speak.

Next up is to add features to these four panels to fill up space and add interest.  From its earliest days that has always been a necessary step.  So it continues.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Final Image

Length 38 1/4 inches by 18 inches 3 inches depth

Summer can be busy and that may be the reason I forgot to post this final image of Mozart’s Serenade.  Besides not posting this image earlier I also forgot to create a video demonstrating the music that is part of this artwork.  That happened because I wanted to add this artwork to a show of my recent works at our local gallery, Artisan Forge.

This is the second of my works, Rondo Alla Turca was the first, to have the music built into the artwork. If you look at the lower left of the above final image there is a red button to play the music that represents this artwork. Top to bottom on this forward panel on display through this month of August, are the artworks, Runnin’ Down a Dream, The Mozart Serenade, In The Mood and my favorite polka, Polka, POLKA! artwork. In the back display, the long green and tan artwork on display for the first time, Mr Brightside, I painted in 2016.

I have mentioned that the use of a lot of solid bright colors on this work and the earlier Rondo Alla Turca are very similar.  I hope to change that trend starting with my current project Rhapsody in Blue.  I plan on pulling back on the miscellaneous, splish, splash, use of solid colors.  One  reason for making this change, is that too many solid colors placed randomly on an artwork, lessens the value, and impact, of the adjacent colors. I will explain my decision to change direction, and why so quickly,  in my next blog entry. For now,  if you wish to buy this amazing bright-colored Mozart artwork the price is a reasonable $800.00 at the local Artisan Forge gallery.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13 Image 2

This artwork carries on the freer use of color and design that originated with the last two works, the Art Deco inspired Vogue and the brightly colored Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca.  What makes this Serenade different is that I moved the music to the center of the stems. That technique first appeared in the artwork Liechtensteiner Polka. In the polka project having the music centered in the middle of the stems made sense because of the accordion bellows referenced in the shape of the stems.  In this artwork I centered the music for the reason that I wanted to break another sheet music rule of aligning the music along the edges of the stems.  This change had no affect on the flow of the artwork, the foundation of this art style.

This Serenade then follows the design of Rondo Alla Turca  by using a small spacer to connect the music to the stems so that the music is at different levels based on the changing heights of the stems.  This is also a change from earlier artworks where I kept the stems separated from the music or their connection diminished as much as possible. For this Serenade allowing the music to flow not only up and down across the horizontal, but also up and down the depth of the artwork, makes this representation of Mozart’s Serenade closer to the visual representation of the sounds of the music.

By moving the music away from the edges of the stems I did create an interesting possibility.  This artwork could be viewed as having the look of different flavored lollipops. To take this further it is easy to see the music in the Liechtensteiner Polka artwork as ice cream cones. Yes, I have come a long ways with even further to go.  Until the next big idea comes along, it looks for now, that the treat look is in vogue.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart Serenade No. 13

This first image of this popular Mozart musical piece does not show how complicated this project has become.  The original idea for this serenade was to create another mini type artwork. That would mean a simpler time-saving project to produce an easy to reproduce artwork. That did not happen. This work started on June 25th, and from that day on I this project has challenged my decision-making process. Every step forward has led to a step back to fix issues. The worse example of my obvious poor planning came over two weeks  into this project.

The original design of the artwork was to have a 4 by 6 canvas on the left side and the larger 6 by 8 inch canvas on the right side. After several attempts to glue down the first few notes, I realized that I had forgotten about the music box that was too big to hide behind the 4 by 6 canvas.  Although,  I had created and painted all the needed pieces of the music, I also forgot to make a note to hold the push button.  My concerned about my timeline with this artwork,  probably caused me to push ahead to quickly.  Reality hit when I realized I had no option to put the music box near the music note I needed to change for a push button.  That lead to the my only time-saving option, which was to remove my music progress, so I could then flip the artwork around to use the 6 by 8 canvas to hide the music box.

This artwork represents the first four bars of this famous Mozart music:

With this mini artwork I can see that I am under the influence of the earlier artwork, also a Mozart piece, Rondo Alla Turca.  In past mini artworks my notes would be all one color and the stems all a gray, but with this project it is all about color diversity.  With all my other mini artworks I  restricted my pallet to save time knowing that even small original artworks can take a week and more to complete.  With this Mozart,  my quickly involving style, and its influence, made it difficult to save decision-making and construction time. I should have realized that would happen once I lengthen this artwork.  To accommodate more of the music I pushed this artwork beyond the two foot limit that works best for a mini artwork.  That resulted in a  serenade that has evolved into a major mini artwork that is no longer a cost and time-saving mini artwork.  Time, that may be an underlying issue.  This art style is evolving quickly, which requires me to solve new issues with each artwork.  Maybe, this would not be an issue if I was in my twenties, but it certainly is as I near seventy.  So much music to paint. So much Time to live.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Mozart Alla Turca (Turkish March) Final

L79″ x H22″ x D5″

This is a work-in-progress image that I sent along with pictures of Vogue and Like a Rock, for consideration, by the Pablo Inaugural Art Exhibition. Today is the deadline.  To finish this project I still need to add a Trill, and repaint, once again, a couple of the beams located along the bottom. After that there remains some touch up and cleaning to do. Finally, I will have to find a place for the signature.

Here is that short video that was part of the submission that features the round red push button used to play the music.

The video makes this artwork look smaller than its actual size which is almost seven feet in length, and requires two people to move it safely around.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ image 3

Where did I get the idea that 230 year old Classical Music needed to be painted black and brown. Maybe it is from looking at 200-year-old Mozart manuscripts. This music by Mozart is also known as the Turkish March, the English translation of Alla Turca.   Actually,  I decided to use brighter colors once I listened to the astonishing speed of this music.  I should have known that Rondo refers to music that is to be played fast, maybe really fast.  For example here is a video from the Summer Night Concert 2014 with The Vienna Philharmonic with Lang Lang on the piano:

I made the choice of colors quickly because of the tight production schedule with this artwork.   I picked blue to start this music.  I than move up in intensity to the color red, and then back down to end with a light green.  This artwork has a random look and placement to the colors, and again, that is because I needed to move along. Where needed I will adjust on the fly.  So far I am also not feeling or seeing a personality in this artwork, which is disconcerting, considering how major this painting is.  What that means is that I have no straight path to complete this work.  That also means everything is up in the art and that I will be making some bad choices that I either live with or change. Change is always my first priority.  So it goes, and so will I.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Mozart’s Rondo Alla Truca image 2

This is an artwork in progress, and not sections of a ladder with marshmallows attached to one side.  This  Mozart piece needs to be finished by June 18th, to be entered in the Inaugural art exhibition at the Pablo Center of the Confluence.  If selected this artwork will hang in exhibition on a wall, as a combination three-dimensional painting, sculpture, an assemblage artwork.  Until then,  this artwork is currently laying on a table in pieces waiting to be glued to a six-foot aluminum frame.

This image’s construction demonstrates the amount of craftsmanship that is now needed to portray Music. This art started as paintings of music.  Even today when asked what I paint, my response still is, “I paint Music.” Because of the physical work now needed to assemble these artworks I have lately wondered if I am becoming too crafty. This came to mind recently when a customer picked up a commissioned work.

On seeing their artwork for the first time, he quickly mention how the aluminum frame could be given a high gloss finish using wet high grit sandpaper.  I felt guilty when he said that. Than I thought his suggestion deserved some merit because the aluminum, even when carefully picked,  always has small scratches and abrasions that need to be removed.  I thanked him for his suggestion.  Latter, that discussion reminded me that most local art is exactly that,  ‘high gloss.’  The public sees a high quality finish as quality Art, and Artists comply.  I am sure many see such a finish as a way to improve sales and to charge more for their artwork.  What I see is a lot of local artwork that lacks originality and creativity, but sure is pretty.

Are you becoming to crafty?   For now the answer is probably, yes, but I see this art constantly evolving. My guess is that in time I will loosen up on accuracy in portraying music. This will allow me to move away from craftsmanship to more true assemblage. I think the true meaning of this art form will then begin to come into focus.  I also believe the fundamentals of the flow will continue, but everything thing else that depicts that movement is up for grabs. That openness to change is the product of me needing to innovate to avoid the fear of boredom.  I am also kinda-of-a geek: I am always looking for the next best thing.

Scott Von Holzen




S_V_H Rondo Alla Turca First Image

This is a special project for an important event.  To start with this Artwork, of course, will build on the past, but already there are some big differences from recent works. This work is already six feet in length and the two end 6 inch by 8 inch canvases are all that I will be using.  Also, the distance between the canvases is incredible long and empty which will make for a lot of issues and needed problem solving.   Another first time feature is my use of printed decoration that I than attach to the canvases.

I realized while doing Vogue that many of the Art Deco designs I would like to reproduce on canvas would be extremely time-consuming and  difficult for me to hand paint.  Vogue took weeks to finish as it is. I chose than to go with simpler Art Deco designs,  for the reason that this art is about the music first and decoration is secondary.  Recently I found some nice Art Deco design files on-line,  and again they too have their limitations, but for now they will add a higher quality decorative look to this Mozart project.  The designs I print on Epson exhibition canvas using their archival inks.  I than coat the canvas with museum rated canvas varnish.  This makes me more comfortable with this option. That, and the expanding of my techniques, by continuing the art of modern collage created by Barque and Picasso, tells me I am good to go.

This first image of Rondo Alla Turca has the dimensions six feet in length by eight inches high.  I am creating this work specifically to be entered in the first juried exhibition at the new Confluence Art Center in Eau Claire.

Here is the interesting parts of the application:

My planed was to enter two artworks,  Vogue and this Mozart project until I read the application which stated a 60 inch artwork limit.  Vogue is 64 inches in length.  Than to my delight I read further about 3D artworks being accepted under 7 feet.  This Art is easily defined as sculptural, and since it is definitely three-dimensional, I think Vogue qualifies, and this Mozart project, will for sure, be just under 7 feet in length.

The Juror for this show is Dana Major who does “sculptural light installations and performative interactions……..,” so I find that interesting, and a small positive.  What I have figured out so far about guest art jurors is that this may limit the show promoters influence on who gets invited.  That also means that from year to year the quality and the making of the show can vary.  For this show  it is better that the Juror is from faraway Chicago, instead of locally.  The idea of a Big City Artist as the judge, may work to my benefit,  if she takes our local art seriously, and for me if she gets what this art is about.

The deadline for entry is June 18th and I will know by the end of July, if this local boy can nudge his way into limelight of this important first show at the Pablo Center at the Confluence.

Scott Von Holzen