S_V_H Wildfire final image

Photo 1: Wildfire final image on the easels. This artwork does not photograph well against the light background and the cloudy North light.

This is my final thoughts on the Wildfire video I uploaded to my YouTube. I have this account, to document through the years the progress of turning sheet music into art.

30 second preview of the music box cover music Wildfire

Going Deeper:

I did this video on January 6th thinking this artwork music box was done. It was not. Later in the day, I went about my studio, setting the goal of putting 100 items back in their proper space, before starting a new project. That was when I discovered I had forgotten to attach and make a number of other small musical items needed to complete the artwork. Sheet music designates, for example, some of them as a tie or a slur, or accidentals. I call all my additions to the artwork that are not notes incidentals. They now appear in the updated photo.

I am really impressed by the sound of this music. I built my music using a Bose system on my Windows 10 PC, and for the first time the sound difference between my Bose and my music box system is close to each other. In comparison the music box sound is lacking a small amount of bass, clarity, and depth of the sound. More effort on the music would bring the differences closer, but I need to move on.

For my next project I am already building the cover music for the 2016 music artwork, Under Pressure upgrade to a music box.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Wildfire image 2

Here is the music box Wildfire, with all of its canvases attached. This artwork has a length of a respectable (my size standard) seventy inches by Thirty-three and a quarter. Next up I will build and attached the stereo system and after a little more finishing work, this project will be completed next week.

Here is where I piled the music. I needed my large tables to put the artwork’s canvases together.

Going Deeper:

This is the first time where I am used tape to remove the top layer of paint to reveal my graffiti lyrics from the music. Previously, I have always drawn words on the top layer of paint and then scratch them away with a pallet knife to obscure them while revealing the base paint.

My original scratch off technique used a small pallet knife with a rounded edge. This type of tool gave me to the control to create a lot of variety in the pattern and the direction when scratching off the top layer of paint. But because each project is unique in materials and paint choices, the quality of the results varied a lot over the years. I attempted several changes that did not solve this consistency issue. Then I stumbled on a partial solution. By accident I placed a piece of tape on a fresh top layer of paint on the artwork Flight from the City. I went from dread to wow when I saw the look and the pleasant effects the tape had made when removed. Depending how it was stuck on to the paint, the results varied nicely. The removing of the top layer of paint with tape also resulted in cleaner edges, no lifting of the paint, and no bottom layer damage that the metal edge of the pallet knife often did. The tape also allowed me to create straighter lines, which could appear to be representing the staff lines in sheet music. Of course they are not, but the straight lines look works with my musical notes.

Up next the finished artwork Wildfire with what I consider to be surprisingly good cover music.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Wildfire first image

I am ending 2022 with the first major MusicBox for 2023, Wildfire. Here is the YouTube version of this 1975 release sung by Michael Martin Murphy:

I carefully chose the melody I may will spend a month completing. The decision to paint Wildfire began with, despite not being a favorite, I have consistently liked the music. What held this song back over the years were the lyrics about a lost horse. Although I understand others’ connection to horses, I never achieve a fluid feeling when riding them. Basically, I was a team player, hanging on for dear life, hoping the leader would not giddy-up. What helped this choice of music was a different understanding of its lyrics after reading the YouTube comments. What closed the deal to paint is its exceptional opening piano, the accompanying sound of a flute, and my past confidence working with these instruments. Also, this music’s chorus would easily fit my six-foot length goal, my mood and my current skill level in creating cover music.

Image One shows the constructed music for this project.

Going Deeper:

After deciding on a song for a music box, my current routine is to compose a draft of my cover music. I then chose what the artwork part will be sampling. The actual putting together of the music box begins with the choice of a support for the artwork. With Wildfire, I have flipped around the process. I have built and painted my notes first, giving little concern for their attachment to the artwork. I went from fitting the length of all the musical pieces to a support, to constructing the music and only then figuring out what the background will be for the music. But there is a problem. I should have known better.

The background support is more complicated than creating the music. Cutting out the music from the wood is time consuming, but predictable, requiring supplies that are easily available locally. With my current music boxes using stretched canvases (to bring down my large extra inventory) not all sizes do I now have, or are available locally. That means, for example, if I need to order a canvas for the background or seek a solution to a construction issue, that could cause a delay in progress. Since I only work on one project at a time, timing my work schedule is important. That is a major reason, along with the challenge of design and preparing the background, that it is prudent that I design the background early in the project. That is what I am going to return to for next project and beyond.




First background image on Sunday.

Second background image on Monday.

Although not overly happy, this is what I am going with on Tuesday. This look does not break any new ground. The length of about 60 inches is also smaller than I would like. For the music choice I choose only the short chorus to sample, which meant a lower number of notes, lessoning the artworks length. Knowing that I should have cut larger size notes, for example, 3 inches or more. Those sizes would have required greater space and a longer background. But I did not. I started this project by staying with my trend, which is 2 3/4 sized notes. What disappoints me about these choices is how successful my music box music turned out. This is the first time the cover music (which is still seen as a final draft) feels more innovative than the artwork. Also, the look of a six-foot artwork would have made the music even stronger. But I did not. Because of copyright issues, here are 30 seconds of the cover of Wildfire.

Wildfire draft music middle 30 second cut.

[UPDATE]

After reading over this blog entry I grabbed two 11×14 inch canvases. I will make these the speaker boxes. The length of this project is now 70 inches. Just what I wanted.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Sound of Silence upgrade

What the viewer needs to know:

Sound of Silence 2022 ≈ L60″ x H23″ xD3″

Sound of Silence is an artwork from early 2016 that I have decided to turn in a music box.

YouTube video discussion of the upgrade of 2016 artwork Sound of Silence.

The chaos of studio work building the speaker boxes and stereo mounting platform.

Going Deeper:

In the video on this 2016 work I spoke about the upgrade. My reasoning for the change is based on my limited experience with upscale galleries like Gallery 1802 in La Crosse. The gallery owner Mark limited his request to three works when he realized how large they were. My concern after hanging was how much wall space those three works filled, compared to everything else in the gallery. That lead me to decide to offer galleries a few larger works, but more options for smaller works.

My smaller works are, in most eyes, would still be considered rather large. They are because that is the style trend of this art now finishing its 16th year. In the last half-dozen years I have created many small works, even some with music, but their reception by the public has been no different from my normal larger works. Recently that has been made more complicated by my improving cover music skills consuming days of studio time. That added cost of playable music means smaller works (under 4 feet) do not allow me a reasonable price differential from larger works.

I price larger works conservatively from 3000 to 6000. This is to be within the pricing averages of smaller galleries. Small artworks three feet and under would then priced near 2000 to give me a return. All the pricing is done with a minor consideration of the cost to the gallery. That expense will run from 30 to closer to 50 percent of the sale. My pricing tier reasoning comes from being an unknown unknown artist, working within the “it” reality of small market art. This art is less about the monies than creating something different and respect. Although covering the cost of art supplies would be nice.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Flight from the City final image

Flight from the City ≈ L65.5″ x H23.75 x D4.5″

A lot of work goes into creating these music boxes, including this little work I finished on the November 10th. I have a start date for the cover music of October 9th.

Summary of Flight from the City:

I am calling this a minor work, for its length is under six feet. That category became obvious when, after getting up off my computer chair, I had to look around for the artwork, finding it upright in its stands. The work itself is under 24 inches in height, so for a moment, I guess I truly overlooked it.

I like my cover arrangement. I removed all the reverb from the piano and increase it on all the special effects, which was the improvement I needed to make to call this music good-to-go. My music arrangements have little to do with creating the perfect cover. The end quality of my arrangement is limited to getting the most delightful sound for the hours spent in its development. When I reach, “that sounds good enough,” through my desktop Bose speakers, that is when I stop making big changes. I then install the music on the artwork’s stereo system. I listen and decide what needs to be updated. The music is then returned it to my desktop software. Once adjusted, it is reinstalled, tested, and if needed, again uninstalled to be finely tuned again, and again, until the Music Box sounds reaches as good as it can get, for now.

.

Here is my summary YouTube Video of Flight From the City:

A snippet of the music from the music box Flight from the City, arrangement and cover music by the artist.

___________________________

The Tribute poem to my Brother is now completed.

____________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 

For Winter’s calmness has returned.
And I am hearing only
my own breathing. 
And although I know 
that this air we can no longer share, 
as if to awaken
Winter’s silence, 
I inhale deeply in, 
then out that which gives me life, 
in a last hope, 
it may find you, 
and I may again 
hear a whisper of you_,
still here. 

But that time and faith
has passed by me,
leaving now only the understanding,
that I was meant to be
a part of your irreplaceable story,
a witness to your bravest 
moment of unselfish courage, 
that enveloped everyone 
in the room not of your choice, 
that became your 
last unforeseen loving gift__, 
the fearlessness of letting go__. 
That it was alright__, 
to let go. 
I see that now, 
what other choice have I, 
other than to love you_, 
and so I, 
let your hand, 
fall away, 
from mine. 

But that moment too has passed by me, 
and I am here, 
in this Winter woods, 
at this crossroad, 
without you 
questioning our way Home. 
For Home is where I want to be. 
And Home is where you are no longer. 
What choice have I 
other than to let you go,	 
knowing each breath I take 
you will still be with me 
long after Winter has passed. 

And although our paths will meet again 
I now understand they no longer cross. 
Is that not your message? 
Where you not here to tell me that 
In this Wintertime? 
Is that not the reason Zelda and I 
are on this path, 
In these Winter woods,  
at this crossroad, 
I now remembering, 
now reciting the words from a long-forgotten  poem, 
whose true meaning 
I thought I knew, 
but you have taught me differently 
in these winds of Winter, 
teaching as you have always done, 
offering us another way, 
Home, through the verse of a poem___.   

 “I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I_”
 No!_ my irreplaceable one_ we each 
“..took the one less traveled by__, 
And that has made all the difference.” 


Scott Von Holzen

Chopin Prelude update

This is another update of an artwork that was moved from an aluminum frame to a stretched canvas frame. This music box is 2021’s Chopin Prelude.

Chopin Prelude completed in November of 2021 and pictured here updated in late October of 2022.

Pictured here is the original finished Chopin Prelude main frame brought up from storage. Both the speakers and the long ending notes are removable in storage.

The backside of the original the aluminum frame that the canvas and speakers where hung from.

This image of the updated Chopin, showing the stretched canvases that replaced the aluminum frame. The artwork’s canvas is secured at the top with a galvanized bar and held against the stretched canvases with magnets. The two 36 inch by 24 inch canvases are attached with 31/2″ 1/4″ bolts, offering a much stronger, and sturdier support for the artwork. No other updates were performed on this music box.

______________________________

Roger’s poem: My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote this story poem that I read at his celebration of life, this last June 4th. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments that many who have lost one close may find some value. It is a story poem of choice, of moving ahead in life with instead of without. (This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post, there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-13)

______________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 

For Winter’s calmness has returned.
And I am hearing only
my own breathing. 
And although I know 
that this air we can no longer share, 
as if to awaken
Winter’s silence, 
I inhale deeply in, 
then out that which gives me life, 
in a last hope, 
it may find you, 
and I may again 
hear a whisper of you_,
still here. 

But that time and faith
has passed by me,
leaving now only the understanding,
that I was meant to be
a part of your irreplaceable story,
a witness to your bravest 
moment of unselfish courage, 
that enveloped everyone 
in the room not of your choice, 
that became your 
last unforeseen loving gift__, 
the fearlessness of letting go__. 
That it was alright__, 
to let go. 
I see that now, 
what other choice have I, 
other than to love you_, 
and so I, 
let your hand, 
fall away, 
from mine. 

But that moment too has passed by me, 
and I am here, 
in this Winter woods, 
at this crossroad, 
without you 
questioning our way Home. 
For Home is where I want to be. 
And Home is where you are no longer. 
What choice have I 
other than to let you go,	 
knowing each breath I take 
you will still be with me 
long after Winter has passed. 

Section 1thru 13 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

Flight from the City image 1

YouTube cover video of Flight from the City’ from Orphée

I never heard of Jóhann Jóhannsson until his music caught my ear when it played on a Spotify. Maybe it was the mood I was in, or maybe it was its feeling of calmness in its repeating, catchy, and captivating sound effects. Or maybe it was the beauty of the piano. Whatever the it was, I knew to portray this music all I needed were the first four measures. For me, that was a breakthrough in a problem that I realized at a gallery hanging.

Photo 1: Flight from the City the canvases: A center 20 by 40 inches, and two side panels for the speakers each 10 by 20 inches.
Photo 2: Flight from the City with the notes in the spacing test, 65 inches in length.
YouTube video of Jóhann Jóhannsson playing Flight from the City. To my surprise he passed away in 2018 at the age 48.

_______________________________

Going Deeper:

_______________________________

The slide show below includes snapshots of three artworks, Martha My Dear, Beethoven 5th, and Crazy at Gallery 1802 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, after the hanging. The dangling power chords and brick I saw as an issue. I understand people would put whatever in front of the artwork. To solve, and maybe retrofit pass works, this current artwork will have a lithium battery as its primary source of power. This removes the need for a nearby plug and the clutter of a power brick and cords. Another issue was the size of my artworks compared to everything else in the gallery.

My artworks are big. In the gallery only the Beethoven 5th work (with an actual couch in front) is under six feet. In its setting it looked good to everyone that day. Like my other two artworks, they all dominated their wall space and their area, certainly standing out from the rest of the gallery artists.

My fellow artist, Christy, 3 works hanging next to Martha my Dear. An obvious size difference example.

This slide show includes three artworks and three Gallery 1802 other images:

From left to right Aubrey, me, Christy, and Mark the Gallery owner

Gallery 1802 in La Crosse is the first showing of three of the seven artists in our art group, EmptyWallsArt. Because this group is aggressively searching and applying in the Midwest for more shows, this first group showing is a preview of what’s coming. Because of the size of my artworks, to travel they all needed to be broken down into smaller pieces, packaged and loaded carefully for traveling to the gallery. That was followed by the time consuming putting them back together, and their hanging that took over an hour with the help.

Creating big works is what this art has always been comfortable with. My question to myself is, are these large gallery works practical for display for group shows? Even though Gallery 1802 is a large gallery, my available wall space was for three works. I had brought four. The rest of the empty walls were for the two other artists.

My big works need big spaces to set them off. That got me thinking that if I could produce somewhat smaller music boxes, that might benefit my display options. Right now, my current available works range from 6 to 10 feet. If we have a group show of all seven of us, spare wall space may be a difficult to find for my larger works. That is when I thought of Theo’s wife marketing Vincent Van Gogh.

My group display plan came into focus when I recalled Johanna van Gogh-Bonger and how she marketed Vincent Van Gogh. To keep it short, she would exhibit a major work, not for sale, and then, alongside would be lesser works that were for sale. The galleries did not like that, but she knew the impact of a major artwork’s unavailability would create more interest in smaller works. I am going to follow that same concept by displaying one major large artwork alongside smaller, more affordable works that would require less wall space. That is where Flight of the City comes in as I move toward a new line of shorter music boxes. I know even these smaller works are still going to be kinda big. At less the side works won’t be huge, which helps empty wall chances and may benefit collectors who have their own wall limits.

_________________________

Roger’s poem: My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote this story poem that at his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It is a story poem offering the choice of moving ahead in life with them.

(This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post, there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-12)

_________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 

For Winter’s calmness has returned.
And I am hearing only
my own breathing. 
And although I know 
that this air we can no longer share, 
as if to awaken
Winter’s silence, 
I inhale deeply in, 
then out that which gives me life, 
in a last hope, 
it may find you, 
and I may again 
hear a whisper of you_,
still here. 

But that time and faith
has passed by me,
leaving now only the understanding,
that I was meant to be
a part of your irreplaceable story,
a witness to your bravest 
moment of unselfish courage, 
that enveloped everyone 
in the room not of your choice, 
that became your 
last unforeseen loving gift__, 
the fearlessness of letting go__. 
That it was alright__, 
to let go. 
I see that now, 
what other choice have I, 
other than to love you_, 
and so I, 
let your hand, 
fall away, 
from mine. 

Sections 1-12 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Martha My Dear upgrade

What the visitor needs to know:

Photo 1: This is the revised image upgrade of music box Martha My Dear from late 2021, now supported with a stretched canvas frame. The artwork’s original aluminum frame is in front.
Photo 2: This is the artwork still attached to the original aluminum frame.
Photo 3: These are the three 20 inch by 24 inch wide stretched canvases that were used for this upgrade. They were a perfect fit for the canvas.
Photo 4: This is the backside of the finished revision of the music box Martha my dear. Since the stereo system was removable from the aluminum frame, I did just that and easily connected it with longer screws to the wood frame of the canvas.

_________________________________________

Going Deeper:

_________________________________________

I never felt that this canvas hung well with the magnets to the aluminum frame. Although the aluminum frame was sturdy enough to support the two sides and the heavy speaker boxes, the overall artwork structure, I felt, was weak. That was the main reason to update this artwork’s support, with three bolted together stretched canvases. The artwork now feels stronger and sturdier, allowing the canvas to sit smoother and flatter against the canvas.

Martha my Dear the original finished artwork photo from December 2021
Martha My dear revised image L110″ x H31″ x D6″
Here is a sample of my cover for Martha my Dear.
____________________________________

Roger's poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in life with them.

(This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post, there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-11)

____________________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 

For Winter’s calmness has returned.
And I am hearing only
my own breathing. 
And although I know 
that this air we can no longer share, 
as if to awaken
Winter’s silence, 
I inhale deeply in, 
then out that which gives me life, 
in a last hope, 
it may find you, 
and I may again 
hear a whisper of you_,
still here. 
sections 1-11 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Music Box Woodstock revision

What the visitor needs to know:

Photo 1: This is the music box Woodstock, first completed in late 2020, now attached to its new stretched canvas frame, and upgraded speaker system.

Photo 2: This is how the canvas Woodstock was stored until I moved it up and into the studio.
Photo 3: This shows the canvas sandwiched between to heavy cardboard covers to reduce any movement which would have easily torn the wooden notes from the canvas.

fggf

Photo 4: I made use of the two rejected wedding project canvases each 24×36 inches while adding two side 12×36 inch speaker canvases. This then matched the Woodstock canvas length.

Photo 5: Also in storage was the speaker system for the Woodstock canvas.
Photo 6: The finished canvas support frame. Woodstock canvas laying behind on the cardboard it came with.

Photo 7: Backside of Woodstock framed canvas support with stereo system now attached and with the new 2-way speaker upgrade.
The updated Woodstock Music Box audio dated October 3rd.

_____________________________________

Going Deeper:

_____________________________________

Back in November 2020, my studio was a small office room in a wonderful home in a surprising, but conservative town of Owatonna, Minnesota. My wife, Barbara, and I were house sitting for my daughter and her family, who had moved back to Wisconsin. Because the home was for sale, and we did not know how long we were to remain in Minnesota, I wanted to keep a small studio space. Because all my canvases were in storage in Wisconsin, I came up with the idea to just use loose canvases, inspired by Jackson Pollock, see image 3.

image 3: Jackson Pollock from 1949 Life magazine article.

I then built an aluminum frame that was adjustable from 72 to 76 inches by 36 inches in height. Canvases would then be attached to this aluminum frame with the use of magnets. The problem with this idea was, as you can see in this image below, I was using my scratch off technique. What that meant was that the top layer of paint would be susceptible to tearing loose from the canvas. Over time, this ability would lesson, but not in the earlier weeks of applying this technique. This would not be a problem if I hadn’t glued the wooden music to the canvas. My thinking was that areas where the top layer was removed down to the stable base paint layer would be enough for the glue to hold the music tight to the canvas. That proved to be a less than reliable solution to mounting wood to canvas.

The project before this Woodstock update was the Bach Cello upgrade. That work, in 2020, was extremely vulnerable to poor adhesion to the canvas. The thin shafts of the wooden music made it difficult to attach them firmly to the scratch off areas. Even during the Bach upgrade, I had several problems with those thin shafts becoming loose. I tried to solve that issue with the project Woodstock. With Woodstock I went with a wider stem seen in image 2. That helped, but the twisting of the loose canvas still resulted in the tearing loose of the wooden pieces. This entire issue was finally resolved when I used magnets to attach the wooden music to the canvas to the project Play That Song.

Image 1: Woodstock 2020 with temporary metal frame to be used also with other size canvas size works.
Image 2: Earlier, Bach canvas left of the Woodstock image

____________________________________

Roger's poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about accepting and moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in Life with them.
(This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-10)

____________________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 



sections 1-10 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Post no. 700 – Bach Prelude 2020 Updated

What the visitor needs to know:

700:This is my 700 blog post. I started documenting this story in early 2010.

Photo 7: The finished update to the music box, Bach Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude, now attached to a framed canvas back support, along with new speaker boxes.

This is the story of a loose canvas 2020 music box project that as it was could not be displayed or played.

Photo 1: This is a still from the video of the original finished artwork attached to another artworks aluminum frame taken in my temporary office studio in Owatonna, Minnesota, the fall of 2020

ds

Photo 2: The artwork, in early 2021, was then sandwiched between heavy cardboard for transportation from Minnesota back to Wisconsin arriving March 1sth 2021, where it was stored until now.
Photo 3: loose wooden pieces that came unattached from the artwork in transit and storage.
Photo 4: Close up showing the aluminum strip that now holds the loose canvas to the framed canvas support.
Photo 5: The finished backside framed canvases bolted together and used as the support for the already attached loose Bach canvas, secured at the top and elsewhere with magnets. (I forgot to take a front image before connecting the canvas to the frame.)
Photo 6: The front image of the finished Bach canvas attached to its canvas frame.

View Post

Bach Prelude music box dated September 2020 updated on 9-22. (updated to final version on 9-23)

Going Deeper:

Photo 7: The original canvas, painted with no support and covered with music glued to its surface, was vulnerable to movement. Any twisting would meet resistance from the stiffer wooden pieces glued to its surface. The resulting strain would cause the separating of the top layer of paint from the canvas that also held the wooded pieces. This occurred for the top painted layer was applied using my experimental scratch off technique. This technique allows me to scrap off a layer of paint to reveal the base colors underneath. Anything attached to such a layer, which was the wooden music, could also as easily lose its support with even minor twisting. To save and allow this music box to be displayable, I had to come up with a way to support the loose canvas from movement when being handled.

Photo 1: When I was painting in this small temporary studio, I did not have the workshop, nor the space in this small studio to put together the aluminum frames and speaker setups I would need for every project. What I did at the time was to build a couple of slightly different sized and adjustable length aluminum frames with small attached music boxes that match with the width of my raw canvas. My three main canvas from that period are this Bach work, Woodstock, and After the Gold Rush. The image below shows an example of that frame from that time. The artwork is Woodstock.

Adjustable aluminum frame used for projects in 2020.

700: The purpose of this blog, from early 2010 to today, is to document this art journey. It was never attended to accomplish anything more than that. I appreciate those who have signed up to follow. To make it easier for the few of you that actually view this site, because I realize everyone is short of time, I am trying to say in as few words as possible what I am doing. I have then offered a deeper read, but that is for me. I am the one interested in what I was thinking and how I have developed as an artist over the years. With luck, and strength of determination, I will continue on to a new goal, 1000 blog entries, now that I past Vincent Van Gogh’s letter total to Theo. I know, and I mean this: The best is yet to come!

Photo 5: The top of the front of the artwork is secured to the framed canvas with 15 no. 8 screws drill through a metal bar what I found at the local Menards hardware store, which is called a S Cleat Duct Fitting. The S part of the bar allows me to slide the artwork canvas up inside and then secure with the screws. On the sides and the bottom I am using, right now, only 4 fairly powerful magnet combinations that are not too noticeable on the front, but secure the artwork to the supporting framed canvas.

___________________________________________

Roger's poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about accepting and moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in Life with them.
(This poem is in fifteen parts or sections and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-9)

____________________________________

Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
curious,
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass 
the diminishing forest light
and our late start.
Fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
brought-to-mind 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
diverged, 
in a wood. 
However, 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 



sections 1-9 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen