S_V_H After the Gold Rush arrangement

After the Gold Rush 72 inches in length by 36 inches

Here is the final image of After the Gold Rush, once again showing the artwork attached to its working 4 x 6 foot stretched canvas that is leaned up against the inside of the garage door so that I could get a reflection-free photograph.   Like the other artworks I created in this temporary studio, I have sandwiched this one between cardboard for protection. They are all now stacked in a fifteen-foot U-Haul in the driveway.  Tomorrow, I will take them to a temporary storage unit for the next two to three months until my new permanent Studio is ready. Until then here is my current arrangement of After The Gold Rush.

The instruments used in this arrangement include the piano, organ, bass flute, viola, cello.   For special effects I have included soprano and tenor voices, along with a tambourine and a little hand clapping. Even though I know my arrangement skills are young in their development the basic musical structure, I believe, is decent and progress is being made.  Finally, when I have a frame to attach this work to and have built it stereo system, I will post a video of the complete project, After the Gold Rush.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H After the Gold Rush image 1

This is the first image of After the Gold Rush. Nothing special here. All I am doing is giving the base layer some interesting color instead of leaving a blank sheet of white. Lately, all of my first images have been this type of entry level art. This image will soon disappear under the top coat until I take a pallet knife and scrap away at top layer.

Because I need an arrangement before I plan out a new artwork, here it is:


Later I will upgrade this music in my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. After finishing the artwork, I will build the stereo system and install the music with the completed artwork.

Here is a YouTube video of After the Gold Rush sung by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt, on the David Letterman show. When I first heard this cover on Spotify, I know that someday I would paint this music. It then became a matter of catching me in the mood. That is why I don’t do commission work.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H After the Gold Rush and print offers

The melody, After the Gold Rush, is a classic rock project from the music of Neil Young.   The lyrics tell a disjointed (poetic?) story I find hard to follow. Although the meaning of the words are cloudy , the strength of the melody pulls the song together. This style of this music is country/folk rock ‘n’ roll, with a touch of Gospel.   The results are lyrics that are haunting, although I don’t know why.  For example “Thinkin’ about what a friend had said, I was hopin’ it was a lie” and “All in a dream, all in a dream, and I was lyin’ in a burned out basement ,” which makes no sense to me, but sounds intriguing.  Finally, maybe it is an environment warning, as suggested by others, “Look at mother nature on the run in the nineteen seventies/twentieth century/twenty-first”…..”Flyin’ mother nature’s silver seed, To a new home in the sun.”

Here is a live version from 1993:

Each new project’s preparations start with picking out a piece of music to paint. I do not have a set system that picks the music. Many times it is hearing a song that reflects my current mood or enthusiasm. For example, if I think it’s time to create a Mozart project, I would listen to Mozart until I found a phrase, or a section of music that I thought was catchy and that had a good start and ending point. I would then search for the sheet music to see the flow of the music. If I found the movement of the music interesting, I would then put together different canvas options, before making my final decision. That standard procedure worked for many years until I started creating my own arrangements of the music. My focus now becomes the entire piece of music.

Today, my project path starts with first writing my sheet music arrangement of the music and then figuring out how to apply it to canvas. The final decision is hard, for to proceed can easily consume a month and more of my time. Only then does the physical part of building the artwork begin. For this next project, After the Gold Rush, I have already written a basic one-minute piano arrangement. The next days I will spend making improvements to my melody and the flow of the artwork, before starting production.

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I have upgraded both of my print sales sites to offer over 170 Artworks from 2006 through 2020. For the last couple of years, I have focused all my time on moving from one project to the next. This resulted in little updating of my print sales sites. After finishing this year’s last Christmas artwork, I used the next couple of weeks updating not only my print sales sites but also my main website.

I am offering on my Etsy Print Store a $10.00 off coupon through February along with free shipping (USA only) for any of my prints. At checkout, apply the coupon code, blog10. This coupon may work outside the United States but without the free shipping option.  For my Amazon site, I will offer individual item discounts, which is more complicated to set up than Etsy. Discounts on Amazon are coming in time.

My Etsy and Amazon prints sales sites have sold prints consistently and have provided a small amount of net income over the years.  What they have not done, along with my main website, is to create any buyer’s interest. In comparison, the many public exhibitions I have applied and showed in over the years, have also created no buyer’s interest and have fallen far short on covering expenses. With all that in mind, I have now decided to no longer register for any group exhibitions (all those that require admission fees). To keep this art on public view, I am increasing my efforts to improve my sales with my two prints sales sites that actually provide a small income. That then brings me to my last Etsy store: ArtInMusicPaintings, that I created to sell the original artworks.

This second Etsy store I created in 2013 to sell the artworks. Right now I have put that store on vacation for all of my artworks are currently in storage that allows no access.   Since its founding, this site has sold 14 artworks with the last being December 2017.   My ability to market these original works through Etsy has changed over the years. 

The price of shipping a large box has increased over the years as UPS changed their pricing based not on weight so much as size.   Etsy pushes hard for all of its stores to offer free shipping, but that does not work with most of my artworks that are over four feet in length. These artworks are large and lately they have grown even more fragile to handle, which makes shipping safely nearly impossible without a considerable amount of expense. Besides some packaged artworks would be over the UPS dimensions limits and then would have to go by freight.   The current Etsy push and store marketing support is focused on free shipping. Trying to sell higher valued artworks on Etsy with free shipping would require me to increase artwork prices considerably for who knows where in the USA an artwork would have to be delivered to. I do not have to offer free shipping, but I cannot help but think if I would keep this store on Etsy I would still try to keep shipping under one hundred dollars, raise artwork prices another one hundred, and eat the difference in shipping cost where needed. I have reached the point that I do not want to deal with shipping artworks. That leaves me almost without options to sell.

Here is the Etsy link

Scott Von Holzen