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.

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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

S_V_H the shape of my heart final image

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: This is the actual (not the one in the video) end image of the music box, Shape of my heart L85.25″x H34.5″x D5.5″
This is a sample of the cover music for this music box.
Photo 2: A more detailed image showing the TalentCell Rechargeable 12V 3000mAh Lithium ion Battery Pack
Photo 3: This is the backside of the artwork, with the speaker now facing the wall when hung.
Photo 3a: New two-way speaker with front cover.
Photo 4: This is a close of image of my now reversed scratch off technique.
Photo 5: The QR code location to play the artwork’s cover music
Photo 6: First attempted image of the added middle canvas

___________________________________________

Going deeper:

___________________________________________

My YouTube video discussing this finished music box artwork.

Photo 1 & 6: When I shot this video of this artwork, I thought I was finished. After posting it later that day I could no longer avoid my dislike for the empty center of the artwork. I had a growing feeling that I was looking at a throwback idea of the music being able to cast its shadows onto the wall. There was also an issue with the color relationship between the blue center canvas and the outer green speaker canvases. I concluded I needed to fill the empty center with another canvas.

I found a slightly used 24 x 30inch canvas that would fit the current artwork frame and prepared it for my scratch-off technique. For the base color I went with different shades of lighter browns. The top scratch-off layer was in green. I wanted to only leave a small amount of the green top layer but what was revealed on the base brown layer that not only was too light, but the browns chosen did not complement the wooden musical notes. I tried to rescue this canvas by painting it a darker green color and adding contrast with the dark Payne’s Gray, seen in photo 6. It was all too much.

Eventually, I remembered what I have always thought of my backgrounds, which is keep them simple and in the background where they belong. I ended up once again over painting the center canvas, but this time using the color Light Burnt Umber. This worked, for its tone was different, but close enough to the look of the music to pull together all the other canvases.

This project was exceptionable in pushing this art forward with four surprising changes.

Photo 4: The first change was to take my scratch-off technique and reverse its steps. Originally, I would paint on my top finished coat, add words, and then scratch that coat off to review the decorative base underneath. I reversed that process with this artwork. The major advantage is better control in that I now will scrap off the decorative layer instead of the main layer.

Photo 2: I will now offer, starting with this latest music box, the option to battery power my music boxes instead of using my standard plugin 12V 5A switching power supply. In the photo above the battery is connected to power the stereo system. Next to that connection is the 12V supply connection, that the user can switch out.

Photo 3 & 3a: The third change is the speakers. I have resolved many of my sound quality issues. With the switch to two-way 4 inch speakers that are open to the back. I now have a more open range of sound with cleaner highs, mid-tones and even a modest improvement of base, without the mud.

Photo 5: I have the concern not knowing the life expectancy of my stereo systems installed in these artworks. I now feel better with the addition of an attached QR code. When scanned, the user will be directly connected to my YouTube channel and the music of that music box. This option will last as long as the YouTube service is available. As a final backup all the masters of my music boxes are stored on Microsoft and Google’s servers.

QR code sample of the On-line version cover of the music box, The Shape of my heart.

____________________________________

What is Art?

This is a small updated definition that is built on other statements I have read, all attempting to define what is art. The key is “perception.” There is no way I can get around that word. Its simplistic honesty is shared in this familiar statement “Beauty (as is Art) is in the eye of the beholder”

All art is craft.
Not all craft is art.
The difference,
art was and always will be
an ever opening revolving door
of perception.
Craft is a product
-svh

____________________________________

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 1-8)

____________________________________

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. 

sections 1-8 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H The Shape of my Heart image 4

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: All the major pieces of this music box, including the sound system, are together, along with a quick arrangement of the sample music to check spacing.
Photo 2: I chose Target cotton balls for the speaker box fill because of their firm shape.
Photo 3: Audio Test of the newly constructed audio system for this music box.
Photo 4: This is a close-up of the finished audio system.

_________________________________________________________________________

Going deeper:

_________________________________________________________________________

Photo 1: This is an open artwork with a large amount of empty middle that will fill with the shadows from the music that are not as noticeable in the bright North light and studio lighting. Although a little unusual, none of the cover artwork music is attached with magnets to the canvas. All the music is firmly held to either of the 6 inch by 18 inch steel sheets or to the two 1inch galvanized steel rods I purchased from Menard’s, described as 60″ S Cleat Duct Fittings. The surprise was when moving from the tables to the easels, how heavy this music box felt with none of the music attached.

Photo 2: I started speaker building with no fill except for strips of corrugated cardboard that I thought was a great idea. Obviously, I should have asked for a second opinion. Finally, I came to a better understanding of speaker technology. The suggestion was to use polyfill. I looked around the house and found a bag of cotton balls on a bathroom shelf. Using the cotton balls for fill proved to be an outstanding improvement in the sound coming from my undersized speaker boxes.

The inside dimension of the speaker boxes is about 10 inches by 13 inches with a shallow depth of only 2 inches. Because they come with screen covers, these new 2-way speakers no longer need to be encased inside a box for protection. That changed allowed me to reduce the speaker box depth by 1.5 inches. This change improved the balance of the artwork, making for a better fit with the canvases that are only 1.5 inches wide.

My speaker boxes, no matter the artwork, have fallen well short of the recommended sizing for a 4 inch speaker. That has not been a factor. The sound, for multiple reasons, including speaker box design, has been steadily improving. This tells me the size of the boxes is not critical.

Photo 3: What is being heard are the built-in test sounds that bounce from the right to the left speaker to confirm that all the fifty plus connections, mostly by soldering, all work. The sound comes from a 16 MB little Adafruit mini sound board.

Photo 4: This image is an interesting accomplishment. Pictured is the first 20Watt stereo system setup that can be played either with a DC 12V power adapter, or a 12V lithium battery simply by switching the power connection. The extra female connector seen hanging inside the 8 inch canvas is not used.

Final Thoughts:

I am not really crazy with the look of this artwork. Maybe it is the large open spacing in the middle of the artwork. I am not sure. The music notes and stems are done, but not finished. I will add to them the necessary beams and flags, and other notation touches that will give the artwork an added decorative and interest look. Those additions offer the opportunity to punch up the look of this music box.

_________________________________________________

Roger’s poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this 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 and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part)

_________________________________________________

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.  

sections 1-7 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Shape of my heart image 3

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: The final setup of the canvases for the music box frame, along with a few notes from the cover music, the two 16×20 inch music boxes on the sides and the central tall canvases now painted a bluish Paynes Gray.
Photo 2: The original painted central tall canvases that were then quickly over painted.
Photo 3_1: My original scratch-off technique, used to remove parts of the top layer of paint, failed on the right side canvas. That top layer was removed and replaced.
Photo 3_2: The current replaced image of the right canvas alongside the left canvas that was over painted to match.
Photo 4: Backside of a canvas framed speaker box, still in construction, showing the new two-way speaker. This placement with the speaker facing out hopefully will improve the overall sound.

_________________________________________________________________________

Going deeper:

Photo 1: The top left and bottom right 16×20 speaker box canvases, which I have written the graffiti lyrics, share the same green color used in the musical notes. Those two canvases and the two smaller 8×8 canvases will be mounted on top of the two central tall canvases. This will then also elevate the placement of the music, creating more depth and stronger shadows. The sheet metal plates laying on both the speaker boxes will be attached and bend in half circles like in previous works.

Photo 2: I chose the brown color, Van Dyke, for the music, thinking it went well with Sting’s look (broad term). I then compared several colors that I thought would go with that brown. The central two tall canvases are Maroon. My guess judging from the image was that I was trying to replicate a Mark Rothko background style like I used a dozen years ago. The results looked bad. I then made the Maroon blocks larger and added blocks of Van Dyke, thinking that the music color would pull everything together. It did not. It all looked worse.

The Van Dyke brown on the smaller wooden music pieces looked good. Blending it on the larger surfaces of the canvases made the glossy look of the color stand out from the matte Maroon. This shine would make the background a distraction to the music. I do not want that. The backgrounds I create are there to help the music stand out, add a little interest, and to support the music, enabling the artwork to hang on a wall without making a statement. I painted over the two central canvases, returning them to my style of broadly applying solid colors that lack depth and detail, but with a touch of added interest. Those canvases are now painted a solid gray blue color seen in the Photo Image one above.

Photo 3-1: I have been experimenting and using a scratch of paint technique for years. Although the results have always varied, only now did I have my first failure. The top layer on the right 16×20 canvas easily pealed away and slid about when I attempted to scratch it off.

Photo 3-2: In the image you see the same arrangements of the canvases in Photo 3-1. The right image I removed the top layer down to the base and repainted it. On the left image in 3-1 is the same in 3-2. This canvas was difficult to scrap off. For that reason, unlike the right canvas, I did not remove it. What I did was to treat that layer as the bottom layer.

What this means instead of applying the top layer and then hoping to scratch of the right amount of that layer exposing the background, I have now reversed that process by putting the final layer of paint as the base coat, an scratching off what once was the bottom layer, now move to the top. As you can see in the new images of these canvases, so far I have been reluctant to scratch of the additional top layer. That is why the look between the two images appears different.

There may also be one other benefit of reversing this scratch-off technique, in that the first and underlying layer of top paint to be scratched off will be titanium white. Once that has dried, then I can apply the colors I want the top scratch off to look like. By always using white as the first layer of the scratch off top I am hoping this may improve the consistency of the technique.

Photo 4: I have had an issue with my past 4″ speakers in that the higher sound levels were lacking. I have learned to fix some of that using my DAW software, Studio One. It was when looking for a better hardware solution I stumbled across a set of 4″ speakers that are two-way. The tweeter in the middle of the speaker may improve the music’s high end quality. They also came with a surprising benefit of covers. I can finally face the speakers towards the wall, eliminating the canvas obstruction.

With few exceptions over the years, my speakers have been mounted inside their boxes, on the backside of a framed canvas. I compensated for their needed depth by placing the speaker canvases on top of the background canvases that are hung on the wall (see Photo Image 1). These new two-way speakers that protrude outside their boxes, with protective covers, allow for the sliming down of the speaker boxes. The hope is they will also improve the overall sound quality.

Final thoughts?

I realized the mistakes in the recent wedding artwork that I am not a fine art painter in touch with detailed nuances. Why, with this project, did I repeat this struggle with my paint application, I do not know, but I have concluded that although the artist Mark Rothko was a major influence at the beginning of this art, he no longer is. I have move closer in style to the other Color Field painters like Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland.

___________________________________________________

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. 

sections 1-6 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Shape of my Heart first image

This is the current image of the next high end music box with the cover music, The Shape of My Heart.

On the floor of my studio, again using my large supply of stretched canvas, I have put together a frame that will hold all the artwork cover music. This study of the artwork is thirty inches wide, making it an easy fit in the car. The length, although, is over seven feet. That means I will have to remove at less one of the square boxes that will hold the speakers in order to travel the work.

For this project, the artwork is going to sample this part of the cover music:

Go Deeper:

S_V_H Shape of my Heart

Shape of my heart

My next project is Shape of my Heart, written and sung by Sting. The above image shows an artwork plan that will accommodate over forty pieces of this music. My note size is 2 3/4″ (64mm). In this image I have lined up 22 of these notes along the bottom area to make sure there was enough length for them. As mentioned before, to fit in our Toyota for traveling, I need to keep the individual length of these artworks under 72 inches, and even less if the artwork is wider than 24 inches. Although the two side 16×16 speaker boxes will be elevated above the supporting frame, right now the look of this artwork is reminiscent of the previous project. To give the artwork more depth, I am looking at adding curved 6 inch wide steel sheets, like in Crazy, this time attached to the speaker boxes.

Here is a YouTube video of a live performance of Shape of My Heart by String.

Shape of my heart – Sting

The plan for each new music box project starts with the creation of the cover music. That audio is below and although it is not finished, this cover music has all the structure that I want.

That means the music starts with an introduction that is followed by a combination of melodies that captures the sound and the emotions of the original music while staying close to a minute. The escape ends the music, hopefully leaving a listener happy and surprised, while keeping the music box music under one minute thirty seconds. Already from this cover music, I have selected the measures that the artwork will be sampling.

These are the lyrics from the cover that I will sample:

“I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart”
– Sting

Draft Music box audio for shape of my heart project.

This rough cut of the cover music is all I need now to plan the artwork.

________________________________________________________________________________

This is the first four sections of the fifteen section poem I wrote on the passing of my brother. A new section will be added in each new blog entry. 

  
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. 
....to be continued.


Sadly, for most of our lives, Roger and I lived many hours' distance away from each other. Reading a small part of his story and editing it for this blog site, I recalled that when together I cherished those moments, although I now realize that I never fully appreciated all of his wonderful achievements. I have those regrets, and like all brothers that are separated, I wished I would have found more ways to have been a part of his life.

Here is background information detailing my brother's education and employment.

Roger Von Holzen graduated in 1971 from High School where he was
was a high achiever, including Track and Field, where his running record stands to this today.
Roger attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with an education degree. He then returned to his graduating High school to teach history and computer science for 10 years. 
Roger then received a horticulture degree from Gateway Tech in Kenosha, WI.
Furthering his education, Roger obtained his Master’s degree in Computer Studies from
North Western Missouri State University in 1987.
He then taught Computer Science at Northwest Missouri State.
In 1993, Roger received his Doctorate in Instructional Technology
from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, in 1993.
Roger enhanced his career by being extensively involved in various technology initiatives undertaken by the University. These efforts of his lead to his appointment to the Director of the campus Faculty Technology Center, in the spring of 1999.
He retired on June 30, 2020 from Northwest as an associate professor of
computer science. 

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H One Thousand years Final

This is the final image of the commission work, One thousand Years. Although this is not a favorite choice of music for me to paint, it is understandable that the lyrics and the music together have created a very popular wedding song.

I started to create the cover music for the artwork on July 18th and finished today which is August 11th. That adds up to three weeks and three days. My days in the studio have always been morning to evening.

For this summer I have a basic routine of in the Studio by 10am, a half hour lunch, a studio break at 5-5:30pm then maybe back in the studio until dinner. After which I return for another hour or so with my evening deadline in the studio being 9pm. I only do one artwork at a time, but not all my time is spent on current project. Some of my studio time is needed to write these blog entries, practice my instruments (should do more), educating myself on the different software, updating my prints sites (now in jeopardy) updating and maintaining my .com website (don’t do it enough), and a new alternative artist’s website, EmptyWallsArt.

One Thousand Years final thoughts.

Next up I plan to return to the larger format. These small works are cute. But, I like big. I like music that fills the room, I like art that makes an in-your-face statement.

Scott Von Holzen

__________________________________________________________________________

This is the added third section of fifteen sections that is my poem dedicated to my brother who left all those who loved him one year ago this last August 9th.

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.

S_V_H Crazy Final Image

This is the final image of Crazy with its stands attached. When close to finishing an artwork, I will build the stands to allow better access to complete the work. The alternative would be to place the artwork on easels, making it difficult to access the stereo system, or the music notes attached to the canvas with magnets on the backside.

Although I signed and dated this artwork on July 22nd, I soon realized that I was not done. I forgot all those interesting musical items that add interest to the work. I am referring to all those small white objects attached to the music that in musical terms are the dots, beams, sixteen notes, and staff lines.

Crazy W66.5″xH45″xD8″

Here are my, this-work-is-finally done, comments on the Music Box Crazy posted on YouTube:

I have created a new website, emptywallsart.com, to better market this art and to support and promote the works of 6 other artists that are a part of the group. Organizing artists was only made possible with the help of two of the other six members, Jeff Nelson and Christy Skuban. This website is to be used to sell group exhibitions for Galleries and Art organizations.
Our group has the foundational connection in that we are all three-dimensional artists. Four of us are wall mounted and two are sculptural artists. We then offer the flexibility to a gallery, for example, the option to choose which artists would fit their best interests. Because of the diversity and the talent in this group, there will be kinks to be worked out. A positive side of this collaboration will hopefully come with the larger resource in ideas and venue opportunities to promote and sell our three-dimensional art to ever larger markets. My thinking is that the group will become greater than the sum of its members.

This is the Home page for EmptyWallsArt

It is obvious, even to me, after reading a few of these blog posts, how frustrating it has been to find ways to, as I would say, “break on through to the other side.” I have tried Art fairs, in and outdoors, local and distant exhibitions, and websites to market this art, and they all eventually reach the same level and result: no movement in this art. A show begins and ends, an exhibition begins and ends, an art sale occasionally begins and ends. As a wise man at an outdoor art fair told me, all these art venues reset every year.

These types of art exhibitions are fine to add names and dates to an art resume, but that is all their worth. Understandably, this art is not your typical craft work (make up your own definition of craft versus art, mine way below) that fills these shows and is appealing to the public for their prettiness, highly polished look, or eye-catching use of color. Therefore, I have made this turning point: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein.

Something I wish to document and share:

The one-year anniversary of the passing of my brother, Roger, is drawing near. In my tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months for me to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement from my family. I believe this story poem contains many universal moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you that others may relate to.

I started writing this story poem in early February and finished the last changes in early June. It took so long to produce that I felt for me and Roger’s memory I would release it slowly. The poem is in fifteen different sections. The plan, starting with this post, is to make public the first section of this poem. Then, in the next fourteen blog posts, I will add another section until the poem is complete. Here is the first of fifteen sections of my poem dedicated to my brother Roger Von Holzen.

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.

Scott Von Holzen

Art vs Craft

All art is craft
Not all craft is art.
the difference is
art was and always will be
an ever open revolving door
of perception.
Craft is a product