Mahaloness

Contemporary artist specializing in full spectrum painting, mural, animation and digital hybrid art.


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where you been?

Everywhere. 

On that note it’s been a while since I sat down to write, I really haven’t had much to say, or write. So to break that spell I have decided to share some moments from the last few months, bits and pieces of adventure, art and revelations. It’s been a year of change for me, as life does what life does, serving up surprises and some things not so surprising. The course I have taken is a necessary one, albeit difficult. I did attempt to run away from a few things, including winter, this never really works out, I’ll explain that in a post to come. While I was travelling I came face to face with some demons which I had been wrestling with. I think it’s safe to say that I am not the only one and many of us experience these moments. The general response is to fear them and if caught off guard they can really rattle one’s cage, or meat sack, depending on how you look at it. No one wants to walk into dark forest on their own naked, and for good reason. However in order for me to come to terms with some of these things I had no alternative. My experiences have taught me to have faith that it will work out, and everything does, just not always the way we’d like it to. It takes courage to see these moments through, and that’s where I am at, building the courage to see it through. After a bunch of disappointments I find myself brushing off the dirt, and putting one foot forward at a time. 
fotoMahaloness

Metaphors and moments in Mexico, where hälts travelled to in late spring and would spend two months on a exploration of self, life and art. 

detail of the shaman skate by hälts, a great way to travel to the other side, and a metaphor for this story

surfboard packing, however I didn’t need of bringing the fish, fixed fins and a bunch of layovers to Mexico was enough to leave her at home, next time.

flight

transport options are wide in Mexico, the metaphors begin

16, I saw this number numerous times, it is a good number for hälts

There must be a party, I didn’t get the invite but I known where to go.

Worn down rocks and an ocean, there is a metaphor in there somewhere….

a new wall that I would paint, fresh canvas incognito

‘Spirit of Oaxaca’ hälts watercolour WIP


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zing zang 

I have a deep appreciation and love for adventure, this I believe started the moment I entered this lifetime. I have also come to realize the importance of taking a break from the art process grind, and the necessity to let things go once and while in order to reclaim spirit and do things that are healthy for the constitution. Surfing is one of of those things. I have been in Soutern Mexic for a few weeks now, following a long a miserable winter in the Northern latitudes. Funny here people talk about how hot it is, in Canada were always on about how cold it is. It would seem weather really is the universal language. The purpose of my travels is in part to gain some fresh perspective and immerse myself in Latin American culture. I also have travelled here to be with the foamies, the surf family, and join them on a few road trips up and down the southern coast. The ocean is a great teacher.

On land the smell of fire which is so central to life in this part of the world fills me with great joy. I want to experience this place not just for the waves but for its soul, it’s spirit,  dive right into the Oaxacan way of life. I have travelled on its highways, and roads less travelled, absorbing as much as I possibly can. I have surrendered to its rhythm, putting aside my camera, or any device and just being in it, words or pictures just do not do justice here. This place changes me, my brain gets rewired, between ocean swims, surf trips, and comidors, sunrises, sunsets, bird life, and friendly folk, it’s endless, never a  dull moment. I have been in areas where there is very little English, and I have been forced to dive into Spanish speaking, and my utterances are small, albeit growing. The more I spend time here the more I listen and absorb its nuances. Slowly I begin to comprehend what is being communicated, which opens up a whole new world of possibility. There is magic in this place, el lugar magica, I have stayed in shacks that felt like 5 star resorts, they wish they had the views I have seen, better yet it’s a good thing I like the rustic way it’s just better, sorry Hilton, no offenso, less crowds and roads less travelled make my heart zing zang. 

This is a rather short entry the heat here has made it thigh to sit and write, I will be catching up soon though my friends, amigos, thank you visit and sharing the positive vibes. 

fotoMahaloness

Due to a terrible internet connection my pics are limited to this entry, below is a hybrid artwork I submitted to seawalls on instagram who did a call out, artactivism, and this was my entry, it is a combination of a mural I did called ‘Creator’ and a background image of the Pacific Ocean as seen from the shores of Southern Mexico. 

I am a huge fan of the sign painting in Mexico.

a shop along the highway en route to a secret surf spot

Churros stand en route into Peurto

I decided to do a little architectural rendering on an empty lot, perhaps my future home, I am just going to out that out there into the universe.

‘Spiritus Oaxaca’ 🐡 hälts hybrid art featuring a new watercolour I have been working on while travelling in southern Mexico, this piece reflects the spirit of this part of Earth, the people, the ocean, the land, it is truly beyond words….the last few touches I experienced a small tremor, a surreal experience.


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fish outta water 

I decided to go on a little journey down to Mexico to visit the foamies and get salty. Foamies if you are wondering are amigos I meet up with and go surfing, swimming, body surfing, any kind of activity really that involves being one with the ocean. The winter was a particularly nasty one in Canada which in part prompted my departure, even though I always have my painting to immerse myself in, cabin fever is a real thing and constant snowfall warnings, bad roads and lowered moods are hard on the constitution. I had been planning this trip for sometime I waited for what I felt was the right time, booked my tickets and off I went. The timing was impeccable.  

fotoMahaloness

I packed my surfboard, the fish, it has built in fins, and it took me hours to make it happen, than I decided not to bring it, so it goes, next time my little friend I will bring you along. 

Me losing to winter, the shining, cabin fever, estoy loco! 
From my home base to San Francisco, wet, cold, windy, I went red eye style and flights had been cancelled in advance due to weather so I knew I was in for a long per journey than planned. 

Low visibility was the theme. 

At least in SF there was some murals to appreciate, funny one is a painter boy absorbed in his solitude, comepletely in it, being it, yet another sign along the road to life that I am on the right path. 

Mexican mural 💛🌞👌 yet another good sign

Enter Mexico…

Following some delayed flights I make it to Mexico City and I find myself in the Aeromar lounge where I recoup, doodle, and absorb the smells, sights and sounds of Mexico before boarding my next flight to the coast, can you say free food, cerveza and wifi, Si! 


The in between time was fun, I managed to check out a few exhibits in the Mexico airport, rode the sky train, muy fluir! 

Following a healthy pit stop, sandwiches, coffee and some hot snacks I am bound for the coast, right to go, without my luggage, didn’t make my flight, I ask Lady Guadalupe for some help, and will make a report at Puerto Escondido airport. I love flight, it is defiant of gravity, and it brings out my inner geographer as I take in the topography and clouds, as far as the eye can see.   

Somewhere down there someone (probably many) is in the painting frenzy 🌞🔥✊Puerto Escondido PXM brah 

The bird has landed, the idea of flying and all its wonder rubs off, when you know it’s time to get off the plane and step foot on the soil and get comepletely baked by the sun in under a minute, the sun is worshipped here, I surrender. I will be whack with some new pairs for now that’s it my friends thanks for tuning in, more to come, mas, ok, hasta luego, adios, for now….

When I have settled a bit I will begin to share some of the adventure, thoughts and experience, and of course the magic of this place, el lugar, Oaxaca. 
‘big city, little city’ 🌵 hälts hybrid art featuring a drawing inspired by a fly over of Mexico City enroute to Puerto Escondido, and digital foto doc taken near PE 


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SLO winter 

So ​I was away for a brief time, apologies for the the disappearance. It happens when you’re a painter, which tends to be a very solitary discipline that requires long periods of time concentrating on one thing, or in my case about 5 or 6 things. So it’s not big surprise that Mahaloness has been a little neglected. I also encountered the disappearance of my domain, which is somewhat foreshadowing of what’s to come for this here blog. I am currently the process of developing a new website, which will act as a store, a gallery, and blog. An all in one, a dynamic website that will be replacing Mahaloness. I will say Mahaloness has served my artistic journey well, however I am ready to for the next chapter. Before that happens I will be posting here when I can and providing updates with respect to the new online shop and site for those interested. I do want to thank all who have cruised my blog, and hopefully you have gotten some things from my posts and my art. 

Now time for the Winer Blues…

It is has been a long cold winter here in the Northern hemisphere, with very little reprieve, endless, non stop, won’t stop. This has been a mixed blessing, on one hand it has been a very productive time in the studio, and on the other hand cold and miserable weather is taxing on the constitution and makes for some less than cheery moments to say the least. Thankfully painting and art process is a reliable antidote to the dreaded cabin fever, and somewhat reasonable response to the winter blues. So praise the paint gods for that! Although to be honest I am over it, and I think a lot of people would agree with m here. 

fotoMahaloness

Me chilling with my painting WIP SLO 


For most of the winter, I have been working on my series ‘SLO’. I am a slow painter, not to say I haven’t made fast paintings, I just prefer to take my time, and letting the paintings dictate the pace, slow and steady, sans deadlines. These are not commission paintings and I have been working on some of them for months, and even years.  I find a lot of art tends to go with trends, this is fine if that’s what you want to do, I just don’t think they have lasting power…. trends they come and they go. I am more interested in making paintings that take their time revealing themselves to you. They are not statements, they are not a protest, and they are far from pop art. They are contrary to life’s pace, I have found no alternatives that would adequately suffice to speed the process up sans the use of performance enhancing substances, which is not an option, nor would I ever recommend it, and I do speak from experience. I think these days everyone wants to enhance their brain, and energy levels, and they will go to any lengths to make that happen. In fact studies are starting to show that this may not be that effective, more than likely the long term effects are not good. In fact substance abuse has been a part of arts history and how many great artists have we lost because of it, too many to mention. 

A painting has its own rhythm. 

Detail from ‘Pink Dragon’ also part of the SLO series (acrylic on recycled cardboard)


 The translation from idea to painting takes time and has its own rhythm. Once I am in paint mode I tend to work with my intuition, thanks to a lot of hard work developing my painting skills. Some days are easier than others, when physical, mental and spirit are balanced, the work flow is effortless. Other days it seems that Gravity is heavier, paint brushes are heavier, things spill and spirits get worked. This does not stop my process and I have disciplined myself to work through it, however there have been times when it’s not so good on the constitution. In my weaker moments artist rage can erupt. When this happens I do not try to stop it. Instead I try to redirect this energy back into process and in most cases it can be effective. Occasionally it just doesn’t work and I will bounce onto something else, or even better go for a walk. 

Life experience has shown me how negative energy can be a detriment to quality of life and process. This is somewhat paradoxal to the idea that artists require suffering to make great art. I think suffering is a given in life, there is always some form of suffering from the little stuff to the big stuff. This goes for everyone and that’s all I will say about that for the moment. However artists such as myself have our days, and things can get a little overwhelming when it is just one person getting things done. Lately I have been getting some help with my marketing and business side of things, something of which I have either ignored or never delegated the proper time for. This has been a weakness, and a good friend of mine worked on me for months, to get me to sit down and talk about my strategy. It was a struggle. I have come to realize that it’s as important as is the process of making art itself, and this what led me to rethink Mahaloness and how I do things. 

 Lastly, always listen to your gut! The gut don’t lie. 

and now a minimotion special feature 

‘deep see’ 🎥 new hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘gone painting’ featuring a few recent sesshins on my WIP ‘SLO’ and a window into my artistic practice. 

Below is one of my little notebooks ‘notes from the underground’ which refer to the fact my studio is in a basement, this is where I put down ideas and work out chess moves, with regards to my WIP paintings. Generally speaking this signifies that I am in the last phases of production, and by writing things down I clear my head in order to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed, which works most times….


SLO WIP in hybrid art format, mixed media

Sometimes I go horizontal with SLO

Below is SLO with an image superimposed behind which is me working on my first indie mural ‘Hillhurst Hardware’ although years apart I think every mark I make informs my work to come, it adds to the layers, and nothing will ever replace content like that of life experience. 

I still use the palette knife that was originally my grand fathers, it has a great feel and keeps me connected to my past.


The eagle, the scarab, the horse, animals and bugs are a part of my art experience. 


Once and a while I like to do something diferrent.

There is something special that happens when I body paint someone, especially if it someone I know, I see them in such a new and unique light, I think that’s pretty cool, I look forward to continuing this aspect of my art.


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the artist journey 

“An ideal is always a judge, you are not as good as your ideal, you always fall short”.  -C. Jung    

I never went to art school and the only art training I had was what I learned in grade school, long ago in the days of my adolescence. It’s funny to to think that painting found me, we just kind of bumped into each other and many years later I find myself still in love with the process. It has been a journey to say the least, countless hours with paint and god knows how many canvases, in all shapes and sizes, it’s difficult to comprehend. If it weren’t for a stubborn resolve I possibly would have thrown in the towel long ago and at no point in my early life did I think, I want to be an artist. It literally found me and ever since I have managed to do it mostly my way, albeit a few hiccups along the way. 

the road less travelled


I possess a healthy dose of what you would call ambition, I wanted to be the best damn painter I can possibly be, probably due to the fact I spent a good portion the first quarter century of my life in some kind of competitive sport. When I started painting I had a tiny amount of life experience. I guess it was enough to know that art was something I liked and although the promise of success was very low I made the decision that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I spent a little time in the gallery system and found it didn’t jive well with me, it seemed constricted, clique, and limited. Instead I chose the solo art pilgrimage, which I want to point out is very much a life long journey. And like any journey there are times when things are calm and ordered and there are times when chaos reigns. I have found that both have their advantages and disadvantages and it’s a fine line to tread, you can interpret that however you like, it is meant as a cautionary warning. 

a bus mural I painted, it was total chaos, three months of it, I didn’t think I was going to finish, and miraculously I did.


Over the years I have learned to develop a system, one might say ‘rules’, to produce my paintings. Despite the flickers of brilliance that come out of the chaos it is a zone that I do not recommend one stay in. I also appreciate calm, stillness and the solitude of a good paint session. No doubt I like to be on the fringe which includes the subject matter I work with, the projects I choose to do, and in some cases the projects that find me. I think the difference between now and then is I have moved towards a balance, a combination that has proven to work well and ensures that I will be doing my art for as long as possible. 

‘easty westy’ a painting by hälts from a chaotic period in his life, living in Toronto in the early 2000’s


 

 Q: What is the ideal? 

A: That’s not for me to answer, however having experienced the chaos side of things I think there is something to be said about the advantages of having a foot in order and calm. 

fotoMahaloness 

And now a gallery of fotos featuring moments from the winter season inside and out of the studio. 

winter beach scene

unintentional artefacts, these form by paint drying on my paint tube spouts, I have been collecting them for a future artwork, I try to not waste material, it’s a golden rule.

‘blue Tara’ 🔹 hälts Hybrid art featuring my first Tara painting reimagined in the digital realm

‘SLO’ hälts painting detail low angle foto (the medium is acrylic)

I have been selling prints now for many years, this is ‘the Healer’ hälts Fine Art Print with custom frame, I used my drop cloth as a background and the client was thrilled

I have been working on a series called ‘recycled art’, this particular painting is on cardboard and is called ‘pink sun’, this is a series of works that explore the recycling of art, ideas and a materials.


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many studios 

My studio has been in a state of steady flux, painting after painting after painting, miraculously a body of work has amassed, something of which I have not done for quite some time. Perhaps ‘miraculously’ is not the right word, how about hard work, perseverance and discipline have contributed to my little victories. So what has been driving me to make art? It’s hard to sum up in a blog, however I will do my best to list a few of those things that make me get up and continue on my journey. The reality of the matter is its hard to make art, there are so many distractions, and stimulations that finding ones voice, let alone time or space, is a rather daunting task. There is politics, that’s all I will say about that. There is economics, social, family, health, and environmental factors to consider, or not, either way they won’t go away. This is not new to contemporary art, there is a long history of a few big fish rising to the top while the rest of the little fish just squeak by, or in some cases completely disappear from the map.  I have this dream once and a while, I am climbing the ladder and it looks to be a really long ladder, all the way up into the sky, similar to the amazing Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, who makes a sky ladder out of fireworks, not exactly an easy ladder to climb. In yet almost every day, I get up, I eat breakfast, sip a coffee and get to work. I am what could be described as a stubborn person, I really don’t want to give up, even though I know exactly what a I am up against and have experienced more times than once, the implications of failure. To add to this dilemma there is the fact that I am human with a conscience. The mind is an extraordinary power, however it doesn’t mean it’s always shooting for the stars, I have my days when I get the sense I’m  in the John in ‘Being John from Being John Malcovich’ and there’s these voices floating in my head telling me quit, to stop while I am ahead, go ahead and procrastinate, don’t quit your day job, and so on. It’s really annoying albeit a wonderful gift to be able to perceive the world through our senses and than contemplate on that, all the while being swept up in it and never really doing a damn thing about it. That’s okay though we as a species have been through a lot, and there does exist a burden to carry even if you are blind. So where’s this all coming from, well partly I’ve been having a few revelations courtesy Jordon Peterson who I have been following for a while, and have been reading his books ‘Maps and Meanings’ and ’12 Rules for Life’, both are great. One of his points is the concept ‘responsibility’ and it is a heavy one, loaded with all sorts of meaning and implications. 

Responsibility 

I have always felt that being an artist there’s a certain level of responsibility that goes with it, even though I didn’t always know what that meant, and to be clear I am still working on that problem, it’s a lot to comprehend. I am at now a stage in my art and life where I have a pretty good sense of the impact my art has on people’s lives, not just one person, many people, and this is an important point, because this seems to me this is what Jordan Perterson is talking about in his book ’12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’ ( Link to Jordan Peterson’s website ) . To use the example of driving a car, I need to put the shifter into the responsibility gear and take care of the self, so I can continue to bring my art and consciousness into the world in the best way possible even though I know the odds are somewhat stacked up against me, one foot is the accelerator, chaos, and the other the brake, order, ok good blog, carry on! 

fotoMahaloness 

This is a collection of studio fotos, some have been digitally altered, all of them digital documents of moments in time either following a paint session and or a pre foto before the work begins. The many studios of hälts…

The office desk after the chaos

‘pink dragon’ WIP recycled art series

Sometimes painting can be like a desert, you never no where the next island oasis is and the illusions are a plenty.

I was spraying frames and have devised ways to contain most of the chaos…

‘the Healer’ painting which is going to be featured in an up and coming blog here on Mahaloness, background is a detail from a bus mural did back in 2010-11

I recommend lawn painting very Mahaloness.

‘Radiant child’ part of my recycled art series acrylic airbrush and brush on cardboard

My Keith Haring background for my recycled art painting ‘Atomic Unicorn’

I once painted in this room, in public, beautiful light all day, and my mural ‘creator’ keeping me company, this is the early stages of my ‘Healer’ painting

My painting ‘Earth Buddha’ also started out as a live painting and was finished in the studio, now on display at yogaMcc (http://www.yogamcc.com) located in Marda Loop Calgary, and is available for sale, that’s my Fineline fish in the background.

Paia Town Northshore Maui outdoor backyard studio I had for a couple months, magical times.

My Salvador Dali zoetrope hand painted animation on slats, I was commissioned by a friend and collaborated with wood master Peter Friemen who goes as conscious_wood on IG, Colin Smith came up with the idea for a zoetrope, commissioned Peter to design and build it, and I did a hand painted animation which was displayed at the Art Gallery of Alberta for a show by Colin Smith, an amazing Albertan photographer extraordinaire.

a dragon I painted on a felt fedora for a buddhy, not the easiest material to paint on, however it worked out great circa 2015


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the calm after the chaos 

Ok my friends I do apologize for being a little absent from the blogosphere, it is has been a whirlwind of activity in the art den, studio Mahaloness, as I begin work on new projects, wrap up older projects and plan my year ahead. This is not an easy task for the artist type, and perhaps I am generalizing a little bit here, it’s just really difficult at times to juggle 8 things at once, paint, frame work, document work, and all the stuff in between, eat, and than…..sit down and write something meaningful. I am beginning to realize that I have been a master of avoiding responsibility and have been living somewhat in a world of chaos and even conflict, which I foolishly believed was integral to my art, and journey. I am at a new stage in my life, and even though that was part of my growth, I am happy that those years are now behind me. Currently I am in the process of learning to work with a calendar, which prior to this revelation was my kryptonite. I have been writing things done in my artist books, which act as place to write thoughts, draw, doodle, and also make lists, however I have found that as soon as a list is not visible it is also easy to forget what was on the list. By putting a calendar on the wall, what a novel idea….it is right there in front of my eyes and subsequently things get done. This has been a invaluable tool so far, as I can clearly see what’s in store, what’s next and most important reaching deadlines. I am not saying I have been totally flailing prior to this realization, it’s just that the chaos was overpowering sometimes and made for a little more stress than is necessary. Let’s face it, life is a sweet and short experience, so making the most of the moments is a priority worth investing in. So moving on it is my pleasure to reintroduce myself, hälts, and to say hello, thank you for your patience and interest in Mahaloness, it has been quite the journey and I look forward to what’s ahead. 

Hälts Art Announcement 

I am excited to announce that I am working on a website for hälts ART, it will be a portal for you to purchase LTD Ed. Prints, greeting cards and more. I will feature an array of my artwork, however I will be starting small, as a I am only one human. I want to offer you my best work and in a few different styles. This will include fine art prints and wood prints to name a couple. I anticipate that the website will be up around Feb. 18th, 2018, so not long at all. I would be over joyed to send my art to your lovely sanctuaries, wherever that may be. So stay tuned my friends! 

AND NOW…

Below is an animation of a helmet I painted for an athlete competing in the Winter games. It is not everyday I get these types of projects so I do encourage you to check out the link to an incredible story that is both, touching and magical, and provides a glimpse at the brighter side of humanity….

A truly incredible story about courage, please click here


fotoMahaloness

Artist tip: clean your studio once and a while, it is okay to make a mess, it’s also useful to know where things are so when you are in the heat of creativity so that you are able to handle the chaos by organzing your work station. When you are aware of where all your tools are, than you don’t have to break your flow.

This image below is called ‘Pink Sun’ it is a hälts hybrid art and combines a mural called ‘Creator’ which I painted in 2016 superimosied over a Nature foto doc I captured last summer during fire season, when the skies were filled with smoke. This print is available, and will be featured on my new website. 

The image below is called ‘the Healer’ it is a detail from a recently completed painting, and will also be available as a print on my website, and yes I will be expanding on this in future posts.

The following images is a new WIP called ‘pink dragon’ which started out as a live painting. I am now working on it in the studio and wanted to share a little bit of the progression. I like to use my drawing skills and make paper and transparencies so I can get my composition, I also use my computer in the conceptual stage, although I prefer the hands on, tactile approach. It is acrylic on cardboard, and is part of a series called ‘recycled’ which explores the recycling of ideas, thoughts, art, symbols, myth, story, etc. I will expand on this in future posts, this is an introduction of what’s to come here on Mahaloness. 

What would a painter be without his painting sucks, here Bill Murray reminds me to laugh and not take life too seriously when possible. 

Onwards!