Mahaloness

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


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hälts mini retrospective

I do look look (echo) back sometimes, not with regret but in awe of the life I have had the great fortune to live.

The whirlwind continues, working diligently as ever on my art life. I had a dream, a van dream, to drive all over and do art shows, murals and maybe even sell my apple butter, and pies with hot coffee. I decided to test out my dream by renting a van, packing it full of art, some apple butter, and the basic necessities for simple van life living. My destination,  Soulfood, located in the heart of Cranbrook BC. I have found that my best shows just kind of happen themselves, a room speaks, a wall calls, my intuition gives me a heads up. When I listen, good things usually follow, however one can never expect this will be the case, for expectation can fuzzy the intuition. The trip went really well, lots of mini adventures, and stopping to smell the fall. This is not to say there weren’t a few glitches, there always is, that’s called learning. However the unfathomable did occur, I forgot the device to make the coffee. I had a few moments of fear, such as being woken up at 2 am by outside flashlights and tapping noises on the window. I was able to reign in the fear and opened the door in a very quick move, jumping out and putting the red flashlight to my face. It was an effective move as the party of young folk screamed and then ran into the forest, never to be seen by me again. There was a chance of things backfiring, but wouldn’t you know the universe responded well. Afetrall this story is no CNN report portraying the calamity of modern civilisation, nor is this fake news. My trip was filled with positive experiences, meeting new people along the way,  and sharing in the joy of living, and installing an art show. It dawned on me while hanging my art that this was essentially a mini retrospective of sorts. Each painting a chapter in the story. As tired as I was installing and working on labels, and all that tuff that is part of the process, I was quite happy to be present and sharing my life’s work. To be frank, there were a few things weighing on my mind. A soar tooth, the angst of living in a city that doesn’t support the arts, and caring for parents who are in the last years of their story. I was also a little frustrated that I could not get a few more paintings. I was also hanging a painting that I had hidden for a couple years. It was a very personal piece, however I also know that it had a greater message than my own. Everything fell into place and exceptional hospitality made for a very stress free and enjoyable installation. I found being on the road gave name some clarity. Sometimes life is just one big blur, in these moments time slows right down, and humans connect live and direct, no need for interfaces and smart phones. This is something I cherish, and is why this will not be the last. The road back was effortless, albeit a bit tiring. Thankfully there are these places called rest area, I highly recommend taking them in, there’s some real gems out there. It is important to note, I am reminded that life is beautiful, mostly… you just need to tune out and tune in, if you know what I mean. So for now here is some pictures that express ten thousand words, adios!

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‘roadtrip’

💛🌞👌 Much gratitude to Caitlin at Soulfood @kootenaysoulfood (located in the city of Cranbrook BC) for offering the beautiful space and the warm reception, artshow details will be coming soon…first some much needed sleep.

 


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live art soul sesh

For many years now I have been doing live art. It is a passion of mine and a unique aspect to my artistic practice. Recently I was asked to do some live art in the small BC town called, Invermere. This is near where my elders live and a place I have a deep and intimate connection with. I didn’t think it was going to be particularly busy as kids were back in school. This is kind of nice as it meant I could just enjoy painting outside and not feel any pressure to perform. This can be the case if it is a paid gig or a festival where there is lots of people watching your every move. This was a very chill live art session in the East Koots, a picture perfect evening, not too cold, not too hot.

That is until this lovely family showed up, from Italy, who had moved here because they fell in love with the place. Who could blame them really, it is magical, healing, breath taking, to name a few. I could just stare into the sky here for hours and be completely satisfied. As things progress I am introduced to Emma, who was a ball of energy, a mini sun. I quickly realised she had an eye for the painting and before I knew I was taking art direction form her. She pointed to above the bear and said rainbow here. How can I argue with that, bam, rainbow. Then it was a flower here, a butterfly there and before we knew it it was time to call it a day. I stepped back, a little high off paint fumes and just marinated in the is-ness. Moments like this are precious. As they left there was a sheer sense of creative bliss, and a painting that speaks volumes, completely unpretentious, and warm like the sun. The following day I participated in an art and farmers market and wouldn’t you know the family stopped by for a visit. Emma presented me with an illustration, seen below. My heart warmed 1.5 degrees. Life is a funny thing, when nothing seems to make sense, it says Aloha, remember me? In which I say, ” Indeed I do, it’s been some time, thank you for uplifting a wounded spirit.”

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live art picnic table styles

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BTS

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a bear named Rose

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Emma B. illustration of the live art act

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hälts art at the Invermere BC artist and farmers market

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coffee dood

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Nature’s eye, always watching, always listening, a lesson through and through.

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watercolour WIP hybrid art

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mid stages of a new watercolour

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rainbow child

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parallel doorway(s)

Wearable art was my jam and where I first began.

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hand pirated wearable art

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hand painted wearable art

TheShaman

hand painted wearable art

 

The duality of life…I try to find some middle ground, head full of phenomenon, a heart with broken strings, a spirit that never quits, albeit changes like the moon, waxes and wanes.

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two worlds


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not dead 

I don’t know a lot, the mind wants to know everything, pressuring self to make changes, to fix, to doubt, to play tricks on the truth. I have been quiet lately, learning to listen, to witness, to see. Consciousness is a gift. Life is a gift. Look after your elders. Love them. No matter what. I forgive you. You know who you are. I don’t have a lot to say at the moment, someone will say it for me. I hope you are ok. I hope you have not given up on your dream. I wish you were here. I wish I was there. Wishful thinking. Love is not enough in this world any more. Love more. We created a hell of a mess. The youth will save this planet. It is not a matter of time. It’s a matter of life. If this makes no sense, well I am an artist, and really many things in life make no sense. Onwards.

fotoMahaloness

I have been disconnected from writing blogs, instead I have been taking time to rekindle a spirit, helping out the elders, chasing eagles, breathing, for life is a precious thing.

BC Moments

Just a reminder that I have new online art shop website haltsart.com click here and Mahalo!

and now…. late Summer BC style….


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Loving Kindness

Perhaps it can be said that there is not enough loving kindness in the world. This planet is filled with humans, there is hardly a place where you can go that isn’t occupied by other humans. What I find interesting is just how little we know about each other, and how this unknowing produces a lot of chaos. In my humble opinion we have been misguided by the powers that be, and this has gone on for a good long while. As advanced as technology may be, as sophisticated as humans might think themselves to be, the reality is that we are humans not much different from our early ancestors. We have created lots of things with our brains, some good, some not so good. We have technology that given the right application might be useful, whilst  we also have proven to have a knack for using the things in very destructive ways ; all in the name of FREEDOM, JUSTICE, DEMOCRACY, TRUTH, and LIBERTY. Consequently we are left with a lot of problems, which has created a need to find new solutions. Over the last decade I have listened to a many opinions about climate, about Earth, and about how things are. I feel that in a lot of cases the challenge of speaking about Earth and climate is that it is a complex system that has cycles and variations. The one constant perhaps is that is constantly revolving. I studied Earth and Climate at University, I was an average student as I didn’t agree with most of the information being spoon fed into my mouth. I realised that the real mandate for university is to capitalise on youth by promising them a bright future meanwhile forcing many into debt and destroying a lot of dreams. Now this might seem harsh, this was my experience and well nearly every person I know who went to school either made insane sacrifices or they borrowed money for a promise based on not much at all. Now I do not regret going to school, and made the most out of it. I made sure to learn things that I wanted to learn. I made sure to think critically and speak my mind, even when it was uncomfortable. It often was received with blank stares and on occasion threats of being kicked out of school. I took courses in areas of interest and that would be useful for cognition and building mindfulness. I think that we have a responsibility to ourselves to learn about each other, and all living things that call Earth home. In doing so we might begin to grasp just how interconnected we all our and even the tiniest of choices can make a tiny difference instead of doing nothing like a deer in the headlights. This life is a precious gift. It is not for the government to determine how we live or want to live, nor is it their responsibility to take care of us because if they did I would not be writing this blog. I am concerned for the welfare of humanity, I am concerned about the fact we are in a period of extinctions and our reaction has been a pretty good indication of just how little we stand by each other. This being said, there is a new wave of energy that is beginning to bring us a little closer together. By joining individual voices we learn form each other and what was once a tiny voice becomes a giant voice. The time for loving kindness is here, we can choose to keep destroying the precious gift or we can make real and simple changes that will give hope to the new generations, and all life on Earth.

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Precious Moments on Earth

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Life on the Prairie 

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That time I painted at a festival and I simply disappeared. 

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Recycled Art series, using materials over and over again. 

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Ready to be mounted 

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DaliBasquiat Recycled Series no. 123

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caught in the maze

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citylife

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one step at a time 

‘Humans and Art are like bees to pollen’ ❤️ took place MAY 11 at the Junction YYC 628 8 Ave SW @junctionyyc 💚 which shed light on some very talented Calgary and Alberta folk including

Shanise Ford @humans_and_art
Suzanne Piechotta
Alexandra Jaco @musicization
Dean Miller (incredible painter artist human featured at the end of the minimo) @deanmillerart  @bluvelvetti  @colville_troy. @dawsonbrown.sickbassbro @gkpainting @mahalones @plasticheartsurgery@saga_of_the_frog

to name a few and representing a new wave of talented art folk from the underground and up.

The Junction YYC Humans and Art Lounge Space open for the next few months for viewing which I highly recommend to Calgarians and visitors alike. If you want to see true Canadian art and fresh perspectives on what it means to be human than do yourself a favour and get down and check out the art before this wave passes.

located 628  8 Ave. SW

The Junction YYC link

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the mind is similar to a crystal, it has many facets 

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The Blue Medicine Tara dedicated to @gretathunberg in her courageous and necessary stand for a better world and brighter future ❤️


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Mountainous Mahaloness

I took a trip to the mountains. The purpose of the trip, to reconnect with the land, barefoot dancing in the forest river valley, flanked by majestic British Columbian mountains, mending and realigning, and rejoicing with sacred kin. This is a place where I can reset, and enter a new beginning following a recent art exploration in Maui. What comes next? Perhaps Katmandu to work with a 17th incarnate Thnagka painter, Tibetan Romio Bahadur Shrestha. I recently asked Romio if I can work with him, he has accepted my request and now I must do a fundraiser to get myself to Katmandu. I have never been, and to be honest I have no idea what to expect, all I know is I must prepare myself for anything. I am both, super excited and a bit nervous, all good feelings, and my curiosity just keeps rising. Romio comes from a Newar family in Katmandu in Nepal. At five years of age, two Tibetan Buddhist met with Romio and explained he was the seventeenth reincarnation of the master Tibetan Thangka painter Arniko (from the website, see link below). I met Romio on the Big Island, Hawaii, at a festival/conference, he appeared to walk on air, always smiling and at the conference he had several Thangkas set up, they were big and bold, the imagery, depicting Buddhist deity, mandalas or scenes. From his website, “Romio Shrestha is a modern master of the Indo-Nepali-Tibetan Buddhist traditions of enlightenment art.” Romio founded a school in Nepal, to insure the Thangka tradition would carry on, serving as a powerful teaching tool for the Dharma and Buddhist tradition. He is thought to be somewhat controversial because he has been openly sharing paintings that were rarely seen by those foreign to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It seems that today, more than ever, it is important to share these images so to pass on the teachings to anyone who wants to learn. The concept of original Artistic intent is difficult to apply to Tibetan thangkas. I pulled this definition of Thangkas from http://www.buddhanet.net/thangkas.htm, “Thangkas are composite objects produced by painters and tailors with differing intents, skills and training. Iconographic specifications, regional and doctrinal differences in style, changes in form from harsh treatment and altered mountings all complicate the issue.” If you want to learn more about Romio go to http://romioshrestha.com/ where you can see his work, it is truly amazing. I have also attached a rendering I made of the White Tara, though I did also add green, which is important to note as the white and green have different meanings. White signifies compassion, peacefulness, while a particular green shade indicates effective activity. I used both because I see white indicative of sitting meditation and contemplation, while green as enacting the lessons learned from sitting meditation, and bringing them into every aspect of your life, in action. So without further adieu, always follow your dreams, put it out there, I simply sent Romio an email, I said I’d like to work with him, he responded immediately and the ball is now in motion.

Mahalonessmountainexpedition and the modern white Tara painting made by me.

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Eye

I like to paint eyes. The eyes are the threshold between the inside and outside world. What goes on behind the eyes is the mystery and what unfolds in front of the eyes is the illusion. When looking into eyes it has been said that I am peering into one’s soul, and perhaps this is true, it is obvious, but what if I do not have eyes to see with? Or better yet what if the eyes I have are only seeing what they know, and therefore I am faced with the actuality that what I am seeing is only partially real. Is this reality? Do I really see things for what they are or is it my mind is projecting inside outwards in order to relate to the world I am in. Within the Buddhist tradition this is similar to maya, a concept referring to the deceptive nature of the ego and it’s perception of the material world and it’s forms, and the unenlightened being accepts this as the only reality. There is a variance of degrees of maya, according to one group from another, and therefore any kind of certainty seems futile. It has been my experience that when I see reality one way, my way, I experience suffering. In this state I remain in maya, and go through samsara, rebirth and suffering, over and over, karmic actions being the propeller flying me through a veil of existence. It is the ego that has been my greatest challenge. If I say I am artist, I have already built up a story based on the karmic action that all artists have built and this is the stigma of being an artist. Pair this with a person who thinks they know what an artist is, and subsequently they will say very cliche things about what is to be an artist, or what makes an artist an artist, and all of sudden I find myself caught up in a crazy game of semantics and sea of opinions, which is ultimately counter intuitive to just being an artist, and suffering artist syndrome is born. To renunciate the suffering artist, I have gone to various extreme methods to detach from ego, sometimes healthy and sometimes unhealthy. And each time a break free of ego I find that as soon as I detached I meet it at a new doorway, in one way or another. So where does that leave me, what is the actuality of my existence and how do I translate that into my practice, well in 2500 years or more, Buddhism has been working on the concept of enlightenment, offering a framework to break free of the chains of karmic action by prescribing precepts to follow that may or may not get me there, not to mention the confusion that exists between the various traditions, Buddhism and otherwise, Hinduism, Upanishads, Zen, etc. etc. Perhaps the modern day version is Quantum mechanics, perhaps it is Molecular biology or perhaps it is as simple as letting it all go and sitting under a Bodhi tree, I don’t know, and perhaps not knowing is the way, renunciation of ignorance and knowledge, the two extremes, and finding the middle way, that fits me, even if I am we. A philosophical journey that may or may never reflect the actual, so with that said I carry on, searching for peace of mind and freedom from suffering, mindful, with love and compassion as my tools to handle the frustrations and challenges that life brings, while reminding myself that uncertainty is where I want to be.

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