Mahaloness

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


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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! 


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hälts went Raw  

    Wow!! That was a busy few weeks, a bee hive of activity and long nights of making marks and finishing work! All this in preparation for ENVISION, put on by Raw Artists, which was held last week in Calgary. It was a successful night of celebrating the arts with a wide array of disciplines showcasing their stuff. There was so much energy in the room! I got right into it with some live painting and brought a nice selection of my art including my cherished painting ‘the Healer’, which did garner a lot of attention. There is no better feeling than to see people connect with my art. It makes all the hard work worth it, and trust me there is a lot of details in my art and it is best to see in person, in order to get the full experience. I think it’s important to point out that my intention is to make art that continually surprises you, and the details are meant to be revealed to the viewer over time. You will not get the same effect viewing my art on a computer screen. 

    At ENVISION, I also displayed a series of paintings on recycled cardboard, which were fun pieces for me to make, they are more in my street style, using techniques I would typically use for my murals. The cardboard series features artists who inspired me early on in my career such as Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo. I do have plans to continue the series and will branch out to writers, thinkers, and so on, all in due time. I also brought an assortment of  Ltd. Ed. wood prints, Fine Art Prints, and art cards, which feature a range of my paintings and hybrid art. Over the next month I will be sharing some of those with you and fill you in on how to get your hands on these rare treasures. I do very small batches and this keeps them extra special. I will be releasing a series of Ltd Ed. Prints of some of my newer work and will announce that in upcoming posts as well. 

Preview of my art cards perfect for sending a letter to the beloveds


Finally, my art brings vitality and spirit into any room. My paintings and prints alike are enjoyed and appreciated by many folks out there, which is why I put so much love and attention into each one. For now enjoy some images of work, some shots from ENVISION and beginning with a recent minimotion. 
miniMotion 

‘This video encapsulates everything right about now (made to bring cheer back into the dialogue) ‘ 🎩 new minimotion I pulled out of my hat with soundscape ‘said’ featuring my airbrush skeleton sport helmet made for Canadian winter Olympic athlete Mirela Rahneva, which I was recently interviewed by the Canada Press for, also…driving down a road near my other home in BC, east koots brah, and a couple paint sesshins working on my ‘Keith’ recycled cardboard WIP, and a skate animation I made of the dude, and lastly my cards, mini trading cards and cards for writing letters to the beloveds, I will share in future posts how you can get your very own set of Ltd. Ed. cards 💛❤️💚

fotoMahaloness

My studio was a bit of a chaotic scene prior to the showcase as I prepared my recycled cadboard painting series, goodtimes! 

‘Atomic Unicorn’ acrylic and clear gesso on recycled cardboard c.2018 (The original and prints are available for sale, please contact me via email for any art inquiries)

‘the Healer’ this is an original hälts painting, acrylic on wood, it expression of spirit and my love for both painting and the natural world.

‘Pollocked’ acrylic on recycled cardboard c.2018 (prints are available please see my homepage for contact information and I am happy to facilitate any order inquiries)


 🖌     I have come a long way since the day I decided to make art my life. I have gone about it in my own way and have been able to develop my own voice amongst a world of influence, pressure, conditioning, a rather difficult and unregulated art market, the low probability of making it as a career, the outside influences and factors that an artist has little to no control of, and so on…. all these things have to be put to the back of the mind if one wants to make art that is meaningful and enduring, so to this I say, stand up tall!’ and the good news is, I am here to stay and make art until I am unable, hopefully that never happens. (foto by Agent R, and illustrated by hälts, taken while live a painting at ENVISION, which was a great celebration of the Canadian art held in Calgary a couple days ago) 

booth Mahaloness aka hälts

live art sesshin on recycled cardboard, doing what I can to use less new materials and add new life to something otherwise treated like a throw away item, my sister jumped in at the opportunity and made some marks of her own, I have made it a practice to pass my paint brush to people and let them go to town.

‘expressing spirit’ 🖌 I think my art is my spirit, the expression of spirit, and those who I connect with through my art are kindred spirit, and this is a really cool thing about art. (foto: by Agent R of the Mahaloness setup for Raw Artists ENVISION in Calgary last week, hälts drawing superimposed in the background from my Maui mana drawing book) 

hälts (foto by Agent R)


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Spirit of the Universe 

The spirit of the universe responds to action -wrote this in my notebook sorry I don’t have a source nonetheless truer words have never been written. 

It has been full on lately in the studio working on various recycled cardboard WIPs and keeping the dream alive. I live in a place where art is one of those things treated as a luxury item so making art that is meant to elate and spark thought, feeling and promite healing seems like an endless uphill climb! This is why it is important to keep focus on the work and to not let these doubts and thoughts threaten the mission. I decided many years ago to develop my art and with the intention of doing it for the rest of my life, and this has not changed to this day. Sure I have had my fair share of setbacks and sometimes the valleys have been deep. I have managed to always find the jewel of wisdom in each and every one of my experiences, even if it takes longer than I would like, this has been vital in keeping my art positive, and sticking to my intentions of bringing wellness, good vibes and peace into this world. 

minimotion 

‘pollocked’ 😎 new hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘wonder has been a stranger’ featuring a sesshin working on my pollack paint on cardboard WIP, this will act as the background to the finished painting, enjoy 


I invite you to a fun night filled with a diverse range of talented Calgary based artists from art, music, hair/make-up, film, and more, all happening Thurs. Jan. 18th at the Marquee Room, it is a licensed event, 7pm-1 am, any questions please fire them my way and I will be happy to help💛❤️💚 I will be live painting and I will have a nice assortment of artworks, hope to see you there! It’s a great date night!
Thank you to the folks who have purchased tickets for ‘ENVISION’! There are still tickets available and can be purchased on my raw artists homepage. please purchase tickets through this link only Mahaloness Homepage, please click here to purchase tickets💛❤️💚


fotoMahaloness

And now a selection of images form this week and beyond, there’s been no shortage of things to do, that is A-OK with this artist. Enjoy

‘Frida’ hälts hybrid art

recycled cardboard WIPs are coming along nicely! Yew!

a messy studio is a good studio

I make all my own stencils from drawing to cutting out the stencils by hand, this gives them my uniqueness and style that would otherwise be lost if I just copied a photograph, that is why I get paid the big bucks! (reference here to Dace Chappelle, who apparently doesn’t like bloggers lol)


💛❤️💚 and lastly an exciting development is this helmet which I painted for Canadian Olympic skeleton athlete hopeful Mirela Rahneva, my helmet art will be featured in publications across Canada and on CBC, I am very honoured and stoked to be a part of this wonderful story, more on that as things develop! 


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winter solstice 

Happy Winter Solstice, here is to the Sun and longer days, looking forward to the sun baths in the studio as I journey onwards with my current body of work. It was an interesting year, as it winds down I reflect on a great year of art and travel, time spent with family, and new friends made. Gone is the old as I empty the backpack and lighten the load, and prepare myself for what the new year has in store. This year I learned to not fight destiny and to persevere in grace, and to ride the waves and be ready for a few sets on the head, yew! 

fotoMahaloness

Winter Soltice WIP featuring my ‘raven’ watercolour in the studio 

hälts hybrid art ‘ravtangular’ featuring my watercolour WIP seen above💚💛❤️

‘winter solstice’ ❄️ new minimotion to ease you into the holiday season with soundscape ‘ice crystals’ featuring a shit gathers whilst walking and remember each day from this point forward we gain za light in this here northern hemisphere, that’s all right with this artist. 

and a link to a art event called ‘Raw’ which I will be taking part in, in the new year, purchase a ticket to the event and support your local art, if you live in the Calgary area this event is for you, I will be live painting, and will have new and some oldies but goldies with me, paintings and prints follow the link to learn more!  Raw event link, buy a ticket early and get a discount! Raw art link, click here 💚💛❤️