Mahaloness

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


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sketches hecho en Mexico 

The following is a minimotion and some creative endevours and or signs of creativity documented while in Mexico earlier in the year. It was an interesting experience to make art in a new environment, it comes with its own set of challenges and surprises. I do find art is a bridge between myself and the people I encounter, perhaps it is the universiatlity of creativity that truly connects us. No matter where I go it is there. I soak in what’s around me as I work, I try to get into is rhythm, hear it’s sounds, and smell it’s smells. Some will say to me that art is my job, and yes it’s true that art is part of my income however it is so much more than just a commodity, or product. Art is an exchange between myself and the environment I am in. Kids passing by while working in public is a unique experience. They are truly in the moment, even when the parents are focused on something else, I catch that glimpse and smile, mini Suns that remind me to continue on the path. This is the bonus of painting in public, and something I do miss when I am buried deep in the studio. Life passes pretty fast and it is easy to get lost in a studio and forget the world is there. By putting myself out there I am opening to an infinite number of possibilities. By trusting my intuition and I let the creative process do what it does, when I try to control the vairbles is when it often loses its magic. 

fotoMahaloness

‘the next bend’ (part one of two) 💛 hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘loving memory’ featuring a couple snippets of a boat trip to a special place in Mexico with the foamies, it was a magical experience that will live on with me for the rest of my days ❤️ in loving memory of J brah who left us too soon, in a time of sorrow we become one in order to celebrate and honour him, forever in our hearts, rest in peace my friend ❤️ here’s to the next bend 

ice cream shop drawing sesh ⚡️ Zicatela Puerto Escondido

watercolour made on top of a house under a palapa, I could hear every sound for miles around (Puerto Escondido)

outdoor sign mural work station 🏍 Zicatela ‘Brand X’ rent a scooter/motorbike

‘elephant garden’ mural work station located in Zicatela on Iguana Ave. ☕️ great food great coffee friendly people

Puerto surf family ‘foamie mural’ work zone 🌞 I worked with my little not so little buddhy Otis who developed the concept and I mentored him a on the art of mural 💛

El Lugar drawing sesh, great little open air restaurant on the beach, fin is found object that I drew on with my trusty pen

‘Elephant Garden’ mural in process located in Zicatela 🌞

a moment with my work, and the wall, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this wall is very special and I wanted to make sure I honoured it’s being

surf breaks are mandatory, I am no pro however I am not too shabby either for being a mountain rolling foothills kind of man

One of the best tables with view of Ocean I have had the pleasure to sit and create, an unforgettable experience

Ink and watercolour kine made on a beach in southern Mexico undisclosed location, sorry….

hälts hybrid art ❤️in an undisclosed surf spot I went to which was all about the mini seshs, surf, art, surf, art, surf, art…until exhausted sleep do it again….


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When in Mexcio 

These are scenes of Mexico, moments in time that are fleeting yet make it so special. What that is exactly it is hard to put into a blog. It’s so many things, so many varieties, so many different people, cultures, languages, and vehicles. Unfortunately it does not capture the smells of Mexico, it does offer a glimpse into life there, what I experienced, and how that has made an impression on me. I met so many wonderful people, so many beautiful people, so many beautiful places, the sky, the ocean, the everything. This was no vacation, this was an experience, tasting the culture, putting myself out there and being open to new possibilities. I live a very solitary life as a painter and just in general. Coming here I was catapulted out of my studio, out of my comfort zone, and into a milieu of new people, and places never before seen and yet a strange familiarity once there. I never felt out of place, it welcomed me with open arms and let me into it’s magic. In response to my experience I shared my gift, which is my art, and did a few projects that were life changing and beautiful. Each day I woke up and wondered to myself, ‘what’s going to happen today?’. I was never disappointed.

Whatever you do, don’t take this life for granted. 

fotoMahaloness

Here are some images with captions, I am grateful for the experience I will share some of my insights in posts to come. For now please enjoy these memories shared. Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Mahalo and Aloha ❤️❤️❤️

collectivo a la Mexico a cost effective way to get around whilst being immersed with the people

place and people in flux

conversation, here people talk to one another on the streets, there is a real sense of community

street life, the man with the balloons, look into his eyes what do you see?

men and the sea (well ocean) people of the ocean, of the water, one cannot be without the other

up in the sky do buzzards glide omnipresent, keen observers of down below

the ocean’s caress

Waves can travel great distance before they reach these shores

the sun is big in this part of the earth

​The last image here is of the storyteller, friend, coach, waterman, life guard, father, surfer, SUP brah, Shaka brah, and the generous one, to name a few. The man is John Silver who I had the great fortune to meet and who sadly recently passed away. It is to honour him so he is remembered for who he was, and not for his life ending. It is with a heavy heart I post this because I just was beginning to get know him and he had a major impact on me in the short time we spent together. I am sending his family my love and perhaps it can be said that through sorrow we come together as one, rest in peace John, thank you for this blissful moment. 


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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.