Mahaloness

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


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Life experience is worth more than Jordan Pertersons words. 

I guess you could say that I have seen a few things in my youngish kind of old years. I have always felt the urge to explore, whether it was a kid in a forest or a grown man roaming in a city. I am what Jordan Peterson would call an open mind. If you don’t know who he is perhaps do a Google search and you’ll find a man who is making quite the impact on young men in particular while also gaining resistance from people who are different from the model he projects. I grew up in a conservative household, my parents both working professionals, and also just all around busy people. I was not raised to be an artist, or an explorer, although the latter might not be true, my parents explored many things in their life and no doubt this had an impact on me growing up. They insisted on getting an education and I went all the way through University where I received a degree in Physical Geography. My parents did their best, and tried to contain me as best they could. When I got to closer to legal age I was a little harder to contain and my explorations broadened to other cities, provinces, states and countries. According to Jordan Peterson I have wasted $2,400,000 of revenue I could of been generating working a 9-5 job in the last 20 years. I must be mad…. that is a lot of money, isn’t it? Considering the coast of a house, a car, a family, and all those little surprises that pop up in life, that doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. Instead I chose to pick up a paint brush, a camera, a pen, and all those wonderful tools that a creative open minded person has available to them, and started making art. Instead of a house I chose to paint a house, and not a real house, a painting of a house. Instead of playing the stocks, I have played countless podcasts, albums and perhaps have set a record for most consecutive listens of the Joni Mitchell song ‘a case of you’ mostly because she has a couple verses that goes like this:

“I am a lonely painter, I live in a box of paints” 

She is right about that, however I also get out of that box from time to time in order to explore life. So the following is a collection of images from years gone by which consists of my photography, painting, explorations into the great world we live in, and artworks from the creative explorations, from studio to abroad. 

fotoMahaloness

I took this b&w foto in Toronto Canada back in the day when I was going to film school there.

multi creator a hälts hybrid art piece that is a mural I made and a foto I took in Mexico looking out to the Pacific Ocean.

Present, a hälts hybrid which combines two paintings into this contemplative artwork

hälts digital art, I like to make light of news stories and the cigar shaped alien probe flying through space is no exception

this is me in an ‘in it’ moment, art is a gift we humans have and I am a steward who will gladly carry that torch forward and pass it on to the next generations.

this is John he saw me make this mural all the way through, a champion and one of the few people who was able to see what I was doing and passed along some wisdom that made the mural next level and something the community cherished while it lasted.

hälts hybrid art featuring an eagle I made into an animation and my paint palette

a pure abstract I have been working on, going back to my painting roots in the abstract realm

my studio and a few of my recent paintings, explorations in creativity and the space I call home.


Mornings in Mexico 

My travels have been both epic and so rewarding, I went to Mexico last spring and ended up doing three murals while I was there, as well as taking the morning scenes, it was like being a dream, if you want to know more a about that I suggest reading ‘Mornings in Mexico’ by D.H. Lawrence. anch chances are I will sit down one of these years and wrote a book that rough on my experience in that magical place. 

roosters are such interesting creatures, they are all over the place and when one calls it starts a chain reaction of roosters that crosses the land, so cool.

a man and his load

we all have to do things to make a living, this lovely man chooses to keeps people cool in the heat of the day, support these people when you see them, they are genuine and loving people with hearts of gold.

another morning encounter, this scene is made for a movie, except a movies rarely pull off this kine of authenticity.

my little mural in Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, that was made with community spirit and through the help of friends, so much love for you all.

I don’t even know how to convey how awesome this mural as to make, the experience remains a deep part of my being.

Otis and I collaborating on a mural he designed for his home in Mexico, passing on the torch.

me in front of my mural for ‘Elephant Garden’ in Zicatela, a proud moment, the stoke is real.


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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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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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SLO skull 

Let’s talk about peace. Well it seems there can be no peace without there also being noise, navigating through this conundrum with paint brush on hand has done wonders for my soul. I am by no means a conventional artist, and money and fame has never been the driving force, it’s nice when it comes but it is not reliable and certainly does not create the work. I go to a special place when I paint, there is layers of life to get through before I can find that flow and rhythm, once there it is a dream, smooth, calm, quiet, silence yet loud as spirit roars.  

hälts minimotion 

‘SLO skull’ 🎥 new minimotion with soundscape, ‘mind’s wasteland’ featuring a studio sesshin today on my skull painting WIP along with some intermittent cuts to timelapse of an incredible cloud formation and colour show late one afternoon courtesy mother earth

drawing has always been a passion of mine, especially in coffee shops amidst a fresh tasty hot cup of coffee

‘dalibasquiat’ a stencil piece I put on my shed in my backyard, he keeps an eye on things

my ‘SLO skull’ WIP in the studio with a background image of a still frame from my minimotion

Flashback 


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Room 237 

When I am painting I am recollecting the moments that made my heart shine and my soul sing. 

special feature extended minimotion

‘237’ with soundscape ‘thinking of you’ featuring some gathered footage from a year of road trips and adventure, and finding the the voice so as to channel through the paint. The painting slomo is my WIP ‘SLO’ which is a working title and the animation is called ‘hug ad infinitum

Lately I have also been making a go at baking, taking the time to learn new things and growing as a human being. I picked the apples from a neighbours tree in BC, collected spring water, and used only the best ingredients I could find, it worked out and now I can add a new hat to my wrack, as I predict there will be more of this to come as winter sets in. Pie and painting, a very good combination indeed. 


When the road bends why go straight?  -Gypsy proverb

and lastly a hybrid art piece combing two paints, my WIP ‘SLO’ and a ‘pirate’s oasis’ 
Flashback

This is a bus I painted back in 2011, it is the largest solo project to date and one that I questioned heavily for years whether it was worth the blood, sweat and tears. It did change my life in many ways, and has been the catalyst for many paintings and commissioned projects. I think I will find some time this winter to sit and write about my story now that I feel I am able to do so. 



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traveling artist (part 2)

Q: What is the purpose of your trip?

A: To spend time observing the ocean, stand with a few of the remaining old growth forests, and with a little bit of luck decompress. 

As I wonder along an elusive path hidden by tall grasses I trust my instincts and find my way to an opening. In front of me a sandy beach flanked by sculpted sand dunes, and a lonely sea gull gliding effortlessly with the cold Pacific breeze. This morning is calm, puffy white clouds drift by, and tide is low heading towards high. The saltiness of the air is refreshing to the senses, as the land and the sea remind me just how magnificent this planet is. 

fotoMahaloness and a minimotion 

‘gone to sea’ a new hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘taking time’ featuring footage captured by me while in Nahalem, Oregon, while on road trip up the coastline towards Canada, which is North, eh. 


I could spend a century wondering these beaches with relative stationary sand dunes, staring out to sea, and bringing it back in to observe the tiny elements that make up this fascinating ecosystem. The one thing I have always noticed about the Oregon coast is the cooler temperatures especially when there is a sea breeze, thankfully there are many natural and human aided structures to take some shelter and a poncho can go a long ways.

jelly fish washed up onda beach, how far did it travel to get here?

the tent in all its glory

‘painted rock’ found at a tire place we went to due to some strange sounds coming from the wheel, I took this as a good sign

‘tides change’ a water colour digital hybrid that I painted while exploring Nahalem, beach styles


And now for a new feature on Mahaloness, a look back at my work from the hälts art archives….

 Over the years I have been very fortunate to work on commission work. This is a very rewarding part of my art because one it pays the bills, and also I have a chance to work so many great people who we artists call ‘patrons’. Without patrons artist would not thrive, both now and historically speaking. It is through these commission paintings that I have been able to hone in on my skills and push my comfort zones with respect to the subject matter. For the most part I have gotten most of my work through word of mouth, and some commissions through social media. This did not happen overnight, even though there were times I wish it did. Usually my commission work starts with a meeting, where I sit down with my clients and we discuss what it is they want and I try to offer my expertise and knowledge based on my experience. I do tend to work intuitively so learning how to communicate this to clients has taken some time, in terms of earning there trust, while also in keeping  with their vision. Through the process I tend to share updates and occasionally will have studio visits, which are really quite fun and satisfying, especially when the client is stoked with what they see, this makes the work less stressful and the patron feels like they are part of the process. What I would like to do in future posts is write about some of these commissions specifically as they do have stories that go above and beyond the paintings themselves. Lastly, I will be starting a new chapter with Mahaloness and interviewing people from various walks of life, especially areas that I am particularly interested in as an artist, so more on that in future posts, for now enjoy the commissions and may Mahaloness be with you. 

Here are a few commissions from the hälts archives. 

‘Crystal Buddha’ (acrylic on wood) c.2016

My very first independent mural project for Hillhurst Hardware mural c.2010 Calgary Ab

‘eye of compassion’ c.2013 acrylic on canvas

My first ever commission painting ‘Daivd Niven’ (the original pink panther) made back in 2005! Acrylic on Canvas