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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full time artist part time grip 

It’s been a whirlwind as of late, life changing, film making, whilst seasons changing, time chasing, and when I can, painting.  I live in the city, defined by construction, rows of houses, paved streets, pot holes, towers, condominiums, shopping malls, restaurants and institutions. When the film work calls I occasionally get the chance to leave the confines of the urban landscape. Film work is a vital part of my success as an artist. It gets me out of the studio, which has always been a challenge for me. Too much art studio time can adversely affect my life, the world shrinks and I forget what’s out there. Film work often starts before sunrise. Film productions come here for the magic hours, sunrise and sunset, and the scapes, from the urban to the natural. The natural settings are far and wide, Alberta is a dynamic place, there is a bit of everything, except for an ocean, ours is all dried up. 

It is a fact that when I work on my art I work later in the day, this is when I wake up creatively, often going well past sunset and into the night. So the chance to be up before sunrise  and see the other side of the day has never let me down. Yes it’s not always roses, getting up at 3:30 am in the morning is a tough adjustment to make. However the drive to remote locations is always an adventure. We set off with our maps in search of locations, often still in the shroud of darkness, with the hope that there will be a pylon with an illuminated arrow to help guide us to our final destination…when this fails one has to be really tuned in with the place, keeping an eye for roads, using locations maps that provide mileage and distance between points, and with a little teamwork we can usually make it for an early breakfast, yet another reason I appreciate film work. When I am home working as an artist, I have to do everything, this  can be overwhelming and chances are one aspect or anther will get sacrificed, usually eating, which is not something I suggest to anyone. I read somewhere Miro ate one a fig a day for a time and would stare at the wall waiting to see his next masterpiece. Whether this is true or not, I don’t think I am that creative when I am struggling to function. Maybe I get ideas but what good is an idea without the energy to bring it to life. Moving on. 

minimotion double feature 
‘kingdom’ 🎥part 1 hälts minimo special feature with soundscape ‘white wolf’ featuring hälts behind the scenes on the badlands of Alberta, a hawk soaring, and a hälts painting WIP animation called ‘therianthropica’ ​‘city’ 🎥 part 2 of a hälts minimo special feature with soundscape ‘white wolf’ featuring a quick animation of my painting WIP ‘therianthropica’ and the city I call home. ​​

fotoMahaloness

Let’s take a foray into my world of late 

the radiant Dali 💛 hälts shed art featuring a spray paint stencil, keeping an eye on things

city raven SLO 🍓 a hälts hybrid art featuring a raven, the city I call home and a painting of mine called SLO

the original raven foto documented in downtown Calgary


The following hälts hybrid art series is called ‘city kingdom’ featuring images of film locations that I have been working in recently which have been superimposed over each other. 
Retrospect

I have been working on ‘therianthropica’ a painting that has 2 or 3 paintings underneath, it has been a series of changes and experiments, taking old methods and infusing new methods as I go. I have been interested in mythology for some time now, and thought it was time to create a new mythology, or at least carry it forward into contemporary feel. I live in two worlds, one is reality, the world I work in, breathe in, walk in, and eat in. Than there is the world of the imagination, the other world, the world of mystery, symbolism and metaphors. This is not a new idea, it’s as old as ancient cave art. 

hälts hybrid art featuring my studio and ‘therianthropica’ up on the wall

‘therianthropica’ acrylic painting on wood front and center and some new panels waiting patiently on the wall.

tapping the source


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moose sign 

I went to the mountains recently for some film work, my other passion, and found myself amidst the wild ones. In this case a juvenile moose presumably wondering what we were doing in his home. I try to imagine this animal watching us, observing the director and the DOP, wondering why the AD is always calling action and cut, and why these humans are moving around lights and bounces. The mountain air is always fresh unless of course there is forest fires, thankfully this time of year most of the fires have gone out. I am fortunate to work in this space fairly regularly either on a mountain top or in its valleys. I have come to realize the importance of stepping outside the studio so as to get some fresh perspective. Whether it is for work or pleasure being in the mountains raises my stoke and gives me strength. I also learn to appreciate life more, and not take any of it for granted, it is truly a gift to be here. Slowly and patiently, I am getting my magnificence back, each breath, each step, that much closer. There is beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it, and when you find it a lightness and a sense of belonging prevails. 

Presently, I am back in the studio and thinking of an animal painting to make. I am torn between a bear and a moose, and I have tiger on the mind, funny enough. Perhaps all three in one… at any rate running into a moose was a good sign. So now please enjoy my images and minimotion, sharing some of the magic of the good ol Rocky Mountains. 

hälts minimotion 

‘moose’ with soundscape ‘where the wild ones roam’ featuring some scenes from a recent film job I was on. 

fotoMahaloness

moments of bliss 

onwards…
back to the studio 

Its been high activity in the studio, working on my newest painting ‘sacred place’ which received some decent inspiration from my mountain time, priceless, thank you Earth. 

hälts hybrid art featuring a detail from ‘sacred place’


faded past 

an old public art space I worked in, I made the mural first it’s called ‘creator’ and the painting on the lower left was a live art piece called ‘the helaer’ which I worked on over a few months, it was a great room, lovely people and the experience remains a deep part of my being. 



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Solitude 

I have heard the desert is a place of stillness. It is somewhere one can go to find solitude, and once there even loneliness fades away as memories lose their reference. Here the imagination can be whatever it wants to be, unhinged, it floods the desert with a magical whim. Perhaps this is why I am a painter, the need for solitude and stillness.

When I sit and paint it is a requiem, an act of rememberance to honour those who painted before me, the brave souls who sacrificed all sorts of life comforts, guided only by their voice, their craft, their art. When I paint I am in a place of stillness, peace, and contemplation. In this place I can breathe how I want to breathe, which is slow, and long. Sometimes it takes a whole day to find that zone and by night I go for as long as I can before exhaustion sets in. There are days when I don’t want to work and it can be a fight to work through it. As soon as my hands get to work the idea of not working fades away into oblivion. Everyone has their way of doing things, and I suppose I am no different. My art has been my own invention, albeit I have borrowed and taught myself techniques that are far from new. I have managed to put them together uniquely in my own way. Painting is an experience, a process, some trials, some errors, frustration, anguish, joy, peace, zen, and without a doubt there will more paint required. One can learn techniques and process, however the subject of the art and what I’d call the fuel is something one has to discover for themselves. I have discovered that art is a bridge, so whether or not I am making a surreal painting, or I am making something realistic, my focus is in how to establish a connection with the viewer. I am not entirely sure whether these insights interest you or not, I am not the best at talking about myself.

 I do find it fascinating that I am in the eyes of science very close to being a chimpanzee, a matter of a few different strands in my DNA, isn’t that something, and yet I am also close to something beyond the physical world that which I cannot see, yet sense and feel as being everywhere, omnipresent, and sacred. I honour the sacred in every painting sesshin, that is perhaps why I love painting, it is a slow process that makes me aware of subtle rhythms and movements, even though I am in my solitude, I do not feel alone when I am in the zone. 

hälts minimotion 

‘new adventure’ 🚀 hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘chimp love’ featuring my day working on ‘sacred place’ and you know what it went pretty f⚓️🌜king well all said and done, still got some work to do, what’s new.




fotoMahaloness 

stages in process

hälts hybrid art featuring a detail of ‘sacred place’ and painters tape and paper.

zig zags, going back to the beginning…

hälts painting zone, sacred space


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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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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.