Mahaloness

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


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life lately 

In the city I walk on sidewalks and streets, looking up at glass structures, a symbol of human progress though lacking the wisdom of the natural world that provides it’s materials, and the ground to build on. I am of two worlds one the urban life, that which I have lived in for most of my life and the other the kingdom. The kingdom is the the natural world, it is the roots of a civilization, the provider of resources, life, and beauty. When I walk in grasslands and see the natural landscape I try to imagine how this all came to be. I wonder whether my imagination is anywhere near the truth.  

fotoMahaloness

The following is a series of fotos of an ongoing painting WIP called ‘therianthropica’. It shows you some of the stages and decisions whilst in process. This painting is an an intuitive process, a venture into the imagination in other words. It draws from mythology, dreams, and life. Underneath is buried treasures that give it depth and in some wways is a new myth in the making. Following this segment I jump into some fotos gathered recently from my adventures into the prairies of Alberta, the soul of this province. I work in film as well as being an artist. I am fortunate to work and travel to stunningly beautiful locations in Western Canada, and this is something I bring back with me into the studio. It gives me great pleasure to share these with you and provides a window into the worlds I see. 

therianthropica sits peacefully and in solitude amongst the chaos of life that surrounds, there is a metaphor in there somewhere

I get a charge out of this place.

the observatory

sunrise

painted sky country

2 worlds hälts hybrid art

The ancient Badlands of Alberta

open prairie

in the next post I will share some city elements to juxtapose this post along with some minimotions


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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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hey Zeus 

I have always had the fantasy of being struck by lightening. Come to think of it perhaps it was the movie ‘The Great Outdoors’ that spawned  this fascination, or perhaps it’s was Frankenstein. At any rate lightening is in my veins, even though I have never been struck, I have come close. When I was a kid I had little to no fear, I chased storms around, and would sit on my soccer ball and watch them roll above me, lightening forking through the sky, to which my father would eventually drag me inside, much to my chagrin. For a large part fo my life I was obsessed with windsurfing, a total shred head, sailing in many of storm winds, flying across the water while my sail mast begged for a bolt, it never happened. I have made love in storms, which is the best. Occasionally I have been caught in storms along my travels, and never got struck, nevertheless what a beautiful experience to behold. Not long ago I tattooed a bolt on the inside of my forearm of my dominate paint hand. It represents a time I got my spark back, and has reminded me ever since to never let that charge go, even amidst those times when life creeps up, and will all know it does, those rogue waves that throw us off our balance and send us over the falls. Yet, I paint on, letting the electricity course out through my brush onto the canvas. 

Enter Zeus in my most recent painting WIP called ‘sacred place’. He is there and yet only ever so slightly behind a thin veil of white paint, waiting for me to forget so he can to throw that bolt down my way. The story with this new painting is that it was an old painting. It was a portrait, from a time when I was living the bohemian lifestyle, no worries, fancy free, at least that’s what I told myself. I went to a lot of festivals and did live art in many places. This portrait is of a girl who caught my eye in my travels, or so I thought. I painted it from memory however as I painted it at least seven people morphed into her. They were people who I met that I had no intention of painting, and yet there they were one after the other, entering the painting in way or another. Memory is an extraordinary thing. This leads me to my newest painting foray. I decided to paint over that portrait but not really, I am leaving subtle reminders of its presence like memory, subtle and enduring. The following images show the stages of my newest WIP which is called ‘sacred place’. 

fotoMahaloness and 2 minimotions (mini documents of my artistic endevours)

painter man’ 💫 late night hälts minimotion with soundscape ‘drop it in’ featuring some clips working on a new painting WIP ‘sacred place’ including the ever so satisfying tape pull and a sky timelapse from the other day.

coffee and a bolt of lightening at the Ro, my fav little coffee shop in Calgary


​’dedicated to my dad’ 🕯this minimotion is for my dad, it was his birthday recently so I dedicated this sesh in his honour, he is a courageous man and I am sending him all my love ❤️

Well friends that Where I am at, I have been keeping a lot of other stuff at bay, including a new website, in order to finish this painting in a reasonable amount of time, while thinking about the next one that will be getting a transformation. 


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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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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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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!