Painting Practice

Creative Practice Revelations Happen in Acts Between the Seen and the Unseen

 Which Way, mixed-media painting, Hali Karla Arts
Art mirrors [our] struggle and captures the process of letting go. Every stroke pushes the painting to sacrifice itself: every creative act destroys something previously built. Imagination reveals not new vistas but revelations of reality behind reality. All art points to a transaction between reality of the seen and reality of the unseen.
— Makoto Fujimura

There is a Way that we only find in taking action.

Being present. Seeing. Listening.

Feeling. Not turning away.

Doing the hard work that is called upon us.

And then…

Believing so deeply in what we know to be real in what can’t be measured or seen, that we are willing to disarm, destroy, risk, transform, and let go of what is real in what can be seen.

To surrender to change.

Yes, there is something about this that speaks to my soul.


I was ‘supposed’ to be writing about re-releasing two well-loved Creative Practice ecourses today - now self-guided with unlimited access - but you know, these days I’m just not feeling the catchy-inspiration, lead-page, funnel-pitch in my creative energy… so, here’s to random shameless plugs at the end of short posts and keeping it real, because I trust my process AND yours:

 IMPULSE self-guided mixed-media Creative Practice ecourse on awakening, trusting and relating to your intuitive, spontaneous artist’s style

IMPULSE self-guided mixed-media Creative Practice ecourse on awakening, trusting and relating to your intuitive, spontaneous artist’s style

 ESSENCE self-guided creative portrait practice ecourse to develop and explore how you see, relate and translate in mixed-media, plus connect with your sense of self (and other)

ESSENCE self-guided creative portrait practice ecourse to develop and explore how you see, relate and translate in mixed-media, plus connect with your sense of self (and other)

Click the image above to learn more about each course. I’d truly would love to connect and be your guide on the side for a bit as you develop your Creative Practice. THAT is where my creative energy loves to flow. ;-)

Note: Both of these courses were previously released as part of my Making Art Medicine program.

Violet Girl with Scars and Stars (a painting)

 mixed-media painting on panel by Hali Karla

today I’m sharing this painting I made last month on a wonderful break from social media, and some of the words from my journal, mid-process with the painting.… the words are thoughts, musings, morsels of conversations + inspirations at the time, and process observations inter-mingling.

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 mixed-media painting on panel, in-process, by Hali Karla
 mixed-media portrait detail on panel by Hali karla
 mixed-media portrait on panel by Hali Karla

layers of stories
hidden beneath scars.
impressions made matter
over time.

there is peace, in a moment,
lids drawn blind.

...to not be seen, seeing, open.

aqua-deep, sea-blue soaked
yet adamantly
saturated dry...

like real earth
with sighs that
hint that
stillness can shine.

violets heal trauma
(they say)
these ones
are rather large.

also…
there were going to be stars in her hair.
there were stars in her hair.

but deliberate magic
can be so easily overdone

and is…

unnecessary.

the truth lost in flashy gestures.

better, perhaps
to join the sacred care
of a broken world, found
fumbling and forming
within what IS.

it's not as entertaining as witchy spells
and heavenly bells
and stolen smoking prayers,
but it's...

Real.
Like earth.
Like each other's hands.
And tears. And laughter.
And the silence of not knowing
what we see.

Better, perhaps
to seek, to see
and knead our secret "magic" undeclared
in a day's infinite kindness,
in simple, shaking truths let rise,
in bread baking, broken, shared...

...or in a violet's quiet withness.

Better, perhaps
to re-member the deep medicine
that flowers have always known...

there is a humble, healing
holy Mystery
far, far greater than the stories
scars or stars may tell.

we are All still forming in Love.

and love
is always made visible.

Easy Framing for Paintings on Paper (video) + Intuitive Mandalas | Something from the Studio 8

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In the video below, I share an easy, inexpensive way to frame paintings on paper, as I frame a set of three custom, intuitive birth-chart mandalas for a family.

Just a little something from the studio...

I used this frame in the videos: https://amzn.to/2LF0Izn

I've been so touched by the joy and response that my mandala making process seems to bring others - it is a bit like eye-candy watching one come to life - AND they are so fun for me to make!

I usually share any peeks at the process over on my IG account.

In the process, there is a combination of letting the actual astrological chart inspire decisions about how I will begin and end the piece, but in the middle it is all creative energy and flow - and letting go of control to open up to the blooming of the mandala.

This particular set (in the video) was for my sister's family, but I have made several rounds of these commissioned mandalas over the past year for various families, couples and birthday gifts. That make beautiful sets.

Personalized commissions take a special kind of attention and time in the studio, so I don't always have these available to order.

However, I have some space to make a few custom mandalas as the summer is wrapping up, for anyone interested, and for a limited time. See the details to order yours on my new shop page.

As for the framing, I love simple... and hope this little idea inspires some of you with your creations and collections.

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Before I go, here is an old photo just for kicks... a young, but-oh-so-tired Hali back at the art school exhibition I mentioned in the video - where I received an award for a set of drawing 'meditations' - no frames, just pinned to the wall like little art specimens, evidence of process, as-is.

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