sketches

a sketchbook flip-thru | Something from the Studio 15

Creativity is about connections, and connections are not made by siloing everything off into its own space. New ideas are formed by interesting juxtapositions, and interesting juxtapositions happen when things are out of place.
— Austin Kleon

I finally edited this flip-through video of a "patchwork" sketchbook I put together earlier this year.

By "patchwork" I mean a conglomeration of spreads created by pieces and parts from my creative practice, sketches, fodder, unfinished art journals+such - and even remnants from art I made 20+ years ago - all hanging around in my studio in various places. 

Putting two sketches, paintings or visual ideas next to each other, that weren't necessarily made with one another in mind, is a wonderful way to see some of your own style or visual language coming through, without even really trying. You begin to see the way you make marks even as you change mediums or focus, the colors and movement, the energy within the simpler pages, and the beauty behind the messy pages and nonsensical leftovers.

This sketchbook is not one of my more intentional contemplative or intuitive practices at all, and it's certainly no masterpiece or poster-child for intricately completed art or art journaling. 

It's a sketchbook. An idea book. A place of collection and everyday creative-randomness, noticing, expression... coming together eventually in unexpected ways. Unexpected visual dialogues and juxtapositions.

It IS a unique approach, though, in that I don't always put together sketchbooks like this one usually.

My current everyday sketchbook approach has more of a sequence in time as I capture ideas, and a lot more writing involved. But this one definitely became an interesting contemplation in its own right, in the process of bringing things together from a span of many years... with some pages that surprised me with a spark of curiosity and have led to more meditative or interesting explorations and ideas since. 

Things had to be pulled out of their tidy places to be seen fresh in new relationships with one another. They found a new place to be, so there is a bit of that mysterious process paradox at play, too.

This video/sketchbook also includes a peek at a couple of sketches that did become larger paintings and meditations in my process. Those paintings are here and here.


A flip-thru video of a mixed-media sketchbook art journal | Hali Karla Arts

Join me on Patreon for Creative Practice explorations, behind-the-scenes updates, and live-online get-togethers.

Also - that Austin Kleon quote is from his book Keep Going - it’s a good one.

Thanks for stopping by - Happy Creating!

Hali

to create is to invite vulnerability

diatom and portrait, art journal page, Hali Karla Arts

Every time I hit send to invite folks to an offering, I find myself navigating tender waters within.

How will it be received? Will folks accept the invitation? Will my readers be interested? Did I adequately express the heart and inspiration behind the creation or offering? Will that resonate beyond me?

It's not unfamiliar territory to an artist at all, but interesting how it is consistent in the process and experience, no matter how many years you move through the cycle.

I suppose the audacity - for those of us lit by undeniable creative fires - is that we have to keep trying... whether a thing is received in the way we hope or not.

There is a creative spirit that gives us the insight to see something that wants form, and the breath to try to give it the attention it calls for, and learn something in the process of offering it up. This is true for humans, not just humans who identify as artists, of course.

The past few days have been one of these all-too-familiar work-waves in my creative process, culminating with this morning - when I opened doors for my next offering, the Creative Practice Circle, and shared it with my subscribers.

It is not flashy or full of big promises and strategic pre-launch hype. Instead, it comes from a place of deep joy, percolating intuition and a tinge of rebellious realness - the kind that tries to listen to the voice that says, 'not the way everyone else is doing it. no, not that way. try this way. follow the connections you sense; it’s about more than you. ok - now, it’s ready, imperfect and true and ready to share.’

Painting can be like that, too. And writing, and sketching, and making a song… creating anything at all from an inspired, honest place within, really.

This new live-online Creative Practice Circle won't be for everyone - but seats are already being claimed today, and that fills my heart - as I know the circle and time together in Creative Practice will fill those who show up.

The mysterious gift of it all becoming something I merely initiate and hold space for, makes my own tender process of visioning, tending details, and sharing an invitation, come what may, all worthwhile.

Where my Spirited muse calls, I follow - to see what can happen, beyond me.

Is there an invitation, idea or offering imprinted on your creative heart, that you’ve felt called to make, explore, express, or accept and show up to? I hope you’ll trust that call and follow where it leads you.

If you like, learn more and join the Creative Practice Circle


also… diatoms are most amazing, don’t you think? (that’s what you see on the left side of my art journal spread above). they have a huge impact on our climate for such mysterious little things. i’ve been fascinated by them for decades... they’ve inspired my clay and paint creations in the past, and i seem to circle back to them periodically in a contemplative sort of way. they’re like a mysterious key i haven’t figured out yet in my visual language. good stuff.

A Language of Understanding (art journal musing + peek)

it all makes so much more sense to me without words. all the things i see and feel most deeply, and most want to express and explore in the nature of things.

and yet, my whole life i've been told and shown that words are part of my gift and medicine. life calls me back to the distinctly uncomfortable edge of translating those ineffable connections - from the visual, sensual, felt realms of experience - into arrangements of ideas when i write, speak or teach. Ideas that might, with god's help, spark a wider perspective, shine light on a bridge overlooked, or catalyze a small moment of healing and validation for another.

part of me would love to be an artist who could spend all day painting and making, knowing all along that she was called to this visual expression and sharing alone. or a writer who knew without a doubt that words were the medium for her, the gift, her way to sweat, evoke and inspire... maybe I would write a book, or blog more regularly. but what i find as my creative truth + process is a little more complex than that.

this artist energy, for me - this creative energy i can't deny - is one of BEing in life and relationship, and pursuing what calls forth my creative spirit into that engagement somehow. it's not one way of expressing or another. it's both/and and then-some. it is a dance of learning and teaching sharing.

it's not (just) a job. it's not just a 'body of work', per se, except what is to be discovered and expressed in this body of mine. it's a way of experiencing life, first. deep terrains of internal landscape that shape the navigation of life 'out here' where the world might observe but mere glimpses. and it just doesn't always look like what so many conventional ideas about 'artist' would have us believe....

and the rest, for me, is the very real struggle of working with what I can to let out from inside of my experience that beauty and pain and inquisitive nature which calls to be expressed, released, loved, evolved or blessed with the poetry of activated stillness. it's a stumbling on the page most of the time, and yet sometimes a resonance of recognition... however big or small or seemingly inconsequential.

sometimes, for me, it is line and color and the making of marks. sometimes it is words and musings and sharing bits of stories, healing or connections i have learned, sensed or witnessed.

always, what comes of my process, is merely an attempt at translating presence with all of this. evidence of my own quest for understanding and connection with life itself. and maybe it's also a morsel, perhaps, for yours.

and lately, i find more and more, at the end of the day, in the language of life and love and creative spirit... it all makes so much more sense to my soul without all the words getting in the way....