sketches

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....

 

Let Color Move (You) | Something From the Studio 4 (with video)

Let Color Move YOU (video for backgrounds and loosening up those creative perspectives - Something From the Studio with Hali Karla) In this video, I share some peeks and musings from a Saturday play day in the studio, including:

1) Moving color & making backgrounds to loosen up for painting studies

2) seeing old studies in new ways as sets

3) combining unlikely paint-sketches and such for new, curious painting possibilities (I start a wild abstract piece), with a few ideas that can lift pressure or that feeling of being stuck in your creative practice

4) one of my favorite Clarissa Pinkola Estes quotes on creativity and keeping the flow clear and moving.

Just a little Something From the Studio for you - and this one could be a great one to paint along with (maybe make some wild backgrounds of your own)...

Here are just a few closer peeks and a snippet from that quote...

Let Color Move YOU (video for backgrounds and loosening up those creative perspectives - Something From the Studio with Hali Karla)

Let Color Move YOU (video for backgrounds and loosening up those creative perspectives - Something From the Studio with Hali Karla)

Let Color Move YOU (video for backgrounds, sets and loosening up those creative perspectives - Something From the Studio with Hali Karla)

Video for backgrounds and loosening up those creative perspectives - Something From the Studio 4 with Hali Karla

 

Trusting What Isn't Mine At All (with intuitive mandalas)

intuitive mandalas inspired by astrological birth charts (Hali Karla) intuitive mandalas inspired by astrological birth charts (Hali Karla)

intuitive mandalas inspired by astrological birth charts (Hali Karla)

intuitive mandalas inspired by astrological birth charts (Hali Karla)

intuitive mandalas inspired by astrological birth charts (Hali Karla)

These intuitive mandalas are a few examples of a personal creative practice I've integrated into reading astrological birth charts this year.

One way I process and relate to life is through colorful contemplation and creative play... so why not charts?

Astrology can be so head-y and analytical, with good reason. And it can be effective and helpful that way, on its own.

And yet, maybe it's the artist in me... but there's more to seeing the holistic connections within the system, more to expressing its messages with the wonder they evoke.

I think of how a group of us could be standing on the same miraculous summit, on the most perfect day, and for each of us some distinct and different nuance of light, shadow, color, mood, composition or area would speak to our individual heart-language most clearly. Same amazing creation. Same amazing Creator. Yet beautifully different focal points of perspective and inspiration. All valid and true.

That's the stuff of life that lights me up. The unexplainable methods and rituals that work. The mysterious, vast, diverse, incredible potential that courses through each of us.

And the way the cosmos whisper to us, I see you; you are loved, learning and whole.

The mandalas above are what they are, materially. Simple. No fuss. An exercise in flow, surrender, listening and play.

No two are alike, by the nature of how they are created.

I just follow intention and instinct, add water, and watch it all change. With a dash of reason and personal symbol added in, and the unpredictable flow of paint on wet paper.  And it works for me. As a way to connect the head-y stuff with how my heart sees the deeper connections and themes, and to listen for that which [God] wants to be seen, shared and honored.

I could say that it's about trusting my process, or trusting my skill, or trusting my self.

But really it's about trusting something that isn't mine at all.