cultivating holistic creativity

loose mandala in the studio, Hali Karla Arts

A little behind-the-scenes vlog (isn’t there a better word for that yet?) – straight from the studio – with a new candid series I’ve been meaning to start for… well, way too long to admit!

actually… when I just googled “Hali Karla heartbeat” I was reminded that I did do a few of these vlogs before (and posted them – go figure), and I actually wrote a post that featured the same title over a year ago! On top of that, I recently did a little studio cleaning and was touching up a painting (behind me in the video, on the easel) – and it’s the very same painting from the post before! Not planned, and not even kidding.

This creative process of life always brings us full circle, with an expanded spiral view, doesn’t it?

I’m going to post a “heartbeat” check-in every week for awhile. Stop by and check your own creativity vitals with me!


art journal, Hali Karla Arts

This page was a simmer down page. A dip into breath, to coax my pulse to ease. I needed to be. To feel my tactility without layers of question. To simply put my brush to page, and touch my own sense of quiet spaciousness.

I fell a little bit in love with creamy white on this page… its subtle richness, unimposing, yet so graceful in how it shines light on what rests beside it. Somehow white whispers, see this here, and also, forget-me-not.


altered book art journal, Hali Karla

it doesn’t have to be complicated. or take hours and hours. or lots of training, skill and energy. you don’t have to learn anything new – unless you want to. you don’t have to look for the meaning or justification. or wait for permission or acknowledgment or until everything else is tended. you don’t have to dress it up with fancy stuff, proven techniques or perfect timing. you can just come. to the page. to the sitting. to the release and the healing. to your truth for today. to the breathing and being and movement within. let it be simple and honest. let it be enough to be as you are.


RELEASE is released on August 15. JOIN US.


creative circles guidebook giveaway

I’ve been away from home and studio the last few days, and have just been waiting for the first chance with a little quiet time + good internet to offer this giveaway to you! Right before hitting the road, I was gifted a preview of this guidebook, as well as one to give away to my readers – because Connie (who put this guidebook together) knows I feel like she does – passionate about helping women activate the calling to gather women together for creativity and healing.

I knew this guidebook would be good. I know the caliber of work and wisdom from the guests that are part of this offering – Lisa Sonora Beam, Chris Zydel, Heather Plett, and Elizabeth Weinstein! I’ve also been holding, gathering, participating in and learning from the process of coordinating circles, workshops, retreats and collaborations for years – and yet as I read and listened to this over the weekend, I was still so deeply inspired, reminded, and learned a few new things by what is shared here… and maybe most importantly, I felt the stirrings of my commitment to this work deepened, refreshed and renewed! That’s how circle energy works.

You can enter below to win a copy. Or to purchase and learn more about the Creative Circles Guidebook (which is officially released today), just GO HERE.
I’m not an affiliate, I just want this baby in your hands!

Here’s how the giveaway works:


1. Share this somewhere in social media land or in an email to a friend you know would love it – honor system here.

2. Then, leave your name and email in a comment below, and tell me a bit about what calls you to this – your curiosity or experience, what lights you up, what your vision is.

That’s it.

I will draw a winner on Friday, August 15 – and post it here…

The WINNER IS entry #21, Mariette Hebert! Congratulations – I will email you!

Screenshot 2014-08-15 18.38.04

If you would like to purchase the guidebook, just go HERE.

If you’d like to learn more about my online Creative Women’s Circle, RELATE, starting October 3, just go HERE.



Triple Falls watercolor sketch, Hali Karla
Triple Falls North Carolina, Hali Karla Arts
Triple Falls in North Carolina, Hali Karla Arts
Triple Falls in North Carolina, Hali Karla Arts
Triple Falls, art journaling, Hali Karla

There are places that call to us. Water calls me like the forest does. Here in Western North Carolina, the two landscapes of my spirit meet and sing their duet. Sitting on the ground, as if at their feet, feels like timeless, holy healing and rightful respect. It makes me feel small and alive… and in the presence of mighty precious mystery.

When I sketch or paint in these places, there is a subtle sort of trance that happens – a seeing, breathing, un-thinking. I feel my creative self move into the energy that is all around me, permeating me with her sights, sounds and scents – and I keep my colors moving and my attentiveness inquisitive. I try very hard not to look upon the page with any judgment at all – because the feeling of just being there trumps any notion of capturing it to page. To lay it to page is more of a meditation with place, about extending that feeling within me, reveling and savoring it, impressing it upon my cells. So I let my brush and paints ride the wave. Water is a delightfully mischievous muse.

At this waterfall, the smell was fresh, the air misty and cool on my skin, and the sights vibrated. The roar of the water was as sweet as silence can be. My husband sat next to me and sketched his own pages. We talked very little. We listened and looked and laid on the old grandfather rocks… remembering something about ourselves that only a slow-down in nature can reveal.


online Women's Creativity Circle hosted by Hali Karla Arts

I’m happy to announce I will be holding my virtual women’s circle, RELATE, again in October!

It has changed some since last year, as have I, and this evolution reflects a deeper truth about why I feel called to share this work. While asking less of a long-term time commitment this year, the promise to self holds rich potential.

RELATE is a call out to women looking to explore a regular creative practice as an ally on a spiritual path that is grounded in who we are and how we show up to life. Everything we will cover is deeply embedded in how we relate to our selves, each other, and the world – and how we would like to (even if this feels unclear right now).

I also encourage anyone who is holding a particular prayer deep in their being to consider joining us this year. The type of journey you will embark on in RELATE will be a beautiful, safe way to honor and amplify your prayer and listening – I say this from experience. I practice what I bring to you to practice.


This is the progression of the prayer painting that I worked on while I held space for RELATE last year. She is 52″ x 56″ – quite a presence – and interestingly, I can now see how she is a sort of prophetess for the evolution of RELATE since last year, too – as well as other things that were shifting in my life at the time.


I would be honored to have you join us this year in this global creative women’s circle, as we stretch our concepts of creativity and being in circle together. Come see what rises within you, center in your truth and feel the support of others collectively doing the same in their own process and wholeness.

To learn more and register for RELATE, go RIGHT HERE.


rp_treeroot8x8.jpgOne more exciting tidbit, related to all of this, that I want to share…

This year, I have also been quietly on the lookout for an organization that is in alignment with my own values and personal process, that I could offer a little support to. As my creative business blooms, I hope to do more of this in the future – in different ways, I imagine.

I wanted to be guided to an effort that reflects my own passions, though – rather than simply choose an organization – if that makes sense. There is so much happening in our world, so many things to keep up with, that pull our heart-strings and need help. It can be overwhelming. It can be inspiring. It can be paralyzing or activating. So, I waited until I *knew* in a quieter, energetically pure way.

I have been moved by the vision and mission of TREE SISTERS this year, and deeply called toward environmental sustainability awareness and lifestyle changes as part of my own personal journey of living in alignment with mother earth, feminine wisdom, self-empowered healing and helping to create a better world.

So I am happy to say that 10% of all registration contributions from RELATE will be donated to TREE SISTERS this year. Please stop by their website and learn what they’re about – and if you feel called, share their efforts.