detail of altered book art journal spread by Hali Karla

Here’s a video of this altered book art journal page being made (with a musing down below)…

 

altered book art journal spread by Hali Karla

Relinquishing control in your creative practice – for an intuitive process-oriented approach – is as much a commitment and sort of discipline as is sticking to a plan or technique and seeing it through systematically to completion.

That is one of the mysteries of creative process that calls me into deeper communion with the expression of my inner world in outward form or color… to dance between the heartbeats of free-flowing intuitive improvisation (often a bit chaotic) and the grounding medicine of pattern, rendering and more familiar systems of approach (offering a sense of order).

Both ways can offer tensions and peace for growth.

Somewhere in that call and response, there is a felt sense of the sheer miracle of creation, and a resonant knowing that it is never truly either/or, black/white… that there is indeed more of a trinity, black/white and all the grays… or an infinite spectrum, rather… of expressive possibilities when it comes to the spirit of creation.

Words do little to express this way of experience and perception. And quite frankly, more often than not, my art pages often do little as well to convey these sorts of notions directly, or whatever intentions I may be working with visually.

But as the practitioner, the artist, there is a story-line involved.

From the first art I made as a child, to the paint and pages I touch and arrange today… a telling of a deepening experience, of feelings passing through, instincts guiding, a journey progressing… of parts of myself that have always been present, and others that have been formed in the lived experience of my choices and life.

The art journal page above is one of those odd pages that wasn’t planned, says nothing directly, that is not the most remarkable piece I made this year by any means, and that I could hardly explain if I tried. But still it feels like one of the most intimate to me personally.

Some spreads are like that – they visually whisper of our experience, symbolically or otherwise, without our efforts to do so.

In my practice, I am often struck by the feelings of coming home, curious surprise, simple reverence and primal desire, and of connections falling into place in my immediate awareness – ones that had somehow been eluding me or seemed fragmented in states of ordinary tending and daily interactions.

Connections that remind me of what I know, what I can’t un-know, what I don’t know, and what a holy-thank-god wave-of-relief it is to allow that, to see it, to be activated or invited to rest by that acknowledgment.

A paradox and harmony of clarity and mystery… indeed, a sort of call and response.

I make my art (my soul calls out), and my life responds to the connections and calm and release and infusion of spirit from the practice.

I am living in my life and relationships (a living call, “I am here”), and my art responds – whether I mean it to or not, and sometimes as an oracle, not just a re-telling – to what is incubating, forming meaning, causing challenge and heartache and hope. To the cycles I am here to remember and forget and remember again. To what needs to be seen, dealt with, or simply let go.

To us visual ‘creative practitioners’, an art piece or page is a symbol of an in-process progression, a story of perception, a snapshot of presence, an artifact of a living vision forming through us or our own complex world of experience. It’s really quite amazing to get to participate in life this way, I feel.

When art is an experience, a relationship through time, it just doesn’t even matter so much what it looks like at the end of the day. I can think of many other things in life that are – or ought to be – like that, too.

All of this to say… that it is still my creative practice that teaches me most about myself and – most importantly – how I relate to others and our world. The paint moves energy and feelings within me that I often don’t always know how to identify, let alone move, honor or release.

My creative practice reveals peace, decision and connections that my mind alone cannot conjure up or deduce willfully… and it’s a much more fun method than just thinking about things ad nauseam.

To be totally transparent, I still often worry and think about things too much. But eventually – sooner than used to be the case – I remember to just take it to my practice, and I’m always glad when I do.

To explore our curiosities and experience, and create with our hands, heart and mind is a lifeline to the simple truths of being human, expressed through generations of makers, healers and soulful seekers through time. It is remembered by our bodies in our longings and activation to follow creative impulse, joy, truth-telling and rhythm.

Bringing forth how creative spirit moves us, and perceives and transforms through us, may very well be the sacred dream of life itself.

At the very least, it is how we come to know ourselves and the precious gift of being alive.

Just make something, anything. And make something not to become known to the world – but to become known to yourself. ~ Amanda Palmer

 

As I type this musing, I’m also seeing how what I’m sharing eludes to why I’m beginning my new program, In The Stars, next year. Which makes sense – everything is connected, of course. So as I wrap up, I’ll just share a couple thoughts on my why for the upcoming program…

I have always been called to help others feel seen, see themselves, and grow in their self-understanding and connection to what they experience as sacred or awe-inspiring… so that we can all show up as best we can to what this world and life asks of us, sharing this time and our resources on earth together.

I have found that both art practice and astrology are amazing ways of, quite frankly, speeding up and narrowing the lens in the process of knowing ourselves and how we relate.

Each has a different doorway into unique self-inquiry and personal growth insight, which is why together they make an empowering process for exploration and cultivating relationships.

So if you have any interest at all in learning how to make sense of your own birth chart, while exploring its possibilities and meaning for you in a guided monthly creative practice program, click over and sign up to join us for In The Stars in 2017.

Skeptics, dabblers, star-gazers, finger-painters and the inexperienced are all welcome! It is going to be a beautifully meaningful experience, and it just might change your perspective or approach to life.

With great love,

Hali Karla

 

 

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