Altered book visual journal art, Hali Karla visual journal art detail - my truest muse, Hali Karlavisual journal art detail - my truest muse, Hali Karlavisual journal art detail - my truest muse, Hali Karlavisual journal art detail - my truest muse, Hali Karla

One of my regular self-criticisms as an artist is that my work is too busy, too layered, too much without obvious focus…

this is a trickle down from the paradoxical self-talk obstacles of “not enough” and “too much.” They really are two sides of the same conspiring coin, in my experience.

Now, this awareness and questioning can be helpful at times, for sure. It can help me try new things, look for new possibilities, find spaciousness, grow.

But when not in the right frame of mind, and I judge my art-making like that, I’m usually not centered, not noticing my connection to the source of creativity, not allowing myself to flow with the nature of my creative energy rhythms… which is entirely dynamic and unique to me.

As I type that, I am smiling…. Identifying the ‘affliction’ of thought points directly at the relief for the predicament… directly toward my truest muse. The reason my art is where it is, evolving as it is, and becoming what it may – is because of who I am and what I love.

My truest muse – the ‘object’ of my devotion, source of my inspiration, and essence of my creative pulse itself – is mother nature herself. I always come home to her, mind-body-spirit. If ever there were an unkempt, multi-layered, full of aesthetic busy-ness, yet brilliantly seductive energy – she is that dynamic, adorned embodiment of power.

Nature herself takes my breath away and gives it back again. She loves like that – fully, mutually, in relationship. Tweet: Nature herself takes my breath away and gives it back again. She loves like that - fully, mutually, in relationship. @halikarla

Worship her? Oh, yes.

When my pages begin with or move toward an adoration and reflection of her infinite abundance (in visual element or personal energy) – then I feel free in my own natural creative inclinations. Free to move layers, make marks, see impressions, cultivate imagery and let it get lost in the next movements of emergence.

The emergence is an intuition – the same feeling I get in her presence. When I am present with her, of her, for her.

There is no one object of focus in this, no tight container of expression – that is too narrow. She is far too vast. As is her love and wisdom, in all its diversity and cycles of fierceness, tenderness.

As is the love she evokes in me. Vast, rich, full, shape-shifting layers.

When I walk into my beloved woods or visit her watery places, I am overcome with awe and joy for the grace in her perfections… there is so much to see, explore, inquire, be with. There is no place untouched by her sacred blessing. And in that perfect chaos of her multi-faceted beauty, I find my own peace again, my compass, my home.

So I remind my critical self how fitting it is that my creative practice reflects a desire to express and honor this, to commune with her holy heart, however humble that may be in simple color and marks on a page.

She is Muse. Living Art. Mother. Manifest. In Potentia.

 

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