For All My Relations…

I found Hali Karla last year while searching for a certain type of online art course. I needed something specifically to help me connect to my body again. Four miscarriages…and a toddler running at full-speed through the wilderness of the house…I was ragged and lost…but…I was slowly finding some sort of something for myself via online courses with Effy Wild and Tamara Laporte.
I do return again and again to Tam’s Art, Heart and Healing (which is a free four week online art class)—but then again, I return to all of Tam’s classes over and over again. I love the healing and self-care element to all of her classes. She has been a very empowering teacher for me.
I swear I think I did a search for art class and body or connect to body…and that is how I ended up finding Hali…and I hit with that search just at the right time. Hali was offering a holistic visual journaling experience called Spectrum (this was the 2014 session).
Now, keep in mind, almost all of the classes I had been taking at that time were Effy classes and Tam classes…I knew of other artists, like Flora Bowley, because I had seen her book in art stores and online…and I bought myself a copy…but even with that book the idea of ‘intuitive painting’ was foreign to me.
Spectrum 2014 was actually difficult for me on several levels. I was stuck in my just now beginning phase – and sometimes it was hard for me to break away from what my original teachers had taught me. Then somewhere along the way there was this click…and although faces (for right now) are still my main thing…something clicked and opened and cracked…and I began to move in a different space.
It was not one teacher—but the culmination of all the teachers—all the other students—all the blogs—all the youtube videos—all the newsletters—all the books—everything that I touched and absorbed that year…and yes, this is still an on-going process for me. I am evolving and I am moving forward. Instead of having someone else’s visual vocabulary in place in my personal library—I now have my own.
And that keeps expanding, as I move forward every day, showing up at the page—putting down layers of charcoal and gesso, ink and paint, marker and glue. That first year was … a studious year for me…I had to learn things, had to get things right…and then there came this point where I had to stop doing that…I had to stop doing things someone else’s way…I had to do things my way…and that is when I found joy in my work…and that is when I stopped stressing about so many different things.
I participated in Hali’s Relate last year. This is a contemplative creative circle. Last year, I tried to keep up and participate….but part way through it…I lost my sight almost entirely for several days…and for weeks after had issues seeing, opening my eyes, focusing…so I missed quite a bit of the experience, even though I listened to everything as it came out.
This year, Hali is running Relate again…and this year, I pray my body works with me. There is something in this work that calls me very deeply…stepping into this circle, working with these Seven Gifts…it is quite like a homecoming for me. This circle nourishes my soul and speaks directly to my heart.
I am grateful and honored that this year, Hali gifted me with my space in this session, even though I would have gladly paid to participate. I am so grateful…and glad as well.
Last year, I did create a prayer painting in response to this circle. It took me quite awhile once the class was officially over to work on the painting. I have never been so upset with any other work I had done at the time. And for a silly (now it’s silly to me) reason…it’s an intuitive piece –so I followed my intuition…and my intuition called for me to gather two leaves from outside (Last year’s Relate ran in October)…and I had to utilize both leaves in my painting. Not as masks. Not as models. I had to glue those leaves down onto my substrate (a 12in x 12in wood panel) and I had to paint over them…the resistance I had to that simple act…well, at least I can laugh about it now—but back then…oh man, was I ticked at having to do that.
I still have that painting. I keep it over my work space, so I can look at it whenever I need a boost or a hint or something…there is one word on this piece and that word is: intuition. It is not the greatest painting in the world. But there is power in this piece…because I trusted and I allowed this piece to open up and express itself as it needed –and that allowed me to open up and speak from a different, frequently subdued or lost space within myself.
Relate 2015 started on September 1. We have not even gotten into the actual course material yet (as of this writing). We are still settling in, just setting intentions.
There is a power here—there is a connection.
As I read today’s missive, my intuition was already picking out a canvas (I now have a stash of canvas…it helps…). This year I will be going much bigger than last year—but what is inside me now needs much more space than last year. Plus, so long as my intuition is not asking for cicada shells or bits…or anything of that nature…I could care less…the things I now embed in various ways into journals and canvases and onto pages…it blows my mind some days…I have a 12in x 12in MDF board that I created a background on and then layered petals from several sunflowers over and over and over, lacquering them onto the board with layers of gel medium…which I let dry and then painted over like it was just a regular substrate. Which for me at this point—it is just a normal regular happening.
I do not remember my intention for last year’s Relate—but this year’s intention for me is to find an inner balance so that I may bring that balance out on a daily basis to provide a balance for my family…
This is where I am. I am ready to dive deep. I am ready to open up. I am ready to share.
Where are you today?