Painting for Poncho

‘My work is passion’ – Shane Mahaloness

It seems that the times are a changing. The world is upset, people are gathering, some peaceful, some filled with rage. Perhaps it is time to take some not so new directions, and to take a step back from the hustle and bustle that is our lives, here in North America that is, and look at our world and find some solutions to ever growing problems that are not just going to go away. I think it is my responsibility to stay tuned into the current voice and perhaps convey some of the dialogue I have been hearing into painted form. The painting I have attached is a bit of an anecdote of this. Here you see the face of a woman, portrayed in combination with an animal, cat like, possibly her spirit animal. Underneath her is a tribe of heart bearing soldiers, who represent a growing number of people gathering together, who are frustrated with the current program and want to see change, peacefully. Without a doubt change is what we are seeing. The younger generations are growing, and gaining momentum. Some are taking to the streets, gathering in the forests, on beaches, wherever, and making there presence known through media like the internet in an effort to grow a movement and ‘change’ the world. It makes me wonder if it’s possible to change the world and what exactly we are changing and what the next step is going be. When we are faced with those questions, it becomes not so clear. It is reminiscent of the 60’s, and a growing frustration with some of the policies government were choosing to engage in, and a division forming between those who go with the system and those who are opposed. What seems interesting to me is that even within the divisions there are more divisions, and if that wasn’t enough there is even dissension in those ranks because no one can agree with the other- call it individuality or short sightedness, or whatever you will. It is in the opinion of this author that until some of these questions are addressed and resolved, the theatre that is life will do as it does and we will all be witness. Bravo!

On a lighter note- the background story to Paint for Poncho:

I have been painting portraits for a good many years. The subjects are from all parts of the globe, representing all kinds of folks with different walks of life. It has been amazing to see the paintings evolve. Each time I try to go a slightly different direction than the last. After all, each individual is individual, so the trick is to bring out the qualities of the individual while making it relatable to the rest of us. Easy right? Not so easy, but fun all the same.I met this subject in the painting at a gathering in Shawnigan Lake B.C. at Earthdance. Her name is Maia and she is from Mexico. In an inspired moment I decided to go from the busy city of Vancouver to the quietude of the Vancouver Island. I left in the morning and would eventually arrive at my destination late that same evening. It turned out not to be so easy; 4 buses, a sky train, a ferry, more buses… and if that wasn’t enough I would find myself walking 6 km down a lonely highway, with the light starting to fade. I journeyed on, sticking my thumb out, and driver after driver passing by without stopping. It is in these kind of moments that your faith in humanity will get tested. With this in mind I said to myself, “keep on,” and wouldn’t you know it, a fine young man stopped in his beat down giant 4 x 4 truck, covered in crusty dried mud splatter  (it is the island after all, and this is bogging territory.) With a little hesitation I jumped in and my friend graciously took me to my destination. Now I might add that I had never hitched a ride before, and I have to say it is a very interesting way to put yourself out there, kind of at the mercy of the universe. I think it is true that you attract what you put out. The whole journey I was putting out the light, and the universe responded accordingly. Once I arrived it was time to reconnect with nature, see some friends, and celebrate the good things in life. A friend of mine, Daniel, also known as Blue Lunar Monkey, would be playing his produced downtempo magic in a small yurt to a small intimate audience. There was also a fire where people gathered engaged in song, and it was really a beautiful joy to be there. As the night went on I would eventually meet Maia. She had these eyes that seemed to portray a kindness and humanity that sometimes gets lost when you are in the city, if you know what I mean. As being a bit of last minute decision to be here, I had forgotten how I was going to hold out for the night. Thankfully, Maia offered me a a couple of blankets and her tent- she had another dwelling to crash so it worked out. I woke up in the morning and returned the blankets to the yurt, and managed to find a lift back to Victoria, where I had to catch a ferry. I would later contact Maia and thank her for her generosity. Little did I know that one of the blankets I returned to the yurt was her grandmas poncho- a sentimental article no doubt, and it turned out she did not retrieve it from the yurt. I felt terrible! So, to make a long story short, I decided to do a painting of Maia. She was a perfect subject for my ongoing portrait series, and fittingly titled the painting ‘Paint for Poncho.’ I also want to raise awareness of the connectivity that we have with each other, and that every reaction has an action, just as any action has a reaction. Choose your path. I know that mine is the peaceful way. I do hope to raise some funds for my pilgrim friend, and buy her a new poncho. The painting is for sale! If interested please contact me at Shanehaltman@gmail.com. Mahaloness!

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