the crystal project

Fingerprint - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

I’m embarking on a new heART project that for now I am nicknaming ‘the crystal project’, and to describe it briefly it’s a way for me to work more closely with some of the crystals I’m strongly drawn to and to learn more about my own personal experiences with them, and what they have to share with me.

Shortly before beginning this blog in November 2013 was when I first started becoming intrigued by the power and energy of crystals. This was through receiving a crystal healing which I decided to do because I felt like there were many blockages to what I wanted to create and bring into my life. A lot of shifts took place within my chakras and belief systems, and it didn’t take long for new opportunities and experiences to begin to show up for me. I was given a selection of crystals at the end of the session, and so my curiosity (read: obsession) took hold.

A couple of months later I was travelling in New Zealand and I found a wonderful crystal shop just outside of Auckland. Until this point I’d never really been in a place quite like it before. I purchased what is still my most treasured crystal, a small fluorite point. It’s been with me on every adventure since and recently spent a couple of months down in Canberra with my partner as a nice reminder of home. I still pick out a crystal or two on each trip to a new place as a memento, most recently a Charoite and Malachite stone from New York.

Since the visit to NZ and the discovery of an amazing local crystal wholesaler, my collection has grown much larger. Crystals surround me at home and in my studio, they adorn my body, and come with me wherever I go. But I’ve noticed that with having so many more now, I haven’t developed as close of a connection with a large number of them. Foremost, this project is a way for me to do that. But I have also felt drawn to creating art which reflects what I see as the spirit or world within that crystal. So that is what has led me to ‘the crystal project’.

While I haven’t yet begin working on the final artworks just yet, I am experimenting more with different mediums, textures and marks as a way to find some new territory that may find it’s way into this art project. You never know how some colours or mediums will interact with each other until you play with their infinite possibilities. The artwork above, called ‘Fingerprint’, is one such exploration. I’m excited to work more on this passion project and share more of my stories and discoveries with you soon.

Artwork available as a print here.


doorways series

Doorway - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Over the last year and a half since Maps to Herself came to be, I’ve been inspired by so many various things that I love which make their way from my soul to the canvas. Geometry and sacred symbology, animals, crystals, nature, astrology and the divine feminine. At least one of these will always play a part in my artistic expression and there is always a beautiful message to receive from them.

As I continue to explore different themes or styles, recently there has been a growing desire to explore one particular theme more deeply. A kind of artist study. It stems from my fascination for the intricately decorated doorways and exotic arches that grace the cities and towns of places like India. I have never been to India, but I know that it won’t be long until I find myself there, being mesmerized by all the beauty, colour and spirit that infuse their culture.


I feel drawn to this subject not only for the visual beauty but by what is intrinsically represents. A narrative, a ritual, a symbolic interpretation of the metaphysical world. The doorway allows positive energy (prana) into a space while keeping negative energy at bay. It’s the progression from outer reality into the inner sanctum where everything is considered most beautiful and divine. It is the movement from the materialistic to spiritual world.

I’m excited to share more over the next few months, and there’ll be plenty of progress shots shared on my Facebook page and Instagram.


blooming true

Canvas 1 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

My oh my, more than a month has already passed since I returned home from the amazing experience that was Bali and Flora’s Bloom True painting retreat. It’s taken me a little while to be ready to write this post. Every time I sat down to write it I struggled to find the words. I think my heart arrived back home much later than my body did, choosing to inhabit the warmth and beauty of those memories for as long as it could. As you read, I hope you can place yourself there with me, just for this moment, and let it inspire you as it profoundly did for me.

Beyond the necessary planning ahead of the trip, I didn’t actually think too much about what was in store. I wanted to arrive with an open mind, without any preconceived ideas or expectations. I knew it was where I was supposed to be and I trusted the journey would unfold as it should. As soon as I arrived late at night at my gorgeous villa in Ubud I think I was already under it’s rich and mellow spell. Exploring this vibrant town and it’s many beautiful differences to other places I’ve travelled was fascinating. After foraging the colourful markets and culinary offerings, visiting the bali spirit festival and amazing rice fields, keeping cool with quick pool dips in between outings, and trying to cross the streets safely, I was ready to make my way to the quiet little fishing village of Amed to join my fellow true bloomers for a week of connecting and creativity.

Canvas 2 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

There’s something pretty magical about feeling an instant kindredness with not just one person but a whole group, and for myself, kind of unusual. To be in the company of a group of women who I hardly knew and feeling at ease is by no means my default setting. But that’s what happened, and it has everything to do with knowing they had all made the decision to be there, and had been carefully selected by Flora. To me it meant that we were free to just be ourselves, far away from who we think we are or aren’t back at home. Free from the usual responsibilities or pressures of daily life. It’s safe to say that we were all ready to let go of all that, and breathe into this beautiful sacred space that had been created for us.

I could write a whole post just about how wonderful Flora and her two brilliant sidekicks, Lynx and Rachael, were during the week. They each possess such wisdom, vulnerability, magic, creativity and strong voices in their own authentic way. They were the absolute perfect trio to hold this space for us, and being in their company and learning so much from them is something I will always hold close to my heart.

As the week went on, filled with lots of swimming, delicious meals, a few bintangs (which went down surprisingly well for a non-beer drinker, it’s definitely the heat!), late night chats and lots of laughs, there was of course lots of painting. I think it was a rare treat for many of us to have a huge block of time just to paint. And paint some more. It was the first time in a long while that I truly felt immense flow and joy of just creating, and letting go of everything else. It’s how I want to feel all the time, and I’m so grateful to have experienced that fully. I think I could have easily continued on for another month or two! I can definitely visualise more creative sabbaticals in my future.

Canvas 3 - Bloom True Bali - Jo Klima

Shared here are the three finished canvases that came home with me. I was hoping to have at least one finished piece, and to me each of these felt like they had completed their journey in Bali along with myself as we approached our last day. The elephant was the third canvas I worked on, trying to use colours that I hadn’t used much in the first two, and wouldn’t normally use either. And I absolutely love it. A beautiful lesson in letting go of what you’re comfortable with, and finding something you love even more.

What stood out to me the most from the week is how deeply I wanted to be part of this kind of creative community after I returned home. It’s something I have wanted for a while, but to experience it like that brought new perspective and clarity to making it happen. And for my friends in Brissie and nearby, this is the first manifestation of that. For those further away, I hope you are enjoying the online community and Make Art Monday’s.

Thank you for reading this far! I wanted to get these thoughts out before I moved onto other new posts, and I’m looking forward to sharing more art and other contemplations here very soon.


hello from bali

Bali - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Shortly before I launched this blog in November I applied to join Flora Bowley on her Bloom True painting retreat in Bali. I (not so) patiently waited to find out if I would be one of the lucky few who were selected to go. I scheduled the trip in my calendar and absolutely knew that if I was meant to go that it would happen. Almost 3 weeks later I received the email offering me a spot and I was overcome with gratitude to be going on this trip, unsure of how I could wait another 4.5 months.

Well it’s finally here! I arrived in Bali a couple of days ago, leaving Ubud to travel to Amed this afternoon for what I’m sure is going to be an incredible experience. When I decided to enrol in Flora’s Bloom True online e-course in May last year, I had no idea that it would lead me to painting with her in person in such a magical place.

Doing Flora’s e-course is what inspired me to follow my creative heart back to making art. It’s why this space is here, where I can share it with you. It’s been so wonderful to hear all your lovely words about the artwork I’ve created and have you with me in spirit during my travels through Bali.

This place is filling me up with so much inspiration already, the temples and carvings, flowers and jungles, the energy and beauty. I can’t wait to see what shows up on the canvas over the next week, and connecting with a gorgeous group of women and artists. I’ll be posting lots of photos on Instagram!


a place yet to explore

NZ Exploration - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

I feel there is a message for me in everything I create. Sometimes it’s clear and related to something that is going on in my life that I need to know, and other times it’s more of a mystery. The art that I post on this site may evoke something within you that is different from what comes up for me (and if it does, I’d love to hear about it!). This particular artwork was created late last year, and at the time I was unsure of it’s meaning. That was, until I returned from a little adventure in New Zealand at the start of the year. I looked back at the image and smiled with a new awareness of what it represented.

Lake Pukaki, NZ - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

The artwork embodies what I saw and felt in what became one of my favourite places on our trip, Lake Tekapo. The pure turquoise water so luminous it appeared both magical and mystical. Snow-capped mountains lined the horizontal even in the midst of Summer, and as a place known for it’s dark and clear sky, stars and galaxies lit up the night.

Lake Tekapo, NZ - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Lake Tekapo from Mount John, New Zealand

While the artwork appears to be day, the night sky and stars are reflected in the water. It was a surreal moment to think this was painted before I visited this place, unaware of how much I would love it. It makes me wonder if my soul had already known I would.

Deer in NZ - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Mr. Deer, New Zealand

Shortly after sadly driving away from Lake Tekapo to catch our flights back home, we spotted and stopped by a deer farm. The whole herd of deer ran to the hills, startled by our presence, except for this guy, who happily posed for us. What was interesting to notice was that the silhouette of a deer also appeared in the progress shots of this artwork below.

NZ Exploration Progress - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Is art not only a path of expressing our current situation and receiving guidance to help us through life, but also a medium to visualise things that as yet we don’t know or haven’t experienced? There is so much powerful energy when creating intuitive art and I feel I’m only at the very beginning of learning and witnessing where it leads me. I think this type of exploration will also begin to manifest in other practices, but right now it’s gaining strength in my art.

The universe can leave signs in the most unexpected places. Keep your mind open and let them reveal themselves.