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Choosing Artwork – The Healing Spa in Hawaii

Ocean, foliage covered rounded mountains, sea foam at the shore, blue skies, calm, happiness
A Photo of Pololu Lookout, a few miles down the road from the Halai Healing Place.

An Email from Hawaii

LaRen’s first email greeted me with the wonderful word Aloha.  It immediately conjured up the warm sun and crystal clear waves in beautiful Hawaii in my mind.  LaRen was in the process of choosing artwork to make her healing practice more welcoming and calming for her spa clients.  She was working with a few pieces of inherited furniture; a couple of chairs, one rust in color and one avocado.  Also in the room was a brightly lit exit sign which didn’t convey an air of relaxation and calm and was a frustrating source of anti-Feng Shui to LaRen as it was also positioned above the door. Over the seating area there was an electrical panel which also needed to be covered.  LaRen’s healing spa is more then just a spa; she offers lifestyle coaching, does reiki workshops, private yoga and energy medicine.  LaRen sent me a few photos of the space:

choosing artwork for a challenging space
Photos of the healing spa before designing and choosing artwork

Choosing Artwork for the space

The first painting that was chosen for this challenging space was my green plum blossom painting with the Kanji Symbols for Love, Grace, Wisdom and Truth.  The painting has cool healing tones and would match the avocado chair well.  We went through a few size options until we settled on a 60″ wide and 30″ tall overall size to be soothing and not overwhelm the whole space as it is a smaller area.  This painting’s branch pointed towards the right where a door is located to subtly direct movement into that direction.

The next painting that was chosen for the space was the midnight blossom painting but in a new custom size (36″ wide by 24″ tall) to fit the space next to a dark armoire in the spa.  This painting again contains a bit of rust to complement the chair in the spa, and black to include the armoire it will be hung next to.

Last but not least a custom translucent koi fish painting was designed to fit over the exit sign.  I handcrafted a panel using supplies from Home Depot and unstretched canvas to get the correct depth to the painting so that it would definitely cover the exit sign that jutted out of the wall.  The canvas had to be covered from the back with black heavy card-stock to ensure the glow of the exit sign wouldn’t invade LaRen’s healing spa ever again.

Tweaking the Colors

Originally LaRen wanted to include shades of teal into the paintings, but once I created a custom version with the teal it was clear it would not look right in the space and we went back to the drawing board.

The teal version of the painting looked like this:

Plum Blossom Painting with hints of teal and rust.

The painting was too light in color and didn’t ground the space enough so I painted a darker, more vibrant version of the plum blossom painting with deep shades of greens and more rust to bring in the colors of the chairs.

The Koi Fish Painting was also originally designed with shades of teal but I reworked the colors to make the tones deeper to match the space better as well.

Koi Fish and Vine and Berry Painting to cover the Exit Sign Color Customization.

The Reveal

When all the paintings were the right colors and sizes I carefully wrapped each panel for its long journey to Hawaii.  The process of choosing artwork was now finished and we both excitedly waited until the paintings arrived.

Sunlit valley with a river and clouds in Polulu Valley Hawaii
Pololu Valley in Hawaii: The location of the final home of the chosen artwork

The day LaRen sent me photos of the paintings up in the healing spa made me so happy!  Everything fit perfectly and the colors were so balanced and harmonious.  The sizes perfectly covered the challenging exit sign and electrical panel making the space more peaceful and relaxing.  LaRen sent me these photos of the space with the paintings up on the walls:

Custom made Koi Fish Painting covering the exit sign.


Midnight Blossom Painting in custom sizing.


Custom Plum Blossom Painting to bring together the existing furnishings and colors in the spa and cover an electrical panel.

LaRen left me such a beautiful review the day she put her artwork up in her spa and I wanted to include it here in full:  ““I ordered three custom pieces from Nathalie. She was so incredibly gracious and patient with me as I figured out what I wanted and then fine tuned it. The end result was better than I could have hoped for. In person, her art shines with a depth that isn’t captured in photographs. Her art has defined my office environment as a HEALING space. I am so very appreciative of her unique style and talent. Each and every canvas presents a masterpiece of beautiful artistry. If I had more wall space, I would not doubt order more. I feel very blessed to have found her and cannot imagine how anyone could be anything but superbly pleased by the end result. She has a true gift. Each piece reflects her internal grace. It was definitely worth the wait.” – LaRen Kristen, Hawi, Hawaii September 2017″

LaRen of the Halai Healing Place in Polulu with her husband
Photo of LaRen and her Husband in beautiful Polulu, Hawaii. Photo credit to Bryan Lowry of LAVAPIX.