the making of "Date Palm"

Creating a piece for a client is an incredibly personal project, as I dive deep into the meaningful symbolism that I draw inspiration from. In this instance, I was capturing the essence of a place: the hometown of a beloved. 

Photos, colors, discussion, adjustments, all came together when inspiration striked, coming together to make this 24X30" piece:


Step 1: Determining Size

The process starts with the size and dimension of the piece: we wanted something impactful, but not overbearing. I first went with a 20X24" canvas, but decided after starting this was too small to give the client what she wanted. Going about 10" larger allowed for the composition that would be necessary to balance negative space most effectively. 

Step 2: Creating An Approved Palette & Illustrative Inspiration


I have never utilized a mood board before starting a commission, and it was a complete game changer when it came to organizing my thoughts and providing intention, I used PicMonkey to create this one using one of their templates and it helped me add images that the client gave me as well as resources from Pinterest. The words came to me from both the client and my interpretation, and I wanted them to feel this when they viewed the piece. 

Step 3: Initiating

This part is fucking thrilling. Beginning a painting determines the route it takes throughout the creative process, I decided to go forth by creating a dreamy vignette done by fading out pale rose and peach with Liquid Matte Medium and water. This step allowed me to create depth while giving me time to meditate on my next move. The piece had to lay flat for nearly 2 weeks to properly dry but the detail was worth it:


You can notice the layers in texture and colors that formulate from applying these washes of color. It is my new favorite effect. 

Step 4: Finishing/Varnishing

Deciding when a painting is complete can be a tricky process, but what I have noticed over the years is that it is often intuitive. I put myself in the client's shoes and ask "Is this worth X amount? What do I feel when I look at this? Are there any hidden areas that need more work?" Asking these questions reveals the final piece. 

What I loved about this painting is it finished the very moment the song I was listening to ended. 

That has never happened before, and it was magical. 

Overall, I hope to make more paintings like this, it feels like home, and something I can give back to the world that is one of a kind, a collective of feelings inspired by place, texture, and color.

xo Solveig

Solveig NollComment