Happy Easter!

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Bounding Bunny – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Happy Easter!  I painted this little fellow in late February of this year.   Here in Atlanta we were enjoying some unusually early warm weather which was delightful and inspired me to paint Bounding Bunny.  As I was painting, I began to see think about the Easter bunny and how much fun we had as children hunting for Easter eggs and then later as a parent, enjoying the delight of my child and her friends doing the same.  So in this painting I added eggs into the layers of color as a wink to all that fun!

Also, Happy Passover to those of you celebrating that holiday.  It’s a beautiful morning here, hope everyone enjoys the day!

Siamese Cat in the Garden

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Siamese Cat in the Garden – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Siamese Cat in the Garden is new addition to my cat still life series.  After viewing the last painting of the black cat next to the fish pitcher my sister told me a funny story about her siamese cat who was lapping water in a an asian ceramic bowl that suddenly noticed the large fish painted inside and jumped back in fright.  That got me thinking about adding a new painting with a siamese cat.

I’ve done a number of lotus paintings;  I find them beautiful, the colors and they way the blossoms float above large pads. I thought it made sense to add lotuses to a asian garden theme painting with the siamese cat. I also alluded once again to the cat looking at the  large container decorated with catfish.

Many years ago when my twin sister and I were in second grade, a little siamese cat appeared in our yard and adopted our family to live with.   We named her Thai Pung, she was very sweet and full of fun.  She was probably just under a year old and soon we found out she was pregnant.  At that time my twin sister and I shared a double bed and one morning we awoke to see Ti Pung with four little kittens that she had given birth to during the night right in between us.  As an adult, I’ve wondered why she chose our bed.  She didn’t stay with us much longer, my parents must have given her away along with the kittens.

Because of her I’ve always loved Siamese cats, they are smart and vocal.  I enjoyed doing the painting, there were several elements that I had to pull together.  I’m relatively pleased and I now have six cat and floral images for my note cards.

Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat

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Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat is a painting that I’ve just completed.  I felt like doing a new still life and wanted to use the fish pitcher that my twin sister gave me on our birthday last year. It’s one of her many unique thrift store finds,  she’s got a great eye and is always coming home with fun items.  She thoughtfully passed it on to me as I like to paint both pitchers and fish. The pitcher usually stays out in the screened in back porch; I brought it in and filled with sunflowers to paint.

I decided to add a black cat to the painting to continue the still lifes with cats series.  It’s the fourth one in the series and with the two other cat paintings I now have cat note card six pack for marketing purposes.  I’m pleased with the cat, he’s standing for a change which I think works in this painting and it’s also bit humorous that he’s right next to the fish.   I had been wanted to paint sunflowers for a while now, as they radiate warmth and happiness.  The sunflower papier mache bowls I used to make were always quite popular.

It took a while to balance all the elements but I’m happy with the result. Our daughter is coming home for spring break next week, we’re looking forward to her visit.  It’s gotten chilly again today, hopefully it will warm up by next week during her break.

Bounding Bunny

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Bounding Bunny – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I have just completed a new painting, Bounding Bunny.  The lovely springlike weather we are enjoying here in Atlanta has inspired me to have some fun playing with color around a leaping cottontail rabbit.   I’m pleased with the sense of movement that the painting conveys.

When looking back at a similar painting done last year, Two Rabbits in the Meadow; I remember my struggle with the foreground, having to rework it many times.  I prefer the new painting, there’s more movement in the sky and the little bunny is leaping.  This new painting came together easily.

As I wrote before, the rabbit symbolizes good luck and abundance.   In the past few days I’ve sold four items from my two etsy shops, which is  encouraging as Etsy sales had slowed  down last year.  I’ve also gotten new framed prints up at the Fly Biscuit Cafes.  I have some other ideas for marketing and like this bunny I am ready to leap ahead.  March is here which means spring is just around the corner.  I hope all are enjoying these days!

Bonfire

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Bonfire -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Bonfire is my most recent painting.   I had been thinking about the fire element in the last few weeks.  On Valentine’s Day when the news links about the Parkland High School shooting began to appear, I found myself feeling very sad and angry on the special day marked for love. As usual the politicians offered thoughts and prayers, while acting as if nothing can be done about this continuing problem.   Remarkably over the next few days, as I looked at the various social media sites, I could sense a shift.  The teens and their parents were acting on their grief and anger to take back their power and those of us on the sidelines were adding to this energy of change that is starting to happen.

When my daughter was a senior in high school, there was an incident were a student skipped class and stole a cache of guns and ammunition from a home in an adjacent neighborhood.   As the information about a lockdown came through, we began to hear sirens and helicopters overhead.  At that point we were not sure if there was an active shooter in the school, it was frightening.  The police handled the the situation and all ended well after several hours with no shooting.  When my girl graduated I was relieved that that worry for her was over, even though she heading to New York City for college!  I feel for all the moms and dads and children that still have that fear that it could happen one day at their school.

Each of us has an inner fire that we can call upon for standing up for what we feel is right.   Traditionally the fire element represents action, power, passion, and creativity.  In medieval times salamander nature spirits were thought to provide the spark for starting the fire.  When looking into a fire and seeing all the movement of the colors, it’s easy to see why they thought of salamanders.  I decided to add them to the fire.

It is inspiring to see these teens coming together and owning their power encouraging us to do the same and  it will bring about positive change.  This Bonfire is for them!

Moonlit Fox

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Moonlit Fox – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is a new painting I’ve done for my niece’s boyfriend.  When my sister was visiting a few weeks ago, she thought it would be fun to give him my fox print for his recent birthday.  He had just gotten a striking fox tattoo on his forearm.   The only fox painting I had was a companion piece to the baby bunny I’d done for my other niece’s baby which we didn’t think would work for him.

She commissioned me to do a new painting that would be better suited,  Moonlit Fox is the result.  I’m hoping he will like it.  He and my niece have a lot in common.  They share a great love for animals and both are intelligent, hard workers and they look cute together!  Interestingly to me, each of them has always felt an affinity for the fox.  Her boy friend has always felt a kinship with the fox.  He has light red hair while she has strawberry blonde hair and both have a sleek fox look.  My niece’s favorite Disney film was The Fox and the Hound; she watched it over and over.

The Native Americans saw the fox is a helper for solving problems for those with good intentions and a trickster for those who were too prideful.  The fox symbolizes cunning, being perceptive and adaptable.   The red color of the fox adds a solar element of fun and creativity.  This sounds about right for these two!

Mirror Fish

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Mirror Fish – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Mirror Fish is my most recent painting.   Two fish  are swimming together like the Pisces symbol of  two fish swimming in opposite directions.  My twin sister and I are Pisces; our birthday is coming up later this month.  Maybe that’s why I felt like creating a new painting of the two fish to add to the other double fish paintings I’ve done through the years.  In this painting I’ve tried to loosen up some and play with lots of vibrant color.

My sister and I are in good places at the moment.  We are happy with our lives,  our families are doing well and we’re enjoying the empty nest phase.  We are identical mirror twins, which means the egg divided after 7 days and so we are mirror images of each other. She is right-handed while I am left-handed.

My sister was visiting last weekend and when we stopped by to pick up coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts, we got attention for looking alike. These days we find getting attention fun.   Growing up we never felt comfortable with all the extra attention we received.   Both my sister and I always smile to strangers and over the years I’ve realized that we do that because people were always staring at us.

We are still very close and talk to each other 2 or 3 times a week but like the fish above with the different colors and along with every identical twin, we each have a unique personality.