Jungle Elephant

WHITE ELEPHANT 1000
Jungle Elephant – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Jungle Elephant is a new painting in my jungle animal series for my  Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop.   He is a royal white elephant walking up through the bamboo forest in Northern Thailand.  The white elephant is considered sacred and a symbol for royal power there.

Years ago when my husband and I were hiking in Northern Thailand we kept noticing large round holes on the trail, after a while it dawned on us these holes were elephant tracks.   The sun filtered lush bamboo forests are lovely and it was quite an adventure even though we never saw the elephants.  I put in a full moon in this painting, as a fun memory of an experience we had in Chaing Mai.   One evening we  were eating at an outdoor cafe when I looked up and noticed the full moon that was being eclipsed, a large shadow was crossing it.  I tried to motion to our server to let her know and she smiled and said “moon” probably thinking that I was pointing out the full moon, not realizing that a lunar eclipse was happening. The area was filled with  people eating and strolling and it seemed we were the only ones aware of the eclipse.  It was such a magical evening.

I painted  this royal white elephant for my sister who has a collection of white elephants. She was the one that inspired us to travel to Southeast Asia.  She had traveled through Thailand after her stint with the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands.  I’m so glad she gave us the idea.  The year we spent traveling was such an enriching experience.  It helped me view life and art in a more holistic way.  Thanks Melissa!

Mom and Baby Beluga Whale

BELUGA WHALES 1000
Mom and Baby Beluga Whales – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Mom and Baby Beluga Whale is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop.   I wanted to do a new sea life painting with a mom and baby.   It’s been fun to paint the two whales and figure out how to bring in the light through the water.

I was the girl scout leader for my girl’s troop through her fifth grade, our big end of the year event was a sleep over at the Atlanta Aquarium  which had recently opened. The girls were thrilled.  We got the “behind the scenes” tour and to do lots of fun activities through the night.  My favorite spot was by the window with a view into the large Beluga Whale tank.  There were two whales that would swim by and look at us.  They are graceful and seemed very gentle and curious about our kids.    Later in the night we set up our sleeping bags in the river otter section which was something, they came alive at night calling each other and diving in and out of the water.  It was great fun to watch, though we didn’t get any sleep.

In this painting the Beluga Whales are free and not in captivity.  Recently the  Georgia Aquarium has decided to no longer will take whales or dolphins caught in the wild, they need to be with larger family groups and able to swim free.  Times are changing as we become more aware.

Crow in the Moonlight

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Crow in the Moonlight -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Crow in the Moonlight is my new painting which I began early in the week and finished up on Friday.    I had felt like doing a moodier dark painting after the recent light and airy sunlit mermaids I’d done.  The last few days have been very sad and disturbing here in the States and I’ve been glad to have the distraction of painting.  It seems to me that the powers that be like to keep us divided.  We’re on in this together, my heart goes out to all who are  suffering.

I’ve  painted many a crow and thought it would be fun to do a moonlit scene to add to my collection.  I enjoyed every moment of painting this, it’s great to be back painting again.

Floating Mermaid

MERMAID WITH DOVE 1000 (1)
Floating Mermaid- acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my new painting, Floating Mermaid.  It’s feels good to be back to painting as I have had a long break.   In early May, I took a road trip with my twin sister up to New York City.  We met up with my two other sisters in New Jersey at my aunt’s home and had such a great reunion, also enjoying visiting with cousins and my aunt.   It had been over ten years since we had all been together.   We then took the train into Manhattan and  got to spend time with my daughter who was finishing up her freshman year at NYU.  She loves being in the city and it was reassuring to see how she was thriving.

Once she came home for summer break,  an opportunity opened up for her to spend five weeks in China teaching English and visiting with Chinese friends she had made at school.  It was all very sudden and with me helping her get ready for her adventure and having her home I found it challenging to focus on my art.

She’s been in China a week now and is enjoying herself and I am back to painting.  This floating mermaid is the result.  In life there are times we have to let go, relax and trust.  As a mom, I was nervous about my 18 year old girl  traveling on her own half way around the world.   At this point, part of my journey as a mom is to let go and trust my   child’s own path in life.    In this painting I wanted to show a mermaid relaxing in the water as the sun shines on her with the white dove of peace soaring above her, knowing all is well.

I hope all are enjoying summer,  whether you are home relaxing or off on exciting adventures!

 

A Pear of Goldfishes

A Pear of Fishes 1000
A Pear of Goldfishes – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

A Pear of Goldfishes is my new still life painting.  I decided to bring several elements together, starting with the pear in the small white bowl and the philodendron in the deep red pot.  It became unbalanced so I decided to add a gold fish bowl and then topped it off with a Caroline wren in the window.

It was a fun challenge to get everything to work together and I I learned more in the process.  I love the little Caroline wrens that hop about in our wooded backyard with their  tail feathers usually pointing up.  I’d been wanting to paint one for a while.  Another  challenge was coming up with a name for the painting.  The helpful woman who scanned the painting for me suggested the name which I chose because it was so creative and fun.

It’s a beautiful yet cool and windy spring Friday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Lemons

LEMONS 1000
Lemons – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

One of my goals for the new year was to begin a daily practice of making art.  I’ve started sketching more and I try to have a painting on my easel most of the time.  Here is a still life I recently completed,  Lemons.

When I first started painting years ago, I painted several pears in this blue bowl.   It’s helpful to start a painting from  a real scene, you can focus on what you see, how the light effects the colors of the objects.  I felt it would be a good exercise to do some still lifes where I could actually see what I am painting.

I chose lemons this time around as lemons are one of my favorite fruits.   I use them daily to make marinaded salads and add them to tea.   Their bight cheerful yellow color seems to match this time of year when everything is waking up.

It was a fun challenge and I am fairly pleased.   In keeping with my goal, I’ve stared sketching a scene  for a new painting, another still life.

Robin Among the Dogwood Flowers

ROBIN 1000x
Robin Among the Dogwood Flowers – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Robin Among the Dogwood Flowers is a new painting for my bird series.  It seems that around this time of year I’m usually  inspired to paint spring scenes.  Spring here in Atlanta is breathtaking and each day brings new colors as the various plants awaken.  In the past few weeks the dogwoods are taking their turn with their bright white flowers  lighting up the landscape.

The robins are back in the hood.  Last week a robin landed just outside my kitchen window where I had long close up look at him.  Right then I decided it would be fun to paint a robin.  One thing I love about painting is that it helps  me to observe more closely the the world around me.  On my walks through the neighborhood, I focused on observing the robins and dogwoods as I worked on this painting.

Robins symbolize renewal and hope as they are one of the first birds to return in spring.  Some Native American tribes  saw the robin’s red chest and bright yellow break as a symbol of the dawning of the sun.  The yellow beak symbolized the rays of the sun and when seeing a robin it was a sign to speak your highest truth.

Today is the first day of spring break for all the kids here Atlanta, late last night storms came through helping to wash the pollen away.  I hope everyone enjoys this upcoming weekend.

 

Mermaid Basking in the Sun

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Mermaid Basking in the Sun – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Mermaid Basking in the Sun is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop.  This a my second attempt at painting a mermaid, the first was set in a moonlit scene.  This time I felt like painting a mermaid enjoying the warmth of the sun

When I was younger I loved the idea and stories of mermaids, perhaps because my twin sister and I swam all summer long and  felt at home under water. Once I started snorkeling and saw the beauty of the tropical fish and coral, I could easily imagine mermaids swimming about.

With the earth  having three quarters of it’s surface covered in water, it makes sense that cultures around the world have myths of mermaids. In general, mermaids are  portrayed as beautiful, mysterious and powerful creatures.  I’m pleased with my painting, she turned out nicely.

Spring is in full force here in Atlanta, it’s beautiful.  Wishing everyone a happy Easter weekend!

There Goes My Shadow

MY SHADOW 1000
There Goes My Shadow – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Lately with the US Presidential election season heating up,  I’ve been thinking about the collective shadow. Psychologist Carl Jung termed the shadow as the unowned negative parts of ourselves that we tend to project on others.  Here are a few quotes on the shadow:

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with darkness in other people.  – Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung

Both light and shadow are the dance of love.- Rumi

These past few weeks I’ve been trying to look at my own shadow.  It has been painful but I’m feeling stronger now, more centered.  I wanted to do a painting about the shadow and the light that comes from releasing our fearsThere Goes My Shadow is the result.