Venus

Venus – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Venus is a new painting in my planet series. I’ve learned quite a bit about the mythology of Venus from the research I did for a couple of other abstracts last year. The abstract which I named Ishtar, of a eight pointed star symbolized the planet Venus’s star pattern as she travels through space around the sun from our view on earth. Ishtar is an ancient Mesopotamian  goddess very similar to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. The earlier abstract I painted, Golden Mean Spiral, was based on the spiral pattern found throughout nature. Venus as she continually moves through space in a golden mean spiral forms a beautiful rose pattern. It’s interesting to me that the ancients knew about this.

I started this painting planning to get the star formed around the planet but then I thought I’d already done the star; so, I then decided to paint Venus as she appears in space. Venus is the second planet out revolving around the sun and as seen from earth is always close to the Sun, sometimes she’s the morning star and sometimes becomes the evening star. Those transitions are when the star points are formed in the pattern. Venus is a white planet brighter than the moon and has pink clouds. Here on earth, she appears as a bright white star.

I began to imagine Venus as almost like a pearl from the seashell within the sea from which she was formed in the Greek myth so famously portrayed in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus painting. I put in the sun on one side and used pastel colors, on the other side of Venus, I imagined it as the sea with its mysterious depths. It was fun to play with and I’m pleased with the painting. Spring is here in Atlanta, a great time to see the gold mean pattern and appreciate all the beauty in nature.

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Mercury

Mercury – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

In continuing the theme of painting abstract planets, I decided to paint Mercury. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, just slightly larger than earth’s moon. It is the closest planet to the sun and takes just 88 days to make its trip around the sun. Because of this, from our view here on earth, it appears that mercury always travels close to the sun at a fast speed. Perhaps that’s why the ancients saw Mercury is the messenger of the gods. The actual color of mercury is a brownish grey but in astrology mercury’s color is symbolized as an emerald green.

I chose green for mercury’s color. Because mercury is zippy and small, I pictured it in my mind that it had a texture of the inside of a golf ball with rubber bands tightly wound together. I painted lines going all different directions overlaying each other as if they were communicating.

A few years back when I was going through my dad’s coin collection, I loved looking at the old mercury dimes. As a Greek god, Mercury was the messenger of the gods and had a winged hat and winged shoes; but he also was the patron of commerce which is why he must have been featured on the silver dime. He often carried a caduceus in his left hand. A caduceus is a a wand with two snakes twined around it with wings on top. He was somewhat of a magician and could do magic with the caduceus, with a touch of the wand he could heal illness and turn metal into gold

I decided to paint mercury close to the large sun with the caduceus symbol between them. I painted the caduceus upside down so it would be fairly subtle. I enjoyed learning about mercury and some of the mythology, it helps me to focus on a theme as paint these abstracts.

Sun with two Black Holes

Sun with Two Black Holes -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Sun with Two Black Holes is my painting for this week. As you can see, I have stayed with the sun theme and am also continuing to try to get a more spatial feel in the paintings. I used the black holes to bring in more atmosphere. The black color added a nice depth and provides contrast to the other colors.

I think black holes are fascinating, A black hole is caused by a star imploding on itself, if I understand it correctly. They have dense gravitational force that pulls objects in. There is no light within the black hole. I seem to remember from science fiction films that one can travel through time within a black hole. There’s so much to learn about space, both inner and outer. With all the hoopla on mars this week, I may paint mars next.

This weekend I get to spend time with my niece who is pregnant with her first baby at an outdoor baby shower. I’m so excited, my sister and other niece will also be there. I haven’t seen them since the pandemic started. We’ll all be wearing masks and social distancing which will be a bit strange. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see my niece pregnant; her baby is due in late March. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

Sun #2

Sun #2 – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Sun #2 is my new painting for this week. Last week’s painting, El Sol, looked flat to me. so I decided to paint another, this time trying to get a more three dimensional feeling. It’s an imaginary sun with different solar system of planets revolving around it. I worked on the painting for a number of days and almost gave up on it. Luckily, I was able to push through and am pleased with how it turned out. I like the dynamic feeling and the sense of space.

We had couple of mild days here that uplifted my spirits. It was pleasant hearing the birds sing and children laugh while playing as I went on my walks. A few neighborhood friends dropped by for enjoyable afternoon gatherings in our front yard which was a needed break from this isolating COVID-19 time. Now the rain has come through and cold weather is back. I love the warm days we get here in Georgia in later winter; it means spring will be here soon. Happy Valentine’s Day weekend!

El Sol

El Sol – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

It’s a new year and I’m back to painting.  El Sol is new abstract. I started with the large sun in the center and went from there; it’s not my favorite but it’s good to be back in the saddle. There is a certain resistance that sets in as weeks go by without painting, so I’m happy to have started up again.  I got the idea to paint the sun after the last painting ,Orbs in Space, when a Facebook friend suggested I paint stars. I decide to start with painting our star that gives us life here on earth. This painting is actually my second attempt as the first one started to look overdone. I do like the second one better, it’s a happy painting with the bright warm colors.

This year is looking brighter. My daughter finally was able to fly to Vancouver for her graduate program at University of British Columbia. After a two-week quarantine, she’s settling in to her new home and is able to see a few of her fellow students that she’s gotten to know online though her classes. She’s texted me some photos of a trail where she jogs, a beautiful wooded trail just minutes from her dorm. We’re happy for her and glad that she’s been able to get back to some sense of normalcy.

With more time to paint now, I have a goal of doing art each day to keep the momentum going. My artist friend and I are going to help each other by texting each other an image of our progress each day. I hope each of you are having a good start to the year and I look forward to seeing your posts.

Orbs in Space

Orbs in Space – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Orbs in Space is a new abstract painting that I completed yesterday. It’s quite vivid, I used my favorite rainbow colors. A few months ago, I did a painting of orbs floating among trees and was looking at it which led me to the idea to play with painting orbs again. I started by painting a spiral of spheres across the page and then continued with waves and particles. I recently saw a image of the most magnified human cell ever taken this week and it was amazing. It looked like an intricate abstract painting. I find the idea of space, both inner and outer both having waves and particles being similar in ways so interesting.

My daughter wanted me to decorate for Christmas early this year so I’ve been decorating and listening to Christmas music. It is helping to lift our spirits during this strange isolating holiday season. We usually have a holiday artist open house in the beginning of December and later a holiday eggnog party with friends but not this year. 2020 has been a year like no other. I’m hoping 2021 will be better for us all.

Galaxies

Galaxies – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Galaxies is my latest painting, a new abstract. I’m back to playing around with abstraction, this painting has a lot of overlaying of paint. I started with four equal circles and a loop and kept going with symmetry, but it just was not working, and I almost gave up. At that point I just began adding more colors and shapes moving away from the symmetrical look and it started to look better. I like the movement and the fact I didn’t give up.

The idea for the name of my painting came from a fascinating article I read this week on two researchers who have found that the complex web of neurons in our brain look strangely similar to the cosmic network of galaxies. One fact that stood out to me was that there are at least 100 billion galaxies that connect in a web within our universe. It’s hard to even imagine that. Here is the link to the article: NEURON WEB IN HUMAN BRAIN IS SIMILAR TO THE NETWORK OF GALAXIES IN THE UNIVERSE

It’s a beautiful weekend here, I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming Thanksgiving week even if most of us are not able to be with extended family.

Dolphin Pod

Dolphin Pod – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my new painting, Dolphin Pod. During these last two weeks I kept seeing posts about the choice between two America’s on social media and that bothered me. I don’t agree and feel the powers at be like to keep us thinking that way. When the results of the election started coming in, it became clear that while yes, we are very much divided, our democracy seems to be holding up as the votes keep coming in. Intuitively, I know that we are all in this together and eventually we will muddle through this division to unite to form a more perfect union.

This thinking led me to the idea of painting a dolphin pod. I love dolphins and have painted them several times. My first dolphin painting done many years ago was a watercolor, one of those effortless paintings that just flowed onto the page. I loved it, it was a night scene with four dolphins that I saw as symbolizing my three sisters and me. Now it hangs in my twin sister’s living room. This week I decided to paint a group of dolphins in my abstract style. They happily live together in pods and I hope that we humans will get there eventually.

Swimming Turtle

The last painting of the crow and dove reminded me of the time, as a park ranger, I led a program where I told stories of animal myths from different cultures. While researching for that program I had seen many wonderful animal illustrations in children’s books and decided it would be fun to do an animal series in my abstract style. Swimming Turtle is my first attempt, it’s actually my fourth turtle painting.

Last weekend when a certain politician in the news was compared to a turtle on my twitter feed, my reaction was that was a grave injustice to turtles everywhere. I love turtles and feel fortunate when I spot one in nature. In Native American lore the earth was called “turtle island,” from a tale that the turtle carried the earth on it’s back. In this painting I have the turtle swimming through space.

Balance

Balance – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Balance is a new painting. Last week while painting the dove in an abstract setting; I got the inspiration to continue mixing my abstract style with images. The International Day of Peace is always on September 21st which is on or a day away from the Fall Equinox. I wondered if the reason for this is that we need balance to be peaceful. I am trying to stay as balanced as I can during these crazy times.

To welcome the Fall equinox where night and day are equal, I thought it would be fun to paint a yin yang symbol using a crow and dove. This is my fourth painting of a crow and dove together, in fact the last one I painted, Sooner than Later was in early April, soon after the Covid-19 pandemic began. I wrote in that post; ” I view doves as a symbol of peace and crows as a symbol of magic and transformation.”

It was challenging to get the birds to look right around a circle. I like the whimsical way it turned out and am going to do a series of animal paintings in this style. My hope is that as this season moves forward, we all can maintain some sense of balance and vision of peace for our future.

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