Truffle on the Green Chair

Truffle on the Green Chair

Truffle on the Green Chair is my new painting. The image is from a photo that I texted to my daughter for her kitty fix. I liked the composition and the space around Truffle so I decided to paint it. I am inspired by the British painter, David Hockney. I love his interiors with their vivid colors and how the colors help define the space, so I decided to have some fun painting in a similar style. In this painting were a number of smaller parts within the space that required time and detail. It was a good practice for me.

Truffle is such a cutie-pie, many times he has an uncertain look in his eyes when I take pics. He likes to sit on top of the chair when I’m cooking in the kitchen. We just love him! At Christmas he started limping, his front paw had a spot on it that I thought would heal but then the wound cracked it it bled profusely. The vet checked him out and told us he has an autoimmune disease where his paws get soft; she gave him a steroid shot. I had recently changed his kitty litter to a lightweight corn based brand which I think aggravated his condition. I changed the littler to unscented clay brand and began feeding food containing probiotics. His little paw healed, luckily the condition is not fatal, it’s something he just has to live with. I wonder if that’s why he has been fairly stationary much of his life compared to his rambunctious brother, Tuxie.

Water Tiger

Water Tiger – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

After last week’s fairly complex cat still life painting, I felt like painting in a looser style. The Chinese New year began on the new moon in early February and the astrological sign of the year is the water tiger. I was inspired by all the fun imagery of the water tiger celebrating the new year that I’d seen on social media. It then occurred to me that one of my very good friends and several of my daughter’s friends are water tigers and that sparked my interest. I don’t know much about Chinese astrology but I see my good friend as someone is who is fiery and fun-loving yet also kindhearted and sensitive, it’s a nice mix. With all that in mind I started the painting and Water Tiger is the result.

Year’s ago, back when we lived in California, I worked in the education department at the Oakland Zoo one summer for their day camp program. It was a lot of fun leading a bunch of city kids helping them to learn more of the natural world. I also got to see how the zoo was run. The highlight of the week was a fun tour that the children loved called Behind the Scenes where they got to see how the animals were fed and cared for. There was a lone tiger is a fairly large fenced in area with a small pond to swim in. The children got to see the caretaker feed him big slabs of raw steak. Tigers unlike most cats actually enjoy the water and they swim to cool off.

The painting was fun to do and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’m now working on an abstract. The weather is starting to tease us with some warmer days, I hope everyone is enjoying the late days of the season.

Tuxie with Sunflowers

Tuxie with Sunflowers

Tuxie with Sunflowers is my most recent painting. I had the pitcher of sunflowers on the chest next to the window in my studio that I used to do my last painting, Sunflowers in Mom’s Silver Pitcher. Over the days it took me to do that painting, Tuxie would jump up and lay next to the pitcher. I took several photos with my phone and sent them my daughter. She loves getting texts with photos of her beloved kitties. I took a blend of two of those photos to create this painting.

Tuxie’s face is challenging to paint because of his asymmetric patterns on his symmetric face. I worked at getting his face to work for quite a while. Tuxie and his brother, Truffle keep me company as I paint. Their birthday is coming up in August. They will be 12 years old. We just love them both!

I have note cards and framed prints in a display at the Westside Market in Toco Hills. The cat with still life note cards are big sellers. I think this one will be a nice addition.

Lamb in the Meadow

Lamb in the Meadow- acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Lamb in the Meadow is a painting I completed this week for my twin sister to use as an illustration for her devotional. My friend, who is an excellent graphic artist and an experienced self-publisher is working with her to format the devotional for publishing. She had the idea to include illustrations in grey-tone from some of my paintings on the pages with the chapter headings and such.

For one of the sections, my sister wanted a lamb laying in the meadow along a path in the same style as Fox in the Hillside, a painting I’d done years ago. It took me a while to sketch out the lamb in a relaxed manner but once I got that done, it was fun to look back at the fox painting to get the same elements of the flowers and sun.

The book is coming together:, she’s completed the editing and they are almost done with the formatting. I have a few more images to paint for them which I’m hoping to finish this weekend. Because it is a daily devotional, she has decided to publish in early fall so people will be able to have it in time for the new year. I’m so impressed with her writings and just how professional it is looking. It’s all very exciting and I’m happy to be involved.

The Lion and Lamb

The Lion and Lamb – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

The Lion and Lamb is a new painting that I made for my twin sister. She has always loved the idea and image of the lion laying down with the lamb. She asked me to do this painting because she is in the process of putting together a daily devotional that she will be publishing soon. It will feature spiritual writings of hers for each day of the year. She’s shared her writings through the years with her friends who have found them moving and helpful in their lives; and they have encouraged her to put them in a devotional in order to help reach others. Now she has decided to go ahead and do just that! She asked me do the lion and lamb painting for book cover.

I was happy to support her and also excited for her new venture. In the painting I wanted the lion to look strong and kind with the little lamb feeling sheltered and cared for. Happily, when she saw it, she was pleased. Now she is working on the finishing touches of the devotional and within a couple of months it will be available on Kindle! I’ll post the link here when it’s ready. I’m excited for her and know that it will reach and help many people.

Little Red Hen

Little Red Hen – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Little Red Hen is my new painting. Years ago, when I made papier mache bowls, one of my most popular motifs was my chicken bowl. Since then, however, I had not felt like doing a chicken painting until now. A few of my Facebook friends have chickens in their yards, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their fun and sometimes humorous photos of their hens and chicks. So, with my new idea of painting images of folk tales, The Little Red Hen came to mind.

I remember the story from childhood and when my daughter was a preschooler, we had puppets illustrating the story. I loved the story of the little hen working diligently over time even though none of her friends are willing to help her and finally she has the yummy baked bread. I made the painting childlike using lots of bright colors, it was somewhat challenging I wanted it to be more abstract then it turned out.

I feel that this year I’ve been a bit like the little red hen, working diligently doing a painting each week and then writing about it here on the blog. I’m also stepping up on the marketing with sharing it on my Twitter feed and my Facebook pages and finally sharing on a new Instagram account. This work is paying off, I’ve been able to push myself in new ways with my painting and am hoping that will eventually bring some extra income in.

Hare on an Egg

Hare on an Egg – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Hare on an Egg is my new painting this week. My husband thought of the name, which helped me out as sometimes the hardest part is naming these paintings. I chose a a hare because the Swimming Turtle painting I did a few weeks ago brought to mind the Tortoise and the Hare story. I like the way that he looks a bit mischievous. In the beginning I had him on a winding path but eventually decided to have him balancing on an egg. This painting was a lot of fun to create and I’m about to start on a new one today.

I have recently opened an Instagram account. For years I’ve been hearing that as an artist, Instagram is the best place to be. I use my desktop for most of my social media and don’t feel too comfortable with my cell phone. My daughter helped me get it set up, she’s been there for years with her photography. I’m still learning my way around and finding it fun. My account name is Heni’s.Happy.Paintings Check it out!

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.

Ode to Chocolate

Ode to Chocolate – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I’ve just completed Ode to Chocolate. This painting is a sweet valentine to our childhood family dog, a standard poodle named Chocolate. My twin sister and I grew up with him; he was such a sweetie, he soaked up all the loving attention we gave him.

He was the second standard poodle our family had, the first, Impy had been stolen a few years earlier. My dad had trained him to hunt and always said Impy was the best hunting dog he had ever had. Standard poodles are fun, intelligent and make great hunting dogs. Unfortunately for Chocolate, while still a puppy, the boys next door threw a firecracker over the backyard wall which when he went to fetch, it exploded in his face. After that point he was a bit emotionally wounded as he understandably became more timid and very frightened of any loud sounds. Sadly for my dad, he was never able to train him to hunt.

Dad used to say he became a mamma’s boy. Mom did a good job of caring for him, she had a book on various poodle hair cut styles, I remember her shaving him with an electric shaver. As we got older we would help give him baths. In those days dogs ran free, Chocolate would go in and out whenever he liked, ringing the bells on the door to let us know. We spent a lot of time outside in the yard playing with him. Most nights he would be in next to one of our beds sleeping. I have such happy memories of Chocolate and all the love he gave us.

Mom and Baby Giraffe

Mom and Baby Giraffe

Mom and Baby Giraffe is a new painting of mine for the African animal series in my Heni’s Happy Painting Etsy Shop. Giraffes are so unique and seem like such gentle creatures. I tried to convey their gentleness in the painting.

A few months ago I heard that giraffes have now been added to the endangered animals list because of poaching and loss of habitat; and at that moment I decided to do the painting. A month later at the holiday artist market a neighbor who had traveled to the South Africa Savanna bought my lion and elephant prints to remind her of her trip but told me she really wanted a giraffe image because she had loved seeing them while there and that they were her favorite animal. I told her that the giraffe was going to be my next painting. One day I hope to travel to the African Savannah to view these majestic animals.

It feels good to be back to painting, I hope everyone is off to a good start in this new year.