The Lion’s Gate

LION 7-18-17 1000 dkr
Lion’s Gate – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

The Lion’s Gate is my third try at painting a Lion.  This Egyptian Lion is standing below the Sirius star. The ancient Egyptians viewed Sirius as the bringer of new life because Sirius was newly visible in the sky at the time of the yearly flooding of the Nile River.  They depended on the flooding to fertilize their lands.  In August, Sirius lines up directly with the pyramids in Giza.

I wanted to paint a regal lion, as if he were a king.   I placed him on a large monolithic structure looking out upon his kingdom.  As I continued, it became a night scene, which was fun to do.  I like the way he turned out, I feel it’s getting easier for me to paint lions.

The summer season is moving along, my daughter has a month left before she returns to school.  We’ll be visiting my twin sister in a few days, hanging out by their pool, which I’m looking forward to.  Hope all are enjoying these hot summer days!

Two Rabbits in the Meadow

BUNNIES 7-7-17 1000
Two Rabbits in the Meadow – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Two Rabbits in the Meadow is a painting that I made for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop back in early June.  I thought of doing a new rabbit painting after spotting a little rabbit ahead of me on a path during my morning walk.  I decided then that it would be fun to do a new whimsical painting which I could add to the animals in the meadow series.

I looked up the symbolic meaning of spotting a rabbit in a google search.   Seeing a rabbit can mean more abundance may be coming  but one needs to face their fear and know when to make their move.   This made sense to me personally.   During the spring season I was involved with marketing with the May art show and also updating my art work at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.  Once my daughter came home from college for the summer and my husband got very busy with work, I got distracted and unfocused.

It felt good to get back to painting but now I’m ready to move forward with the marketing.  Tonight I’m going to a small art and food truck event, getting myself back out there.  Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful hot day and I’m hoping for no evening showers.

The Brothers

TUXIE TRUFFLE - 1000 (1)
The Brothers – Acrylic Painting by Heni Sandoval

The Brothers is new painting of mine, a portrait of our two cats.  Truffle and Tuxie were rescue kitties from a feral mother that we adopted  six years ago.  We just love them and their very different personalities.

Tuxie, pictured on the bottom is full of energy and a terrific hunter.   I can’t  recall all the times he’s brought chipmunks into the house.  We usually catch them and put the little critters back outside much to Tuxie’s dismay.  Tuxie is always letting Truffle know who is boss until Truffle can’t take it any more and goes after him.  Truffle, pictured on top is a gentle soul, for although he’s afraid to  sit in our laps, he soaks up affection and would happily be pet for hours. He is  large and chubby;  I had to stop leaving dry food out for he ate his and Tuxie’s portion.

I’m pleased with the painting and feel that I captured them pretty well.  When Tuxie was  about a year old, he came home with a broken tail which was very traumatic for him and us.  We weren’t sure if he would have get the tail cut off but luckily it healed and now he has this quirky curl.  He loves to lay on his back and lift his paws to get affection.  He’s so adorable. Truffle lounges around curled up sleeping most the day.  He, unlike quirky Tuxie, has perfect tuxedo cat markings.  I used the cooler peaceful colors around Truffle since he is sensitive and mellow.

The painting also shows the lush colors of the southern summer.  We’ve had a rainy few weeks here as summer began, the garden is doing well.  There’s an overflow  of zucchini and the tomatoes are almost ripe.  I hope everyone is having a good start to the season!

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

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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.

Gray Squirrel Among the Autumn Leaves

acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Gray Squirrel Among the autumn Leaves – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

 Gray Squirrel Among the Autumn Leaves is my newest painting.  Here in Atlanta the fall has been pretty pathetic with the endless rain taking many beautiful leaves down too soon. We’ve had a few sunny days but this fall has not been as vivid as usual. During the rainy days I felt like painting an autumn scene with brightly colored foliage to brighten my spirits.

When I worked as a park ranger in Brooklyn and led tours with the inner city school children, if we spotted a squirrel they would squeal in delight.  In the South with all our trees we tend to take our squirrels for granted, in fact my dad used a bb  gun to shoot at them if one got near his  bird feeder.

Squirrels are pretty amazing when you think about it. They are beautiful creatures with their bushy tails, sleek build and so agile as they scamper through the trees.    They are also helpful to nature with all their gathering of nuts, some of which turn into trees.  I’m pleased with my squirrel and hope you like it too.

Purchase print here:  Gray Squirrel Among the Autumn Leaves

The Girl and the Wolf

The Girl and the Wolf - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
The Girl and the Wolf – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

The Girl and the Wolf is my most recent painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop.  After finishing my light dove painting I felt like creating a more solid painting.   During my adolescent years in my journals I would often draw a lone wolf sitting atop a mountain. Around that time some challenging events happened within my family which frightened me and I handled those fears by turning inward and becoming a bit of a loner.  In some ways that helped me to be independent, which is why it was easy for me to leave home and travel and live in many places.  Over time I’ve learned to face and integrate those fears.  In this painting the girl has made friends with the wolf. They are not alone, they are in a rich forest and the sun will rise as it always does.

Purchase print here:  The Girl and the Wolf