Breakthrough

Breakthrough – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I’ve just completed painting of a mermaid titled Breakthrough. Here in Atlanta we’ve been under stay-at-home orders for a few weeks; although, Georgia is only now making the order state wide today. I’ve been concerned about the Covid-19 for over a month, longer than most people here.

My daughter who was working for the University of Nevada had made plans to fly to Miami for spring break on March 10th. She’s an independent adult now, so we left the decision up to her but encouraged her not to go. The Wednesday prior to her planned trip, I came down with a mild virus; feeling chilled with no sore throat but lots of pain in my chest. I had remembered that feeling from when I had the swine flu years ago. I took it easy, drank lots of hot liquids, upped my Vitamin C and D and practiced the social distancing; within a few days it had passed. My daughter wisely decided to cancel her Miami trip and then flew home to Atlanta the following Wednesday since the campus had closed for the semester.

That second week of March I was incredibly fearful. I was constantly on the internet googling symptoms, watching YouTube videos about the subject, seeing the horrifying numbers go up in Italy. I begged my husband to stop going to the health club. It was exhausting and by the end of the week I was an emotional puddle. As my symptoms faded and then with our girl home, I started feeling better.

I realized that I needed to stop being so obsessed with the crazy politics and all the scary information floating through the media. It felt like a personal breakthrough and I wanted that reflected in the painting. I wanted to create a hopeful painting of a mermaid rising up from the water with the sun breaking through the storm clouds behind her. This challenging pandemic is creating heartbreaking situations as it travels through the world but also revealing underlying problems which will then eventually bring about solutions. It is also heartwarming to hear of so many of us rising up to join and help in the ways we can.

Flowing Fish

Flowing Fish – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I completed Flowing Fish yesterday, it’s another painting in the larger format. I’m enjoying painting in this larger size as it’s helping me get looser by enabling me to use broader strokes. I have painted several fish in pairs perhaps because I was born in a pair, with my identical twin sister.  Two fish swimming in opposite directions is also the symbol for Pisces which happens to be our sun sign. With all the rain and flooding we’ve had here in Atlanta, I’ve been feeling quite flowing lately.

In the painting I tried to capture the flowing feeling you have when snorkeling in coral reefs which is such a magical experience. Late winter tends to drag on and I’d like to be down in the tropics swimming about now. Perhaps that’s another reason I chose to do this painting. March begins next week, spring will be here soon!

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.

Truffle Out on the Porch

Truffle Out on the Porch – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Truffle Out on the Porch features our other much loved tuxedo kitty. This painting is a companion piece to last week’s painting of Tuxie. I’m enjoying the challenge of working on the larger paper. This painting had quite a few elements that took a while to bring together and work out.

We built a screened porch just off our dining room after a few years of living here and are glad we did. It’s quite spacious outdoor space with a peaked roof and is much needed with the mosquitoes that thrive here. It’s great for entertaining and just hanging out on mild days. Truffle tends to spend more time there then his brother. Tuxie tends to roam while Truffle is our home boy spending many afternoons out on the porch.

I’m now thinking that I might put both paintings up in the dining room. This one is brighter and there is space for both. When I get them up I will post a photo.

Soaring White Dove

Soaring White Dove – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I have to say that it feels good to be back painting. I’ve just completed Soaring White Dove in time for International Day of Peace 2019, which is today, September 21st. This year the focus is on climate change; certainly caring for the earth will aid in bringing peace. Here is a link with details: International Day of Peace. Because of this theme I decided to paint a dove showing a beautiful landscape below. Yesterday was inspiring and encouraging to see young people from around the globe demonstrating in the fight against climate change.

My daughter has gotten her first full time job in her field at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. She moved last week and texted me photos of the view from her apartment with the mountains in the distance which she finds beautiful. We are happy that she’s found an interesting job for herself in a new geographic area as she loves traveling and experiencing new places. Her photos gave me the idea to paint a scene with mountains reflecting the sunlight.

WordPress wished me, “Happy Anniversary” this week. I saw that I have been blogging for seven years now which is hard to believe. I’ve also been painting doves for Peace Day for many years. Some of the paintings more successful than others. My favorite is Through the Storm which I painted two years ago. I like this one also and hope you do too!

Black Panther

Black Panther -Acrylic Painting by Heni Sandoval

Black Panther is a new painting for my large jungle cat collection. I wanted him to look powerful as he prowls through the rainforest on a full moon night contrasting with the colorful foliage surrounding him.

The panther is a general term for a large black feline. In Asia, they are solid black leopards, while in the Americas they are black jaguars. Their color caused by genetics in which the normal orange spots are black, making them extremely rare. Panthers are intelligent and agile and seldom seen by humans as they are very quiet and cautious.

In reading about the symbolism of the panther I learned that the panther is closely associated with the power of night and the dark moon. It is the symbol of a protective mother. The panther spirit animal stands for power and protection.

Though it’s the end of summer, here in Atlanta we’ve had hot dry weather for weeks now, I’m more than ready for fall to arrive. I hope all are enjoying the last days of the season.

King Elephant

King Elephant – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

King Elephant is a painting I made in June around Father’s Day. I woke up one morning and decided to paint a large African elephant. Only afterwards did I realize it was a compliment painting to the Mom and Baby Elephant that I had done four years prior when my daughter was about to start her freshmen year of college. She graduated from college this May. He is the father elephant. I love it when it’s only later my conscious mind catches up to my impulse to paint a subject, that’s part of the magic of art. I had been thinking of how hard my husband worked those four years to support her financially and also that he was there for her, always believing in her and supporting her ability to forge her own path. 

I chose the name “King Elephant” after a game that our extended family used to play whenever we got together during the holidays and summer beach trips. Everyone would play including my parents and the young children. My brother-in-law would always start the game as the lead King Elephant. We all loved playing it. 

With the advent of the “me too” movement and seeing the misuse of power by men in politics and other areas, it is heartening to see that that my husband and brother-in-laws have done their best to be balanced good men; involved and supportive dads and husbands. I appreciate them and all the men that strive to be aware and balanced.