Curves

Curves -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Curves is my most recent abstract. I’m enjoying doing these paintings, this time my goal was to use muted colors with darker tones. As you can see, I did not succeed with that goal, as I tend to always end up with jewel colors and while there are some dark tones, this painting is quite bright. What I do like about it is that the many layers of paint begin to give the painting depth and I actually love the rich colors.

I am going to force myself to change my color palette in the next few paintings to see how that goes. I also want to start painting in a larger format and am going to get some larger watercolor sheets in the next few weeks. We’re in for an overcast weekend after a few days of off and on rainy weather here as the remnants of another hurricane come through. I plan to start the new painting tomorrow.

Blue Spiral

Blue Spiral – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I took some time off from painting to work on my artist website that I had made back in 2017. I had not done much with it since being in a two art shows in 2018. With my sister’s devotional, Awaken to Rest being published any day now, my website may get some more traffic. With this in mind, I uploaded several paintings from the last few years to the collection pages and made a new artist statement and projects page. I’m still tweaking it, but it’s in fairly good shape.

So, now I am back to painting. Blue Spiral is another abstract, I had the idea to paint spirals on all sides of the page. I began with the blue spiral centered horizontally on the page and then painted another spiral perpendicular and then two more coming across from the corners, each one a different color. From there, I began playing with more loops and circles and blending colors until it felt right. All the remained to be seen was the Blue Spiral.

It’s hard to believe that September is just a few days away, hope everyone is enjoy the last days of summer.

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.

Air Element

Air Element – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Air Element is the final painting of my element series, it joins the water, earth and fire paintings that I’d done in the last few months. I spent a week just mulling over how to show the air element in a painting. I thought about doing a sky scene with butterflies or some sort of birds flying about. I researched air elemental myths, they are called sylphs, from what I could tell these beings look like wispy cirrus clouds and move about through wind currents helping to clean the air. I liked that idea. Once I thought of wind currents, I decided to have flying birds in the painting.

One thing I love about painting is it inspires me be more observant. That evening as I walked through my neighborhood, I kept looking at the sky and noticing the dramatic clouds as the sun sunk lower. At one point I stopped and watched several swallows feasting on insects as they swooped through the air way up in the sky. I figured that was a sign and chose to do an evening scene with swallows and sylphs.

Swallows with their streamlined bodies and pointed wings are agile flyers adapted to feeding on flying insects. They mate for life and in modern times, the swallow is usually seen as a symbol of peace, respect, love, and loyalty.  I painted the sky just prior to sunset with the clouds starting to light up and the sky darken and the wispy sylphs in the air currents while swallows soar through the air.

Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Crystal Cave is a new abstract landscape painting depicting the earth element. I began with using rich golds and olive greens and then thought to bring in a cave effect with a dark purple. The cave brought to mind photos I’d seen of large crystal caves in Brazil; so, I then painted a large rose quartz crystal formation which turned into the focal point. From there I added arid mountain cliff and some tree cover and light blue sky.

When my husband saw it, he laughed and said he saw it as us coming out of cave after the year of COVID-19. I liked that idea, it made me think of how this time last year when we were all shut down throughout the world. The nights were so dark and quiet even here in the city and then we began to hear stories of wild life returning and air, noise and water pollution going down. That was an encouraging sign that the earth can heal rather quickly when we figure out how to change our ways.

Vesica Piscis

Vesica Piscis – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Vesica Piscis is my most recent abstract painting. I decided to take a break from my planet series as it was getting monotonous painting mainly spheres. I was pondering what to paint when I went to visit my good friend and neighbor who is an amazing quilter to discuss the baby quilt she is sewing for my niece’s baby. Her basement is filled with all her quilting projects and more beautiful quilts hang throughout her home. Her work inspired me; I loved all her colors and the detail of the pieces sewn together along with her creative use of stitching patterns.

This led me to the idea of treating my new the painting somewhat like a quilt with lots of detail and texture and line. I chose to the water element to have a theme. I was going to use mostly blues but kept adding more colors and it stated to have an tropical underwater feel about it. To pull it all together, I decided to overlay with a large Vesica Piscis symbol.

Vesica Piscis is made from the intersection of two circles of the same size. It is one of the oldest symbols from ancient times. The two circles joined is the foundation for the flower of life symbol in sacred geometry. The Christian religion was most likely responsible for its spread, as a fish symbol. As Jesus was a fisher of man.

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.

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.

Mars

Mars – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

In continuing the outer space theme, I chose to paint Mars. This idea came into my mind last week with all the news on the mars rover landing. I didn’t read or watch too much about it, but I did watch a video of the moment the rover landed when all the scientists and engineers at NASA stood up and cheered excited about their accomplishment. These moments in time seem to connect us all.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and so I painted a small sun as if one was looking from mars. Mars is named after the male Roman god of passion and war and is the ruling planet of the sun sign of Aries. Mars is known as the red planet because it appears as an orange red star in the sky. From the close-up photos we can see that mars has a rusty color due to the iron in the soil.

I chose the bright red color to help make the painting strong and graphic. While I used lots of circles and curves, I also included stronger triangle shapes to bring in the male aspect. One of the first abstracts I did last year named Dragons is a favorite of mine, beginner’s luck. In this painting I wanted to play with similar forms.

I’m pleased, it was fun to paint and is quite dramatic, like the planet mars, itself.