Uranus

Uranus – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Uranus is my most recent painting and the final one in my abstract planet series. In these paintings, I like to imagine that the planets are connected with the surrounding waves of colorful energy and smaller spheres all moving through space together. I’m so enjoying getting back to painting and this one was a fun to do.

Uranus is the seventh planet out from our sun and takes 84 years to travel around the sun. It is a blue ice gas giant and is the coldest planet in the solar system. A full day on Uranus is 17 hours and it spins west to east unlike most of the other planets. Another unique fact is the Uranus’s axis is 99 degrees which means that it rotates on its side, so it spins like a ball rolling down a hill. I tried to show this as I painted Uranus with the light from the sun on the right side and the ring almost perpendicular on the page.

Uranus was discovered in 1781 and is named after the Greek god Uranus who was the god of the sky. In astrology Uranus rules the sign of Aquarius and it symbolizes the rebel, the outsider and the genius of the heavens. Since it was discovered at the time of the French and American Revelations, this planet has been correlated with independence, and breaking old structures.

Cardinal in the Tree

Cardinal in the Tree -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Cardinal in the Tree is a painting that I recently completed. I’ve done many dove and crow paintings with the sun or moon in the scene and I got the idea to try my hand at creating a similar whimsical painting of a song bird. I chose the cardinal since I felt like using bright red paint.

We have a couple of cardinal couples that hang out in our yard. One late afternoon while in my husband’s upstairs studio, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful cardinal high up in a tree branch, this surprised me because I hadn’t realized just how tall particular accent tree had gotten. I planted 15 years ago and it has tripled in size.

With that scene in mind, I started the painting. I know that many people think when a cardinal appears it can symbolize a dead loved one is thinking of them. I like that idea and every time I spot a male cardinal, I like to think that my dad is winking at me. He and my mom loved their backyard with all their song birds. I hope all are enjoying this Easter and Passover weekend.

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.

Black Hole

Black Hole – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Black Hole is the newest painting for my abstract outer space series. It’s darker than a lot of my paintings. With the challenging world events going I was in the mood to bring in more darkness contrasting with the light. I experimented with various colors, playing with dark planets contrasting with the light and the lighter planets against the dark space. I like the way the black hole looks a like an eye.

It’s horrific and shocking viewing what is happening in the Ukraine, the brutality of Putin’s war all over social media for everyone to see. It seems that the whole world may be coming together to say no more, I hope anyway. I’m beginning a new painting to distract myself and continue to hope for a peaceful resolution.

Cosmic Egg

Cosmic Egg by Heni Sandoval

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with an artist friend of mine who told me she works on several paintings at a time. I liked that idea; my studio is not ideal for that because it’s a small room off the main bedroom. I did, however start working on two paintings at a time; one larger abstract with more overlaid colors and the smaller looser tiger painting from last week. This week I completed the abstract which I’ve titled, Cosmic Egg.

I chose the cosmic egg because it helps me to have concrete theme as I paint abstracts. On Instagram I had had recently seen a post on geometric patterns using the vesica piscis symbol of the interlocking circles that I had used for the water element painting. The inside shape has also been said to be a cosmic egg, a common motif in mythologies. With this idea in mind, I started the painting with two interlocking large curves and kept layering colors and eventually forming the egg shape in the center.

The Cosmic Egg is a major creation symbol used in myths throughout the world. It is a metaphor of potentiality and held within chaos, prior to becoming the creative cosmos.

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.

Brothers by the Window

Brothers by the Window -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Brothers by the Window is my new painting. A few months ago, I rearranged the furniture in our living room placing a side table in front of the big window and it soon became a favorite hang out for our kitties. I placed a pillow there which Truffle enjoys. Tuxie will sometimes join him by sitting on the edge but he tends to look a bit irritated at Truffle having more space. It also makes Truffle a bit nervous but he holds his ground. I tried to show this dynamic in the painting.

I took a picture with the boys together and sent it to my daughter who loves to get daily updates on the cats. We both noticed how striking it was with the light outside and the dark interior and I thought to myself, here’s the subject for a new painting. Mom’s birthday was last week; I generally do a still life painting around this time of year in her honor, and so I began the new still life with the cats.

It was a fun and challenging painting to do. I wanted the interior to be dark but also light enough to show off the beautiful antique table. I included the houseplants on either side of the cats to show the warm tropical greenery in contrast to the cold winter day outside. I’m getting better at depicting Tuxie who has interesting asymmetric markings on his face making it challenging to get his looks down. I’m glad to be back to painting and have started a new one that I’m working on this weekend.

Jupiter

Jupiter – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Jupiter is a new painting for my planet series. I started this painting a few months ago and have only now completed it. We were busy during the holidays and prior to that were updating our kitchen, opening up a wall to the dining room and then I painted the upstairs hallway and my daughter’s room, which had been a bright purple color from all the way back to her middle school days.

It felt good to get the house updates accomplished but I’m happy to get back to painting. Last weekend while waiting on the snow storm I started reworking this painting. It’s done now and I’m ready to start a fresh painting.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is the largest planet of the solar system. It is a gas giant with lower density than earth and covered with rapidly moving bands of white and brownish storm clouds. Jupiter has four large moons and more than seventy smaller moons. The famous red spot is a big storm that is the size of Earth.

Jupiter as the largest planet was named after the Roman king of the gods who ruled the sky and thunder and was in charge of laws and social order. In astrology Jupiter represents the principles of growth and expansion.

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.