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.

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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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.