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!

Ode to Chocolate

Ode to Chocolate – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I’ve just completed Ode to Chocolate. This painting is a sweet valentine to our childhood family dog, a standard poodle named Chocolate. My twin sister and I grew up with him; he was such a sweetie, he soaked up all the loving attention we gave him.

He was the second standard poodle our family had, the first, Impy had been stolen a few years earlier. My dad had trained him to hunt and always said Impy was the best hunting dog he had ever had. Standard poodles are fun, intelligent and make great hunting dogs. Unfortunately for Chocolate, while still a puppy, the boys next door threw a firecracker over the backyard wall which when he went to fetch, it exploded in his face. After that point he was a bit emotionally wounded as he understandably became more timid and very frightened of any loud sounds. Sadly for my dad, he was never able to train him to hunt.

Dad used to say he became a mamma’s boy. Mom did a good job of caring for him, she had a book on various poodle hair cut styles, I remember her shaving him with an electric shaver. As we got older we would help give him baths. In those days dogs ran free, Chocolate would go in and out whenever he liked, ringing the bells on the door to let us know. We spent a lot of time outside in the yard playing with him. Most nights he would be in next to one of our beds sleeping. I have such happy memories of Chocolate and all the love he gave us.

Tuxie with Mom’s Antique Yellowware Pitcher

Tuxie with Mom’s Antique Yellow-Ware Pitcher – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here’s a new painting of our cat, Tuxie. Lately he has been hanging out on a chest by the window in my studio. This gave me the idea to do another cat sill life using one of Mom’s antique pitchers.

This large primitive yellowware pitcher sits on our kitchen shelf, I love the shape and the color contrasts nicely to Tuxie’s black fur. I brought it upstairs and added some philodendron plants that I’m rooting for interest and started painting. I spent most the week on it. It’s a larger painting on 18 by 24 inch water color paper then I typically paint on as I plan on framing and hanging it in our dining room.

Recently we changed things up in the dining room, I took out a large side board and crazy quilt wall hanging and moved them into the living room. We moved in my dads antique mission chair recliner next to a drop leaf table which opened up the space provided more connection to our screened in porch. It’s a bit dark though; so, I wanted a larger painting next to the chair to add interest and lighten up the room.

Tuxie with Mom’s Antique Yellowware Pitcher is the result. I next plan on painting our other cat, Truffle in a scene on the porch. They say cooler weather is coming, let’s hope fall weather will finally arrive soon.

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.

Brooklyn Bridge View

Brooklyn Bridge View – Acrylic Painting by Heni Sandoval

I’ve painted Brooklyn Bridge View in honor of my daughter who is graduating from New York University in just a few weeks. These four years have zipped by quickly and I wanted this painting to serve as a memory. It is loosely based on a photo of our girl taken when we were visiting New York City the summer after her fourth grade year. We did a lot of fun tourist things that included taking a ferry tour around Manhattan.

Our girl loved New York City and on her “back to school” report in 5th grade, she wrote about her “Favorite Place.” Here is the first line from her essay, “People are moving, some rushing to get to a place, others strolling along, not in a big hurry. It’s really crowded, each person is different in NYC. New York City is my favorite place, it’s famous for so many different things…”

At that point in time I realized what a good little writer she was and that her Montessori education had been perfect for her. How lucky she was to have had such amazing and dedicated teachers. Her public education all the way through high school served her very well.

Back on that ferry, we never suspected she would attend college in NYC; but, she made it happen and has loved every minute of being there. She discovered linguistics and luckily, New York University has an excellent program where she is about to receive her degree. After a year break she plans to continue with graduate school This summer she landed a very competitive internship at Harvard where she’ll be assisting a PhD student on a research project in their linguistics lab.

We leave for NYC next week, my three sisters and her uncle and cousin are joining us to celebrate her graduation. We are all excited and happy for this major milestone. It will be fun to see her walk the stage at Radio City Music Hall and later to stand up at Yankee Stadium. My husband and I are so very proud of her and her accomplishments and are happy for this next stage in her life!