Saturn

Saturn – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Saturn is a new painting for my planet series. You may be wondering why I chose grayish color. In ancient times Saturn was associated with lead; it was said that alchemists could lead turn into gold. I liked the idea of painting Saturn as a lead sphere; it brought to my mind happy memories of fishing with my Dad, as we would use small lead balls that we would press on the fishing line to help the baited hook sink. I used to love to fish, it’s been a long time now, but we fished throughout our childhood.

Speaking of dads, Saturn in astrology can represent the father but it also represents a taskmaster type energy. Its placement can be challenging in childhood but over time if worked through it becomes a strength. In the painting I made the rings bright yellow as if they were gold. Years ago, I had a housemate who in her childhood had a recurring dream where she would be hanging out on one of Saturn’s rings feeling loved and accepted. I thought that was so interesting. She was a Capricorn, which is the sign Saturn rules.

I used lots of color to complement the gray color of Saturn. I wonder if there is more color throughout space that one day, we will be able to see. I’m pleased with the painting and like that it’s a little different from the other planets in a Saturn type way. My friend has invited me to the Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience here in Atlanta the weekend which I’m looking forward to. Happy weekend to all!

Fire

Fire – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Fire is a new painting of mine continuing with the element theme. Traditionally the fire element represents action, power, passion, and creativity. A few years ago, I painted a night scene in the forest with a large Bonfire to represent the fire element. In this new painting I chose a daylight scene so that it would include the sun; which, of course is the biggest fire ball that lights up the sky and allows for life on our planet.

It is a another abstract landscape with the idea of a controlled fire. Fires are needed in dryer lands to clear underbrush and open acorns and seeds that open only with fire. Indigenous people have been practicing controlled, deliberate burns in North America, and around the world, for millennia.

I put in the fire salamanders as I did in the Bonfire painting. They symbolize the fire element; in fact ,the name salamander is derived from a Greek term loosely meaning “fire lizard.” Some salamanders hibernate in hollow, decaying logs of wood. When the log was used for burning the salamanders would leap out and this led to the idea of them being born of the fire.

I’m pleased with the painting and am beginning a new one today. Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all.

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.

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.

Sun with two Black Holes

Sun with Two Black Holes -acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Sun with Two Black Holes is my painting for this week. As you can see, I have stayed with the sun theme and am also continuing to try to get a more spatial feel in the paintings. I used the black holes to bring in more atmosphere. The black color added a nice depth and provides contrast to the other colors.

I think black holes are fascinating, A black hole is caused by a star imploding on itself, if I understand it correctly. They have dense gravitational force that pulls objects in. There is no light within the black hole. I seem to remember from science fiction films that one can travel through time within a black hole. There’s so much to learn about space, both inner and outer. With all the hoopla on mars this week, I may paint mars next.

This weekend I get to spend time with my niece who is pregnant with her first baby at an outdoor baby shower. I’m so excited, my sister and other niece will also be there. I haven’t seen them since the pandemic started. We’ll all be wearing masks and social distancing which will be a bit strange. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see my niece pregnant; her baby is due in late March. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

El Sol

El Sol – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

It’s a new year and I’m back to painting.  El Sol is new abstract. I started with the large sun in the center and went from there; it’s not my favorite but it’s good to be back in the saddle. There is a certain resistance that sets in as weeks go by without painting, so I’m happy to have started up again.  I got the idea to paint the sun after the last painting ,Orbs in Space, when a Facebook friend suggested I paint stars. I decide to start with painting our star that gives us life here on earth. This painting is actually my second attempt as the first one started to look overdone. I do like the second one better, it’s a happy painting with the bright warm colors.

This year is looking brighter. My daughter finally was able to fly to Vancouver for her graduate program at University of British Columbia. After a two-week quarantine, she’s settling in to her new home and is able to see a few of her fellow students that she’s gotten to know online though her classes. She’s texted me some photos of a trail where she jogs, a beautiful wooded trail just minutes from her dorm. We’re happy for her and glad that she’s been able to get back to some sense of normalcy.

With more time to paint now, I have a goal of doing art each day to keep the momentum going. My artist friend and I are going to help each other by texting each other an image of our progress each day. I hope each of you are having a good start to the year and I look forward to seeing your posts.

Orbs in Space

Orbs in Space – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Orbs in Space is a new abstract painting that I completed yesterday. It’s quite vivid, I used my favorite rainbow colors. A few months ago, I did a painting of orbs floating among trees and was looking at it which led me to the idea to play with painting orbs again. I started by painting a spiral of spheres across the page and then continued with waves and particles. I recently saw a image of the most magnified human cell ever taken this week and it was amazing. It looked like an intricate abstract painting. I find the idea of space, both inner and outer both having waves and particles being similar in ways so interesting.

My daughter wanted me to decorate for Christmas early this year so I’ve been decorating and listening to Christmas music. It is helping to lift our spirits during this strange isolating holiday season. We usually have a holiday artist open house in the beginning of December and later a holiday eggnog party with friends but not this year. 2020 has been a year like no other. I’m hoping 2021 will be better for us all.