Jellyfish Bloom

Jellyfish Bloom – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Jellyfish Bloom is a painting that I’ve just completed for my sea life series. I chose to paint a bloom of jellyfish for a couple of reasons. First, they are beautiful translucent ocean creatures which I thought would be an interesting challenge to try to capture. The second and main reason was the jellyfish has been on my mind is because they simply float through water getting all their needs met, their venomous tentacles stun their prey and also protect them from predators.

Lately I’ve been feeling that I need to chill more, honor my own boundaries and get back into what I enjoy most – painting. Last fall I worked long hours on a couple of projects in an effort to bring in more money with my art. I have to say all that expenditure of energy and work did not pay off too well. The online art shop was fun to create and I enjoyed learning a bit of Photoshop but I need to market it for the shop to be seen and I’m not sure if anyone really needs another mug, t-shirt, etc.

So I’m going to float like a jellyfish and let new ideas come to light that will be a better match for my art and also bring money in.

Mom and Baby Beluga Whale

BELUGA WHALES 1000
Mom and Baby Beluga Whales – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Mom and Baby Beluga Whale is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop.   I wanted to do a new sea life painting with a mom and baby.   It’s been fun to paint the two whales and figure out how to bring in the light through the water.

I was the girl scout leader for my girl’s troop through her fifth grade, our big end of the year event was a sleep over at the Atlanta Aquarium  which had recently opened. The girls were thrilled.  We got the “behind the scenes” tour and to do lots of fun activities through the night.  My favorite spot was by the window with a view into the large Beluga Whale tank.  There were two whales that would swim by and look at us.  They are graceful and seemed very gentle and curious about our kids.    Later in the night we set up our sleeping bags in the river otter section which was something, they came alive at night calling each other and diving in and out of the water.  It was great fun to watch, though we didn’t get any sleep.

In this painting the Beluga Whales are free and not in captivity.  Recently the  Georgia Aquarium has decided to no longer will take whales or dolphins caught in the wild, they need to be with larger family groups and able to swim free.  Times are changing as we become more aware.

Floating Mermaid

MERMAID WITH DOVE 1000 (1)
Floating Mermaid- acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my new painting, Floating Mermaid.  It’s feels good to be back to painting as I have had a long break.   In early May, I took a road trip with my twin sister up to New York City.  We met up with my two other sisters in New Jersey at my aunt’s home and had such a great reunion, also enjoying visiting with cousins and my aunt.   It had been over ten years since we had all been together.   We then took the train into Manhattan and  got to spend time with my daughter who was finishing up her freshman year at NYU.  She loves being in the city and it was reassuring to see how she was thriving.

Once she came home for summer break,  an opportunity opened up for her to spend five weeks in China teaching English and visiting with Chinese friends she had made at school.  It was all very sudden and with me helping her get ready for her adventure and having her home I found it challenging to focus on my art.

She’s been in China a week now and is enjoying herself and I am back to painting.  This floating mermaid is the result.  In life there are times we have to let go, relax and trust.  As a mom, I was nervous about my 18 year old girl  traveling on her own half way around the world.   At this point, part of my journey as a mom is to let go and trust my   child’s own path in life.    In this painting I wanted to show a mermaid relaxing in the water as the sun shines on her with the white dove of peace soaring above her, knowing all is well.

I hope all are enjoying summer,  whether you are home relaxing or off on exciting adventures!

 

Darkest Before Dawn

Darkest before Dawn - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Darkest before Dawn – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Darkest Before Dawn is my new painting.  Each year around the International Day of Peace I like to paint a dove of peace.  I’m a little behind the curve as the date was on September 21st but better late than never.  I decided to paint a dove flying at night as lately it seems that there is a continuous stream of bad news in regards to world and national events.  It is my feeling that the negativity that we are seeing and that many are experiencing will pass sooner rather than later and that actually many positive things are happening under the radar of the sensational news.

With the new season I seem to be settling down and better able to focus on painting which feels good.  May this new season bring with it more hope and peace to everyone.

Dolphin in Dappled Sunlight

Dolphin in Dappled Sunlight - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Dolphin in Dappled Sunlight – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here in Atlanta the kids have been back in school for three weeks now. My daughter is in her senior year of high school and will soon begin applying to colleges. With the realization of the expenses that lie ahead, my husband and I are trying to figure out the various financial options of her potential college choices.   It’s overwhelming; so, early this week when I received a message on my Heni’s Happy Painting’s Etsy Shop from a woman who loved my Mom and Bay Dolphin print but wanted a single dolphin instead, it was the perfect time to step back from that stress and dive into a new painting.

Dolphin in the Dappled Sunlight is the result.  I’ve always loved dolphins, they are so playful.  When we were in Hawaii swimming with them, the beauty of the light through the clear blue water reflecting on their bodies was striking.  I tried to capture that light and yet make it slightly different from the other painting.  I am hoping the woman will be pleased.  Enjoy these last days of the season!

Pink Seahorse

Pink Seahorse - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Pink Seahorse – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I have just completed Pink Seahorse for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop.   Early this week a woman contacted me through my shop.  She liked the style of my other seahorse print listed there but instead of a seahorse family she wanted one pink seahorse.   Seahorses are such interesting creatures.   Years ago when my daughter was in elementary school I remember taking her to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History where there was an exhibit of seahorses in several tanks.  They were so magical with their amazing colors and horse like shapes and the way they skirted through the water.  I could have watched them for hours.   I  decided it would be fun to paint a new one and that it would be a nice addition to my sea life prints which have been popular sellers.    I haven’t heard back from the woman yet, I hope she will like it. Regardless, it was fun to paint and I’m pleased.

Dreaming of the Caribbean again

Red Fish in the Tropics ~ acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Red Fish in the Tropics ~ acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

We’ve just had another long week of ice and snow.  I live in the South for a reason, we’ve had quite enough of this cold snowy weather.  I feel for the folks in the North, this winter has been brutal.  I’ve spent the snowy days dreaming of the warm Caribbean while working on a new fish painting, Red Fish in the Tropics.  In this painting I’ve tried to capture the magic one sees while snorkeling along coral reefs.   I love the way sound is muted and yet you see movement everywhere.   The light bounces through the water and brightens the vivid colors of the fish while the schools of fish swim along in the same direction ready at any moment to dart off on a different course.  You usually see one of two larger fish floating along with the current moving a bit slower.   I worked many hours on this painting trying to get that feeling, by layering the light to get the sense of movement and adding lots a bright details to the fish and coral.  The painting still doesn’t capture it fully but I didn’t want it to be too over worked and am fairly pleased.  Let’s hope spring in the Northern hemisphere will come sooner than later.  Until then we can dream…