Young Gibbon

Young Gibbon - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Young Gibbon – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my most recent painting, Young Gibbon for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop.  It completes the rainforest series which also include the tiger and crocodile paintings.   I chose to paint a gibbon after a special memory I had from our travels similar to the Sumatran tiger painting.

On our Southeastern Asia trip, my husband and I spent a couple of weeks trekking in the rainforest mountains of Northern Thailand. We hiked all day through the gorgeous rainforest scenery and then spent the nights in small villages with the native peoples.   We continued hiking higher in the mountains until we reached the Burma (Myanmar) border and could go no further, it surprised us that we had trekked that far north.  That evening we turned off on a side path and happened upon a guest house, another surprise as we had not seen any guest houses for days. It was owned by a French woman and there was only one other traveler staying there, an young Israeli.   We spent a great evening sharing stories about our travels. The woman had a baby gibbon that she had rescued from poachers, he was adorable.  He was not allowed much human contact as she eventually wanted to release him back to wild but in the morning she let me play with him just after his feeding.

Although gibbons look like monkeys, they are actually small apes.  We saw several on our trek and loved watching them travel through the tree branches and vines with ease.  Young Gibbon is painted in honor of that baby gibbon who I hope was eventually set free to soar.heni monkey 1000

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.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Flying Fish – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my most recent painting – Flying Fish.   I have painted many a fish and always swimming in the watery depths.  I think of fish as being one with the water where they flow and move in tune with the currents.   As I child I was very sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others.   I can remember my mom telling me over and over that I was too sensitive.   It always bothered me when she told me that, but she was right.   Through the years I’ve learned to develop more boundaries and separate from others’ emotions.  I’ve become less moody and more objective.  I wanted to paint a fish who could enjoy flying up in the fresh air with the warm sun.

I worked on this painting for over two weeks, it took a while to come together.  I knew I wanted a fish in the sky with the sun but working out the colors and shape of the sun and sky was quite a challenge for me.  I’m pleased with the result and feel the fish is happy getting a bit of fresh air before diving down again into the depths.

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…

Twin Fish

Twin Fish - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Twin Fish – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I was just sitting out on our back porch petting the kitties, such a nice change from the six degree temperatures earlier in the  week.  During the frigid weather I was  busy reorganizing my studio.  As luck would have it, while I was walking a couple of weeks ago I saw a  neighbor putting a nicely made large chest of drawers on the street.  My Husband helped me get it home and upstairs.  Life is going to be easier.  It’s great having drawers now for my prints, paintings, mailers and note cards.   Organization is not my strength but I’m learning that taking the time to get things in order can really save time and frustration in the long run.

A large framed print of Twin Fish sold at the Flying Biscuit Cafe the other day.  Twin Fish is one of my earlier fish works and I’ve always liked the jewel tones and Asian feel of this painting.  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.  On Monday I plan to get back to painting.  I’m thinking about painting a still life.   This new year is off to a good start and I hope it is for you also!

April – Orange Fish with Raindrops

Orange Fish with Raindrops- acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Orange Fish with Raindrops- acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

“Oh, the lovely fickleness of an April day!”  William Hamilton Gibson

Spring here in Atlanta has been unseasonably chilly.  Last night the low temperature was 39 degrees.  April has started out fickle with gray weather and rain.  This weekend it is supposed to be sunny and warmer.  Finally!  The dogwoods and azaleas are just about to bloom, it’s going to be gorgeous around here.  My daughter’s school spring break starts next week, she is heading to the beach with a friend, hopefully the weather will be lovely for them.  I will have more time to paint.  I’m starting a second jungle theme painting, this one will be a crocodile.

I painted Orange Fish with Raindrops around this time last year and I think it suits an April day well.