Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat

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Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat is a painting that I’ve just completed.  I felt like doing a new still life and wanted to use the fish pitcher that my twin sister gave me on our birthday last year. It’s one of her many unique thrift store finds,  she’s got a great eye and is always coming home with fun items.  She thoughtfully passed it on to me as I like to paint both pitchers and fish. The pitcher usually stays out in the screened in back porch; I brought it in and filled with sunflowers to paint.

I decided to add a black cat to the painting to continue the still lifes with cats series.  It’s the fourth one in the series and with the two other cat paintings I now have cat note card six pack for marketing purposes.  I’m pleased with the cat, he’s standing for a change which I think works in this painting and it’s also bit humorous that he’s right next to the fish.   I had been wanted to paint sunflowers for a while now, as they radiate warmth and happiness.  The sunflower papier mache bowls I used to make were always quite popular.

It took a while to balance all the elements but I’m happy with the result. Our daughter is coming home for spring break next week, we’re looking forward to her visit.  It’s gotten chilly again today, hopefully it will warm up by next week during her break.

Bounding Bunny

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Bounding Bunny – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I have just completed a new painting, Bounding Bunny.  The lovely springlike weather we are enjoying here in Atlanta has inspired me to have some fun playing with color around a leaping cottontail rabbit.   I’m pleased with the sense of movement that the painting conveys.

When looking back at a similar painting done last year, Two Rabbits in the Meadow; I remember my struggle with the foreground, having to rework it many times.  I prefer the new painting, there’s more movement in the sky and the little bunny is leaping.  This new painting came together easily.

As I wrote before, the rabbit symbolizes good luck and abundance.   In the past few days I’ve sold four items from my two etsy shops, which is  encouraging as Etsy sales had slowed  down last year.  I’ve also gotten new framed prints up at the Fly Biscuit Cafes.  I have some other ideas for marketing and like this bunny I am ready to leap ahead.  March is here which means spring is just around the corner.  I hope all are enjoying these days!

Mirror Fish

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Mirror Fish – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Mirror Fish is my most recent painting.   Two fish  are swimming together like the Pisces symbol of  two fish swimming in opposite directions.  My twin sister and I are Pisces; our birthday is coming up later this month.  Maybe that’s why I felt like creating a new painting of the two fish to add to the other double fish paintings I’ve done through the years.  In this painting I’ve tried to loosen up some and play with lots of vibrant color.

My sister and I are in good places at the moment.  We are happy with our lives,  our families are doing well and we’re enjoying the empty nest phase.  We are identical mirror twins, which means the egg divided after 7 days and so we are mirror images of each other. She is right-handed while I am left-handed.

My sister was visiting last weekend and when we stopped by to pick up coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts, we got attention for looking alike. These days we find getting attention fun.   Growing up we never felt comfortable with all the extra attention we received.   Both my sister and I always smile to strangers and over the years I’ve realized that we do that because people were always staring at us.

We are still very close and talk to each other 2 or 3 times a week but like the fish above with the different colors and along with every identical twin, we each have a unique personality.

Beloved Sam

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Beloved Sam-acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Beloved Sam is a new painting that I just completed for a birthday gift for Lauri Shock.  Her husband, Billy Howard contacted me after receiving a note card of mine with the image of Adele’s Cats from a mutual friend.   Billy asked if he could buy the original since one of the cats reminded them of their Sam who had recently passed away to give to Laurie on her birthday.   Since I didn’t have the original I offered to do a new similar painting for him.  He liked that idea and sent me his Medium Post, Sam the Cat, which has some lovely photos of Sam.

It was my first commissioned painting and I was a bit nervous, but Billy said that they liked my style of using bright colors so I went with it.  I chose my mom’s stangl pitcher that looked a bit like one in the photos.    With Sam, I accented his green eyes and white patch that they loved about him.  I put a painting behind the flowers of birds flying as a symbol of Sam’s spirit being freed.

Sam showed up one day and became theirs when he was about a year old and for 15 years his quirky personality brought them joy daily.  It was a pleasure painting Sam.  I was touched by Billy’s thoughtfulness of wanting to do this for Lauri’s birthday gift.  What a wonderful idea in helping them to honor Sam’s memory.

Ganesh

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Ganesh – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

This week I felt like painting something light hearted so I chose Ganesh as my subject. Ganesh is one of the most worshiped gods of the Hindu Religion. He helps to destroy selfishness and vanity and to remove obstacles in one’s path. He brings good luck and fortune as he represents the material universe with all it’s many manifestations.  His elephant head represents super intelligence, his one tusk represents being focused and his large tummy symbolizes digesting both the good and bad peacefully.

One of my sisters who has an elephant collection has always liked Ganesh.  Years ago I made her a papier mache bowl with a painting of Ganesh on it.  She still has it and it makes me feel good whenever I go up to visit her and see it.  Her partner liked the white elephant that I painted last year and mentioned that he would like a Ganesh note card to give to his Indian friends at work, so that’s the plan.  I’ll make some note cards of this to give to him for Christmas.

It seems to me that Ganesh knows how to relax and enjoy life, which helps to bring good luck.  That is something we westerners could learn and benefit from.   Here in Georgia the schools have already started up in what used to be the lazy last days of summer.  In our home, my husband has just gotten a large job and will be working like crazy all month so we’ll just have to make do and relax when we can.  I hope that everyone can carve out some relaxing time during these last days of Summer.

Bluebird in Flight

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Bluebird in Flight – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

I was feeling happy and upbeat last week and felt liking painting  a bluebird.   I painted one a few years ago that was loosely based on a vintage post card.  We have bluebirds in our neighborhood and I love watching them soar about on my walks.  The bluebird symbolizes joy.

Here in Atlanta like much of the country we are already having mild spring-like weather,  birds are chirping and beginning to pair up and flowers are blooming. I even mowed our lawn last Wednesday.  A Facebook friend of mine posted a picture which said “What a lovely spring we are having this winter,”  which brought  smile to my face but at the same time I wondered what kind of summer we are going to have in Hotlanta.  Regardless, it’s hard not to be happy with this wonderful spring-like weather.

In Bluebird in Flight the joyful bird is flying over the meadow with the sun shining above.  I so enjoyed painting it,  layering the various colors on and seeing what came about.  I hope that joy is reflected in the painting.

A Murder of Crows

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A Murder of Crows – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

A few months ago I learned that a flock of crows is called a murder.  That captured my attention and I decided that at some point I would paint a murder of crows.  I love crows and have painted many through the years.   Whenever I’m out and about and spot a crow I get the feeling that they have spotted me also and are closely watching. Maybe for that reason they seem intelligent, social, and somewhat mysterious to me.    After last week’s tighter still life painting I felt like doing something looser, a perfect time for this painting.

In A Murder of Crows I wanted to show a lot of movement and layers of colors through the sky and tree branches as if the crows were flying in in out of different dimensions.   I tend to wonder if they can see colors and dimensions that we are not aware of yet.  Scientist say dragonflies and cats can perceive more than humans and they are now learning that trees communicate to each other through their roots.  It’s all very intriguing to think about the miracle and wonder of our natural world.