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.

Shining Sea Turtle

Caribbean Sea Turtle
Shining Sea Turtle = acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Shining Sea Turtle is a new turtle painting of mine.   I had not painted in about a month as my daughter is graduating from high school in a few  weeks.  She will be going off to New York University in the fall.  It was very unexpected as we assumed she would be going to an in state school. She got accepted and received enough funding to make it possible.  It’s been an exciting  few weeks figuring out the details.  We are thrilled and very proud of her.  It’s been my girl’s dream to go off to school in New York City and now it’s actually going to happen!

I’ve settled down a bit and it feels good to be back painting.  I love doing underwater ocean scenes and I just felt like painting a serene sea turtle.  I hope all are having a peaceful happy season.

Purchase the print here:  Shining Sea Turtle

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…

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!

Turtle Point – Hawaii

Turlte Point - acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Turtle Point – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Last April we were in Hawaii for my nephew’s wedding.   His wife is from the Big Island and they had a lovely outdoor ceremony on a bluff  overlooking the water right before sunset.  The spot was called Turtle Point.  Just below was a cove where we actually snorkeled and saw sea turtles swimming.  That was very exciting for me because I had done this painting for their wedding gift and had also painted another sea turtle earlier but had never seen one swimming in the water before.  They were very gentle creatures moving about peacefully.

I had fun painting these turtles, I wanted my nephew and his wife to have a nice memory of their amazing wedding and also have it be something their future children might look at and think about their parent’s wedding.  My parents had a hand-painted  plate of pretty delicate love birds with the date of their wedding that they  had received as a wedding gift.  It always hung above the kitchen door.  I loved that plate and it  helped me to remember their wedding anniversary date.

Honu is the Hawaii word for the sea turtle and on the Big Island, there are  images of sea turtles everywhere.  The honu is revered as a sacred symbol of life force.  Hawaii is a such a unique and beautiful place.    They say the South is friendly but  in my opinion Hawaiians top  Southerners.  They were so open hearted, kind and relaxed.  The spectacular natural beauty of the Big Island was breath taking.  I  hope to return one day.

Turtle Point painting  print available here.

Turtle Point photo by Mike Kunze
Turtle Point photo by Mike Kunze
Sea Turtle photo by Mike Kunze
Sea Turtle photo by Mike Kunze