The Jaguar

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The Jaguar – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

The Jaguar is a new painting for my rainforest series.  Jaguars are the largest cats native to the Americas and third largest cats in the world behind lions and tigers. The jaguar once roamed from Argentina all the way up to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Today, jaguars have been almost completely eliminated from the United States.  This endangered cat hangs on in remote regions of Central America and South America.  My niece spent time in Costa Rica on a college research trip and was fortunate to see a black jaguar in the dead of night.

Jaguar is a Native American word meaning, “he who kills with one blow.”  In  pre-Columbian America the jaguar was seen as a god in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala.  The Mayans saw him as the god of the underworld.

The idea for this painting came to me a couple weeks ago.  My daughter is spending a semester abroad in Prague, and has taken advantage of her free time traveling to many exciting places,  She’s been to Paris, Rome, Naples and now, Vienna and is having a great time on her adventures.   We are excited for her because she’s broadening her horizons by learning about and experiencing other cultures.  It’s brought back to mind wonderful memories of my travels.   One of those memories was a trip with my husband down to the Oaxaca, Mexico region.  In a small arts village, I  bought him a bright hand painted and carved, wooden jaguar that he keeps in his office for good luck.  This jaguar painting is also for my husband and a reminder of our happy memories of Mexico.

Mer-Cat

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Mer-cat – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here’s a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Painting Etsy shop.    Earlier in the summer I painted The Brothers of our cats Tuxie and Truffle.  I then thought I’d like to paint our other cat, Tiggy who passed away a few years ago. With the warm summer weather I was also thinking about painting a mermaid in an underwater scene.  I put these two ideas together and created Mer-Cat.

Back in May when I had my show at the Phoenix and Dragon bookstore, Candice, the owner mentioned that they have  an art show in October where they have paintings of cats from various local artists which is another reason why I’ve done these cat paintings.  The bookstore has three cats that live there full time.  When I set up my show, they all came into the gallery to hang out with me.  It was very sweet. There are many pet oriented gifts in the shop and I’ve bought some cat gifts for my daughter there.

My daughter has been in Prague now for just over a week, it’s pretty quiet around here, I think our kitties are missing her and all her loving attention.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

The Lion’s Gate

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Lion’s Gate – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

The Lion’s Gate is my third try at painting a Lion.  This Egyptian Lion is standing below the Sirius star. The ancient Egyptians viewed Sirius as the bringer of new life because Sirius was newly visible in the sky at the time of the yearly flooding of the Nile River.  They depended on the flooding to fertilize their lands.  In August, Sirius lines up directly with the pyramids in Giza.

I wanted to paint a regal lion, as if he were a king.   I placed him on a large monolithic structure looking out upon his kingdom.  As I continued, it became a night scene, which was fun to do.  I like the way he turned out, I feel it’s getting easier for me to paint lions.

The summer season is moving along, my daughter has a month left before she returns to school.  We’ll be visiting my twin sister in a few days, hanging out by their pool, which I’m looking forward to.  Hope all are enjoying these hot summer days!

Two Rabbits in the Meadow

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Two Rabbits in the Meadow – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Two Rabbits in the Meadow is a painting that I made for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop back in early June.  I thought of doing a new rabbit painting after spotting a little rabbit ahead of me on a path during my morning walk.  I decided then that it would be fun to do a new whimsical painting which I could add to the animals in the meadow series.

I looked up the symbolic meaning of spotting a rabbit in a google search.   Seeing a rabbit can mean more abundance may be coming  but one needs to face their fear and know when to make their move.   This made sense to me personally.   During the spring season I was involved with marketing with the May art show and also updating my art work at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.  Once my daughter came home from college for the summer and my husband got very busy with work, I got distracted and unfocused.

It felt good to get back to painting but now I’m ready to move forward with the marketing.  Tonight I’m going to a small art and food truck event, getting myself back out there.  Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful hot day and I’m hoping for no evening showers.

The Brothers

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The Brothers – Acrylic Painting by Heni Sandoval

The Brothers is new painting of mine, a portrait of our two cats.  Truffle and Tuxie were rescue kitties from a feral mother that we adopted  six years ago.  We just love them and their very different personalities.

Tuxie, pictured on the bottom is full of energy and a terrific hunter.   I can’t  recall all the times he’s brought chipmunks into the house.  We usually catch them and put the little critters back outside much to Tuxie’s dismay.  Tuxie is always letting Truffle know who is boss until Truffle can’t take it any more and goes after him.  Truffle, pictured on top is a gentle soul, for although he’s afraid to  sit in our laps, he soaks up affection and would happily be pet for hours. He is  large and chubby;  I had to stop leaving dry food out for he ate his and Tuxie’s portion.

I’m pleased with the painting and feel that I captured them pretty well.  When Tuxie was  about a year old, he came home with a broken tail which was very traumatic for him and us.  We weren’t sure if he would have get the tail cut off but luckily it healed and now he has this quirky curl.  He loves to lay on his back and lift his paws to get affection.  He’s so adorable. Truffle lounges around curled up sleeping most the day.  He, unlike quirky Tuxie, has perfect tuxedo cat markings.  I used the cooler peaceful colors around Truffle since he is sensitive and mellow.

The painting also shows the lush colors of the southern summer.  We’ve had a rainy few weeks here as summer began, the garden is doing well.  There’s an overflow  of zucchini and the tomatoes are almost ripe.  I hope everyone is having a good start to the season!

Jungle Elephant

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Jungle Elephant – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Jungle Elephant is a new painting in my jungle animal series for my  Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop.   He is a royal white elephant walking up through the bamboo forest in Northern Thailand.  The white elephant is considered sacred and a symbol for royal power there.

Years ago when my husband and I were hiking in Northern Thailand we kept noticing large round holes on the trail, after a while it dawned on us these holes were elephant tracks.   The sun filtered lush bamboo forests are lovely and it was quite an adventure even though we never saw the elephants.  I put in a full moon in this painting, as a fun memory of an experience we had in Chaing Mai.   One evening we  were eating at an outdoor cafe when I looked up and noticed the full moon that was being eclipsed, a large shadow was crossing it.  I tried to motion to our server to let her know and she smiled and said “moon” probably thinking that I was pointing out the full moon, not realizing that a lunar eclipse was happening. The area was filled with  people eating and strolling and it seemed we were the only ones aware of the eclipse.  It was such a magical evening.

I painted  this royal white elephant for my sister who has a collection of white elephants. She was the one that inspired us to travel to Southeast Asia.  She had traveled through Thailand after her stint with the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands.  I’m so glad she gave us the idea.  The year we spent traveling was such an enriching experience.  It helped me view life and art in a more holistic way.  Thanks Melissa!

Mom and Baby Beluga Whale

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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.