Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat

FISH VASE - CAT 1000 Heni Sandoval
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.

Beloved Sam

Beloved Sam
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.

The Jaguar

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 8-26 1000
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 Brothers

TUXIE TRUFFLE - 1000 (1)
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!