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

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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.

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.

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!

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.

The Star

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The Star – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Years ago I painted the interior one of my large papier mache bowls with a scene of a woman pouring water out of her vessel, the water turned into waves that curve around the  the bowl. I loved the way the image worked so well with the bowl shape.   I still have the bowl which sits in our living room.   I felt like trying to do a painting with a similar idea.  The Star is the result.

A young woman is pouring water into a pond in the evening with the stars shining above. To me the painting symbolizes that each human being is unique like stars in the sky and that through our own uniqueness that we pour out into the world we help to create a better world. It’s good to see people coming together and focusing on how they can contribute in their own way during this turbulent time period.