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.
Crab and Tide Pools – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval
Here are two paintings I’ve done for my sister’s upcoming birthday. She and her family live in Seattle and she wanted a couple of prints for her bathroom. She was looking through all my fish prints and trying to decide what to use. The thought came to me to do a new painting for her with sea life from the Pacific Northwest. Her shower curtain had oranges and blues and tans so I worked with those colors.
Years ago we lived in Oakland California where I worked as an outdoor program specialist for the San Francisco Bay Girl Scouts. I drove a van throughout the bay area leading special programs for girl scout troops. Every so often I would meet a troop out on the coast where we would explore the tide pools. The Northwest coast can be pretty gray, chilly and overcast; but the tide pools are just bursting with color of the various sea creatures. The stark contrast made it exciting, like finding a treasure. I loved teaching about how the sea creatures had adapted to their stark environment, opening and closing with the tide changes.
It was a fun and challenging painting the tide pools, and it helped that I did them both at the same time. The paintings brought back happy memories that I had not thought about in years. I feel they turned out pretty well and hope my sister will like them and that they will work in her space.
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 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!
I am pleased to be the Artist of the Month for May at the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore here in Atlanta. It’s given me the opportunity to honor my Mom. Every year around her birthday I do a painting in her memory and some are showcased in the show. As the years go on I realize how my Mom’s creativity inspired me to become an artist. I am happy that I can honor her in this way. The poster and photos of the opening are below. The show is going on through May. Happy Mother’s Day!
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.
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.