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!

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.

Little Owl

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Little Owl – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Little Owl is my new painting of a small owl sitting on a branch in a forest just prior to dusk.  In late May, my good friend was in town for a visit and to see my art show.  After dinner we took a walk through the neighborhood as the sun was setting.  I happened to glance over at a dogwood tree in a wooded front yard where I noticed a large barn owl only about eight feet from us on a low branch. We stopped to watch him as he stared at us silently with his large eyes never moving. He was striking and must have been waiting for darkness to set in before hunting.

In recent years, owls have been a big decor item and I had been resisting painting them. Since seeing this owl and also recently hearing an owl’s hoot in the late night I decided it was time to paint one.   I looked up what it could mean when you see an owl and read that there could be a mystery afoot or some kind of transition coming up.  Owls also represent wisdom and intelligence.

My daughter leaves to study in Prague for the semester in just two weeks.  She’ll be taking a photography class along with a couple of language and core classes.  Her passport and visa finally came in the mail today,  her new film camera for the class arrived yesterday so she is just about ready.  Her twentieth  birthday is a few days before she leaves.  She’s got a lot to look forward to, we’re excited for her upcoming adventure.  I plan to paint all weekend, don’t have a subject picked out yet.  Enjoy your weekend!

 

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!

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.

 

A Murder of Crows

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A Murder of Crows – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

A few months ago I learned that a flock of crows is called a murder.  That captured my attention and I decided that at some point I would paint a murder of crows.  I love crows and have painted many through the years.   Whenever I’m out and about and spot a crow I get the feeling that they have spotted me also and are closely watching. Maybe for that reason they seem intelligent, social, and somewhat mysterious to me.    After last week’s tighter still life painting I felt like doing something looser, a perfect time for this painting.

In A Murder of Crows I wanted to show a lot of movement and layers of colors through the sky and tree branches as if the crows were flying in in out of different dimensions.   I tend to wonder if they can see colors and dimensions that we are not aware of yet.  Scientist say dragonflies and cats can perceive more than humans and they are now learning that trees communicate to each other through their roots.  It’s all very intriguing to think about the miracle and wonder of our natural world.