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.

Tide Pools

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.

 

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 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.