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.
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!
Yesterday was my wonderful next door neighbor Beverly’s 90th birthday. She has ten children and all of her children and their children and great grandchildren are in to town to celebrate this big occasion with her. Today there is a birthday luncheon in honor of Beverly at a country club. They were sweet to invite me and I’m looking forward to seeing all of her extended family. Beverly is still going strong and lives with her daughter Adele. Through the years we have lived here they both have been so sweet and supportive of us and especially of my daughter. This has meant a lot to me since we don’t have family here and my parents passed away before my girl could get to know them.
I wanted to do something special for Beverly for her birthday so when I found out her favorite flower is the purple iris, I decided to do a still life and also include their two cats, Zig and Zag. The colorful wall hanging behind Zag is one of Adele’s quilts. She and her mom share a love of sewing; their downstairs room filled with sewing machines and they have various creative projects going on all the time.
They have also supported me by buying prints of my art over the years. I wanted them to have an original painting just for them. Happy Birthday Beverly!