Water Tiger

Water Tiger – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

After last week’s fairly complex cat still life painting, I felt like painting in a looser style. The Chinese New year began on the new moon in early February and the astrological sign of the year is the water tiger. I was inspired by all the fun imagery of the water tiger celebrating the new year that I’d seen on social media. It then occurred to me that one of my very good friends and several of my daughter’s friends are water tigers and that sparked my interest. I don’t know much about Chinese astrology but I see my good friend as someone is who is fiery and fun-loving yet also kindhearted and sensitive, it’s a nice mix. With all that in mind I started the painting and Water Tiger is the result.

Year’s ago, back when we lived in California, I worked in the education department at the Oakland Zoo one summer for their day camp program. It was a lot of fun leading a bunch of city kids helping them to learn more of the natural world. I also got to see how the zoo was run. The highlight of the week was a fun tour that the children loved called Behind the Scenes where they got to see how the animals were fed and cared for. There was a lone tiger is a fairly large fenced in area with a small pond to swim in. The children got to see the caretaker feed him big slabs of raw steak. Tigers unlike most cats actually enjoy the water and they swim to cool off.

The painting was fun to do and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’m now working on an abstract. The weather is starting to tease us with some warmer days, I hope everyone is enjoying the late days of the season.

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

TIGER BRIGHT 1000
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright – acrylic painting by Heni Sandoval

Here is my new painting of a tiger in the night, it’s another child friendly painting for my shop.  I chose the tiger for a couple of reasons.  When our girl was ready to enter prekindergarten, two local public schools were just starting Montessori programs.  We were very fortunate to get our  girl into one of those programs, a wonderful elementary school where she received a solid Montessori foundation.  The school mascot was the tiger.   Large blue tiger paw prints were painted on the walk to the school entrance.  Tiger murals went up, the children wore tiger t shirts on special tiger spirit days.  They really tried to make the school a fun and happy place to learn.  We still live just a block from the school and I want to donate some of these tiger prints to the PTA for the yearly silent auction.

My husband and I also  have a special tiger memory from our travels in Southeast Asia.  We were in northern Sumatra staying in a small guest house on the edge of their National Rainforest Park.  It was late in the night when suddenly we heard an animal squeal and then dogs madly barking.  It was quite unsettling and took us a while to fall back to sleep.  In the morning at breakfast we were trying to ask our host who didn’t speak English what happened,  he motioned for us to come with him.  A short walk later he showed us a humongous paw print of a Sumatran tiger in a muddy spot next to a spring.   The tiger had killed one of their goats in the night.  That day we hiked up into the lush rainforest vegetation where we saw monkeys and large fruit bats.  The highlights of our day were watching a mom and baby orangutan as they foraged for fruits and taking a dip in some hot water springs.  But I must say we made sure to get back to our guest house by night fall.

Hiking in the Sumatra Rainforest.
Hiking in the Sumatra Rainforest.

Tiger print available here