StudioSonali: Blog en-us (C) StudioSonali [email protected] (StudioSonali) Sun, 08 May 2022 05:50:00 GMT Sun, 08 May 2022 05:50:00 GMT StudioSonali: Blog 87 120 Japanese Koi Fish Represent Love and Friendship This Spring I took a wonderful inspiring class in Sedona by collage artist, Elizabeth St. Hillaire. This training inspired we to incorporate mixed media into my artwork and I believe is adding more dimension, depth, interest into my work.  For my first piece, I decided to create a canvas of koi fish.

As a result of the Sedona course I started creating abstract pieces of paper that are later used to build the collage but that are beautiful enough to be considered paintings of their own. The focus on paper reminded me of the ancient Japanese art of origami which uses colorful paper to make paper sculptures. This similarity of art from paper inspired me on the koi fish subject matter as koi are also originally from Japan.

In doing my research on koi fsh, I learned some interesting facts about the fish themselves:

  • Koi can reach up to 3 ft in length!
  • These beautiful fish come in a variety of colors – white, black, blue, cream, yellow and orange and are covered in an assortment of spots
  • Koi fish can recognize the person which feeds them and they can be trained to eat from his/her hand.
  • Koi fish usually lives between 25 and 30 years. When it is kept under good conditions, koi fish can survive for more than 100 years, some up to 200 years!

Even more interesting to me was the symbolism behind Koi fish: According to Japanese culture Koi fish represent love and friendship. And Owners who receive their koi fish as a gift are believed to receive good luck. In fact, often koi are passed down from generation to generation.

So if you are looking for a good gift for a loved one, this koi painting will be the perfect thoughtful gesture!

[email protected] (StudioSonali) koi fish koi fish painting mixed media koi fish Thu, 07 Oct 2021 23:33:00 GMT
Beyond OZ . . . Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Over the last decade, I have travelled the world in a quest to catch a glimpse of three keystone predators, the lion, the tiger and the bear—each serving a critical role in creating and maintaining their respective ecosystems. My adventures took me to Nagpur, India, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. These amazing experiences served as the inspiration for this series of paintings as I was driven to express the beauty and power of these august carnivores!

During my studies I learned great deal about the characteristics of each of these species and what makes them special and unique. I was intrigued to learn that tigers love to swim, but will only enter the water backwards because they don't like to get water in their eyes. The African lions spend about 20 hours per day sleeping! The great Grizzly's coat consists of black, cinnamon, red, blonde, brown or mixes of these colors and the tips of their outer hairs are usually tipped with white or silver lending to a "grizzled" effect thus providing the reasoning behind their name.

However, I was also saddened to learn that all three of these animals are endangered—there are less than 3,500 tigers left in the wild worldwide; less than 20,000 lions in Africa (compared to 200,000 in the early 1980's); and only 1,000 Grizzlies left in the Continental U.S. The main threat to these animals has been from humans, whether from habitat encroachment, hunting for fun, or poaching for supposed cures to human illness. It is a matter of time before the trouncing of these great animals will eventually trickle down and come back to bite us in many ways. Imagine having your children's only knowledge of tigers being as mythical fairytales creatures.

Compelled to raise awareness of these tragedies, I use my art as a way to share the preciousness of their being. You too can help in many ways, such as supporting organizations that are dedicated to protecting endangered wild animals, voting for laws and leaders that support environmental protection, and by buying from only reputable manufacturers. May the Lion, the Tiger and the Bear continue to be the kings of their own continents forever!

[email protected] (StudioSonali) grizzly bears lion conservation lion paintings lions tiger conservation Thu, 07 Oct 2021 23:33:00 GMT
Lions - May they continue to rule the kingdom!  

Lions, a key species to the African ecosystem and important icons of human culture as symbols of courage, bravery, and august, are facing critical danger as their populations have decreased from 200,000 to just 20,000 in just ten years. Lions were once widespread throughout much of Africa, Asia, and Europe but, due to habitat loss, hunting, and disease, only exist in the wild today in parts of Africa and a small sub-species in India.

Conscientious people are taking notice of this dramatic decline of the species and are taking action. In the summer of 2007, I volunteered at African Lion & Environmental Trust, an organization that breeds lions with the objective of diversifying and strengthening the gene pool. The lions in these photographs will eventually join with other lions to create prides that will be released into protected reserves throughout Africa and will help to rebuild a strong lion population. Click on the image to the left to enter the gallery and view photographs of the whole pride!

[email protected] (StudioSonali) Thu, 07 Oct 2021 23:33:00 GMT