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Lucia Heffernan’s Funny Animals

Everything about Lucia Heffernan’s oil paintings of furry or feathered friends are infused with humor and charm. Getting to experience her delightful creations as puzzles brought that silliness and fun to life right on my puzzling table.

My latest foray into the funny animals world came to me through the Puzzle Warehouse Ambassador program. While not my first puzzle featuring Heffernan’s art, it was my first 1,000 piece of her work and it came with some unique challenges that I’ll share below. But first, just look at these Funny Bunnies!

Funny Bunnies | Eurographics | 1000 pieces

My first impression when I picked up the box was “They’re so cute I can’t take it.” My next thought was “This should be easy because it’s a collage puzzle.” Silly me. I had no idea what tricks were up this puzzle’s sleeve.

I discovered the first twist as the pieces spilled out on to the puzzle table and I realized they were all standard two by twos. If you’re not familiar, this piece shape with two knobs and two connectors is sometimes referred to as “terrible twos”, and they can make larger piece count puzzles particularly challenging. I’ll be honest, they always give me a moment of panic. 

No need to panic here though. If you’ve ever done a Eurographics standard cut puzzle, you know this brand knows what it’s doing and terrible twos really aren’t terrible at all. Their cut is so precise and features the slightest variations that false fits are practically non-existent. 

The second twist came (and never left) as I started the assembly process. True confession: I am not a sorter. Even with a collage puzzle that lends itself perfectly to sorting, I prefer to flip pieces, spread them out, and then get to building the puzzle. My process on a puzzle like this is to pick a square, dig out all the pieces for it, assemble that square, then move on to the next section.

But remember when I said Heffernan’s medium is oil paintings? Well guess what oil paintings translated into puzzles have? Tricks up their sleeve! The shading and textures in painterly puzzles up the challenge factor to varying degrees depending on the artist’s style and whether or not the finished piece has been modified for the translation into a puzzle. 

This one wasn’t as challenging as the other puzzle based on an oil painting featured in my first Jigsaw Junkies post. As you can see from this progress photo though, each section held back pieces even when I was well into the puzzle. I love the extra challenge this presented because it prolonged the time I spent with these fuzzy little pals.

By the time I was done, I had my favorite funny bunnies. I loved imagining what each of these bunnies were thinking about, whether they were off exploring or doing mundane things like getting an eye exam. Having spent several hours in the optometrist’s office lately, the eye exam bunny was easily my favorite. And isn’t that the special magic of art and puzzles? They can take us on whimsical adventures and relate to our everyday lives at the same time.

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Heffernan’s funny animals land. Maybe Funny Mice should be my next destination. That hot chocolate bathing mouse has the right idea.  And mice at the opera. I can’t take the cuteness!

Funny Mice | Eurographics | 1000 pieces

If 1,000 pieces aren’t your speed, both Eurographics and Buffalo Games have puzzles that feature Heffernan’s art in lower piece counts too. My nephew and I loved doing the 300-piece Follow Your Nose together. And Duck Tours looks like a great 500-piece challenge. 

Follow Your Nose | Buffalo Games | 300 pieces

Duck Tours | Eurographics | 500 pieces

I hope you get to spend some time on an adventure with some of Lucia Heffernan’s funny animals. It’s always a fun journey to visit their world! 

xo, Sarah B. @necessarahly_puzzles

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