New Perspectives Inspired by a Red Onion and Garlic – Picture to Ponder – Vol. 5 – Issue 26

by Sheila Finkelstein on July 23, 2009

You may be wondering, “Why onion photos again?” I had intended to go back to birds, or other nature photos, for this issue, and then these photographs kept popping out whenever I opened my photo files. A few weeks ago, for the last session of the June Through and From the Lens course, I purchased a new red onion. While at the supermarket the red garlic caught my eye, along with the white garlic which I needed for cooking; so I bought all three.

After photographing them separately and together from many angles and holding them in my hands, I became so attached to the “personalities” and “feel” of the three above that I bought new ones with which to work during the teleclass.

I’m following my instincts in continuing sharing them here, recognizing that there is something “calling” to me with these particular vegetables and hope they will thus resonate in some way with you. One thing I know for sure, is I’m delighted with how long they last in the original state, with no change or deterioration, from the time I purchase them.

For those who missed it, earlier this month I wrote on Onion #4, which you can see on the BLOG – Looking at the Old Newly


I am not what it is in the top photo of the garlic bulb in my hand that “grabs” me each time I look at it. The image is seemingly making a strong statement.

As you can see I grouped the three together, on my white kitchen counter, and then on the underside of a black styrofoam tray to get the contrast. I was only going to include one of these two photos here since they are so similar. Then when I looked again, I saw the feel was different, beyond the lighting contrasts.

In the third photograph the onion seems to be looking at the red garlic very protectively, as the latter nestles up to it. And, I’m wondering, in addition to the focus being slightly closer, if the fact that the white garlic’s position is altered, ever so slightly, is what makes the difference. Perhaps it’s that the latter is extra bright here and the other “needs” protection (in the imaginary sense).

I’ve included the fourth photo of the red garlic alone, slightly altered in color by Photoshop Elements, because now it looks like a piece of art. In addition to the colors, I love the rhythm and swirl in the whole shape.

By altering positions, “points of view”, in the onion and garlic bulbs above, we get a different feeling or communication.

Relating this now to you and going to one of my favorite Self-Reflecting Queries, I invite you to look into your own life. Are there places where you are facing challenges, places where a slight alteration of perspective might give you a whole new take on the matter? If a particular challenge surfaces for you, I invite you to “hold” it in your hand, if not literally, then figuratively. See if and how you can become friends with it. What opens up for you now?

Furthering my own Self-Reflections – For me, right now, I am looking at what it is in the red onion and, now, the added garlic that has me so intrigued and moved.

I’m realizing there is a passion in here for the “stories” I see in them. Last night, I wrote in Facebook, that I am open to finding a collaborator (a children’s writer, educator or idea person) who would enjoy co-creating with me products that would make an empowering difference in how children (and adults) see their worlds. This is a new opening and stepping out for me.

Lastly, if you have gotten this far in viewing and reading, and you have any strong emotional reaction one way or another to my featuring onions and garlic, I invite you to look at what’s coming up for you in terms of your own life in relation to your response.

As always, put fun into it. Where will you find faces and smiles today?

ATTENTION – WRITERS, or WANNA-BE WRITERS – If you are interested in doing more exploration in writing for yourself, my friend and mentor Julie Jordan Scott is Introducing the Summer Writing Intensive Creativity Camp (at Home or wherever you happen to be) See SUMMER WRITING CAMP for details.

MORE OF MY WRITING – If you appreciate my writing, you might find interesting what I’ve been posting on my WRITING FOR HEALING blog.

I don’t know if the following fits for you, and I thought I would pass it on in the event that you are one who has been wanting to set up your own blog, but have gotten frustrated with the technical stuff. My friend Traci Knoppe has put together a very easy to understand and use 4-week ecourse, with simple step-by-step procedures. You can learn more at BEGINNER TO BLOGGER.

Start-Up Business Owners
If you are a start-up business, or know of one, I also have a website, listing and describing other helpful businesses I know, use and recommend. See SOURCES FOR BUSINESS SUPPORT.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Debii July 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Sheila – to me, the top photo almost looks like an egg sac of some sort with a baby inside – new life waiting to break forth. And is you think about it, that is what a garlic clove is. You would plant each clove inside to grow a new plant. There is also a face in this one that I can see. The bottom photo looks like the back of someone’s head with a pony tail.


Sheila Finkelstein July 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Hi Debbii,

Good to see you here again. I find your response to the top photo most interesting, especially because in an email sent directly to me another person saw it as “a fetus holding the onion [garlic]”

I’m smiling at your comment on the bottom. Yes, I can see the pony tail and knowing that your husband is a jazz musician/composer, my instinctive response, in reading what you wrote, was the back of the head of a band player. I think the colors add to it.

Thanks for playing.


Doris Schmucker June 11, 2010 at 6:17 am

OOH! The red onion photo would make a great abstract painting! I love it’s bumpy shape and the lines and pattern of color.


Sheila Finkelstein June 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

So, have you started a painting from it, Doris. I LOVE red onions. They last for months and male wonderful “subjects”. You could have lots of fun with your kids slicing up certain vegetables and fruits, looking at all the different faces that present themselves.

Check the SEARCH box in the upper right hear for some that I may have featured here, such as “apple”.


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