October 2010

Today’s featured photos are in somewhat of a reverse order. I was very excited with a mandala I painted on silk this past weekend. I am thus sharing it here in the top photo. The lower, unidentified yellow flower is photographed in front of my house in mid-day bright sun. This caused the background to be “blown out.” It’s here today not as a “good” photo. Rather it’s an illustration for part of today’s story below.

Speaking of “stories”, if you are one who enjoys mine, I invite you to check out the Partner Story page that I created through the eyes of a possible business partner.

It came from a free flow writing assignment I gave myself as part of my “30 Day Impossible Goal” discussed in the past two issues. The, thus-far, imaginary story could have been written by someone experienced in business who loves turning creativity and ideas into money. If you know anyone who might have an interest, or know someone else who would, please refer him or her to the Story Page or to the Business Partner page.

I also want to bring attention to the section after today’s Self-Reflecting Queries wherein I’m inviting you to check out two different, exciting, upcoming programs.

Today’s Photos

Silk Painting - Mandala 1 by Sheila Finkelstein

Yellow flower sparked silk painting mandala 1

The top silk mandala was photographed placed on white tissue paper over yellow fabric. The tissue is creating the texture.

The lower one is, as I wrote above, an unidentified flower in front of my house.

Today’s Photo Story
I am participating in a three-week Women’s Creativity Workshop using silk painting as part of the process. In the second session, after a discussion warm-up, during which the facilitators introduced the “Circle” and “Mandala” as concepts, we were shown some examples in books and a few samples painted on silk.

I was particularly drawn to a couple of the mandalas where hearts were used as the central focus, singly or in repetition. Although I loved the heart, there was the stronger part of me that didn’t want to be a “copycat.” Even though whatever I did would be very different, somehow I wanted it to be my own idea.

As I was “pondering” all of these made-up, head-game stories, I looked out the window and from across the yard a yellow flower, similar to the one above, on a bush in a distance, caught my eye. My mantra “take a picture of anything that catches your eye” kicked in. This time I did not grab the camera, I went for the brush and started my second silk painting, the one above, with the yellow flower as the center focus.

Yes, I know, the one I painted has 5 petals and the one in the photo has six, so I’m not sure if it is the same flower. Next time I will make sure to use the camera also to “capture” what catches my eye. [NOTE – Thank you to KI, for her email pointing out that she saw 5 petals in both.  Looking at the yellow flower with fresh eyes, I see, of course, only 5 petals. Don’t know how it came to be 6 in my thinking.]

Bottom line, I love the above painting. I did one other last week. You can see it and my first silk painting on Silk Paintings. There is a link there also to see the beautiful silk paintings of Virginia Wilson, the instructor.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Today’s experience and story relates to making decisions on subject matter for a painting, whether to use someone else’s idea or your own, or the former and make it your own. There really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” here in the situation I described above.

The point in even bringing it up is the invitation for you to look at your patterns in choosing your own actions. Does something have to be your own idea? If so, does the same carry through when working with another on a partnered project?

In reflecting on this, is there something that you now see that might empower you in future actions with yourself and with others?

And, in a totally different conversation, given I was sharing something of which I am feeling very proud, I invite you to look into your recent, or older, activities. What can you find that leaves, or left, you feeling quite proud?

Did you publicly claim this in any way? If not, might there have been a fear of the old “not right to brag” conversations running you?

In either case, I invite you to publicly claim an act or action of which you are proud and post it in the COMMENTS section of this post on the BLOG

Please do “play” with these queries. Have fun and open up to new possibilities.

Two Upcoming Programs
Tomorrow night, Thursday, October 28th, Marney Makridakis is facilitating a f*r*e*e Teleparty, ACT in Action – A Closer Look at the ARTbundance program. It will include coaches working and playing with clients and an ARTsignment with a follow-up workbook with more exercises for those who registered (no charge) for the call.

Marifran Korb, www.soulfulsolutions.com, who followed the link here last week to the no charge ARTbundance AWE of Attraction replay wrote to me: “Oh, I meant to tell you that I LOVED Marney’s ArtAbundance class. I am so grateful you sent the info to me. I want to make a whole lot of lenses for my KaLOVEascope. Her creativity with words and concepts is magnificent and

And another wrote, “I forgot to tell you how obsessed I am with ArtellaLand!!! WOW!!” Again, see ACT in Action for the 10/28 call and ARTbundance for replay of call from two weeks ago.

And – If you are one who has concerns about memory issues, even the common ones we all have, and want tools for sharpening your memory, I invite you to check out the upcoming program my friend Suzanne Holman is doing – Jump Start Course for Your Brain On her page she states, “Are you ready to sharpen your focus, improve your ability to remember, and totally optimize your brain?” Simply click on Brain for details and to hear Suzanne’s very brief introduction.


Yesterday was the second of three sessions of a Women’s Creativity Workshop co-facilitated by Kim Wanderley and Silk Painting Artist, Virginia Wilson.  Topic of this session was “Mandalas”.  Excited about what I created yesterday, I couldn’t wait to share it.

So here is a photo of my favorite of the two that I painted on silk yesterday.  Watch this space for Wednesday’s story of it, along with the  Self-Reflecting Queries.

(Hint on the relevance to this blog -  Although I did NOT photograph it on Saturday, a flower outside “caught my eye” and became the center of the painting in the same way that my always “if something catches your eye, photograph it” advice kicks in.)


Last week’s complimentary teleclass, which I mentioned, The Awe of Attraction: Using the ARTbundance Principles to Break the “Law” and Find the Love! was full of some great ideas and thought provoking suggestions. It covered using art and creativity as powerful new tools to attract more of what you want into your life. See ARTbundance. The replay is available at no charge.

Today’s Featured Photos

photo drawing of a horse's legs

heliconia from AOS greenhouse


The top photo is, obviously, a horse’s legs, with strong shadows which appealed to me, enhanced with line drawings (my photo/drawing process as featured in Nature’s Playground).

The middle photo is, I think, a Heliconia plant in the American Orchid Society greenhouse. See story and queries below.

And the bottom one is of phalaenopsis flowers, also in the AOS greenhouse.

Today’s Photo Story
You may be wondering at the strange mixture of today’s images. I am simply going with an intuitive nudge.

When, after selecting them, I went to resize the pictures for today’s issue the one with the horse’s legs was still “sitting” open in Photoshop Elements on my desktop. I had been reviewing it with other works while looking to inspire myself with my own work (another “story”).

So I decided the photo/drawing must still be open because it “wanted” to be here with you. As, I said, I’m trusting there is a reason. I’m not likely to have an answer for that unless I hear from you directly or on the comments on the blog. Please do let me know in the Comments section below  if it has some meaning for you.

As I went back to my files to look for what I thought would be the sole photo(s) for today, the Heliconia kept pulling me in. I decided the vertical nature of it, almost ladder-like, would fit with the strong verticals of the horse’s legs.

The curves from the center part of the phalaenopsis seemed to echo and repeat those in the heliconia photo. I also liked the lightness of it.

For those who wish explore and be with the photos further, I suggest looking for similar repetition of colors, shapes and textures in each of the photos. Those that I see give me “permission” to include them together ins one aesthetically “okay” grouping.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Today’s photos represent quite a divergent mixture in subject matter and yet I was able, as I stated, to pull them together. I invite you to look into your life. Are there places where things and/or people don’t seem to fit together and you choose to simply avoid the situations?

Although they look totally disjointed, if you look with new eyes are there commonalities you can find, such as I did with the art elements in today’s photos? If so, is there something in this that will further empower you?

The initial thing that came up for me in setting up today’s issue, in terms of relevant queries, was my experience with the middle photo. I am almost positive that it is a Heliconia. Since I didn’t think I would need the information, or was sure I knew what it was, I never bothered checking out the plant identity and/or making note of it. (I usually now photograph the signage so it stays with the photos in the folders I download.)

Then because I have the need to be totally accurate and informative in what I present, I spent about 15 minutes researching on the web. Was this the best use of my time? Could I have made a call? Forwarded the photo and waited for identification, putting aside the desire for instant gratification?

Turning this into queries for you – I invite you to look into your life at things you are paying attention to, such as making note of what you might need in the future? Are there situations where you shortcut to “save time” and then spend a lot of time searching later? (As much as I know better, I’m often still not labeling photos for easy future finding.)

As you’re doing these queries for yourself, are you noticing any patterns? Is there anything you’d like to note, to expedite time in the future? Again, for me, I will remind myself to start more regularly photographing labels for whatever new images, even familiar ones, that I’m “shooting”.

Please do “play” with these queries. Have fun and open up to new possibilities.

As always, you are welcome to share your responses in the COMMENTS section below. Note the new “Notify me…. ” option so you can get emails when others comment. Looking forward to our connecting there. Thank you so much.

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A couple of quick items before today’s photo and queries. In the last issue I mentioned I’m a seeking an Art Rep / Business Partner. I have since created a web page description and link which I’d greatly appreciate your looking at and then passing on to anyone you think might be interested or who might know such a person. Quite possibly he/she is a retired, experienced business person. See ArtRepPartner.

Next, if you are one of our subscribers who enjoys creative experiences, I think you’ll appreciate the following information. I was on a call last night with Marney Makridakis, one of the most creative artists and business people whom I know. I worked with Marney several years ago and had forgotten of how full of ideas she is, always testing, implementing and following through.

Tomorrow night (Thursday, October 14th), she’s offering a complimentary teleclass, The Awe of Attraction: Using the ARTbundance Principles to Break the “Law” and Find the Love! It’s all about using art and creativity as powerful new tools to attract more of what you want into your life. See ARTbundance.

There will be several hands-on creative activities done during the call. Marney will also be introducing an upcoming program in which she will be training coaches in using creative practices in new ways. To get a taste of the broad areas, in general, in which Marney’s creativity has taken her, see Artellaland.

Lastly, before today’s photo, I invite those of you in business to check out the information on Molly Gordon’s upcoming Profit Alchemy 101: Four Weeks to a More Focused Profitable Business program. Simply click on Profit for information.

Today’s Featured Photo

cat's whiskers

Cat’s Whiskers in the American Orchid Society Gardens in Delray Beach.

Today’s Photo Story
In a recent walk in the AOS Gardens I was attracted by the above flower, as much as for its name as for its imagery. Then in a couple of different conversations, in subsequent days, “cats” and “cats’ whiskers” came up… the cats that are animals, that is. The coincidences, thus, reinforced my decision to feature the above flower in this issue of Picture to Ponder.

At first, I thought the photo as not “good enough” to stand alone, that you might want another photograph of a “more beautiful” flower. And, then, I placed it on the page with a contrasting photo and the whiskers “wanted” to be the center of attention.

As I spent time simply being with the photo I got caught up in the dance of it, the movement in the flower itself and the play of lights and darks in the contrasting background.

I invite you to do the same, stay with the photograph for a moment or two and see what comes up for you.

Self-Reflecting Queries
One of the things I thought I would be addressing with the Cat’s Whiskers is our “expectations.” When you read “Cat’s Whiskers” in the subject heading were you drawn in because you love cats? Put off because, perhaps you dislike cats? (Those who were might not even have opened this issue.) Or, were you simply curious as to why cats’ whiskers would be featured in Picture to Ponder?

There are probably several other variables and more questions that I could suggest above. The bottom line is that I suspect you had some reaction/response, a little different from your usual one here.

My point to this conversation is to notice how our behaviors are so often colored by our expectations, or the way we think things are, simply from assumptions or judgments we’ve made.

I invite you to look into your life now. Were there were any recent circumstances where you made a quick decision on doing, or not doing, something, or one on talking or not talking to a particular person? If so, were there clues that the situation might have been different from your immediate assessment?

Should nothing immediate come up for you as you ponder the previous questions, I invite you to pay attention in the next day or two, or more, to the number of times you automatically make a decision based on a preconceived notion. As you begin to notice these, are you finding that there are some minor shifts you’d care to make in your perceptions.

Please do “play” with these queries. Have fun and open up to new possibilities.

As always, you are welcome to share your responses in the COMMENTS section below. Note the new “Notify me…. ” option so you can get emails when others comment. Looking forward to our connecting there. Thank you so much.


Last week, I mentioned I had enrolled in the Create the Impossible program. Now I find I am stepping out beyond anything I would have imagined. Having an Art Rep, possibly Business Partner, is one of the things that surfaced for me when I started free flow writing from “I want…. ” “Wow,” I thought. “That’s certainly impossible for me and definitely not possible in 30 days!” So I registered for the program.

One of the first things I did was revise and update my Sheila Finkelstein.com home page. I wanted to make it easy for someone visiting to get a quick overview of the scope of my work and what might be possible in bringing it into a variety of markets. I invite you to visit the page, for your own pleasure, and should you know anyone who might be interested in the business end, please pass the link on.

If you scroll down the sheilafinkelstein.com page, you’ll find offers for two bonus eBooks. You are welcome to take advantage of them. They include a subscription to Picture to Ponder AND you will NOT, as an existing subscriber, be getting duplicate mailings.

NOTE: If the thought of “Creating the Impossible” intrigues you, check out CREATE THE IMPOSSIBLE. When on the page, click on Upcoming Events in the black horizontal menu bar near the top of that page for details. Apologies if you tried the link over the weekend. There were some technical challenges.

Today’s Featured Photos

photo drawing of beets in a dish

brocolli and grapes in a colander

beets in a ceramic dish - photo drawing

Today’s Photos
The three pictures above are all photo/drawings that I did several years ago. The top and bottom images are of beets in a ceramic dish. The middle is of mixed vegetables and grapes in a colander.

Even several years ago, I was in the practice of photographing whatever caught my attention no matter what it was, wherever I was.

Today’s Photos Story
I was having a huge challenge today finding photos, amongst my thousands, to feature in this issue of Picture to Ponder. So I decided to go for a Nature walk “hoping” something would “show up”, catch my eye, and nothing did.

Then I went to the supermarket for vegetables for dinner and started looking for one, or more, that might catch my eye. I wavered on a couple, half-heartedly bought a sweet potato to play with. When I got home I realized it would, of course, involve taking pictures, plus a lot more time than I had available for the rest of the steps that would be required.

Then, being in the space of vegetable imagery and art, I was reminded that lately I’ve been getting a “lift” each time I glance over at the three images above that are on tiles in my kitchen. It’s actually, finally, becoming inspired by my own art, after countless years, that’s having me be brave enough to put myself out, looking at the larger world of big business.

(Note – These images are available, along with others, in the vegetable TILES section of my Gift Shop.)

Self-Reflecting Queries
Two themes run through today’s Picture to Ponder.

The first is around intention; the second is on honoring and owning ourselves.

When I went out “looking” for images to photograph, it was more of an “in order to” have something to use today, rather than an intention for and the belief in the possibility of it.

I invite you to look back at something recent that appeared that satisfied exactly what you needed or wanted. Can you recall your frame of mind and being that preceded it?

I extend the invitation to further observe your behavior this week and see what your state is when the “just right things” that you “need” or “want” show up. Is there tension? freedom? belief? or ease and trust?

Secondly, in relation to my becoming inspired by my art, what is it about you, your “beings”, your “doings” that most inspire you about yourself? I invite you to move it out of your “mind thinking” and recall the “feelings”, when something about you sparks you, or has.

As things come up, I further invite you to make written note of them, particularly if this is challenging for you. And, lastly, if there is any action, especially a bold one, I invite you to take it.

As always, you are welcome to share your responses in the COMMENTS section below. Note the new “Notify me…. ” option so you can get emails when others comment. Looking forward to our connecting there. Thank you so much.