A visit to the home of Sheila and Sam Finkelstein is almost like
taking a trip to a local Museum or Art Gallery. The stained glass
piece hanging in the doorway greets you, the wall hangings and sculptured
pieces invite you to come in and enjoy.
Sheila was born in Philadelphia. She met and married Sam in 1960,
moved to Queens, NY, where their two sons, Joe and Rob, were born.
They moved to Old Bridge, NJ in l965 and liver there for the next
Their home was surrounded by woods and nature was growing
wild. Before meeting Sam, Sheila spent 3 years at Temple University
studying to make a career of Social Work. Those interests and skills
over the years helped her develop into a Personal Coach.
after moving to Old Bridge, Sheila got passionately involved in
establishing a public library there. She returned to college, got
a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts Education from Kean College,
and while teaching Art in public schools, achieved a Masters
Degree in Creative Arts Education from Rutgers University! An over
-abundance of Art teachers and a decline in enrollment caused Sheila
to enter the world of sales and marketing, where she remained for
OK, where does the Nature stuff begin...right now. Sheilas
passion for taking pictures were originally inspired by Sams
talents along those lines. His support and Sams hours of work
in his darkroom, printing Sheilas black and white photographs
of students art work set her on the course that led to her
lifes work, Nature and Discovery.
In l995, during the course
of a major beach restoration project in the Laurence Harbor section
of Old Bridge, Sheila took 3,000 photos, documenting the construction
activities, equipment, nature changes surrounding the work,and the
many views of the sunrises over the bay.
Since that time, Sheila
carries her point-and-shoot and digital cameras wherever she goes.
Discovery and play resulted in her current Photo/Drawing prints,
which she has developed during the past 4 1/2 years.
Walking, focussing on images in Nature, and making unique discoveries,
these are the things Sheila knows she can count on to enliven and
enrich her life. The Finkelsteins move to Florida in 2002
brought them closer to their sons and their families and even closer
Backyard birds consisting of snowy white egrets and other
tropical assortments surround her San Marco home and are constant
subjects of Sheilas camera. The discovery of the Wakodahatchee
Wetlands in 2003, just minutes away from their Tevere Drive home,
have added to her pleasure. The wetlands, the tropical flowers,
the wildly growing plants, the birds, they all reflect in Sheilas
Sheilas Photo/Drawing prints are wonderful, blowups of nature
scenes photographed by Sheila, painstakingly recreated with her
pen-line drawn on the existing photo to bring out the natural beauty
of each of her subjects. Colorful flowers, wildlife scenes, birds,
Sheilas Photo/Drawing art is also adapted to tiles, beautifully
colored tiles that can be used to decorate any place in your home,
trivets or inlaid flowered tiled boxes for your jewelry or your
favorite things. These are just a few of Sheilas captivating
creations. There are magnets, shopping bags, etchings and wonderful
note paper, anyone can be proud to receive as a gift. Pay her a
visit at home and see for yourself, or make sure you stop by Sheilas
table on January 9th, when the San Marco Arts/Crafts Show reconvenes
in our clubhouse.
Besides the creative effort that goes into producing the items I
have described, there is the WITVA - Women in the Visual Arts -
Orchid Society Show Blue Ribbon First Prize winning print that hangs
proudly in her living room. Many other framed pieces surround the
walls of their home. Sheila is also an exhibiting member of the
Delray Art League.
Recently Sheila started to concentrate on straight
photography with her digital camera, using images in nature to inspire
her creativity and relating to self and others in expanding ways.
She is in the developing stage of setting up eTeletours and has
already completed two Teleseminar focus groups.
Sheila is currently
working on discovering markets where her work will make a difference
in how people see their worlds. She says suggestions
and referrals are welcome. You can reach her at naturesplayground.com or eteletours.com.
I undertook this interview so you could discover Sheila, just as
she has invited us to discover other San Marco artisans in previous
issues. No interview with Sheila would be complete without me telling
you of some of her beliefs and aspirations.
Sheila loves people
and their stories, thus this Art Matters column was born through
her ideas. She tells of her reticence and introverted personality.
It still lingers when it comes to meeting and interacting with people.
That may be. I found her outspoken and very talented.
I leave you with one of Sheilas favorite quotes by Raymond
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels
whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.
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