Category Archives: Art-Matters

Secrets Office Decor Reveal About Leadership Style



What does your office decor say about your leadership style?

This is day 9 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge hosted by Decisive Minds. My passion for art combined with my experience in the corporate world, is my topic for 31 days, titled: Art in the Workspace. We’ve taken an upclose and personal view from outside, now we’re taking a walk inside. You can view previous posts under “Art in the Workspace” category.

Today we’re taking a walk around the office, to look at your office decoration. Through an interpretation of a few key elements to uncover what it may suggest about your leadership style. Although you know the old saying “you should never judge a book by its cover”, it could subconsciously make or break a deal. I like to think of it as office personality. Lets take a tour starting at the;

Reception area

Reception area

A reception area or waiting room, is the first place a visitor encounters, therefor setting the bar for a powerful first impression.  It may possibly be the employee entrance and sets the tone for the day.

Nothing says “Welcome” like a bowl of candy, a few magazines and beverage(s), keeping these at a minimum avoids clutter and messy areas. One of the most uplifting characteristics I found in my research were plants. Plants project life, warmth and serenity, if well-maintained. This room is your “30 second infomercial”, make a striking one!

Some of these characteristics may be interpreted as environmentally responsable, charismatic, show empathy and relationship-oriented.

Colors in the office



Per, Empower Yourself with Color; What you choose for the colors of your office can have a dramatic effect on your clients and other visitors. These effects are subliminal and instinctive, creating either a good or bad perception of your business

The colors you use in your office should change with the type of business being conducted in the office. Your image is being projected, and judgments being made, the moment your door is opened. The right choice for your office colors can ensure that your image is a positive one.

Colors to avoid; white, claimed by employees to be depressing. Cream and beige, reflect boring and dull. Blue denotes honesty, loyalty, wisdom, conservatism, security and confidence so it is a good color for these types of businesses.  Green is calming, suggesting security, growth and money and dark green is often used by corporate businesses to indicate wealth and prestige. Accessorize the office with a little of the complementary color, orange with the blue or red with the green, to balance the effect of these colors.

The power colors of navy blue, dark green and burgundy give a message of control, responsibility, and confidence to clients of these more serious corporate businesses.

Creating a pleasant color palette of two or more colors is preferred.

artwork in the office


Wall Decor

Ah, my favorite part! A cohesive collection of art tells me that there was careful planning in the office decor and design. Its professional and inviting. A mismatched display of inspirational quotes, prints with assorted art subjects and themes, indicates to me, there was no thought in the decorating process, except just get something on the wall. A transactional type of office.

Artwork from local artist demonstrates corporate social responsibility. A properly placed display of awards and community events, demonstrate community involvement and social cause awareness.

One of my favorite all time wall decor is at a local business, its a wall with custom decals comprised of words straight from the employees interpretation of the company culture. A clear demonstration of pride in the company and what the employees think and feel about working there.



According to Georgie Henderson at, the furniture in the reception area should be sleek and comfortable, it should be eye-catching and should flow easily into the rest of the office. There are just certain images which seem to be connected with success and wealth; modern design is one of the most prevalent images which convey this.  Overall, modern furniture can help an office to appear elegant and  sophisticated, giving it an attractive pull.

A sofa and modestly sized separate meeting table and chairs are ideal for conducting business in alternate locations within the room, these encourage conversation and privacy.

A meeting or conference room, could be the place to explore ideas, open communication and encourage participation. Make it gadget free, no distractions yelling, read me! Comfortable seating is a must. The room that should say you’re engaging, caring, visionary and transformative. A conference room with glass walls, although sound proof gives the impression that we have no secrets.

Big mahogany desks, king size throne chairs and dark wood speak volumes of power, authority, hierarchy and of a conservative professional environment yet hands-off.

Functional and aesthetically beautiful modern furniture will indicate that you care about quality.

Conference room

Employee office space

An employee office space could be a desk, reception area or cubicles. According to,  Meredith Wells, a researcher from the University of Eastern Kentucky who has examined people’s relationships with their work spaces, says people who decorate their offices often have higher levels of job satisfaction and psychological well-being, leading to higher levels of employee morale and lower turnover.

Mayor Bloombergs’ desk is in a cubicle, despite his high power position, it demonstrates that he’s hands-on,  encourages an open door policy and is a team member.

Did you find this interesting? Did you identify with any these characteristics? Share your office setting with us here!

Who’s the author?

UBC- Quote 9

Join the daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from the “Gift of the Rose” art collection at my online shop “La Galeria” on Etsy.

Day 8- Blog Challenge: Dreamy Office Style

Welcome back to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, 31 days of blogging, connecting, learning and having fun! My challenge is to create awareness of how art in the workspace can make a difference with your clients, employees and the bottom line.

Quick overview

We’ve been digging deep into your “officestyle” like peeling away onion layers, one by one.  have you ever met a Financial Advisor that looks, smells and speaks expensive successful lifestyle. What was your first impression? Perhaps, you thought, hmm…he/she looks successful, they must be the best in industry, they must know all the ins & outs of investing, if they managed my money, I’ll be successful! Here’s a secret, it’s in the looks, I’ve worked with some awesome financial advisors and with some that shouldn’t be in the business. However, they all looked the part, they lived the lifestyle with the nice homes, expensive cars and vacations, some earned it well and some lived beyond their means.

We’ve taken a hard look at the outside of your business, or least I hope you’ve had that honest look and/or conversation with yourself, employees and trusty clients about first impressions. Did you stand out in positive or negative way? Today, we focus on your dreamy office style. What is the ideal and perfect office in your mind? How would it look and feel? How would you “wow” your clients?

Remember, the financial advisor that “branded” success. Is your office style is a component of your brand, here are a few examples of styles. Your current office style may fall within one of these categories, but the majority are a mixed of two or more styles, a mix of ideas and collections. Wipe the slate clean, mentally for today and dream;

Decor styles

Modern office


The modern office has an open plan layout with few divisions. While traditional  offices had rows of desks all facing the same way, the modern layout has desks  facing in different directions, including each other. This reflects the equality of  relationships in modern work environments, with less emphasis on a hierarchy of power.


Contemporary office

Clean lines, smooth and polished surfaces, and few intricate details. It is not  stark and cold, but contemporary design is comfortable and spacious, without  clutter. Contemporary design focuses on neutral colors, such as creams, whites, browns,  blacks and taupe. Bold colors, such as red or yellow, are for accent.

Eclectic Office


Eclectic style is defined by an exuberant self-confidence. The eclectic decorator knows what works together by seeing relationships. An eclectic room may be defined by play with color, shape or function. It is a light-hearted style that is never boring. An eclectic decorating style is easiest to define by what it is not. Eclectic style doesn’t rigidly adhere to any one major style. It is characterized by a freedom of expression and a vibrant individuality. If you were the kind of child who deliberately colored outside the lines, this is the style for you.

Traditional office






Traditional style emphasizes proportion, symmetry and restraint. A traditional office is refined and graceful with a regard to elegant, classical forms.

Return tomorrow, when we’ll see what your office reveals about your leadership style. Does your office space have a “wow” factor? Is there an office that “wowed” you and why? Share your comments here!

Who’s the author?

Motivational Quote

Join the daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from the “Gift of the Rose” art collection at my online shop “La Galeria” on Etsy.

Day 6- Blog Challenge: Standing Out

Welcome back to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, 31 days of blogging, connecting, learning and having fun! My challenge is to create awareness of how art in the workspace can make a difference with your clients, employees and the bottom line.

So far we’ve emphasized the importance of art in the workspace, whether you work from a home/office or outside of the home at a brick and mortar standard office. I’ve encouraged you to do a self-assessment your space and take a look from the outside in to what everyone “sees’.

During my business development days I visited many offices, different sizes, types, styles and industries. I can honestly say, only a few are memorable and stood out. The ones that stood out to me were warm and inviting, clearly branded their industry, thoughtful of the business decor or intriguing. I felt welcomed and inclined to develop a deeper relationship with this entity.

So, as you assessed your business workspace, there are 3 areas simple questions to help with the process. Even if you are an employee, what does your cubicle or office say about your personal brand?

Setting a tone

The tone of your workspace is an integral piece of your brand. Is your office professional, modern or outdated, relaxed or just a tad too relaxed and unorganized.

Passionate about your business and community

Have you ever visited a business that has integrated their industry as part of their decor? Such as, companies that specialize in steel display cool sculptures made from steel or a graphic design business with carefully thought calligraphic artwork or display of commissioned samples of work for their clients. I enjoy visiting restaurants that display historical photographs of the location, they take me back in time. Does your business participate, sponsor or integrate the community you in and how?

Do you stand out?

Keep in mind that nobody remembers you for doing the same things that every other business does. As a matter of fact, what makes any business stand out from the crowd in your mind? I must ask, does your business stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression? Is so, share your photos, tell me how and why it stands out!

Thanks much for reading and looking forward to your comments.


Who’s the author?

BC-Quote 6

Join the daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from the “Gift of the Rose” art collection at my online shop “La Galeria” on Etsy.

Day 5- Blog Challenge: Revealing Results

Welcome back to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, 31 days of blogging, connecting, learning and having fun! My challenge is to create awareness of how art in the workspace can make a difference with your clients, employees and bottom line.

Quick review:

So far, we’ve talked about art in the workspace, first impressions and your challenge was to do a self-assessment of your workspace.

Oceanview office

Today, it’s about your findings and feedback, let’s see how you did!

  1. What did you “see”?
  2. What did they “say”?
  3. What’s your thought, is it what you expected?
  4. What would you improve or change?
  5. Does your workspace identify with your brand? 

I would love to hear your honest feedback, the only way to move forward! I leave you with this reflection;

“People draw opinions about who we are and how we operate based on what our space looks like, sounds like and even smells like,” says Jen Zobel Bieber, a New York-based life coach.

Who’s the author?

BC_Quote 5

Join the daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from the “Gift of the Rose” art collection at my online shop “La Galeria” on Etsy.

Day 4- Blog Challenge: Assessing your workspace

You’re back-yay!

Quick review: We’ve been chatting about art in the workspace, whether you work from a home/office or at brick and mortar office setting outside of the home. We touched on first impressions and some possible implications.

Today, I’ll exchange ideas on how to assess your workspace. As an artist, I work so closely for hours at a time on a painting and cannot “see” any designs errors, uncover how to improve my composition arrangement or a color correction. At this point, I stand away from the painting and take a deep assessment, sometimes I’ll ask for feedback or let it sit in plain view and come back later with fresh eyes.

See, the same happens when you work everyday in the same environment. You get accustomed to the decor and don’t think twice about how it affects your mood, health or overall working relationships. It’s time to look from the outside in with fresh new eyes!

My encouragement today is to try any or all of these methods to assess your environment;

Take a walk
Get up walk around, walk outside look around and then walk inside, but this time walk in the shoes as a client or an employee as if you were entering for the first time.

Get feedback

Ask your employees, friends, and family  for feedback. Depending on the relationship with your clients, have an honest conversation.

What to look for or ask

Look for what stands?

  •  What’s their 1st impression; is it clean, updated or outdated, organized or cluttered, warm & inviting or cold and unfriendly, comfortable and business-like.
  • Take a look at the artwork; is there a consistent theme or consistent framing.
  • Is there a cohesive collection of artwork or a combination of prints, original art, photographs or subject matter or type of art.
  • Are the frames dirty, outdated, properly displayed or arranged in a pleasing manner.
  • Is the lighting appropriate and enhancing your collection?
  • Do you see empty walls with promises for greatness or perhaps too much clutter?
  • What’s the most prominent feature when you walk in?
  • Do you notice furniture, flooring, stairs or other features first?

What did you find? Did the feedback surprise you? Looking forward to hearing about your findings? Hang in there we’re taking one step at a time.

Who’s the author?

BC Quote 4

Don’t forget our daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commenter with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from “Gift of the Rose” art collection found at my online shop “”>La Galeria</a>”!

Day 3- Blog Challenge: First Impressions In The Workspace

Welcome back, if this is your first time here, welcome to my blog!

Today I start with a quick clarification. I had initially announced that I would be posting a new painting everyday, after getting a late start thanks to the uninvited guests who corrupted files, I starting reflecting on what I really wanted to talk about. That is about art in the workspace, whether you working space is at a Home/Office, Home/Office/Studio (like mine) or in a formal brick and mortar office setting outside of the home. Again, I apologize if you’re here anticipating to see a daily new painting, perhaps it’s an idea for us to work together in the future? Give it some thought, I’m open to your creativeness!!!

Let’s focus on art in the workspace and why it matters. Today, we’ll focus on “First Impressions”. They say first impressions are everything and I agree! In my earlier life as a Bank Manager and Corporate Sales Officer I had the pleasure of visiting many businesses of all types and sizes. I could walk into an office and immediately assess how much thought is put into the office decor, especially the visitor or waiting areas and then that would follow by thoughts of how the business is managed.

So what did I think? Here are a few thoughts;

  • How successful is the business?
  • Does management care about first impressions?

Let’s look from the outside and it’s implications;

  • What if I was a prospective client; I would wonder how would you handle my account? With the same level of attention to detail or by the seat of your pants.
  • What if I was a prospective new employee, a possible future key employee; if they don’t care how the business is managed, how about me? Would I want to work here?
  • What if I was banker; how is the business managed and would I want to lend them money?

Your physical business is a reflection of you, your management style, success or lack of. The most important aspects about a business is exceptional customer service and the bottom line. We all know is the primary focus is managing your business and you work very hard at it to make it successful. Although, we’ve heard it a thousand times, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, with a little thought, insight and planning you could elevate your office appearance to a new level. We’ll dig into simple ideas and suggestions along the way. Today I leave you with amazing modern office designs from around the world found at hongkiat and here is a custom piece of art I created for a hair salon! More details to come about this custom art.

Michelle from Mane Attraction


Do you have an amazing office and would love to share it here? Send me you photos and information to and let’s talk!

Don’t forget our daily fortune cookie quote challenge; find the author and submit your answer, even if you can’t find the author, let’s hear from you! The commentor with the most posts and finds will have the choice of one of my prints from “Gift of the Rose” art collection posted at my online shop “La Galeria“!

Who is the author?

BC Quote 2

Day 1 or 2- Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2012 was a year of several accomplishments for me! Two years ago when I resigned from a full-time job to pursue my love for art and painting, I established a few yet important goals. I’m blessed that I achieved some of my goals last year despite several health issues including a leg fracture, I’m good now! Among my accomplishments are;

  • Having my own art solo show that I could dedicate to my sister.
  • Start this blog where I can share my progress and journey as an artist and raise asthma awareness.
  • Create a beautiful cohesive art collection in a new medium.
  • Getting published in American Art Collector, front page of the local post, chosen as “Women to Watch”, published in “Imagen” and “El Mensajero”, two local bilingual magazines, online blogs and featured artist for the “Still Point Art Gallery” quarterly magazine.
  • Teaching a workshop and so much more!

It was a busy year for me, I tried new things and stretched my skills, sometimes with fear and apprehension, but I did it! It set the bar to the next level and what will that be?

Well, for starters I’ve join the 31 day Blog Challenge by Decisive Minds, you may have noticed the banner on the right. The challenge is comprised of roughly 600 bloggers and growing, the challenge is to post for 31 days, starting January 1st! Unfortunately, I got a late start thanks to the unwelcomed visitors who entered my computer and have delayed my postings by one day, that’s all- I’m here!

For the next 29 days I will be posting and sharing with you on the subject of “Art in the Office”, this is a subject I’ve been wanting to dig in for the last two years and decided this is the time! I’ve created an interesting, informational and inspiring series of topics of art in the workplace, whether you work from a home office or a formal brick and mortar building. Join me, inspire me with your insights and questions, and along the way we’ll have fun together!

Let’s take one step at a time…

Girls Best Friend

Let’s have fun…I have been collecting those little strips from fortune cookies, yes, I love chinese food and can’t help myself! They have great inspiring quotes, yet no authors? So, I’ve decided to post one everyday, if you can find the author please post, if you can’t find the author post as well.  The person with the most posts and finds will receive one of my prints of their choice from the “Gift of the Rose” collection available at the time through my online shop “La Galeria“.  The winner to be announced the first week of February!

First quote, who is the author?

FC Quote 1

Happy New Year!!!

Thank you for your continued support during 2012! Visit me tomorrow as I kick off 31 days of blogging where I will post a new painting everyday, have a safe celebration!


Artist and Mentor at Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio

Dear Readers,

Today I introduce Suzi Zefting-Kuhn, an Artist and mentor to many other artists here in Rochester, NY, Read the wonderful article from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:


At first glance, the portrait paintings of Suzi Zefting-Kuhn  look like photographs.

This overlap between art and reality speaks not only to the talent of Zefting-Kuhn, but the path that led her to discover and embrace it.

“I was looking for something to settle my head,” says Zefting-Kuhn, of the tragic impetus that brought her to painting.

It was 1986 and her first husband, city commissioner Douglas Zefting, died suddenly at age 34 following his participation in the Lilac 10K Road Race in Rochester.

Zefting-Kuhn took a drawing class with G.A. Sheller at the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester and enjoyed it, but as a newly single mother of two young children, Brett and Lindsay, she did not have the time to devote to art.

Life continued.

In 2000, Zefting-Kuhn married Dr. Gary Kuhn and became the stepmother of Kim and Jeff.

Then in 2002, when Lindsay left for college, Zefting-Kuhn knew it was time to pick up her pencils and brushes again.

“I told myself, ‘I’m going to become a full-time artist,’ ” said Zefting-Kuhn, “I dove right back in.”

And dive she did — over and over  again.

She started painting for hours every day and studying with artists like M. Wendy Gwirtzman and Sari Gaby.

“Once I started working full time at it my painting really improved,” said Zefting-Kuhn, who was born in Brooklyn but has lived in Penfield since her teens. “I tell every artist that if you can paint or draw every day it will really make such a difference.”

Three years ago, Zefting-Kuhn founded Main Street Artists Gallery & Studio in the Hungerford Building. In the part of the city where she was once a student, Zefting-Kuhn has now established herself as a sage.

“Suzi is a mentor and a den mother,” says studio member Kathy Lindsley, a former journalist from Brighton who wholly embraced her longtime love of painting in 2010 when she retired. “She has created and facilitates an environment where people can work, create and learn.”

Studio member Lisette Dana of Irondequoit agrees.

She was one of the original artists who joined the studio in 2010 and has seen it grow from 10 members using 1,200 square feet to 16 members with 3,300 square feet.

“Suzi is a wonderful support,” Dana says. “Since I’ve been coming here my work has improved tremendously. She’s an inspiration.”

And Zefting-Kuhn, now an award-winning portraiture and pastel artist, has been instrumental in bringing those who inspire her to the studio as well.

“Bringing national artists to Rochester has been the most rewarding thing,” says Zefting-Kuhn, who has brought internationally known artists like Mary Whyte, Robert Liberace, Frank Serrano and Susan Lyon to the studio for workshops and has lined up Steven Assael for March 2013. “Word is getting around that Rochester is the place to be for art.”

Currently Zefting-Kuhn also serves as the president of the Rochester Art Club, which was established in 1877 and is the second-oldest active art organization in the country.

She is building a body of work called Jazz Hands and hopes to eventually gain gallery representation when the series is completed. It’s a goal that with Zefting-Kuhn’s track record seems more of a when than an if.


Social Media for Artists Created by an Artist

Social media class for artist

Class at the rochester Art Club


Last year a fellow artist, asked if I would teach a class to artists about social media. At that time, I knew how to get around and since I’ve have stretched my boundaries, had my fair share of mistakes and learned quite a bit. Tada! Here it is! Here we will cover basics about the different social media platforms, how to get around or navigate and I’ll share how to increase exposure for your art and build a following!

Class Details
Learn the basics of various social media platforms, tips how to navigate and how to integrate your art for exposure. Platforms covered will be: Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, Photoshop and Etsy

Hosted by the Rochester Art Club
1115 East Main St.
Studio 437-439
Rochester, 14609

Classes open to the public, limited space, enroll today for a great 2013!

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Fee: $40
Time: 9:30-1:30pm

My second class


Red Rose painting


“Respect”, Prints available!


Painting Realistic Flowers with Oils

Paint realistic flowers with oils, build up glowing layers and intense colors. Learn tips on how to quick-start a painting. This is a solvent-free class!

When: Saturdays, March 2 & March 9, 2013, 10-4pm

Cost: $120


The best part? I’ve decided to integrate this class in my 1 week watercolor workshops! If Interested in booking a workshop, you can see the details on my Etsy shop and contact me here with any questions!


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