When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, January 19, 2009

Faith Ringgold: Finding Inspiration

"I have set my life up so that I don't have to worry about [my work] being accepted. If I do it, and it's there, people will come around at some point. And they have." Faith Ringgold

When I first rediscovered my art three years ago, I was encouraged by my colleague and friend Susan MacDougall, just six months later, to attend a University of the Arts workshop where NJ based artist, Faith Ringgold was presenting. Although I instruct my students about Faith Ringgold's work and would actually have the opportunity to meet this living:) artistic legend, I didn't relish the thought of spending all day Saturday in Philadelphia participating in a "class" for which I would have to pay....Well that Mrs. MacDougall is very wise and persuasive. Fortunately I went to the UArts event and it literally changed my life.It also made me think twice before passing up opportunities...especially those that seem to fall into your lap.

You must take chances. If you do nothing, you reduce the possibilities you have for greater joy.—Walter Anderson

In addition to meeting Faith and her daughter Barbara Wallace, I met my friend Trish Maunder, a dynamic and smart artist and educator.I can never get enough of her British accent( I love the sound of certain people's voices):)She prompted me to show Faith Ringgold some images of my own work that I had with me. At first I was intimidated and embarrassed. Faith was certainly not there to conduct portfolio assessments. But if you have ever met Faith Ringgold(and many artists have because she is so accessible and generous with her time), she is simultaneously regal, gracious and "real".There is no artifice or pretension.

Not only did I share my work with her but I conversed with her about the seriousness of my intentions to become an artist and she in turn told me her story of rising early before her daughters every morning to paint and the need for discipline, devotion and a dedicated work space.She talked about every woman's struggle to balance home,children and work...and, I am a good student and took her words to heart.The following week, at the invitation of Faith and her daughter Barbara, I auctioned my first ,"Fly" painting at the ACA Galleries in Chelsea, NYC on behalf of her Anyone Can Fly Foundation. I haven't stopped painting since and I rise nearly every morning all year long at 5 am to paint.It has become second nature...effortless because I rediscovered through this process my true passion for art. At 5 am it is peaceful and everything begins anew for me... It has been magical!

I have also been very fortunate to maintain contact with Faith and Trish.Faith Ringgold has a children's museum opening in Harlem in 2011.I'll keep you posted on the progess. Today Trish Maunder forwarded an article about Ms. Ringgold and her support of our newly elected President Obama. It was with great confidence that I voted for him in November. We are in need of his guidance as a nation at this moment in history. He will lead us with strength, dignity,fairness and intelligence.And his wife Michelle, his equal in every way,will do the same. I know it! I can feel it:) Faith Ringgold believes it as well.

Tomorrow will be historical as our 44th President, Barack Obama, is inaugurated.Here is an article that Trish emailed me earlier this evening. As artists we are always seeking inspiration.Obama will inspire us.Read how he has inspired Faith.
CLICK HERE TO READ!. May you always find beauty and inspiration!

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Jude, Art and Inspiration