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

Friday, February 27, 2009

"A Boy Who Loved To Dream"

One of my favorite illustrators is Patricia Polacco. Her drawings are both skillful and whimsical and each story is incredibly enchanting. Among my favorites are Babushka Baba Yaga and The Keeping Quilt, but my absolute favorite is Appelemando's Dreams.I reread that book this week and love the description of Appelemando as "a boy who loved to dream. For him,dreams were magic chariots pulled through his mind by galloping hues of color. For him,dreaming was a way of life." It has also become for me, a way of life. Fields of gold,autumn leaves,sculpture gardens,studios and stores filled with wax,paint and canvas. It is the "stuff" that fills my dreams and my art. Check out Patricia Polacco's story to discover how a creative young boy and his devoted friends who shared his secret,taught a skeptical and judgemental village about the importance of dreams.I will forever love the beautiful dreaming minds of children.May your dreams be huge,color filled and wonderful!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our New Addition

Waiting to be named by Tia who lives in Florida, we have a new 12 week old German Shepard pup as a welcome addition to our family. She was generously given to us by a wonderful family who had a demanding schedule and wanted a good home for "Margot."...a beautiful name but of course my daughter and son are inspired by the ocean and beach so they are deciding upon a Hawaiian name of some sort. So far "Kona" is a consideration.
She has huge,oversized black velvet ears....the better to hear us with:) It should be interesting... but now I will be forced to clean my studio! Yikes! I don't think paint,screws,aluminum sheets and screening are good chew toys!Actually, until fully trained, I am afraid this pup won't venture near my territory. Our last furry friend, Bandit, a large Shepard, chose my easel to lay beneath when she passed away 18 months ago.She is greatly missed:( There is something magical about the relationship between dogs and people...like children they demand your attention but love you for providing the simple things....affection,attention,play,sustenance. My husband says...finally "someone" who will listen :)... thus...the big ears!
"Kona" will be cherished and later I'll share the story of her arrival...."pure serendipity!"
Update: the name remains "Kona."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Recent Works: In Process

In January I started several works that I wasn't able to finish for my solo exhibit.I began one image of a pouting angel immediately after the show,using little Miss Maggie as a model.I want to explore texture and materials more fully, creating a 3-dimensional and sculptural effect in my painting. The wild flowers in "Pouting Angel" were created using clay,wood,metal washers,screws,aluminum tacks and screening.
My friend Carol who is a blind sculptor, experiences her world predominantly through touch. I want to create work that is texturally rich so that she can "see" my dreams with her hands and fingertips.These works are all "in process" and hopefully will be completed soon.Pouting Angel
Pouting Angel (detail)PatienceDreams:Fly Away

Friday, February 20, 2009

Infinite Possibilities

My dear friend,Lisa, forwarded a message to me today. I am fortunate to have an incredible group of very strong and inspiring women in my life. I am not particularly religious, spiritual perhaps...and have come to learn over the past few years that true "faith" must first be in ones own self. I really am developing faith in "me", in the authenticity of my feelings and in my purpose.I have looked to others in the past for praise, validation and guidance. It is more difficult and a bit frightening to assume full responsibility for my own happiness and success.I am finally doing it:)
Anyway, I thought I would share my friend's email: "SAINT THERESA'S PRAYER." I sent it to my children, Miss Lisa. It should be shared with all children (i.e. everyone).
Thank you.

"May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

True Love

True love is knowing best the people that you love....so for Valentine's Day,what better gift could Robert receive, than a freshwater fishing license and a trout stamp pass? Pure bliss!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seeking Inspiration

This past week at the Jersey shore we were graced with unseasonably warm weather. Instead of remaining in the windowless school art studio, teaching monoprinting to my Kinderartists,I took them outside to our beautiful school garden.They were incredibly excited for the change of pace and when one of them asked what it was that we would be doing, I explained that we were "seeking inspiration." Experiencing new environments,people,and ideas often leads to unexpected creative bursts and a rejuvenated spirit!And sometimes, when we feel "stuck",we cannot wait for a muse to move us, we have to consciously search for new ones.

And so as I watched my students explore the magic of our school garden, I knew where I would find my own much needed inspiration this weekend.Today, I headed to the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. Every year I encourage students, family and friends to visit two of my most treasured places where I go to wander and wonder : GFS and The Princeton University Art Museum. As always,GFS proved to be artistically awakening and beautiful.

I invite you to view some of my snapshots from the day which cannot even begin to reflect the intrigue and excellence of this "secret" sculpture garden.I was particularly interested in the welded structures as I am beginning to integrate steel and aluminum into my figurative work and will be welding this summer.Click here to see images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jude_harzer_fine_art/ or view above:)

And finally, I want to mention fellow artist, Carl Frankel. His generous and welcoming spirit, made my visit even more enjoyable. He shared news of his most recent works, inspired by his month long trip to Israel.Checkout his website to learn more about Carl and his art! http://www.carlspalette.com/

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Success of Serendipity

On Saturday, February 7th, I had my very first solo art exhibit! It was entitled "Serendipity" and took place at the Mattison Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ.
The weather was unseasonably warm...a perfect day to walk around this historic shore town.And the opening was just as perfect!

2009 has started for me with a string of successes...not break out the fireworks,cash in the bank kind of success but genuinely valuable and life changing achievements. I had my first solo exhibition in a beautiful gallery. I sold work during a harsh economic time because I believe that art is necessary, healing and inspiring and witnessed that others feel the same. I completed 16 new pieces in an insanely short amount of time and participated in organizing and hanging 42 recent works with my husband,Bobby and the gallery owner,Joel Monesson, a truly kind and gentle soul.I shared work with family, friends, colleagues,fellow artists and passers by, hundreds of them. I was able to feature images of my children, nieces and nephews who inspire me with their pure and natural beauty.

These may seem like minor successes to some but just three years ago, I was painfully rediscovering my own art, wondering if I could ever complete even one painting that showed any competence.For 18 years I waited and feared and regretted. And now, I am awed that my passion, my effort and my time have resulted in this monumental moment. I am confident that I will actually grow up to become and artist:) and am genuinely grateful that others continue to join me to "see" and share in my dream.

Thank you,everyone who attended, those who sent their congratulations, those who have helped me and supported me throughout this 3 year process.A special thank you to my extraordinary family, my husband and children, my sisters and brothers who endured the unimaginable as children, all of their incredible families,and my mother whose life inspired me to demand better for myself and for all children.

Finally,to my friends and fellow artists, my life is one of pure abundance because of you. You enrich my life with your encouragement and friendship.
May you always find beauty in the world around you. It is there! I promise!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jude's exhibit: Feb. 7, 2009

Please join me for the opening of my first ever solo exhibition,SERENDIPITY,at the Mattison Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ....home of the Stone Pony (Bruce Springsteen's old stomping grounds), the Garden State Film Festival, Tilly, Convention Hall and much more!

It also happens to be Mardi Gras:"First Saturday",a monthly dining,shopping and entertainment event in historic downtown Asbury Park!Hope to see you there!

Jude, Art and Inspiration