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

Visit My Website


"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, March 30, 2009

Tiger Woods

Perhaps you might not think this is related to Art, but it absolutely is. Tiger Woods is the ultimate artist because in essence there is an "Art" to any discipline. It is the perpetual aspiration for excellence...anything done well is an art. His life, his drive, his focus...pure masterpieces. And what is key, is that he continues to progress and improve.
"Tiger's Birdie Caps Thrilling Comeback" (although the use of the term "comeback" is questionable:)
Deified maybe?...but well deserved.
Tiger is as inspiring as an master work of art hanging in any major museum. He reminds me that it is about the process...the doing and working. And it truly is like viewing a master work of art, when you witness,desire,passion,talent and discipline at it's best. Awesome!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chance Encounters: Diane Raver and the Garden State Film Festival

I have been very fortunate to have had some very amazing and talented people "appear" and "reappear" in my life.When my son Robert was just 3, I enrolled him,against my better judgment, in a pre-school program. I was prompted to make this decision based on my past experience with his older sister, whose first academic experience was Kindergarten. She found it torturous, not because of the school itself but because it was too much fun being with Mommy all day (that would be me). When it came time to separate, Christina resisted. And so in order to avoid a similar experience with Robert, I found an "appropriate" pre school program. Robert was not happy with my decision. Actually he was down right miserable. I quickly removed him from the first school but found a very nurturing and "intimate" program that he grew to like:)...I dare not exaggerate by saying "love!"

So what is the point of this post?...Well, on the first day at this small Jersey shore school, while all of the other parents were departing after exchanging hugs and kisses and assuring their children that they would pick them up after snack, I stayed behind.I promised Robert that I would remain if he would genuinely make the effort and give the school a try. I sat, tears streaming down my face, painfully watching Robert with tears streaming down his face, as he reluctantly particpated in circle time.This went on for days! Yikes! It seems like yesterday. One other mother sat beside me, her eyes, tear filled as well.She comforted me and offered sincere empathy and sympathy.

That is how I met, the very beautiful and talented Diane Raver 13 years ago!(This is the point of my post:)At the time, I was not an art educator or a practicing artist and Diane had not yet lost her husband to a tragic illness or become the director of the Garden State Film Festival. We were mothers and two very passionate and creative women,connected by similar outlooks on life and love of our children.
Diane recently attended two of my major art exhibits. She is a wonderful source of support. And now, I get to support this dynamic woman as a volunteer for her 7th annual film festival. I will serve as one of the "czarinas" at her weekend event,April 2-5 in Asbury Park, NJ.

So let me introduce to you, Diane Raver, a 25 year film industry veteran(aka preschool class mom)."Her Garden State Film Festival was born in 2002 after her chance encounter in a Sea Girt, NJ Grocery store with the well known Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli. Through his deep ties to Hollywood, Mr. Pastorelli and Ms. Raver were able to bring the State of New Jersey an all encompassing event. It premiered in 2003 and was immediately deemed a huge success. Since that time, such industry notables such as Glenn Close, Frank Vincent, Batman producer Michael Uslan, Austin Pendleton, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Budd Schulberg and others have lent their support."

"GSFF is an all volunteer non-profit organization. Our event is held on an annual basis in the spring of each year at the Paramount Theater/Convention Hall complex as well as other venues in Asbury Park, New Jersey and surrounding area."

Check out the GSFF website for a schedule of events. This year's festival is certain to be bigger and better than ever.
I am so proud of Diane. We are both chasing our dreams!
Chance encounters are wonderful things.You never know who you will meet and how they will change your life.

Art With A Purpose

I recently joined two very worthwhile Art groups called : Art for Cancer and Healing Art on the Imagekind site, an online community for creating,purchasing and selling Art. 15 % of all the proceeds from the purchases of my art will go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
I would like to recognize two very generous and dedicated Imagekind members, who are overseeing these groups: Win Charles and Cid Palacio. Click on their names to check out their profiles. Thank you Win and Cid for your thoughtfulness and hard work!

ART for cancer on ImageKind

So please consider purchasing a print! If you are interested in an image that does not appear within the group galleries, email me at judiharz@aol.com and we will make it happen:) Click here:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jude in NYC: You Are Invited!

In Your Dreams,Reveries, Fantasies, and Impossible Wishes
Curated by Edward J. Sullivan
Opening Reception, Saturday, April 4th, 3-5 PM
April 2nd - 26th
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Friday 4-7 PM, Saturday - Sunday 1-5 PM

The Pen & Brush proudly presents In Your Dreams: Reveries, Fantasies, and Impossible Wishes, an international multi-media group exhibition curated by Edward J. Sullivan. In Your Dreams was conceived to showcase the work of artists in tune with their inner lives and fantasies. It responds to a widespread taste for surrealist-related, fantastical art that seems to have developed recently in a surprisingly strong way in a wide variety of art worlds across the country and across the world.
We thought of the theme for this show some eighteen months ago, at a time of relative social and economic stability. Given the universal crisis in the areas of the economy and world social morale, a retreat into the unknown, the little-explored, or the worlds of fantasy on the part of artists expresses a more poignant and urgent sensibility. These works manifest a sense of unease or a desire to create alternate realities. The results are thought-provoking and intriguing for the community of artists and the public in general.

Edward J. Sullivan is professor of art history at New York University (Institute of Fine Arts and Department of Art History). He also serves as Dean for the Humanities. Sullivan received his PhD from NYU and is the author of over twenty-five books and exhibition catalogues. His research interests center around the Iberian world in its largest extension Spain, Latin America and the Philippines. He has also curated many exhibitions for such institutions as The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum (New York and Bilbao) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico. The world history of the Surrealist movement is of particular interest to him and when asked by The Pen and Brush to formulate a theme for an exhibition, In Your Dreams came to him, as he says, "in an almost unconscious way!"

Founded over 115 years ago, The Pen & Brush, Inc., is an international non-profit organization open to women in the visual, literary and performing arts. Our rich history is a chronicle of persistence, passion, dedication, and a commitment to equal opportunity. Some of the countless inspirational women in our number include Eleanor Roosevelt, Pearl S. Buck, Ida M. Tarbell and Jessie Tarbox Beals. While honoring the ideals and contributions of the women from our vibrant past, The Pen and Brush serves as an open, diverse, global forum, and cultural resource for its members, non-member participants, the professional arts community, and the general public. Our exhibitions, competitions and programs are open to women artists internationally. www.penandbrush.org

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Creative Collaboration

When I was asked to join a collaborative arts group on Facebook with other female artists several weeks ago, I was intrigued but apprehensive. I know a few of the women, most of which are in the San Diego area, and was impressed with their creativity. As an artist and art educator however, one does not often "allow" another artist to manipulate their work. My Kindergarten students are especially territorial. If you alter their work in any way, they act as though you violated them in some way:) I totally get their protective "stance" but I also understand that great minds and great artists...working together, might possibly produce great learning and awesome results. And so, much to my delight, that is exactly what has occurred.

Read below, group coordinator and artist, Grace Matthew's explanation of the group entitled :Provenance, History and Process.
I am part of the Barnum Animal subgroup.The experience has been wonderful,whimsical and pure fun! The amazing thing is, Grace has secured an exhibition site in Escondido, CA. where the results of our "play" will be displayed.These ladies can alter my work anytime! Check out the blog listed below for updates and images of works in process.It has been a pleasure seeking inspiration from like minds. There is much to be learned from being a good "sharer," :)Hey MH, I'll see you in CA!

"The Collaborative Art Group began on Facebook (FB) on February 22, 2009. The group has sixteen members and is divided into three subgroups; Abas Nightingale, Barnum’s Animals, Dreamers Garden. Most members are new to FB and are learning the logistics and nuances of posting, using the bulletin board and making comments on images. The group has officers with titles like Chief Pretty Officer, Social Secretary and Random Chaos for ALL Officer. Many of the artists know one another and more than half are based in the San Diego area. It’s an old-fashioned mail art group where every member of a group will work on each piece circulating in that group but this group has been updated with the digital community, provenance and enhanced communications that Facebook can offer. Artists usually work alone so creating a community forum were they can see images and comment on artwork is very gratifying. The members are involved on different levels some are missing in action while others are posting pictures, messages and commenting on the images daily. It feels like we're taking part in a Dada game or experiment. The group is closed to keep the size manageable."

Several of the members have agreed to participate in an exhibition to be hosted by the Escondio Municipal Gallery in 2010. http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=72301463221&h=BHrte&u=ntw1m

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jude's work at Rulon Art Studio and Gallery


Join Us for
where Local quilters will display and sell their quilts!

Show will also include artist Jude Harzer whose paintings feature quilts as backgrounds.Jude's work will remain on display for 3 months.

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Opening reception on Friday evening,
March 27th
6:00 to 8:00 PM

1428 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, New Jersey
856-241-0368 www.Stitchinrie@comcast.net

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Carol Saylor

Every year, the Art Educators of New Jersey celebrate "Youth Art Month" and have held a particularly special event at the State House in Trenton, to recognize young artists throughout the state for the past several years. Organized by AENJ executive board member, Carrie Davey, the YAM ceremony is both organized and impressive.A special feature, included to inspire talented NJ high school artists, is a presentation by a practicing professional artist. This year, Pa. sculptor, Carol Saylor, succeeded in inspiring an audience of students, their families and teachers as she shared her story and her work.

Carol Saylor's life and art are especially moving because she has managed to create a stunning body of work as both a blind and deaf artist. A mother of five children, Carol had to put her work aside many times throughout her life because of her own physical challenges and because of other tragic personal events which included the deaths of both her youngest child Alice at the age of 33 and her husband who both suffered from cancer. Carol also shared the responsibility of raising Alice's three surviving young daughters.The audience was captivated as Ms. Saylor spoke in a rich and self assured tone, matter of factly relating the unfortunate events of her experience and how they influenced her art.

Following her presentation many audience members approached Carol and myself with words of gratitude and awe. Carol's story is truly one of determination,persistence and passion. She sees "obstacles" as mere challenges to be overcome. She did emphasize that an incredible sense of humor is necessary as well. She is sharp, honest and wildly talented.

As we sat at her kitchen table late yesterday afternoon,discussing life and art over tea,I realized how fortunate I am to know this dynamic and strong woman, my dear friend, Carol Saylor. To read more about her art and her life, please visit her website at : http://www.carolsaylor.com/

Kona (aka "Batgirl")

Tia, I think Kona may be painting worthy. Hmmm....I don't usually create animal portraiture but her ginormous ears are quite appealing. Let's hope she grows into those extremely large auricles and then I can stop calling her "Batgirl." :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Go Fish!

Dream Series: painting in process

My dining room art studio is reflective of my recent state of mind...overloaded,noisy,chaotic and colorful:) I won't post images of the absence of any clear horizontal surfaces. I have spent weeks,sorting and searching and how funny that I return to my most treasured sources of inspiration. Every square inch of my work will forever be inspired by memories and dreams. I haven't painted much this past month and a half but when I began this week, my son came over,paused to see my subject matter and then commented," Joe(his most recent term of endearment for me),just paint some damn fish!" He is fresh but also ridiculously funny! :) and despite the fact that he may be right in terms of me creating something specifically to "sell", I think I will stick to what I do best. I love my dreams and after the weekend I will post news of upcoming exhibits. There are several!:)
Do what you love and success is sure to follow!Of course that depends on your concept of "success" (i.e. happiness). So basically, I get to dream and paint...lol...not a bad gig:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Look Skyward, Taste Flight

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. "
~ Leonard da Vinci

This quote was sent to me by my daughter who has been living in Florida, bravely discovering who she is. Although only eighteen, she is perceptive, confident and strong. I laugh at how well she knows me. She has been my inspiration and my muse. She knows where my heart lies, my strengths and weaknesses. We fight like sisters but love deeply as mother and daughter.

She was an instrumental guide on my path to rediscovering my art and my sense of self. Children are amazing that way. They keep it real, keep you grounded but inspire you to want to be better and become more...much more. So it is funny that I received this bit of wisdom from Tia today because just yesterday, after spending months, resisting,regressing,reassessing and prioritizing( my usual thinking TOO MUCH), I realize, there is no going back. Our goal should be to fly,learn and grow. Often that equates to moving on and moving forward.
I know I have been unbelievably blessed...I hope that my children "look skyward and taste flight and soar!"
Thanks T-Bunny.You have a way of reminding me to never weaken:) Love and peace, Camel oxoxo

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day Dreaming

I recently read Elizabeth Scott's article about strategies that are most effective in relieving stress, inspired by connecting with your "inner child." Children do seem to cope with stress much more naturally and Scott cites the number one method for stress relief as "daydreaming." She writes,"as a child, most of us spent time just making up stories in our heads. Day-dreams about fun times, being the best at something, or just lying in a beautiful field are all things most kids know how to create, and do so naturally. Your inner child can keep that creativity alive while reducing stress, increasing wellness, and creating inner peace with guided imagery and visualizations, both proven methods that can easily be part of just about anyone’s stress management bag of tricks."

Daydreaming is my specialty. I participate in this activity so frequently, that the distinction between fantasy and reality is often "blurred." I wouldn't have it any other way. I paint my dreams and based on research, should be relatively stress free. I know those that know me are rolling with laughter. Perhaps marathon running paired with daydreaming provides total relief. LOL! It's all good!

Jude in NYC :National Small Works Exhibit Date Change

Please join me for the National Small Works Exhibition
at the N.A.W.A. Gallery
80 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1405
New York, NY 10011

Tuesday, March 10th, 6-8 pm

The exhibit runs 2/26-3/20,2009
Mon.-Fri., 11 am-5 pm

Friday, March 6, 2009


Cezanne Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Cézanne and Beyond
February 26, 2009 - May 17, 2009

"Paul Cézanne’s posthumous retrospective at the Salon d’Automne in 1907 was a watershed event in the history of art. The immediate impact of this large presentation of his work on the young artists of Paris was profound. Its ramifications on successive generations down to the present are still in effect.

This exhibition features forty paintings and twenty watercolors and drawings by Cézanne, displayed alongside works by several artists for whom Cézanne has been a central inspiration and whose work reflects, both visually and poetically, Cézanne’s extraordinary legacy."

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
"In my thought one doesn’t replace the past, one only adds a new link to it."

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Your Dreams: Jude in NYC

My painting, "Dreams:Haunted" ,will be displayed in NYC at the Pen and Brush. This juried exhibition,In Your Dreams,Reveries, Fantasies, and Impossible Wishes is curated by Edward J. Sullivan, Professor of Art History and Dean for the Humanities at New York University.

The opening reception is:
Saturday, April 4th
3:00pm - 5:00pm

16 East 10th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Please join me for the opening reception!

Much thanks to fellow artist, D.J. Haslett who recommended that I check out this exhibition opportunity. He thought the venue and theme were ideal for my work and he was right!I paint my dreams and now I get to share them:)
If you are interested in seeing D.J.'s sculptures, click on the link below and type in his name to access his impressive portfolio. D.J. thanks again for your thoughtfulness and generosity.
Dream huge...and never abandon them. Trust me ...it works!


Art Criticism

It took many years before I had the "courage" to create art and share it publicly. Making art is a very personal and emotional experience for me.By sharing it, I would be exposing a part of who and what I am.Mind you, it is only a small part because I am much more than my work and it is only a glimpse into my life and my thoughts...but still it would be difficult.I decided there was no other option than to paint and exhibit my art.I never anticipated how personally transformative and challenging a process it would be.

Of course all art and artists are unique. My work tends to be "sentimental", reactive and reflective. I have been greatly criticized for this.At first the criticisms seemed excruciating.It was difficult not to take them personally.The "rejections" from exhibits,fellowships and guild memberships were aplenty.I had to quickly learn to "toughen up" . I realized that they were merely opinions and the only value they had, were the ones I assigned to them. And they certainly did have some value because they caused me to think seriously about my own sincerity and commitment to my discipline.

The most difficult to overcome however, was a critique which in one fell swoop caused me to stop dead in my tracks,and to reassess my life, my feelings and my art. For me, my greatest love, thoughts,inspirations, experiences and emotions,all manifest on canvas these past three years, were dismissed as a "glitch"...a moment and an obstacle to be overcome. And despite, all the reading, working and "growing" in an attempt to discover and become my "true" self, that critique is one which I will thoughtfully ponder and work to put in it's place because of the depth of the pain that I allowed it to cause,especially because the source of that critique was someone who I loved and respected.

The value that has come from all of this is that I no longer "fear" sharing my work. I know my work is authentic and heartfelt,as am I.I cannot control whether or not someone accepts and appreciates my art or whether they understand or value me, but I can control how their thoughts and opinions make me feel.

So the moral of the story is to embrace the criticisms and view them as opportunities for growth. Letting go, although seemingly impossible,is sometimes necessary. In the end, very little of it matters. My art is now simply an extension of who I am.Once created, I am not attached to the end result.It is more important to share it and let it go. My objective right now is to keep it real for myself and my children and to challenge myself to create the best work of my life!

As far as the art critiques go....bring 'em on because despite what people "see" , I am stronger then most!My mother used to say, "Life is a breeze, as long as you don't weaken." To my incredibly independent children, my wish for you is that you never weaken:)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kona: Snow Puppy

We live at the Jersey shore and my children are avid beach goers and ocean "dwellers" but I have a feeling that our new pup, Kona, would prefer to be on a snowboard rather than on a surf board. She plowed through the snow with her snout and sprawled out in a mound of white powder, licking away at it like a kid licking ice cream. Tia, check out the facebook album for more photos:) oxoxoo

Jude, Art and Inspiration