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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tell Me A Story

I spent this glorious day in New York City, picking up artwork at the Salamagundi Art Club. It was sunny with a slight breeze. My travel was perfectly timed there and back. My aim was to get in and get out so that I could paint in the afternoon. Hmmm....for those of you who have visited the "Big Apple", you can imagine that any artist would be incredibly distracted by the abundance of art and life that exists there.
As I left Penn Station, I knew that my "agenda" for the day would change. Needless to say, I have yet to paint:)But my greatest "distraction" of all was caused by a very unexpected and lovely source...a man:)
When I entered the Salamagundi Gallery on 5th Avenue, I was greeted by a mature gentleman of slight stature, incredibly fit and simply dressed, and otherwise unassuming.He inquired as to which painting I was picking up and whether or not I had attended the opening. Unfortunately I had not.
He began to relay an amusing story about my work, "Autumn's Child" and where it had been positioned on the gallery wall. Before continuing, he apologized and asked if I was in a hurry to leave. (Smile:) I assured him that I had no where to be. I was already lost in his voice and his words.

Walter Hahn is a storyteller. Well that was my perception of him because he captivated me with the story of his life and his art.He reminded me of just how much I enjoy hearing the experiences and thoughts of others. It reveals so much about who and what they are at their core as individuals. It is the stuff that lies beneath that unveils a person's spirit. It is one of the things that most inspires and intrigues me and I was more than intriqued by Mr. Hahn's quiet yet lyrical tone.

I learned that Mr. Hahn is a renowned artist,who specialized in Asian Art History.He has taught students of every grade level including graduate artists and art historians at the Art Institute of Chicago. Walter, was a painter but abandoned his work for the collage process at a time when Andy Warhol and his theories and commercial creations were central to the art world.He recently returned to his painting when art historians/museum curators in Chicago, "unearthed" paintings that he had created over 50 years prior. Not only did he have an exhibit but it was determined that just one of his many sketchbooks, now owned by a museum,is valued at $ 20,000.His wife, now deceased, was Japanese.His love and passion for Asian culture and the discipline and elegance of the Japanese tea ceremony, inspired his interest and success in becoming a world renowned master carver of tea scoops. Really!!!And there is so much more!And by the way, he only offered this wealth of biographical information after I "interrogated" him and apologized for my curiosity. Then the stories spilled forth:)

82 year "young", Walter Hahn, reminded me of an artist that I heard speak several times, one of my most favorite storytellers. In him, I recognized the same intelligence,wit and passion for art. Mr. Hahn, when sharing his stories, could have been a boy of 14.He was a beautiful distraction on this incredibly beautiful day!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Surprise of Serendipity

My first solo exhibit this past January 2009 was entitled, "Serendipity." The name of my exhibit was inspired by the series of very fortunate events that seemed to magically occur once I chose the path toward resuming my art career.
So I happened upon a beautiful site called , the "SERENDIPITY FACTORY". It is uplifting, whimsical,aesthetically pleasing but most of all, contains genuinely meaningful,important, "feel good" content!
I contacted the very generous Traci McLaughlin and she posted an article about my work in her featured artists section.

The post begins....
"Creator,Jude Harzer Sees Beauty"
We recently met the lovely artist Jude Harzer and were inspired by her outlook on life. She had abandoned her art for nearly 20 years until something changed. Jude said, "After a series of very fortunate events and encounters, after years of soul searching and sadness, I rediscovered my painting and myself just three years ago!" This past January 2009, she held her first solo art exhibit in Asbury Park, NJ. It was entitled,"Serendipity." Jude says that one of her greatest gifts is her ability to see beauty in the world around her, even when it seems difficult to find."

To see and read more click on the link below:
Thank you Traci,the Serendipity Factory and those who encourage and inspire me everday to BELIEVE!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I discovered the Serendipity Factory and with it great fun,child like joy and wisdom!

Ben Lee: What's So Bad from shoottheplayer.com on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Impossible

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Monday, May 25, 2009

My 'Lil Angels

These 'lil angels I refer to as my "block" paintings. I struggled with inspiration the past several months.Painting felt forced and time was limited....but I persisted:) Painting these images, which are very different from the more abstract and "edgy" work that I intend to pursue this summer, allowed me to think and clear the mental clutter. All of these paintings are "in process".I approached them as exercises in color and texture...the angels are for my friend Andrea, a believer in angels and demons:)So my block is busted and I am pumped to paint. I started a commission today as well.
More to come:)

Can You Handle the Truth?

One of my favorite scenes:
Can any of us handle the truth?
To all of the men and women who serve and have served, who died and will die, to protect us and our nation: thank you on behalf of myself and my family on this Memorial Day.It all matters, as unfortunate as it is that we need your "armed" presence to defend us and our freedom, it is a reality. Your bravery and loyalty is greatly appreciated!And to our dear friend Michael Cunningham, who leaves today for Kuwait: "be safe!" You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


A 24 Hour Visual and Performing Art Event

Art All Night-Trenton is a catalyst for community development, shining a spotlight on regional innovation and talent. The show includes and attracts artists of all ages and skill levels to show their work in a gallery-setting. The event particularly encourages children to be actively involved by contributing artwork and engaging on site activities.

Art All Night-Trenton promotes artistic expression and it is our hope that artists and patrons from throughout the region will submit their work and attend the show.

Visit the following link if you are interested in attending, exhibiting or volunteering!
Don't miss the excitement!

Join Joel for a Rockin' Celebration of Art and Music

Don't miss the party!

An extra special invitation from gallery owner, Joel Monneson of the Mattison Gallery:
Hi Folks, It’s definite. Mattison Gallery, in it’s physical manifestation, come the first of June, will be a thing of the past.
But, we’re going to go out rockin’…

Saturday May 30th 7pm - ? at:
Mattison Gallery
701 Mattison Avenue
Asbury Park NJ 07712

Live music, FREE refreshments, FREE admission So, please join me in closing out the experience on a high note, in a celebration of art and music, surrounded by friends and family. Hope to see you before the end of the month! Enjoy!

Regular hours until May 31, 2009 Tues – Wed noon – 6pm Thurs – Sat noon – 10pm Sunday noon – 6pm Closed Monday

See you there ~ Jude
My puppy Kona pees,plays and pounces. I absolutely love her...except when she paws the keyboard of my laptop and deletes files and posts and causes my "y" key to stick:(
She is much like a toddler, demanding constant attention and exploring every object and corner in sight. Paintings,shoes,socks,pillow stuffing and undergarments are her favorite chew toys. Yikes!!!
My daughter returned home from college, met Kona and it was love at first sight. Our puppy "christened" Tia by piddling on her peds (my dog has social incontinence)and by devouring "delicates" that were left on the floor. It should be an interesting summer:)
So until Kona realizes that she is not a lap dog ,using a laptop is nearly impossible when she is present.Cripes, here she comes!!!!!!!yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love Deeply

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu

My daughter returns home from college in several days. While gone, our home was quiet and less frenetic. It smelled less of feminine mists and sprays, pizza and bourbon chicken. I didn't have to search for my own boots,make up or bras, which she frequently borrowed and adopted as her own. There weren't any half empty chocolate milk glasses lying about or candy wrappers that never seemed to find their way to the nearest garbage can ten feet away in any direction. Pounding music from Broadway to rap,pounding feet from dancing and jumping well past midnight, were no where to be heard.And now my muse, my Christina is about to return and I am certain her presence, her smell, her noise, her arguments will be heard loudly and clearly, "awakening" the quiet.... and I can't wait. She is lively and lovely. She brings chaos and clutter but it was greatly missed:)(for the most part.)
For Christmas, Christina gave to me a very beautiful gift...a book...The Tao Te Ching written by Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu. I look at it daily. Translated by James Legge, this version, is particularly beautiful as the text is paired with breathtaking works of Chinese art.
Tia manages to select the perfect gifts for me because she is one of the few people who knows my mind and heart. And to think I helped to create this kid!
And so I read and have re- read Lao Tzu's quote about love and courage and know that loving my children,and others in my life, gives me limitless courage.I don't love easily but I do love deeply and loyally. And when I am feeling as though I am standing on a "slippery slope", I think of those people who I love the most and wonder if they realize the daily strength and inspiration they have given to me. Despite time,absence,distance, ...my love for them is never ending.
So welcome home Christina Autumn ...although there have been some major changes since your departure:)I'll fill you in when I see you:) So hats off to the end of peace and quiet! Love deeply and with courage! I love you every inch:)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How Long Have I Been Sleeping?

My painting, "How Long Have I Been Sleeping?", is about personal "awakening".It celebrates those "aha" moments when I felt as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes and from my heart and suddenly I was able to see myself and others as never before.These experiences have led to significant personal changes, the most important being the rediscovery of my art and a whole lot of self forgiveness and forgiveness of others in my life.
"How Long Have I Been Sleeping?" is currently on display at the TriCity Arts event in Asbury Park, NJ.
The thing is, once we have been awakened to "who" we are and honestly consider our choices, our purpose and our dreams, it is difficult to fall back to sleep. Hmmm...insomnia is not always a pleasant state of being:)

"That she was seeing with different eyes and making the acquaintance of new conditions in herself that colored and changed her environment, she did not yet suspect."...
"The past was nothing to her; offered no lesson which she was willing to heed. The future was a mystery which she never attempted to penetrate. The present alone was significant..." ....
"I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself. I can't make it more clear; it's only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me." quotes from The Awakening Kate Chopin 1899

An interesting read:Transforming Dreams: Learning Spiritual Lessons from the Dreams You Never Forget Kelly Bulkeley 1986

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Michelangelo: The Torment of Saint Anthony

FORT WORTH, TX.- "Michelangelo’s painting of The Torment of Saint Anthony, described by his earliest biographers, has been acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. Its purchase was announced today by the Kimbell’s newly appointed director, Dr. Eric McCauley Lee. Executed in oil and tempera on a wooden panel, this work is the first painting by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) to enter an American collection, and one of only four known easel paintings generally believed to come from his hand. The others are the Doni Tondo in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and two unfinished paintings in London’s National Gallery, The Manchester Madonna and The Entombment."

For interesting commentary and reflection on Michelangelo's work, visit Gregg Chadwick's blog at http://greggchadwick.blogspot.com/

Aside from the inventiveness of Michelangelo's composition, his skill and style, I of course think more about his psychological and spiritual state while in the process of creating and the influence and inspiration derived from religious institutions and philosophies, especially at that time.And for those of you who might think to compare this egg tempera painting to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel (be still my heart as it is among my favorites:), keep in mind that he was born March 6, 1475 and this work may have possibly been painted in 1487 so that made him a mere 12 year old boy when he created this work! His talent and passion make me cry.
The agony and the ecstasy for certain! More on this later....I always forget that I have a "real" job and a "real" schedule so my art and artistic interests have been gently set aside and that feels like TORMENT:)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Upcoming Exhibits: Please Join Me

National Association of Women Artists
120th Annual Exhibition

Opening Reception: May 17th
1-4 pm
at the
Salamagundi Art Club
47 5th Ave.
New York, NY
May 11-29,2009

TriCity Arts Tour returns for another three-day festival
May 15-17, 2009
3 Towns. 3 Days. 3 Times the Fun!
Red Bank · Long Branch · Asbury Park.
My work will be on display in Asbury Park at
The Asbury Park Design Center
513 Cookman Avenue
Opening Night
May 16, 2009
6-10 pm

AENJ Members' Art Exhibit!
This year's exhibit will be held once again at the
James Howe Gallery in the Vaughn Eames Hall of
Kean University in Union, NJ.
June 15th through July 9th

Closing reception
for all artists,their friends and families on
July 9th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm

There is much more to come. Stay tuned for dates and times. Hope to see you appreciating art....somewhere, some day:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day! A Worthwhile Video

One of my very best friends sent me a video.Usually I delete these emails before I even take a look for various reasons but the "sender" is like a sister and I was depending on the fact that she values me and my time so I opened and viewed it. It was not at all what I expected but it was greatly appreciated,very amusing and well worth the viewing time. Click on the link below to see why. It arrived at the perfect moment when I awoke feeling overwhelmed by laundry, unanswered correspondence, a house in disarray, an art studio that looks like World War III( and I haven't even been using it!!!), my new puppy who is chewing every sock, shoe and rug in sight and my daughter who is throwing tantrums via text messages from Florida,in response to my threats to permanently "share" the dog with a new family:) So to my long time friend, who is an equally amazing mother and to all the moms in my life who love and live for their children, even when they aren't particularly cooperative or supportive of your decision making on their behalf (ha ha), "Happy, Happy Mother's Day!" Well desrved ladies! oxoxo
Log on to the video site and send a message to your favorite "Moms".


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chaotic Bliss

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." A. Cohen
...but one must preserve order and some respect in the midst of all that adventure and change.A little dignity is important to me as well, although it seems many people easily dispense with much of it in the name of living a regret free life. In the end we have to be who we are and live with ourselves. Our reality, self imposed rules and boundaries are not necessarily shared. I recently asked a friend, "What would it actually be like if we all dared to live our dreams?"...his response, "chaotic bliss."
I considered this and realized I grew up amid "chaos" minus the bliss. I learned many things from the frenzy.
I teach Art to 700 energetic,hugging,questioning,needing,pleading,mess-making, beautiful Kindergartners. I get some of my best ideas and inspiration in the midst of all the mess but more than anything it makes me appreciate the quiet.My best work however, is created when my head and heart are least silent.Go figure! :)
I am simultaneously working on 5 paintings. To onlookers, my process and workspace might appear to be a messy madness. I prefer to think of it as "chaotic BLISS." :)
“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Have No FEAR

FEAR False Expectations Appearing Real
FEAR Face Everything And Recover
FEAR False Emotions Appearing Real
FEAR Failure Expected And Received
FEAR Future Events Appearing Real
FEAR Finding Excuses and Reasons
FEAR False Expectations About Reality
FEAR Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality


Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Kiss of Creativity!

As an artist, it is important to be open to the possibility that inspiration will come from unexpected people,places and experiences. Last night I saw an incredible sculpture exhibit at the Noyes Museum's satellite location in Hammonton, NJ, curated by friends Michelle Post and David Carrow. I met the director of the Noyes...an incredible guy, Mike, who is certain to transform how his guests view and experience art and I also met the very talented Eric Schultz, who recently had a very cool and successful showing at Ellarslie in Trenton, NJ.
Today I spent the day at the Arts Council of Princeton where I attended a symposium, along with friends, artists and fellow educators. The new facility, designed by renowned architect Michael Graves, is top notch. The energy in Princeton vibrates through me intellectually, artistically and emotionally. Without going into specifics, I realize, that the resounding "message" that I took away from all of this abundance was, "be brave!"
The past 24 hours have been eye opening! There are no rules or boundaries any longer when creating my art! With sticks, stones, metal and power tools in hand, I will create a body of work reflective of me at this moment! The beauty of art is exponentially intensified when it is shared and when interesting and innovative ideas are considered! Today was like a kiss! We tell our students, "kiss your brain" when their creativity is sparked and embraced! Mine is on fire!

Jude, Art and Inspiration