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

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!


1 comment:

  1. Great story ! Thanks for sharing it. See what happens when we open up to the world and to those around us -- sometimes even strangers ? This story warms my heart and no doubt made the day for Mr. Hahn. Love makes the world go around and you are a major contributor to that spin. -- JDR


Jude, Art and Inspiration