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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trenton Art All Night Images

On June 2oth, I attended Art All Night in Trenton with my brother Christopher where I displayed my image, "Pouting Angel." Despite the erratic, wet weather, the turnout was spectacular and the art work was even more impressive! My very talented and creative friend, photographer Frank Jacobs, photographed the event. To view these images, click on the link below! Frank is a world class photorapher but just a note to Frankie....women over 45 (moi!) photograph better from a distance:)
Brian O. Hill, director of Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie Mansion was there in his very comfortable attire...p.j.'s and a robe with his lovely wife. Be sure to visit Ellarslie during the summer months to view quality art and to experience a sense of Trenton's rich cultural and historical past and present.

All rights to the above image belong to Frank Jacobs Photography 2009.

Happy Birthday Vivi-Mari!

On this beautiful day I would love to wish my friend Vivi-Mari, a very Happy Birthday! Her love,guidance, art and words, were inspiring and greatly appreciated throughout this past year.
To view her work or read her very intelligent, honest and heartfelt prose, check out the links below.
Hugs to you Vivi-Mari. You are beautiful!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Respite!

The beauty of teaching for me is getting to share what I love most with little people that I adore. But it would be dishonest and almost ridiculous NOT to state the obvious: I live for summer break! It is an artist's dream job!Every sniffling nose,upchuck on my carpet,whimper,whine,occasional pee,sigh of boredom,line cutters and tattle talers:)all of whom I love,are embraced and "endured" more patiently throughout the school year,because of the ever present promise of summer break! Then I have a block of time in which to create, paint,blog, but never be bored. I am trying to quickly finish some paintings for an upcoming exhibit. The beauty is in the details. Have we really been out of school for a week already?

To view my images on Facebook, click here.http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=13942&id=1483745280&l=ae2e112aef
I had an awesome slumber party last night. I celebrated my recent commission!Extra crunchy peanut butter for Kona and me!

And these guys rock! Hello to George, Brent and John and their very fortunate students!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Commission Completed: Giving Life to Another's Vision

I just finished my very first official oil portrait commission. Had some one asked me several years ago when I first rediscovered my art, to paint a large scale portrait of NOT one child, but of four, I would have immediately declined. Most likely it would have been due to fear of not being able to capture the "vision" of the client,the pressure of creating four reasonable "likenesses" and the belief that I would leave them disappointed and myself frustrated and feeling more incompetent.

Funny how time,attitude and confidence, alter both the creation process and the end result. This opportunity was perfect.It felt natural. I was given direction, yet freedom. My client, Dr. Robberson, had a clear vision of how to best represent her children on canvas. I liked that she was specific about details such as color, expression, symbolic elements and medium.It was to be rich in color and "storybook" like in content. Her confidence in my work, gave me "freedom" to simply do what it is I do, to the best of my ability.

Tonight she approved the final version. Her response was a gift. She explained that the heart and soul of a child, is revealed within their eyes. She expressed that each of the portraits successfully captured the joy and life of her children and she described how she felt, upon observation, as though they were looking at her, confirming to her personally that they are happy in their childhoods, at this moment. I was overwhelmed with both relief and encouragement in knowing that I am finally doing what it is I am supposed to do: paint, create and capture memories.

Sweet Simplicity: Jude's Upcoming Art Exhibit

There is nothing sweeter and more simple than the beauty and love of a child. The purity of their spirit, the honesty of their emotions, the simplicity of their needs,inspire me to believe in something greater and more Divine. Children are often our greatest teachers. They remind me never to dismiss the power of kindness, hope and true love.

My exhibit, "Sweet Simplicity" will be on display:
July 2, 2009 -Fall, 2009
The Bank
20 N. Main St.
Allentown, NJ 08501

This collection of recent small works, can be viewed during business hours.All art is available for purchase.This exhibit is made possible by the Allentown Art Guild in Allentown, NJ.
Images to follow.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

"Happy Father's Day" to all of the men I love and who love their children fully and with kindness, to the amazing father of my two beautiful children Christina and Robert... my husband Bobby, to the women and men who selflessly guide and love as parents,in the absence of biological ties and to the children who grow up in spite of us, knowing hopefully that we are all doing the best that we can on their behalf, however "imperfect" it may seem!

Having not had a father for most of my life, your love and patience, has helped me to heal and to become a better parent and person.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Through Her Mind's Eye:The Art and Inspiration of Carol Saylor

My Kindergarten students were very fortunate to have my friend and fellow artist, Carol Saylor, spend the day with them, sharing her stories and her art. Carol is a mother of five children, grandmother of ten, great-grandmother of one. She is an artist, a renowned sculptor and a computer programmer. Carol's "story" is made more extraordinary and inspirational than one would imagine. She is both deaf and blind due to two very distinctive genetic conditions. She gradually lost her sight and hearing beginning in her late 30's. To read more about her art and life, check out her website at : http://www.carolsaylor.com
She shared her passion for art and her love for life with us today.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sign Up Now! Art All Night-Trenton

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!

Kindergarten Art: Life lessons 101

Art is not a thing; it is a way.
E. Hubbard

As our school year draws to a close, I want to leave my students with something more valuable than a few aesthetically pleasing attempts at painting an oversized O'Keeffe inspired floral, papier-macheing a "talking drum" or knowledge of color mixing and identifying master works of art...which by the way most can do.My five and six year old students, all 700 of them are more savvy then one might expect. In Miss Judy's art studio (that's me), the key lessons that I share are about life. Yesterday I asked one class what they thought I wanted them to learn this past year. The responses were as amusing and diverse as these young learners but left me feeling confident that maybe they would remember and hopefully share these ideas.
Miss Judy's Lessons:
1. Be nice :) respect and empathy in life are key.Treat others as you would like to be treated.Kindness is contagious and offering a "please", "thank you" or a smile are simple ways to spread the sunshine:)
2. Seek beauty even when it seems most difficult to find. Beauty, like Art, is everywhere.
3. There are no mistakes. It is all about practice and process.It is about discovering new opportunities and the simple joy of learning.
4. Copying is a form of flattery but art is about using ideas,(even someone else's) to create something new. Think for yourself.
5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Tears are often wasted on things that simply don't matter.
6. Different is good. Do not compare yourself to others. There is only one you.
7. The best artists are not the ones that draw, paint or sculpt well, although these are wonderful skills. The artistic mind is about problem solving and thinking creatively.
8. Art is a universal language that can touch people's hearts and open people's minds.
9. Be a leader not a follower and discover what it is you love to do most, not what others expect you to do.Find a passion and pursue it with all your might.
10. "Art is not a thing; it is a way." E. Hubbard
Anything done well, with love,intention and joy, could potentially be considered as Art. Mastery of living, loving and learning is Art. A baseball perfectly pitched, a complex formula solved, a structure designed, words written,all with excellence ...although seemingly effortless, can be experienced as Art.

Wow!!! Kindergarten Art has changed since I was a kid!Great ideas should be shared. I only learned some of these things in recent years...obviously I'm a slow learner but a very good and attentive student. I love my students and I practice what I teach!
Class dismissed!

May you always see beauty in the world around you....I promise you, it is there:)
Miss Judy

Stay tuned! School's not out for summer yet. My friend Carol Saylor is visiting my school art studio next week to spend the day with my Kindergartners. She is an artist in every sense of the word. Blind and deaf, she creates and tells stories that move, inspire and excite! To read more about her, click here:

My First Official Portrait Commission

I am currently working on a commission. It is a new endeavor and a challenge trying to capture someone else's specific and very personal "vision." I had difficulty beginning the process and literally had to transform my thinking in distract myself from the worry of the possibility of not being able to adequately re-create this portrait concept. I dispensed with the negative and focused in the even greater possibility that the client might "love" it and that it will be an incredibly meaningful gift.
It is still in process but this portrait, which features 4 children and symbolic elements reflecting their "Likes" and personalities is beautifully progressing. Here are a few details. The painting is oil and mixed media and measures 48" w x 36" h.Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Monessons and Me

My muse, my Tia...home at last.

This past February, I had my very first solo exhibition in the Mattison Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ. This opportunity was made possible by my friends Andrea and Jeff, who introduced me to the gallery director, Joel Monesson. Joel is an expert in restoration, a sculptor and a top notch and versatile musician.Unfortunately, the gallery closed after its final exhibition which featured Joel's organically figurative plaster sculptures. Our time in the gallery was a huge success! The people, music, and artists were of exceptional quality and character.
I wanted to thank Joel and the beautiful and brilliant Monesson women, for welcoming me and for making one of my dreams a reality. Our paths will cross again and again. And the tall beauty beside me is my new muse, Zurana. She has provided inspiration for and upcoming series.Be prepared for something a bit more provacative/evocative featuring Zurana! oxox

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Birthday JDR!

In the past three years my art has been a vehicle for self expression.I have rediscovered skills, refined technique and explored new subject matter and materials. I know this will be a life long endeavor.

The greatest gift that my art has brought forth however, is the reconnection with people.I had isolated myself, my heart and my dreams for so long. As I began to create,an abundance of supportive and generous individuals seemed to "appear." Friends, family, lost loves,neighbors,colleagues and beautiful strangers wandered in and out of my life, each leaving a mark so profound, that at times it seemed overwhelming. "Where had they been?"....I came to realize, the more apt question was, "Where had I been?" I was asleep to myself and my purpose, blinded by fears and insecurities, indecisiveness and worries.

As I awakened, slowly and reluctantly after more than twenty years,I discovered a world so full and color filled ,that inspiration greeted me at every turn. I could barely breathe,let alone think. There was no other choice but to paint.My art seemed to be the only means by which I could make sense of my experiences or convey their beauty and importance.

One person in particular,who has graced my life and opened my eyes and heart is my Uncle John.The amazing thing is that I hadn't seen him since I was 12...32 years had passed. My parent's divorce,life's "noise",and a desire on both our parts to disconnect in order to discover and preserve what was "good" in ourselves, kept us separate for a lifetime. Through a series of very fortunate events and my sheer determination and persistence to speak with my father's youngest brother,I met JDR again and actually visited him in his home in Santa Fe, NM last summer.It was brave of him to "allow" me "in" although the welcome was initially slow and apprehensive on his part:) Resistance was futile...he opened the door, big and wide.

JDR is outspoken and independent,with fiery passion for politics,knowledge,nature and art. He loves and lives,"sees" and speaks with an energy that could possibly intimidate or overwhelm. A world class photographer, he sees beauty and texture, richness and detail, where others cannot.

I warned him that I was "intense". He laughed and warned of the same.I can't imagine him as ever being "absent" from my life again. In him I see myself. He guides and loves me with an understanding that few possess of who I am and how I think.He is an artist and respects my "artistic" views about life and love:) His gentle assurances that I am valued and loved and that peace comes when one quiets their mind and opens their heart, has helped me throughout this past year.He has assisted me in resolving the past and made me more mindful of the present and future.

So on this day, June 8th, without getting mushy and gushy and relating stories of our magical reconnection, I just want to thank my Uncle Johnny for his patience and love and wish him an amazing 55th birthday! I know he is hiking with his incredible wife in the Gila Mts.,photographing nature's glory.Have a good one JDR!I love you. OXOXO

Jude, Art and Inspiration