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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My NYC Art Exhibit at SVA

My studio is cluttered but my work is progressing. There is one week left until the SVA Summer residency exhibit. The three paintings featured in this image, will not be displayed at the opening on Thursday evening, August 6th. I successfully tried new materials amd created new images that addressed certain technical and aesthetic objectives, but not all of my work can be presented as a cohesive body of art. And more importantly, I have no room:) I outgrew my studio. Yikes!

So during the next several days, I will refine and complete a few works and prepare them for the show! It feels like crunch time prior to college finals!Not only are we expected to exhibit our work, we are encouraged to create an "environment" or installation of sorts, for our work. This week end will be intense I'm sure.

So if you are in the mood to see great art in NYC, stop by the School of Visual Arts on 8/6/09. I'll document the progress of my art space. It will be magical!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

YOU ARE INVITED ! Jude and fellow artists exhibit in NYC!

As many of you know, I have been participating in an artist's residency program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City this summer. The culminating event is an exhibit of all of the work created during a one month period by myself and my fellow artists. It is certain to be amazing!
Please join me for this very magical event!
"Open Studios 2009: Summer Residency Program Exhibition" on
Thursday, August 6 at 6:00pm.

Event: Open Studios 2009: Summer Residency Program Exhibition
What: Opening
Host: School of Visual ARTS Summer Residency Programs
Start Time: Thursday, August 6 at 6:00pm
End Time: Thursday, August 6 at 9:00pm
Where: 141 West 21 Street

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Marriage of Pattern and the Figure

The beauty of art is the exploration of new ideas and the experimentation with materials in order to convey them. One concept often leads to another.It is interesting when my work leads me in a direction that I hadn't anticipated. What is more fascinating, is that I remain captivated by this process. I have not even begun to touch upon, what it is I came here to do in NYC. My original intent was to integrate materials into my paintings. At present, I am becoming more intrigued by the process of painting.The aluminum, hardware and new drill, remain untouched. I am confident that I will use them, but perhaps not during this residency program.

I have been focused upon the figure as subject matter and surface pattern. One of my critiques addressed the fact that I often do not successfully merge the two. They are distinct entities. So I decided to explore that idea of including both the figure and pattern, making them appear united but playing on the fact that they genuinely are separate. In the piece featuring the young red haired girl, I intentionally dissolved her hair and dress into patterns without any regard for light, form or contour. The pattern is "flat" much like wallpaper but the viewer's eye may be fooled into believing that it makes sense. Nothing makes sense in Judy's world by the way:)

Eventually I would like to exclude the figure, except perhaps the suggestion of a face or hands, and concentrate on real and implied texture. I would paint texture and then gradually have it evolve into tangible form by adding textiles, threads and other materials.

Today I will be at the MOMA...one of my favorite NYC art museums and tomorrow we are attending a group trip to the Hamptons to visit galleries and artist's studios.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy 19th Birthday T-Bunny! Live Big!

It is over a year ago since Christina graduated from high school. Since then she has attended college and successfully completed an internship at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. And today she is 19. I remember how beautiful she was the day she was born. Christina has become an incredibly versatile and dynamic young woman, lovely both inside and out.
Dear Christina:
My how you've grown my little ballerina and touched my heart and inspired my art.
Life teaches us to expect the unexpected but the key is to embrace it and move forward. Live big ,Christina Autumn.Expect great things of yourself and of this life and make them happen.
Unfortunately we were not able to be together, but you are always near, as am I.
I love you with all my heart!
Happy Birthhday!
Click here for birthday inspiration:
My How You've Grown
These Are The Days

Rainy Day Musical Inspiration

Love Scene
Ecstasy of Gold
Can Anyone Who Has Heard This Music Be A Bad Person

Monday, July 20, 2009


I still feel overwhelmed and as though I am not completely able to transfer the images from my head and heart onto the canvas quickly and skillfully enough. Tomorrow Tia arrives for her 19th Birthday. Selfishly, I want not only to celebrate with her, but I desire inspiration from my muse. Certain individuals sincerely "guide" my painting. I am in need of guidance:)


Saturday, July 18, 2009


It seems unbelievable that tomorrow I will have been in NYC for 2 weeks. Like a child, I wish I could stop time....but obviously I can't so I am making an effort to enjoy every moment. I will genuinely relay the depth and excitement of this experience at a later date when I have time to reflect and focus on my progress and accomplishments.
The past two days were pure bliss! Is this for real? I have uninterrupted time, supplies, space and am surrounded by artists and the art of New York City! On Thursday I painted for nearly 15 hours. I have abandoned the romantic idea of pulling all nighters because I am ,after all 45, and although I can manage one now and then, it takes me a day or two to recover. So is it worth it? Yes!!! I'm saving up prior to the exhibit when I'll need to create and complete work:)
Yesterday, not only did I paint but went to the Met with a beautiful German painter, Sabine, to see the Roxy Paine and Francis Bacon exhibits. Both were incredible! Roxy's welded steel Maelstrom provided inspiration for my new painted piece. And I have a new affection for the genius of the very tortured, tremendous and macabre talent and mind of painter Francis Bacon. Sabine and I had Indian food afterwards and it was back to the studio this morning. I cannot however seem to transfer the ideas quickly enough. I was advised to concentrate on technique and quality...and so I shall:)I wonder if I'm sleeping. If I am don't wake me. I need to finish painting first!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beauty of the Details

I haven't been exceptionally productive but of course my mind is always racing: wishing, creating, thinking and believing. I am enjoying my work and myself. My how I have grown:)

For me the beauty lies within the details of my work. There is a richness that comes through the layers, the texture and the reworking. I feel as though my major piece is still in the early stages. It perhaps has reached adolescence and may not mature fully while I am here, but that will come with effort and time. Art really is like life. I appreciate more than ever before, the details and quirks, the uniqueness and texture of me, of my work, of my life. Every phase, every joy and every heart ache is manifest in my paintings. I wonder if those I love most, can see and feel it.

My critiques have been amazing. Most people respond to my work as being an "experience" of personal memories, albeit somewhat psychologically haunting.
I believe I can be an artist for the remainder of my life without growing tired or bored. It is exhausting in many regards, but I will never tire of the details.The story, my story, is in the details. Please look closely, at every inch,and you will see and feel who I am:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NYC Jude's Work in Process

My initial painting is oversized : 18 ft wide x 6 ft high. I imagine that it may take months to finish completely. I have less than a month left in New York. Progress is slower than I imagined because, I never actually imagined this composition and the challenges it would present.

My process is often a stream of consciousness, as was this. I start with a few key, often disconnected, images of figures that I have photographed. Most of my figurative references are of persons that I know such as friends or family members. This particular piece features my daughter Christina in two poses and the daughters of friends. I have to remember to invite Aurelia and Sara, two of my "petite", beautiful models to the SVA exhibit so that they can see their portraits perhaps in NYC.This composition is evolving into a work that explores the empowerment of young women, a typical theme which I address. I was once told that my work excludes men and is intimidating to them. Obviously, that is a matter of perception and as a woman,and as a female child who struggled most of my life to discover my own "power" and strength, I simply would reply that I paint who and what I am. My work is reflective of my own personal experience.

I have limited my palette because I like the earthen, natural and somewhat "haunted" feel that it suggests. My focus will absolutely continue to be on the exploration of texture, pattern and merging these elements with the figure. Ultimately I would like to further dimensionalize this piece by adding actual textiles and sewn elements.I have slowed down so that I can work on making this composition cohesive. Every inch is important.

Many of the artists who have influenced my current work are Gustav Klimt,Faith Ringgold,William Morris ,Kathe Kollwitz,and Egon Schiele.
Here are some updated details of the composition. Funny, as I post them, I see obvious areas that need changing. When working close to a composition for long periods of time, the distortions that develop are often not apparent.Hmmm....I have to simply view this as a work in process.

Save the Dates: Exhibits by Friends Andrew Werth and Andrew and Drew Ricci

WHO: Andrew Werth & Marc Reed
WHAT: INTERNAL / EXTERNAL, an exhibition of paintings
WHEN: Opening Reception: Saturday, September 12, 2009 from 4-7pm
Show Dates: September 11 - October 4, 2009
Gallery Hours: Fri-Sat-Sun 11am - 6pm or by appointment
WHERE: Artists' Gallery
32 Coryell Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
MORE INFO: Andrew will be posting more information closer to the show dates on
his web site at http://www.andrewwerth.com/

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Muse in Manhattan

Christina and her friend Alyssa visited me in the city this weekend. Anyone that knows me, knows how my daughter has inspired and encouraged my art career. I actually called her immediately following my first difficult, but not scathing, critique. She listened and advised. It is funny that I might listen to a soon to be 19 year old...but she knows me, my art and has a keen eye for composition and perspective.
Here are just a few images from her stay in the city. I will post an album on Facebook featuring the adventures of Tia and Alyssa.Tia. like her mother, tends to engage strangers in conversation. She met a couple from Australia who were true blue hippies and who encouraged her to follow her dreams. She received free ice cream from a vendor...a young man. She texted me with excitement and surprise. I thought, a boy giving an attractive blonde, blue eyed beach girl a free treat...go figure? :)And she met a journalist student from Georgetown of Pakistani descent who kept
telling me how nice she was, inquired if she had a boyfriend, and tried to sell her a watch. If you ever want to shop or haggle, go with Christina. She is ruthless. That is not a trait she inherited from her mother.
All I know is wherever Christina goes, life, love, color and excitement follow.
No wonder she is my muse. And to my Robert Christian, you amuse and "muse" me too:)


I am participating in a residency program. A friend recently asked me about my class schedule. This program is self-driven. The objective of us, emerging and mid-career artist, is to improve, grow and create a body of work that reflects this process.
There is no formal schedule but the studios are available 24/7 and critiques from four renowned artists and faculty members are given daily. Critiques are assessments,subjective of course, offered by the instructors to discuss ideas, technique, content and to guide the artist, if necessary, in an alternate direction.
I am prepared for this.
I want this.
I want to improve and develop my work.
I want my work to more clearly reflect my vision and attitude as an artist.
I have repeated these things to myself throughout the day as I experienced the painful sting of my first critique. Ouch!
Tomorrow's objective: Start anew!Change direction! Yikes!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seeking Solace

I have accepted that my mind will never actually "be quiet." As I constantly seek solace, I have embraced that the way I think and feel, makes me the artist that I am.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

SVA Studio Sleepovers

My bed prior to the girl's arrival

My guests have arrived! My beautiful girls, Alyssa and my daughter and muse, Christina!

My first "all nighter" in the SVA artist's studios occurred, not because of my typical obsessive desire to create but because my daughter Christina and her friend, my honorary daughter, Alyssa, are visiting for the weekend and staying in my dorm room. I don't think they quite believed the limited size of the room, which can be likened to an oversized closet, or the compact bathroom in which you can(or rather must) simultaneously, shower, brush teeth, etc:)My dorm room is ideal as it serves a purpose. It is comfortable and safe despite its small size.Although not optimal for group sleepovers,it encourages focus in its simplicity. But my best option having guests, seemed to be to sleep on the floor of my studio. I actually slept very little.There were other equally obsessive and devoted students, one of which even offered me the use of her cot.Most students departed prior to 3 am. I recall lights, music, sounds from the city, before dozing close to 4.
I love this place! Art drives my colleagues, as it does myself. It is amazing to be amid people who value the same discipline. Today however, I will venture out with the girls and seek inspiration in Chinatown which I absolutely love.
Stay tuned for more art and some images from the city rather than the studio.
I also plan to share some wisdom from a lecture I attended yesterday by renowned art critic from New York Magazine, Jerry Saltz.I almost invited him for a sleepover because his wit, humor and brilliance were exhiliarating and engaging. I think, however, that would have been inappropriate but I certainly would have invited his wife, an equally renowned art critic, Roberta Smith from the NY Times to join us. I think I would have felt as though I were in heaven if I could have fallen asleep listening to the two of them exchange ideas, opinions and stories.
I know, I know, my kids think I am a geek as well.
Make your day magical, wherever you be:)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jude at the School of Visual Arts Residency Program in NYC

I realize that it is only my third day of painting and that there is marked development and progress but I feel as though I am only beginning to manifest on canvas, what has been stored in my mind and my hands for so long. I am trying not to get frustrated with myself because I sincerely feel as though I am working at a fairly slow pace. My painting is monumental in size for me...18 feet in width. It is purely a stream of consciousness and merges all of the figures and motifs that I have incorporated in my work at home this past year.
I am focusing on value and am using a limited palette...Payne's grey, Titanium white and burnt umber.I am also implementing texture, real and implied, using patterns and other materials such as hand made papers, metal and wire. Trust me, when it is complete, it will be magical. I still have a month ahead. I wish I could freeze this moment in time. Never before have I felt so aware of and confident about myself as an artist.
Here are some photos of the work in process.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Making Magic In Manhattan cont'd

Jude on her dorm room bed, dreaming of being an artist in NYC. Oh wait! It's not a dream any more...it's reality!
So already I am in the midst of day 3 of my art residency at SVA. Monday was our official orientation. We addressed the usual rules and regulations and then gathered as a group, under the direction of our professor Alois Kronschlager to view images of oneanother's work and to discuss our backgrounds and artistic philosphies.
It was impressive, amazing but exhausting. SVA's program welcomes a very select group of artists, either emerging or mid career, to participate in their summer program under the direction of several prestigious professional artists and professors. The group is culturally and artistically diverse which makes it even more interesting.

Well, all I can say is, I'm in heaven:) No really it is awesome. My intention was to relate every aspect of my experience in real time but that is difficult to do when I am painting 10 or more hours a day and then trying to sleep in my room which I converted into a second makeshift studio. It is technically a single dormitory size room (i.e. an oversized closet sized space) but it is perfect! So I had to sleep with a roll of wire mesh and a maple panel on my bed:)

My actual studio space on 21st Street in the SVA Fine Art facility,faces the street across from DaVinci Art Supplies. I have approximately 24 linear feet of wall space and more if needed. To best illustrate my amazing experience to date, I will post a few images and promise to recount in more depth, the happenings at SVA. I love that I can easily navigate between my studio and my temporary "home". It really is a dream come true. I emailed my children this evening, reminding them to never abandon their wishes.With effort, persistence and patience, they can make their dreams a reality. I'm chasing mine, making magic in Manhattan. Enjoy!

My studio/dorm room. Shhh! Don't tell:)
New Art in Process!
The view from my room on 23rd Street and Lexington!
My studio at the School of Visual Arts in NYC on the 4th Floor at 21st Street. Note the bare white walls on Tuesday morning...look at the photos from Wednesday evening! I am in heaven, I know it!

2 days worth of studio time! I am really painting!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Miss Judy Makes Magic in Manhattan

As a Geraldine Dodge Fellow, I was awarded funding as part of a visual arts initiative to use toward furthering my career as an emerging artist and educator. I chose to study painting and mixed media in an art residency program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. One way in which I decided to share my experience with the foundation and with my students,was to create posts for my blog which will include images of my works in process and places,people and other sources of inspiration that the city will undoubtedly provide.

That sounds easy! However, having been here for only a day, I realize the abundance of visual inspiration, has me reeling and has already exhausted my mind and my camera battery and memory:) So in order to begin I decided simply to post a few simple images that reinforced why I chose New York as the location of what I believe will be a life and career altering experience. I walked from my 23rd Street residence to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, passing landmark structures and monuments like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. As appealing and significant as they are, that is not what inspired and attracted my attention today.

The city spoke to my heart and mind on this spectacular summer Sunday. I recently created a painting entitled, Dandelion Dreams and there before me emerged what I "saw" as the most beautiful and monumental dandelions of all:two fountains located at 6th Avenue & 54th/55th Streets.They were radiant and ethereal,lightly emitting feathery sprays of moisture on passers by. They were christening them with wishes. I love dandelions and associate them with whispered wishes and dreams. I feel as though NY is where my dreams will begin to take shape and become real. I wished in wonder as I photographed those fountains. I always feel as though I tend to see beauty and promise, where others may only see "weeds".
Excited , I made my way through Central Park, Tisch's Children's Zoo and several of the playgrounds.I paint children and was distracted by the abundance of kids at play...all beautiful of diverse ages and nationalities. What struck me were the public sculptures and banners bearing text and art. In the James Michael Levin playground, an incredible stone sculpture of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland characters, was inscribed with his words: "In the depths of Despair, May You Never Lose Hope." Earlier, I read a banner draped from the eaves of an outdoor arbor in the zoo that read: "Let the Beauty We Love, Be What We Do." (J. Rumi, Afghanistan 1207-1273). I was mesmerized, wondering if others were as moved my the depth of meaning that these words expressed.At every turn, I felt inspired by the richness of the city.
Heading back toward Gramercy Park, I passed the storefront windows of Bergdorf Goodman's 5th Avenue store and stopped in awe. The displays, created by artists from the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore , Md. are a marriage of masterpiece and social,political and spiritual mindfulness. And once again, paired with the physical works, were words that incited and inspired: "Astonish Me" (Sergei Diaghilev)and Johnathan Swift's, "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." It is as though I have awakened and am prepared to see clearly what has always been present.
And so, I am confident that NYC is where I belong this summer.I hope that you join me on my journey as I make magic in Manhattan:) Tonight I most definitely will begin to paint. Enjoy!
PS. I am only 2 blocks from a Home Depot which means lots of lovely hardware( i.e. cotter pins, screws, hexnuts,wire screen...........love this place)!

Jude, Art and Inspiration