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, 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)!


  1. Jude,

    Great stuff! The city is full of sources for creative inspiration. Good luck with this fellowship -- can't wait to see how you're transformed!


  2. Really enjoyed the observations on your "walk about" NYC. Remember to not force anything, it will come all by itself - allow it. Stay flexible and open. Love you sweet niece. U JDR


Jude, Art and Inspiration