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, November 29, 2009

My Studio

My studies for my "Field" paintings consume my mind and my "studio"(my dining room table:)I suppose the approaching holidays necessitate that I set aside my work and rediscover and unveil a clean table surface. The thought of that is sadder than anyone can imagine(except perhaps for fellow artists) but I remind myself that I share this space with my family.The new year promises new work...wildflowers, fields and figures.I love that I am an artist and that my inspiration is abundant.

The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
Frank Loyd Wright

The World I Always Dreamed Of ~Pineapple Thief http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/song/The_World_I_Always_Dreamed_of/23099034

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Precious Patterns

Painted on unstretched canvas, this image explores several of my most valued sources of inspiration: children's portraiture, pattern and color. Master illustrator, fine artist,photographer and film maker,George Pratt, generously allowed me to use an image of his beautiful daughter as a resource for this painting. I am interested in textile design and the integration of other materials and processes with traditional oil painting. The preciousness of painting with oils,is reduced by the free flowing canvas and the use of embroidery floss and waxed linen to join and embellish this work.I wanted to create something more intimate and accessible.
One objective was to abstract pattern so that it appears visually authentic although no attention was given to the "rational" use of light and dark, shadows, contours or space. The lower patterns are disconnected from the upper portrait, aside for the use of a common palette. I like that these two compositions can be viewed as independent and solid works. They are aesthetically strong when separate, but more pleasing and complimentary presented together:)
I am anxious to finish the stitching after the paint is varnished. Another image of little Miss Mary is in the works!

Friday, November 27, 2009


For those who have yet to notice, most of my paintings are autobiographical in nature. There is almost always some underlying reference to my childhood or to the stories and the people who inspire me most.I am an "emotional" and empathetic painter... a believer in love. However, sometimes the inspiration does not come or I am too exhausted to create from my heart.To avoid frustration, I paint from observation.Creation of these "traditional" images, relies on skill rather than spirit.It is actually meditative when my hand, eyes and mind are synchronized. Time seems suspended and my thoughts are quieted.So tonight was a peaceful night as I worked on a still life that I began and tucked away last May.In process, this image is my attempt to refocus and breathe.oil study: natural patterns for "field" paintings

And the musical inspiration for the evening, was Southern Rock!Very meditative and traditional in a dancing,moving,foot stomping kind of way:)My mind may have been "quiet", but body and soul are always on the go:)
Green Grass and High Tides
Don't Misunderstand Me
Crazy Love
Whipping Post
Seven Bridges Road

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You

I give thanks everday for the opportunity to freely pursue my dreams. I am conscious and grateful for every moment that I live, love, learn and grow. My life is pure abundance! But on this day, I am especially appreciative of all of the people who have graced my life with love, support and kindness.It is for them that I am most grateful on this Thanksgiving Day! You take my breath away:)Robert's Thanksgiving has had an especially sweet start as he is at this moment out on the ocean, off the coast of Pt. Pleasant Beach, fishing for striped bass!

There is a French proverb that says, "Gratitude is the memory of the heart." My mind often dismisses the details of the business of daily life, but my heart remembers well...the kindness,love and generosity of others.I always have a grateful heart:)
Thank You, thank you!

Robert Thanksgiving Day 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wildflowers...growin' and flyin'

My Wildflower series is taking shape:) Most of it remains in my thoughts. My "vision" of a painting, emerges from my "daydreaming" of which I do quite a bit:)I rely on my thoughts and some visual references such as photographs,as create. There is rarely concept work beforehand...no preliminary color studies or sketches. I rework the painting as needed. I prefer this process because my "errors", are actually experimentations and evidence of changes in my thoughts throughout the painting process.The end result reveals the "texture" and marks of my decisions. The richness of the surface, the underlying colors and scratches,cannot be easily reproduced.

However, while creating the "Wildflower" series, I have deviated from my usual process. These works warrant exploration (somewhere other than in my mind.) So I am painting small concepts, and other images,in hopes of successfully marrying my figures with highly textured, stylized fields. An interested observer, asked me via email, the scale of the flowers in the work on the door. Here is an image to gauge proportions...and of course there is an updated image of my daughter who posed for these paintings.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My new "Field" paintings which will be called my "Wildflower" series and will be merged with two figures.The landscape will be highly textured, somewhat stylized and abstract, and the figures will be highly representational. I intend to crop them, with the female form being prominent. Tonight I began a painted "sketch" of one figure. I am very fortunate to have beautiful teen aged children who somewhat willingly comply when asked to model:)I actually took some lovely photographs of my 19 and soon to be 17 year olds. This monochromatic image is purely for concept but close to what I envisioned.

"And everything I know just fades away
And when a wildflower grows it picks its space
And that's the way it is when nature plays its lovely hand
We'll understand everything"...S.Crow

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Story Beneath Patterns and Layers

I am making progress on my "Field" painting. It will be one in a series of works that explores elements of painting and sculpture that I love most: real and implied texture and pattern.It is very stylized and will become much more sculptural as both metal and wood are added. The substrate surface is a recycled wooden, solid core door.

My paintings are always symbolic of something more, of the stories that resound in my mind. I am inspired by people, conversations and experiences, past and present. Replaying favorite thoughts, motivates the creation of my images. I often ask people to tell me their stories. A part of who I am,who my "storytellers" are, despite what others may think they know or "see", will undoubtedly emerge in one of my images. "Tell me a story."

Question:"What is truer than truth?"
Answer: ....."the story"
(an old Jewish proverb)
There is always a story.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Allentown Art Guild "Hope" Exhibit at Laurita Winery November 15, 2009

“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”
2-5 pm

The Golden Rule: A Charter for Our Souls...Compassion and Love

Religious thinker, author and former nun, Karen Armstrong, is the "designer" of the "Charter for Compassion",launched this November. It is a document, created by "the world" via a "sharing website", aimed toward uniting religious leaders to work collaboratively to achieve peace. Read more about Karen on the TED website, "ideas worth spreading." http://www.ted.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all." ~A. France

This is an ongoing challenge: to clear my mind and clear my studio. That means I must complete paintings and projects in order to move forward. There are about 20 works in process.That is actually typical of how I work but I really don't want to dismiss these concepts. For me,they need time and care to evolve into worthwhile images. I haven't been giving enough time or care to much lately. Tonight I worked on these two recent paintings on wood panels.I enjoyed every moment.

"Live out of your imagination, not your history." ~ S.Covey

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Damian Ortega and Krzysztof Wodiczko

Damian Ortega: Cosmic Thing
One of the visiting artists that I worked closely with at the School of Visual Arts in New York City this summer commented that I had these unique and refined skills but they would be made much more powerful if I used them in a more deliberate and mindful way. I knew exactly what he meant. Sometimes less is more. The "ideas" that inspire art and the processes used to create work, are often more important than the end result.

I attended two exhibits at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston on Nov. 6th with colleagues and fellow Geraldine Dodge recipients, that were outwardly "simple" in their presentation but incredibly complex in terms of thought and purpose. The work of conceptual artists, Damian Ortega and Krzysztof Wodiczko, were commanding, in very distinctive ways.

Mexican born, Damian Ortega, included video, sculpture,photography, installation and graphic work in this exhibition. Entitled "Do It Yourself", Ortega presents everyday objects in whimsical and imaginative "states" of being.Seemingly mundane forms have been dissected, manipulated, arranged and re-arranged in ways that make the observer take notice. "In Ortega’s work, objects are never allowed to rest—they are pulled apart, suspended, or rearranged, calling attention to the dynamism of the world around us and the hidden poetry in the everyday." I found Ortega's exhibit amusing and thought provoking. It left me smiling and contemplating the essence and purpose of the simplest of forms.

The second exhibit, featured the installation by Polish artist, Krzysztof Wodiczko's : OUT OF HERE: the Veterans Project. This projection based work, which fused audio and video, documented mere moments of the destruction of war in Iraq.In "the Veterans Project, the routine sounds of life are interrupted by the noise of destruction and chaos as Wodiczko’s narrative unfolds across three walls of the gallery." The installation was eerily simple in its presentation, but powerfully moving as it captured the psychological, physical and emotional devastation of war. Standing within the room of the exhibit, I was able to experience the gravity and horror of the situation. It left me feeling unsettled and helpless but appreciative and reflective.

The work of artists, Damian Ortega and Krzysztof Wodiczko are provocative,intelligent, mindful and deliberate. A visit to the Boston ICA,is well worth the trip. For me, as an artist, it inspired me to consider more fully, every aspect of my work. I will dissect, manipulate, arrange and rearrange:) and attend to my process and my passions with greater care.

For more information click on the ICA site:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. "

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Tonight I devoted time to furthering the layers on some of my paintings.Initially I execute a fairly evolved underpainting. Often it is to give form to my ideas but I neglect to revisit these works. I imagine them all as potentially satisfactory by my own standards but know that to attain that, I need to invest time and effort. I know I will.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wishes and Wildflowers

My art has become an obsession. It is my passion. My inspirations are personal, emotional and heartfelt. To alter the way I think and feel in accordance with someone else's "rules" or values, would diminish what makes my work uniquely my own.And sometimes the most beautiful and valuable work, comes from the darkest and most challenging places.I wouldn't have it any other way. It motivates me to move forward and to find strength in myself. Fear, regret,and loss really have nothing to do with my work any longer. Beauty, love, hope and persistence have everything to do with what I create.Some people mistake and confuse emotion with weakness or failure to progress.Be assured, I am far from weak and I will continue to love, learn and dream the best I know how.I am painting for myself.I am painting my dreams.

This image: Wildflowers is a small 3 dimensional prototype for my much larger "Field" paintings. I used mixed media: hardware, aluminum, wood and paper, painted with an oil overlay, to create the highly textured surface.

Essential Music and Art Exhibit 2009

This is an awesome video which offers just a glimpse of the Essential show in NYC. It was a well attended,energy filled art and music extravaganza curated by Ellie Colon in Chelsea, NYC. Anyone that knows me, knows that I talk way too much:) So as the evening progressed at the exhibit... after meeting, greeting,laughing and shouting above the music, my voice deepened and eventually was lost. Yikes! Judy without a voice...but in this video, the husky, loud quality that you hear is actually me:) Normally I sound a bit like Minnie Mouse:) Bravo to all the artists who exhibited and thanks to Ellie. Check out my fellow artist and friend, Seth Kitzmiller's work! Enjoy!For those of you who don't have the patience to view a lengthy video, I'm at the 6:21 mark. Just saying:)

Prayer For A 5th and Final Game

My son Robert is a passionate sports fan:)He is the kind of empathetic spectator that yells at the television monitor as though the players, coaches, umps and crowds can hear, and possibly respond, to his cries, cheers,applause or even worse, his scathing admonitions:)I wish they could see him when he dances:) So please, please Yankees, make tonight's 2009 World Series game, the 5th and final... a Yankees win, so that I can live peacefully with my son:) Luckily last night's victory, distracted him from the pain of the Green Bay Packer's loss, his favorite football team.

Here is an image I created for Robert 3 years ago when I first resumed painting.It is of his glove and Yankees jersey. The other is a recent image of my nephew Jordan, that I am painting for my brother, David. David is another die hard fan.

I have a feeling A. Rod, Jeter, Rivera and team mates have greater motivation for winning other than keeping Robert and David happy, but every little plea or invocation on the Yankees behalf can't hurt:) The Yankees are art in motion this year. Go Yankees!

Jude, Art and Inspiration