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

Visit My Website


"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, December 23, 2010

Wild Heart

“A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages.” ~Tennessee Williams

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She Flies Alone

‎"Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want." Gustav Klimt
There is grace in knowing when to stay and when to go. Change is an inevitable aspect of life. It happens whether we are prepared for it or not and often ,"going" and "changing", mean letting go. The series, "She Flies Alone," is about personal growth and surrender.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Purchase Beautiful Art on Imagekind for the Holidays!

Enjoy my work as well as thousands of other creations by gifted artists! Consider purchase for the holidays! Prints, notecards and more! 30% off all purchases. Sale ends 11/29 code: CYBERDEAL

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magical Muse:Deborah Darling

As an artist, inspiration comes from a variety of sources.I am an "emotional" painter. I paint what I love and how I feel. I translate emotions, stories and dreams into imagery.I never seem to successfully convey all that I imagine or experience, but I continue to try.
There are times when I am overwhelmed by the grit and grind of daily life ,both personal and professional, and I look to my art to find solace and focus. The comfort and challenge of the process of painting is much like meditation and allows me to disconnect from my thoughts. As of late, even painting fails to ease my mind. Fortunately,each day presents new opportunities and time passes without regard for our wasted moments ,mental wages and woes.

Occasionally, unexpected inspiration, a muse if you will, appears and redirects my attention once again, to my greatest purpose: my art. Deborah Darling, an England based doll maker and merchant, discovered my work online. I was immediately enchanted by her unique beauty and creative vision.There was no option other than to paint for her. I  am currently working on a series, that celebrates the wonder and whimsy of this kindred spirit, Deborah Darling: Maker of Dolls and Dreams.

Deborah  reminded me that I have a responsibility to myself as an artist to continue to create. When I paint, I find strength and see beauty. I find peace. I find me.
"One expected growth, change; without it, the world was less, the well of inspiration dried up, the muses fled.” ~Charles de Lint Kenneth Hildebrand

"Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes; lesser ones exist on wishes and inclinations."
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. ~ Goethe

Thursday, November 25, 2010

These Are The Days

Love, thanks and peace on this special day. There is only now. I will enjoy it with a grateful and loving heart!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cecilia: My Little Wildflower

For My Daughter...
My recent vertical triptych is entitled Cecilia: My Little Wildflower. This portrait is created in oil on 12" x 12" maple sheathed panels. It is a celebration of abundance, strength and the confidence to be oneself. "CiCi" epitomizes the untainted beauty and untapped potential and promise of youth.
“One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” ~Maya Angelou

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, November 5, 2010

Musical Inspiration

Yo Yo Ma's version of "Ecstasy of Gold "and Budgie's "Breadfan" are very different, but equally inspirational to me. As I paint, they evoke images of beauty,passion and dreams.Today I will paint my way toward me dreams.

Yo Yo Ma

Budgie 814109

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jude Harzer Fine Art

Jacob Uri, a wonderfully gifted video editor and friend, created this as a gift for me. It is a composite of some of my work. Much love and thanks Jacob!

Three of My Favorite Contemporary Artists...

These are three of my favorite contemporary artists. I admire their talent, skill and devotion to their art. Their works are a result of pure passion. Featured are paintings and the links to the sites of Melissa Cooke, Alyssa Monks and Pamela Wilson. Yes, they also happen to be radiant and exceptionally beautiful women! That was pure coincidence. First and foremost, I see their energy, discipline and skill. They remind me of how much I have to learn . They inspire me to be better and to remember above all else, that it devotion to a greater purpose that matters most to me. They are artists in thought, in spirit and in action. Enjoy!

Melissa Cooke~ artist
"Keep It Together"

Alyssa Monks~ artist

Pamela Wilson ~artist

Women Painting Women

Tracey Harris
"Folding Doilies"

"Women Painting Women" explores "how contemporary women painters are handling women as subjects. The blog was founded by Sadie Valeri, with co-founders Alia El-Bermani and Diane Feissel."
Enjoy the wealth of beautiful imagery and talent of these female painters.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

She Flies Alone Series

Here is one of my more recent "balloon"paintings from my series: "She Flies Alone." It is unfinished and untitled.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Artistic Inspiration: Pamela Wilson

There are artists who inspire by their sheer genius, unique vision and talent. Pamela Wilson is one of those gifted artists. Read this recent article form the Ramshacle Review to gain a glimpse into the magical creations of this gifted painter. I am awed and inspired.
"Feathered Hopes and Intriguing Dreams"...
Antechamber of Regret
Pamela Wilson

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Upcoming Exhibits

Art Connections 7
January 18-February 19, 2011
Montclair State University
George Segal Gallery
1 Normal Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07043

Juried exhibit
Accepted for display and sale:
"In A Boy's Dream"
24" x 24" oil on wood

Inspired by an image of my beautiful nephew, Brady Estelle.
For commissioned custom children's portraits , please contact me through my website or on Facebook.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tell Me A Story: "I Don't Really Want To Be The Queen"

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The "Tell Me A Story" series is an ongoing group of images inspired by my daughter Christina, who when she was little would insist that I repeatedly tell her stories. She was fascinated with stories about my childhood, her childhood and about the lives of those she loved. After years of hearing my tales, complete with exaggeration , altered details and added fictional embellishments to save myself from the monotony, it became difficult to distinguish between reality and the imaginary.These paintings have a more illustrative and narrative quality than my typical works and are wrought with symbolism. Dandelion dreams, buttercups,a marriage of interior and exterior, are symbolic elements that support the elusive nature of this visual tale. Every component of my paintings, every stroke, sequence of numbers and letters...matters...or does it? Tell me your story....my paintings reveal mine.


When I create, it is from my heart. My work has been criticized as overly sentimental , intense, haunting and "feminine." Somehow that is a compliment because I myself have been "characterized" using those same descriptors. I paint who I am and how I feel. I don't know any other way. Taste in art is obviously very subjective ,as is taste in anything. I hope that others appreciate my work ,but am not offended when they do not or cannot.

Recently I received a request for permission to post my work and words on another blog, Artodyssey.It is a beautiful site featuring a compilation of artist's biographies, exhibits, articles and works. Through it I discovered the creations of many artists like myself who create in response to the fragility,beauty,pain,hope and promise of a more universal, yet intimate, human experience. I was especially moved by the images of the Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado. He states, "What I want is the world to remember the problems and the people I photograph. What I want is to create a discussion about what is happening around the world and to provoke some debate with these pictures. Nothing more than this. I don't want people to look at them and appreciate the light and the palate of tones. I want them to look inside and see what the pictures represent, and the kind of people I photograph."
Just one example of the powerful images created by Sebastiao Salgado

It is an honor to be included on this site amongst so many "colleagues" that create with similar passion and purpose. Art is an extension of the individual who creates it but, when shared, it has the power to forge connections, impact change, reveal beauty and give voice to concepts and situations that might otherwise go unnoticed. Please visit http://artodyssey1.blogspot.com/ . I hope that you discover, "notice" and appreciate our work.Thank you again to Art Odyssey Jazz for generously sharing.

"May you always see the beauty in the world around you, especially when it seems most difficult to find. It is there..." In recent months, I have ceased creating and myself have struggled to see the "beauty" but it is in abundance and surrounds us. At times we need friends, old and new, to remind us to open our eyes wide and SEE what is right before us. It is there. It is within us. Peace and love, Jude

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.~ Albert Einstein

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In Process: The Red Shoe Series: Masked

Me with three paintings from my recent series: The Red Shoes:Masked.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Please Join Me:

The Guild of Creative Arts~Broad St.~Shrewsbury~juried show...
Sunday October 3, 2010
2 pm-5 pm
I have 3 works exhibited and for purchase! See you there!
Jude oxox

Follow Up:
I am very honored to have received the award for "First Place: Excellence in Painting". It was actually for a previously painted work, finished over three years ago entitled: "Fly: Catcher of Dreams." This composition was one of my first completed works after not having painted for nearly 20 years. It masks many failed efforts beneath the highly textured surface and was nearly abandoned and scrapped. The pleasure and learning really are in the process. The true "value" of the art, was in the experience and creation of it. Thank you again to the assistant curator from the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum of Rutgers University and to the co-curators and judges of the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, NJ for recognizing my efforts.

Taking Off the Mask: The Red Shoe Series

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. ~Bruce Barton

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Red Shoe Series (detail in process)

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  ~Plato

Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Shoes series: "Masked" in Process

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. ~ Jim Morrison
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Einstein.....This is among my favorite quotes. Lately, during a time of tremendous transition, I have begun to reread words that I have found meaningful and inspirational. I am reminded of how self-"delusion" confines and confuses.

Self ~ Letting Go

Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go. -- Sylvia Robinson
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." ~Lao Tzu

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Removing the Mask: The Red Shoe Series

"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."

~James Baldwin

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Red Shoes:My Struggle for Self Acceptance

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." ~Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905

My recent series , "The Red Shoes" explores my struggle for self acceptance and my recent discovery of my strength as a woman and as an artist. For most of my life, I deliberately masked my femininity in an effort to seek invisibility. At nearly 47, the mask is off .

There is a power in owning one's femininity.I am writing about this subject in greater depth .The red shoes are purely symbolic and will be gifted immediately to my daughter who will be much more comfortable in wearing them. Feminine accoutrements are not my style although I appreciate them on others. I own two dresses and one set of heels ,all of which I could do without. Jeans and tees suit me fine. Again, the "red shoes" are symbolic for women being comfortable in their own skin. I was raised to believe vanity was a sin...physical beauty was superficial and yet as an artist I am consumed by the physical and the visual. Physical beauty is a gift that can be taken away at any moment, but it is a worthwhile gift all the same. It forces me to pause, as I would for a spectacular sunset, an autumnal tree aflame with warm colors or a child's face. I stop, awed with wonder and admiration because beauty is fleeting and that is why it is all the more precious.

However, with maturity,I have learned to value a more genuine beauty  that often lies beneath....beauty not so easily seen ,but deeper, richer and everlasting. The women and men that I love most, possess great passion, intelligence , kindness and a sense of purpose that make them truly beautiful.There is no denying however, in this world, that physical beauty,for it's own sake, is obsessively valued.Women especially ,I feel , become more attractive and sensual with age. They should be celebrated as such. I intend to celebrate them and explore in greater depth physical, spiritual and intellectual beauty and their inextricable connection to oneanother.
"To me the definition of true masculinity - and femininity, too - is being able to lay in your own skin comfortably. " ~Vincent D'Onofrio

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves. ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Be A Servant to the Pursuit of Wisdom"

"You don't stop doing things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing things."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Think Different

"Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Believe In Your Dreams

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”Shel Silverstein

Imagine if from the time we were little, we were encouraged to fearlessly and passionately follow our dreams! I think that pure magic and love would happen! Dream huge!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Creative Mind

 I am an unabashedly passionate artist! At times I feel that I overwhelm or neglect those who might misunderstand or underestimate my desire to create. I  NEED and love to paint.There is no option! It is only during the creative process that I feel most at peace with who I am.~ It is when I feel most ALIVE!

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him...
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating." - Pearl Buck

Friday, June 11, 2010

For Jane: Creating a Commission

My recent commission was thankfully well received! It was a gift for a friend, requested by her husband in celebration of their wedding anniversary. The text, numbers and motifs are symbolic elements that reflect Jane's life and the lives of those she loves most! The concept was inspired by my former "Fly" paintings that always feature a child, blowing a breath of inspiration.These works are about the value of love and care throughout our lives and the role they play on directing our path to self discovery . When inspired with love and compassion, we are gifted with the unwaivering belief that failure is not an option as we confidently pursue our dreams. It was a rewarding experience to successfully capture the very personal and intimate vision of someone elses life story. Jane cried. That was a beautiful and heartfelt compliment!
Happy Anniversary Jane!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


If I sat to write all of the ways in which my life has been "unfolding" and changing in the past several years, I could seriously create an interesting novel. After years of seeking comfort, prompted mostly by fear, insecurity and misunderstanding, I now crave change. I ache for it. Prepared or not, I realize that it is only through change, great or small, that I will become who I am meant to me.I can't accomplish that bound by the mental confines that I constructed in the past. Really what is the worst that can happen? Failure, poverty,abandonment, loneliness? These really are not options in my world:)  What if change means abundance, wealth, community, acceptance and love? I believe it does and will.
So, my path is slow, but steady . Perhaps I am idealistic, unrealistic, even crazy to surrender stability. I'm just embracing the unexpected and welcoming the previously uninvited. Have I been painting? Not much ...but I'm forever painting in my mind. I know that when I put brush to canvas...soon....very soon, I'm gonna' make magic. Life feels magical at this moment for no reason other than I am letting go of my own fears. One of my treasured friends always reminds me that pain, fear, failure becomes only as important as one makes it....it is the way in which you react to it and "hold it" that matters. I am holding my fears with gentleness and respect...they are certainly not gone... but I am ready to set them aside so that I can move, grow, and Fly.
I wish I could reveal  some greater purpose to which I aspire. Hmmm...I actually can't . Painting is it! My joy, my future, my objective... is to create art that is "authentic" and that matters to me. I think it will be meaningful to others as well. I want to share my heart and my work fearlessly. I'm not there yet. I have to be mindful of my present life and of those I love but they love me enough to know that change will do me good:)
So that's all I got. Perhaps not much to anyone other than myself but there is freedom in understanding and knowing myself and my weaknesses. For others, I may never be enough, give enough, produce enough, be smart or beautiful or talented enough.It matters more that I think I am "enough." Shhh.... although I think at times I'm "too much" for some:)
Hold your fears gently and dare to fly. Make it magical and meaningful! Welcome to Judy's world:)

Please Join Me at the Howland Cultural Center May 1st, 2010 !

You are invited to the opening of The World of Artists, featuring members of The National Association of Women Artists. I will be exhibiting two of my works.
My painting ,Fear, will be available for purchase. It is 2' x' 2' ,oil and silver leaf on canvas, mounted to a wood panel. The image is framed with hammered aluminum.

Please join us in beautiful Beacon, NY for this event!
Howland Cultural Center

477 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508-3305
(845) 831-4988 

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” Fulton Oursler

Wind Water Oil Fire Art Exhibit and Panel Discussion

"Fly: Breathe", is one of five of my works that will be exhibited and that will be available for purchase at the Wind Water Oil Fire exhibit. It opens today at 3 pm in Red Bank, New Jersey at the Red Bank Community Church.

Although my works are not "religious" in content, they are certainly spiritual. My "Fly" paintings continue to attract recognition from those groups who value the inherent symbolism in these works....love,inspiration and acceptance. Although my recent paintings are somewhat different, I have readdressed the "Fly" concept and imagery upon request and realized that I can take this concept even further. My subjects often include children that I love, both in beauty and spirit, who share a "breath of inspiration" in an effort to encourage love and celebration of ones uniqueness and the strength to persist and believe in a greater purpose .

May you always see beauty in the world around you:) Fly!

For more information regarding the exhibit, please visit the link below.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Balloon Series: She Flies Alone

I continue to work on this series of paintings which will be featured in an upcoming exhibit. They are still in process and progress and I am loving creating them. As always, I have an abundance of other ideas but cherish these small works....all 12" x 12" because they are so near and dear to my heart. Although seemingly "dark", they are wonderfully uplifting to me on a personal level and mark a great transition in my work and my thought. I tend to be misunderstood but trust that they are works that celebrate growth, confidence and self discovery. I must put these aside to finish a more traditional and much larger portrait commission but there are certainly more balloons that will take flight. Stylized,sentimental,autobiographical? Yes, yes and yes!
View my balloon series album on Facebook.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Fine Art of Not Knowing

Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, S. James Gates, Jr., and Freeman Dyson discusses science, human knowledge and the unknown...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Balloon Series: She Flies Alone

I am a little obsessed with the notion of "flying." It is an amazing concept and symbolic of varying states of mind and being. What child doesn't imagine being able to fly at will, effortlessly soaring high in the sky?To "fly" simultaneously implied freedom, breaking away and escaping.I developed an uncanny ability as a kid, in a very noisy and often violent environment, to emotionally remove myself from the existing situation by flying. Well not actually flying of course, but I could disconnect emotionally and physically it seemed, at will. It was through my art and through music that I found my greatest solace. The problem is, that it took me a long while to realize that as I was fleeting and fleeing, protecting and avoiding, I was also escaping the "good stuff"...the love, the care, the beauty and the joy.

It is still through my art that I experience the feeling of flight but it is no longer solely as a means of escape:) It is a much more positive and meditative exercise.To fly, is to succeed, explore and dare to live. For me it has become synonymous with awakening to my true self. When we discover and foster our life's purpose, our abilities and passions,we are destined to "fly." I paint. It is my purpose to create. Often it is because of our own fears that we stay grounded and still. I can't seem to stay very still these days:)

The balloon series was inspired by an email  that I received while staying in NYC this summer. The story is lengthy but truly symbolic and inspiring. I'll save it for another time and share it as these paintings progress. I love the idea that balloons float, hover, and soar. They possess a simple but fleeting beauty. If you liken them to people, and this is key to my work, you have to hold on tightly and protect them, in order to enjoy these ethereal, fragile and momentary treasures. I deemed one of my friends, my big fat green balloon who I try to handle not too tightly but with great care:) There's more to come. Wildflowers, balloons and shhhhh! slides and swings! Awesome!
Jude Harzer Fine Art 2010
Jude Harzer Fine Art 2010
Jude Harzer Fine Art 2010
And just because I love this song and listened to it as I painted these images:
Keep it real:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fly Away

Jude Harzer Fine Art 2-23-10
Fly Away

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I have an upcoming exhibit that I am curating. It is about "love." Actually it is about passion and dreams which seems inextricably connected to my definition of love. A core body of work that will be featured are my "Wildflower" paintings....all very much in progress and process. Reflecting upon the essence of these works, I want to convey on some level the awesome beauty of that which grows freely and how it relates to the human spirit. True love and "wild" passion for others, for ideas, for work,for a purpose,for freedom... have a great deal to do with persistence, an indomitable spirit,and a strength of mind in the face of resistance. It also involves forgiveness, patience and adaptability.At heart, we are all wildflowers but often our growth is limited by both internal and external forces.As we mature, we hopefully identify these boundaries and realize that they are superficial and that we are mostly bound by our own thoughts and fears.

Two weeks ago when my daughter departed for Australia for 6 months, there were people who, prompted by "love" and concern ,shared with her a host of reasons why she SHOULD reconsider her choice of destination: distance, money,inaccessibility,insects and snakes(okay that may have been me but this kid has life threatening allergies):) I asked her to think about and believe in why she SHOULD go rather than the should not's and to think about whether or not she would regret not going based on the fears and misconceptions of others. She packed her bags and arrived in Brisbaine alone with no housing, no group program, no friends or contacts:) She loves it.She has met people from all over the world. She secured a youth hostel room until she signs a lease for a home that she found on her own.She begins her studies at the university today. Imagine if we all lived expecting to succeed and blossom. Christina is my "Wildflower" and I have a whole lotta people in my life that share that some wonderful spirit as well. We all have the potential to grow and become our own unique, abundant and beautiful selves! Yikes! I get excited!

So here is an idea for a painting that I know I will create. I drew it early this morning using charcoal on primed cardboard. It was an unexpected image but it represents all those lovely, free thinking, unique spirits that cannot and will not be subdued:) Grow, Tia, grow!

in·dom·i·ta·ble/ɪnˈdɒmɪtəbəl/[in-dom-i-tuh-buhl] –adjective
that which cannot be subdued or overcome, as persons, will, or courage; unconquerable

Saturday, February 20, 2010


"I'm ready now to fly from the highest tree...." P. Ahn

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Awaken Poppy So That You May "See!"

Have patience with me! It seems as though my art is as erratic and varied as my thoughts and emotions these days. I decided to try my hand at illustration as opposed to creating my "fine art", whatever that means....does it matter? I don't think most people that I know can be defined by a single endeavor ...a sole purpose or profession? Today I was inspired to create an illustration for a children's book. I have had ideas and have actually written ,but not completed, several book concepts. Ah, my usual pattern of behaviour...the incomplete, the unfinished, the rough sketch. If I resolve one of these ideas, I am confident it will move me forward. I am committed to the process . I realize that it is the work that will guide me. My thoughts are abundant but I've decided to attempt to give "life" to even a few...to share them....despite how they may be received.

So I'll introduce you to Pouting Poppy:)   Okay, in all honesty,until today she simply lived in my imagination , actually she didn't exist until I put brush to paper. This is my first attempt at developing her character. A good solid days effort. I like her:) She will undoubtedly evolve... Remember the painting that I scrapped after 30 hours of effort? Well, I tore the gessoed paper in half, rotated it, sanded it, applied an additional ground and voila! Poppy appeared:) I know, crazy huh? I tell my students that artists use their errors...they conceal and alter them...and sometimes they themselves are pleasantly surprised by what results. I know, I know.... one day Lucien Freud for inspiration and the next Stian Hole:)

So here is some "rough" accompanying text for for my new friend. I can imagine my own kids cringing at this moment ,whispering to themselves that Jubraseph has finally gone off the deep end. Actually, I feel as though I am awakening from a deep sleep and seeing myself for the first time. I am learning to appreciate the unexpected.

"Pouting Poppy" illustrations Jude Harzer
 2010 all rights reserved Jude Harzer Fine Art
"Skies of blue....blossoms red,
 Beauty unseen by a heart unfed,
 Poor pouting Poppy... loved ...she would wake,
 To a world of dreams...all hers to take...."
 "Wake Poppy, wake!"

Sheesh I gotta' wake this girl up:) To be continued....
Dave Matthews: Blackbird
And just because ya have to dance after all that painting:):
Crazy In Love

"That she was seeing with different eyes and making the acquaintance of new conditions in herself that colored and changed her environment, she did not yet suspect." Kate Chopin, The Awakening

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love: The Exhibit

Fully Armored  Jude Harzer 2008
I received an inquiry about the exhibit that I plan to curate, inspired by the very powerful and universal experience , we refer to as “Love.” The show is planned to debut in 2011. It is a collaborative effort . My art and the art of others will be enhanced by the writings of a very talented emerging author and compositions by an equally gifted musician. The three are inextricably connected and are necessary in order to fully convey the essence of this exhibit. Art, like love, is multi- sensory and multi faceted.

The idea for this show became clear as I sat outside the home of friend and fellow artist, Carol Saylor this past December. Anyone that dares to spend time with me, knows that the conversation is rarely “light.” .Carol endures my persistent questionings, musings, and pleas for answers regarding life, love, purpose and passion. Carol “knows” life and love. She has suffered great tragedy and pain. Despite premature blindness and deafness during mid life, the loss of a daughter , ( Alice a mother of 3 , in her 30’s) ,to cancer, the death of her husband and so much more, Carol radiates energy, strength and beauty. How and why does anyone navigate this life with persistence and purpose in the face of great pain,loss and failure ? There have been many people who have graced my life who I have witnessed do just that….move forward despite the hard knocks and obstacles, with unusual persistence and vigor. Again I ask "How and why? "

….Always, always, the answer makes a resounding reference to LOVE! Love, passion, hope and a belief in something greater than ourselves, is a powerful motivation that reveals in us strength and greatness beyond our wildest imaginations. And yet, “love”, misunderstood, unexpressed, rejected or absent , has the potential to consume, destroy and diminish. Perhaps this is not love at all, but personal perception is not a tidy and universal process to be defined.

I’m not simply talking about the hearts and roses of romantic love, although that certainly provides a wealth of inspiration. I am referring to the entire spectrum of the experience….the good, the bad, the pure…young love, true love, first love ,mature love, unrequited love….the love of a parent, a friend, a lover, a child. We are often motivated by the love of country, the love of learning, the love of freedom, the love of God , nature and life itself. Is it possible to genuinely and fully love many, or do we reserve our love for a chosen few? Why do we crave , live, die , and pray for it? Unconditional love…does that even exist? And why do we fade in the absence of it? All I know is that love matters and sustains us in times of need. It exposes beauty where there appears to be none . Love makes the seemingly mundane appear extraordinary and unites us in ways that give meaning to our brief moments here in this life.

Another exceptional friend, fellow artist, art historian and educator Trish Maunder, once told me that love is the “stuff’ that inspires all great art .I believe she is right! So as I journey to make sense of it, I have become an observer of this phenomenon and have learned to embrace rather than resist it.Yes, when we expose our hearts, we are left unguarded and more susceptible to pain, tears and potential hurt. But comfortably numb is not living and over time, the pain of regret, is far greater than any love, lost or found.

So this isn’t a Valentine’s exhibition. It is about life, love and inspiration and I am blessed to have plenty of it all! Live and love HUGE!

PS… Dino… the one you love! This one is for you Pork Chop:) See image above for reference. All rights reserved Hanna Barbera.
Check Carol Saylor out on you tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TcJ0KZHIR8&feature=related

Jude, Art and Inspiration