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, 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. ~Fran├žois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Jude, Art and Inspiration