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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tell Me A Story

Again I am readdressing past work. We are often encouraged to learn from and leave behind yesterday. "What is done is done!" they say..."Move on!" But I'm not done! My work is about all of me...all of my yesterdays, my nows and my tomorrows. It is my story and we each have one! I am shaped by what was, but not defined by it. I love my memories...the good and the not so great:) Some of my most negative experiences, my aches and pains, my losses, and failures, have been the greatest catalysts for making positive change and growth. They have informed me about myself...what I want and don't want, what I expect and what I wish to become.My daughter, from the time she was little would say, "Mommy, tell me a story." I began a series of paintings years ago, entitled just that.

"Tell Me A Story."A lot can be learned from knowing intimately, the "his/her" story of an individual. What makes them tick? What inspires them to greatness or causes them to retreat into solitude? Why and how do they choose love or not to love? What are their passions? What is their greatest loss? Who? What? Why? When? Where? I want to know!!! And others prefer not to know at all. Anonymity and disconnection abounds. I get it! Does it matter really? To me, it does...witnessing a persons life and seeing beyond the facade...it motivates my heart, my work, my spirit.

So several years ago, I began a stream of consciousness piece to explore my story. When I am unfocused, the intent was to redirect my thoughts into a work that simply explores my current state of mind with no intention about the end result...individual patterns,memories,text and imagery interwoven to create a whole. In some ways it is meditative, like a linear labyrinth...turning and twisting back into itself to restore calm. I do envision an organic piece, one  that transforms in shape, scale and media. It will be textured, intricate,erratic,freely hanging,delicately bound by thread and wire and unbound by frame. It will be my story and for once I understand that it is all my own!

Awake and Dreaming

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
"Awake and Dreaming " oil and mixed media on recycled wood Jude Harzer Fine Art
detail     "Awake and Dreaming"
I began this painting while in New York City at the School of Visual Arts in the summer of 2009. That was a wonderful and life altering experience for me, having returned to school at nearly 46 years of age to devote my efforts exclusively to my art. The program lasted only 5 weeks, but it was an intensive period of time during which I immersed myself in my thoughts and my painting. When I returned home, I was very aware of the changes that had occurred around and within me. Imagine how noticeable the transformation would be if you hadn't seen a small child for a year! The changes would be monumental and immediately apparent! Mine were undeniably huge! The greatest challenge was in determining how to reconnect and assimilate back into my daily life where the people I most loved, existed and thrived. One of my best friends advised me to paint my way to where I wished to be.This was invaluable advice but not always easy to follow because the realization was that where I am going, those I love might not care to follow. I have struggled these past few years to remain sensitive to the idea that they didn't expect or invite these changes.I even surrendered myself to the notion of "staying put", convincing myself that my "selfishness" and restlessness could be remedied by altering my thoughts and perceptions...Hmmm...I failed at that endeavor!

Because, move forward I must.....We are designed for change and growth, however difficult it might be.This summer I will once again have time to fully dedicate to my art as I begin  graduate school .I am approaching this experience with more confidence and receptivity to change. During the past two years, I have grown bolder, braver,kinder and more patient. I have become a BELIEVER and  I am certain my work will reflect who and what I am...an artist:) Change is good!
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. " ~Anatole France

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grace in Letting Go

Self: oil on recycled canvas...in process..."Letting Go."
April's Love

Jude, Art and Inspiration