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 20, 2011

Child's Play: Protector

Who better to protect a child than one who has survived and strengthened?
“It's the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”
― Frank Warren
The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. ... Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for.”
― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Moving Forward: Child's Play

I officially completed my second term of graduate school this past week. There were moments that felt downright frustrating and overwhelming. I contemplated terminating my registration in the program but I was reminded quite frequently by friends and by my own incessant thoughts, as to why I must persist. I am moving forward...in life, in art, in living out loud! My classes at the Savannah College of Art and Design have been unexpectedly challenging but incredibly rewarding. I realized how much I have to learn about the discipline I most love... all of the theory, criticism, and formal elements of art are still swirling in my brain .It seriously made me think hard about my own work and its place in the contemporary art world! I intend to make my way.

So in my painting class, I continued to explore the concept of "Child's Play," as inspiration for symbolic visual, multi-figure narratives. I'm basically telling stories that address the importance of role playing among children as a vehicle for self exploration, understanding and self expression. My work is very personal and is intended to convey a sense of familiarity, comfort and intimacy. I believe our greatest inheritance as artists is our life
experience and personal history. I have drawn upon my own discovery of art and imaginative play as a way of making sense of traumatic and disturbing occurrences in childhood that shaped who I am and how I think. My intent however is to feature children who exhibit strength, resilience and who utilize creativity to cope and thrive.

My work incorporates themes of danger, concealment, vulnerability, protection and unification. There is reoccurring symbolism which includes the headwear, the flamingo and barbed wire .I will work to further expand this symbolic visual language and a more defined cast of characters relevant to the theme of the ritual of play and the protection of children.

The works of narrative painter Paula Rego , photographer Sally Mann and outside artist, Henry Darger, have significantly influenced my recent artistic intent and desired aesthetic using children as my primary subject matter. All create provocative imagery with psychological and symbolic underlying content.

So these images are reflective of my recent efforts in Painting I at SCAD. I am moving forward and not looking back!

" Oriah Mountain Dreamer, L'Invitation"

“It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
― Oriah Mountain Dreamer, L'Invitation

Jude, Art and Inspiration