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

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!

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Jude, Art and Inspiration