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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Storm Sandy unleashed her wrath here at the Jersey Shore. Her strength was underestimated and  the aftermath inconceivable. There are no words at the moment so all I can do is paint.Works in progress...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tell Me A Story

We each have a story to share. When repeated to ourselves and others, we not only perpetuate the essence of our past experiences, but we begin to believe that they somehow permanently define who we are and effect what we ultimately become. We often expand upon these personal tales and get stuck in them . We see ourselves as past hurts, lost loves, and failed friendships. Of course others contribute to our stories and those passages are much more difficult to edit or forget. During my recent graduate narrative painting class, I wanted to share the story of someone whom I felt tried with every ounce of her being to rewrite the events of her "past" life. The chapters of her youth are downright painful. Profound sexual , physical and mental abuse would  scar the psyche of just about anyone. My friend Teri is no exception. Her appearance betrays none of the ugliness that pervaded her life for decades. Part mask and part mission, Teri has spent her life furiously trying to shed the harm inflicted upon her and to abandon the  practiced , self imposed belief that somehow, she deserved all that she endured. Sharing the details of her saga would make for interesting and somewhat unfathomable reading but it might unnecessarily compromise the intention of my own work.

Teri bravely gave me permission to share her secrets. Perhaps one day I will. I ache from her story and so I decipher the pain the best way I know how, through my painting.My current work explores the influence of "Legacy", the inherited, shared and often imposed stories from generation to generation, that inextricably infiltrate our very being, with or without our consent. It often takes a lifetime to realize that we ourselves give power to the stronghold of these weights on our soul and psyche and only we can truly unburden and free ourselves from the past. So here I sat with Teri, her daughter Noelle and her grand daughter Zoe, three generations of beautiful women , all impacted by past legacies. As I interviewed Teri, it grew apparent that there was an enormous void caused by one of the most profound and painful chapters of her life.Teri helplessly witnessed the suicide of her 21 year old daughter Mary as she walked  in the path of an oncoming train.  This has become part of their legacy , as individuals, mothers, sisters and daughters. As I worked I wondered how does one refrain from giving power to such pain.There are no words, no right way, no time frame, no magic mode for healing.

These works are inspired by Teri, her daughters , Noelle and Mary and granddaughter, Zoe. They celebrate their legacy.

Legacy: On the Backs of Their Mothers

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Strength and Wisdom: Knowing

Knowing: Zoe oil on canvas Jude Harzer 2012

Knowing: Savka: "dedicated and brave" inspired by photograph of artist Natalija Mijatovic 

Knowing series oil on canvas oil on canvaas 2012
It was Aristotle who said that knowing ourselves is the beginning of all wisdom. My current work continues to explore feminine strength and resiliency but also the knowing of self that results from life experience. One does not have to be aged to possess wisdom, although grace in maturity is often evidence that the individual has learned a thing or two about how to navigate this life . It requires mastery of mind, strength of spirit, flexibility and a whole lot of letting go. But curiously, children often exude this same inner fortitude and awareness. In youth , some have been challenged to tap into those internal reserves that protect and preserve them from moment to moment. They exhibit a quietness and composure that reminds us that they are witnessing , constantly observing and learning.... They see and know based on how they are made to feel and how they perceive the business of life and the reactions and patterns of behavior of their elders to it.So my new work will celebrate the seers and knowers, whatever the age, because in exploring them, I am reminded how very little I know about myself ...how fabulously  foolish and flawed. ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Contrary to what some people may believe, creating  art is more about discipline, time and practice than it is about talent and inspiration. I have the privilege of having access to some amazing professors at the Savannah College of Art and Design who are guiding me as I desperately try to paint, learn and improve. It helps to borrow the eyes and minds of other artists as I complete my first full year of graduate school. The goal is to finish before I am 50. Hmmm....I am on track. Fingers crossed! Here is some of the work that I have produced during the past 3 weeks of summer study at SCAD.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Copper Frog Studio and Gallery

I am so grateful and honored to have been invited to exhibit my work at The Copper Frog Studio and Gallery in Allentown, New Jersey. I am a 1981 graduate of the nearby Allentown High School, home of the Redbirds! It feels like coming home!

Owned and operated by the very talented and renowned visual artist Ericka, O'Rourke, the Copper Frog will open in September of 2012.
will coincide with the  Allentown Annual Fall Festival, 
October 13th & 14th 2012
9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday
The Copper Frog Studio & Gallery
42 South Main St
@ The Old Mill
Historic Allentown, NJ 08501

Please mark your calendars and join us to celebrate the revitalization of downtown Allentown and the opening of this quality art establishment. Visit the website for information regarding artists, purchases and events.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June: The Gift of Ruins

June is here. Summer sun, creating in my studio in Savannah, daydreaming and designing my new life and wondering where it will lead...where I will live ...and how it will impact my work.
I am not fearful...well maybe just a little. I am excited by the potential and possibilities of it all.I am ridding of the guilt associated with letting go of my old life.

My niece shared this with me: “A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it along with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor...how could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” Elizabeth Gilbert

Ruin is a gift. June is here. Change will come.


                 In order to proceed with my graduate studies at Savannah College of Art and Design I had to pass the initial review.  Trucking two dozen of my most recent works in a cargo van with my suite mate from Connecticut, Jessica, I presented my art before a panel of three professors. It was exhausting but valuable. The process forced me to focus and to thoughtfully regard the relevance of my work.I passed, with the help of very dear friends who helped hang, measure and level work. My summer studies will bring even greater change. I was encouraged to break rules , paint the darkness and quiet the voices that promote comfort, acceptance and safety. Shhhh!!!!" Faint not!" (note to self)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time Well Spent

When I have an uninterrupted hour,deciding how to use it is easy. My preferred activity is painting . It is my passion, my meditation ,my means of navigating this world. Here is evidence of one hour last night, well spent.

Teri and Zoe

Everyone has a story . As I continue to explore my two painted series,  "On Top of My Head" and "Child's Play" ,I am looking to individuals who have powerful personal tales of pain and persistence from their childhood as subject matter. I want to know how these experiences shaped their life, impacted their relationships and influenced who they are at this moment . Although I am not at liberty to fully divulge their stories, the women whom I select to paint have emerged from horrors that are difficult to fathom and yet they have emerged with hope ,passion and formidable strength.

The following are recent works all in process. Teri and her grand daughter Zoe inspire me on many levels .It is a story of a young girl's struggle to maintain her spirit, sanity and safety in the face of unspeakable abuses . It is the tale of her efforts to protect her children and grandchild from the same...a true love story.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On Top Of My Head

10 years ago, while a passenger driving to Florida on vacation, I began a children's book for Christina and Robert entitled: On Top of My Head. I have revised ,edited and abandoned it multiple times. I had no idea that nearly a decade later, the title would take on new meaning...and would inspire a series of paintings. I didn't even paint at that time or believe I ever would. So now I am revisiting the book and paintings to illustrate it...for Christina and Robert...On Top of My Head .

You're Invited to Visit My New Website

Graduate school has created new connections, work and possibilities for major changes in my life.My return to Savannah is just months away. I am working on a  website that features my newest work created specifically for graduate projects. I invite you to view my art and share your thoughts.

With much gratitude,

Moment of Truth  Jude Harzer Fine Art 2012 oil on aluminum plate


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Progress: On Top of My Head

Maintaining balance in life is key. Physical, psychological and emotional balance...moderation in most things,  is desirable. But of course this is also unrealistic and idealistic. At any given moment, added pressure and weight , the unforeseen and unexpected, threatens  to topple our steadiness and stability. So we readjust our stance. We shift and redistribute the weight and sometimes we change, trying once more to  keep centered and hold on. I believe the solution sometimes is to simplify, release and lessen the load. It takes strength to admit weakness and weary.

Here's my recent progress: On Top of My Head.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Change: On Top Of My Head

Life itself  is change. It is inevitable. We struggle to preserve and protect what is and what was. Our minds grow attached to the comfortable and familiar, the safe and the sound. I only know that for me, decades of holding on have left me in a place of fear, anxiety and discontent. I lay awake rationalizing my life and my choices, all of which have led to a lovely state of being....quiet, secure but very alone. "Get a life right?" "Quit the complaining!" "Have a grateful heart and stop the self centered babble!" I mentally scolded myself for years with these reprimands. But the gnawing desire to leave, to do more and be more, to find like minds in work and in my heart persists and paralyzes. So change is due. It is now. It is terrifying because those I love most, now know what plagues my heart and mind and they are waiting. My change will be theirs as well.

On Top of My Head is a series of paintings that I will continue to develop, inspired by my Child's Play work. Within them I explore the idea of self imposed mental clutter that creates an emotional and psychological weight .These burdens, both real and imagined, threaten to crush the spirit. I am not here to lecture or solve or reflect on how to make change. I do that with myself in every waking moment it seems. I just know that leaving means changing and changing requires unloading the heaviness. I can't run and fly with all of this extra weight. And now to decide...where the heck am I going...I believe post grad school, will take me to where my art and the art of others surrounds me daily, where my heart is understood.This requires   painting and more painting to get me where I want to be! (Oh and welding, I need to know how to weld !) x

On Top of My Head....some new images in process:

All images are copyrighted by Jude Harzer Fine Art and CRO Designs 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Child's Play

Simplicity is necessary this year in order to focus on refining ideas and producing a finished body of work that I intend to exhibit. Child's Play, On Top of My Head and other series of paintings are becoming inextricably connected as a cohesive unit of thought and art. Graduate school has helped me to consider more thoughtfully what the heck I'm trying to do here and why:) I am confident in the value of my work. I have a lot more to say. So this year I will make it matter and share it.
During my short hiatus from school, I struggled with a few new images.I continue to paint my way to my dreams and remind myself daily that the joy, the inspiration, the promise and hope, are in the process. I am awake so as not to miss it.
Here are a few recent explorations...all related to the Child's Play concept.
Child's Play: Awake Jude Harzer Fine Art 2012
detail Child's Play: Awake Jude Harzer Fine Art 2012
Child's Play: Wisdom Jude Harzer Fine Art 2012
Child's Play: In My Arms Jude Harzer Fine Art 2012

A Belated New Year Wish...

I crave the art of writers who expertly string together words ,capable of evoking emotion and empathy , capable of challenging thought or inspiring imagery. I sometimes share their text because they so adequately mirror my own mind and heart. The simplicity and purity of author Neil Gaiman's wishes for the New Year, are so perfectly enough:) Happy 2012. May you make magic and surprise yourself!
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ― Neil Gaiman

Jude, Art and Inspiration