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 17, 2013

Project 365

On November 6th I celebrated my 50 th birthday. In the months prior I began seriously considering the significance of this milestone. A half century of life and experience sounds strange to acknowledge in regard to myself. I remember when I was in high school asking my grandmother who has since passed, if she could "feel" the years and the aging, not on her body but on her mind. She was not much older than I am at the moment.  50 sounded sadly ancient to an anxious sixteen year old. But I was always torturously reflective, sensitive and empathetic in my youth. I was very aware that I would be like her one day and that she had been me...  young, love struck, perhaps passionate, although I think her conservative blue collar Catholic upbringing did not allow for passion of the kind I felt. I desperately needed to know how one gets from point A to point B without transforming into a  stern and worn shadow of their former self. I don't think she ever appreciated my inquiries. They forced her to readdress  choices and regrets. Her response to me: " Life and your body will betray you." I savored these words but knew that somehow I would not surrender to them.

Fast forward more than three decades. Life has happened and my body has changed but neither have betrayed me. I am grateful. The difference between my grandmother and I quite simply is time. I grew up in an era where education, exploration and the power of thought to process experiences was gradually embraced. My life was wrought with challenges...abuse, molestation, my parent's divorce, financial poverty, illnesses, deaths, lost love and more. I didn't always navigate these gracefully but I lived them open eyed , searching for the value and the beauty that lay within or beyond these moments. "This too shall pass," my mother would say. I feel it all passing, the good and the bad. It is as it should be.

So to acknowledge this passage, I will use my art to mark each day of this upcoming year. There are a few things of which I am certain at 50: Always there is beauty of some sort to be found, only I have power to create the life I desire and so very little of the abundance of this world is known by me. I will leave it ignorant but awed.

Project 365 will be comprised of daily sketches or paintings, 5 minutes or 5 hours, of my favorite subject matter: children. There is no real objective other than to persist in practicing my painting despite the busy pace of life. The end result will be a body of work that reminds me that I paused to consider the beauty and that I am participating in life, rather than hiding from it.

I hope that you enjoy my work . I welcome comments and contributions of images of your little ones
Here is a glimpse of Project 365 in process.

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Jude, Art and Inspiration