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

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

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Join Me as I Explore Street Art from Bristol to Berlin!

I have been absent from blogging for quite awhile! I'm Jude Harzer...a painter, educator , Mom of 2 adult children and a passionate seeker of the creative and curious!

I'm packing to prepare for my European excursion to document street art and public works from Bristol to Berlin. Thanks so much to Fund for Teachers for supporting this initiative. As an FFT Fellow, I will share my experiences and new discoveries throughout the next three weeks and upon my return, right here. I hope you will follow me as I wander and learn. My intention is to guide my students at Brick Memorial High School, in my new Mural Painting class this autumn, to create their own public works to benefit the entire school community. I hope that my stories, images and experiences will inspire them through their process.

I am beyond excited! I invite you all to come away with me!

Me in my studio July 18, 2019. Time to set my work aside 
and wander to discover new artists, paintings and places. 
Large scale public works differ from more intimate personal
studio painting in that it attracts a community, commands attention,
and invites immediate interaction and commentary!
photograph by Andrea Nardozza

Thank you Fund for Teachers for awarding me a
fellowship to explore, learn and to enrich both my own
and my student's creative experiences. 

And here are a few useful resources for teachers and art appreciators alike. 
Let's start in Bristol!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

To Elsewhere and Back: Beginning Again

So I had every intention of maintaining my blog and sharing my past year's excursion, out west and back...to the Elsewhere Art Residency in Paonia, Colorado , the Rensing Center in Pickens, South Carolina and then to teach a mixed media summer session at Savannah College of Art and Design. I posted excerpts of happenings and work as they occurred last year but felt hard pressed to stay in the moment rather than record in words and images a daily journal. There are moments I wish I had as upon returning, after six months gone, it immediately felt like a distant memory....as though it hadn't happened.

But I did go, return and resume life here in New Jersey, which by the way, is quite amazing. It is only now , as I settle in to a new year, nearly 12 months to the date of my departure, that  I am able to reflect and fully appreciate all that transpired and how much has actually changed. Best of all is that I met incredible people and made an abundance of new work that I intend to share in a solo exhibit entitled "Elsewhere". (information to follow)

And so in an attempt to reconnect here with fellow artists and friends, I am posting some of my most recent projects and exhibits! It is also a reminder to myself to press on...


Monmouth Museum 36th Annual Juried Art Exhibition.

Jude Harzer Juror's award....so honored
Seriously an unexpected honor to be awarded the Juror's award! Very grateful!
Hope to see you!
Prince Street Gallery
7th National Juried Exhibition
Juror: Robert Berlind
January 27 through February 21, 2015
Opening Reception:...

Saturday, January 31, 3 - 6 pm Gallery Hours: 11 - 6 pm Tuesday - Saturday
Lipscomb Gallery at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities  
Fall 14: Artists of The Rensing Center — at Lipscomb Gallery at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
November 10- December 4, 2014 
The Lipscomb Gallery welcomes the final show of 2014 with Natural Wonder: Artists of The Rensing Center. This is a group exhibition of current and past artists-in-residence at The Rensing Center located in Pickens, SC.
Artist and Rensing Director Ellen Kochansky curated the show, bringing together works that span a variety of materials but all linked by the Rensing experience. A gallery talk will be held on Thursday, November 13, at 4:30 p.m., with the show open from November 10 through December 4.
Selected artists: Adrienne Antonson, Ali Aschman, Molly Aubry, Amelie Beaudroit, Dylan Critchfield-Sales, Shelby Davis, Ryan Finnerty, Jude Harzer, Alyson Highsmith, Ellen Kochansky, Evelyn Rensing Kochansky, Colette Lucas, Drew Matott and Margaret Mehan, Anna Lena Phillips, Jennifer Rabin, and Crystal Schenk.


WORKSHOP WITH JUDE HARZER : The Expressive Portrait


I am excited, nervous and honored to be teaching a workshop "The Expressive Portrait" at the Franciscan Life Process !
Thank you to the very gracious Kathleen Bechtel for the invite!

I hope that you will join me! I can promise you great energy, attention, experience, stories and of course a glimpse into my process  that hopefully might benefit yours! Please feel free to share this link to my event!

Workshop date: Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 3:00 PM (EDT)
Lowell, MI The Franciscan Life Process Center

Workshop Schedule:

Daily 9:00 am -4:00 pm
Break: 12 - 12:30

Day 1: Introductions, Presentation, Materials and Painting Demonstration,  Establishing an Underpainting and Color Palette Selection to infer mood, Studio Time, Individual assistance to participants.

Day 2: Brief group morning critique (idea sharing), Demonstration, Studio Time, Individual Assistance, Effectively integrating mixed media and refining the overpainting.

Day 3: Morning discussion aimed toward resolving the expressive portrait, Studio time, Individual assistance, Concluding critique.

Please feel free to write with any questions prior to the workshop to ensure your comfort in feeling prepared.
Hope to hear from you and that you will join me!








Monday, February 3, 2014

My MFA Thesis Exhibit

Yesterday, I officially concluded the necessary requirements to complete my MFA degree in Painting  from the Savannah College of Art and Design with my culminating thesis exhibit held at the Ocean County Artists' Guild in Island Heights, NJ. It was an exceptional day attended by incredibly supportive family, friends, students and colleagues.

So today begins a new phase in my life. I have taken a leave from my job. For a "moment" I am not restricted by the typical structure and daily obligations that have defined my days and years. All there is...is me and the motivation and discipline to move forward and paint. But today I just feel like reading a book that I received, For The Benefit Of Those Who See by Rosemary Mahoney. It has great personal relevance that I will share at a later time.

Here are some images from my thesis exhibit! Enjoy and thank you!
my thesis exhibit

To view images from the show on Facebook click HERE!

Jude Harzer Thesis Exhibit Feb. 2, 2014 Ocean County Artists' Guild
photograph by David Steele

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Photography As Reference and Inspiration

As a pre-teen, I taught myself how to draw the human face and figure by pouring over Seventeen Magazine advertisements featuring Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs and the apparel sections of the voluminous annual  Sears Christmas catalogue.  Basically, I used whatever visual references were available and trust me, there weren't many. On butcher's paper that I "borrowed" from my Mom's kitchen, I  made detailed and time consuming pencil studies of eyes, faces and torsos. Substrates were limited as well and so I carefully rolled out several feet of this clean white surface onto the crowded floor of a bedroom I shared with my two sisters and then would spend hours looking and copying without any regard for rules or technique. I just felt the need to draw people, particularly kids, and as I recall, my five siblings were not the most stationary subject matter . I made work and either discarded it or tucked it safely under my bed. I was more interested in learning and improving than sharing my art.

Since then of course, I have had the experience of drawing from life using a model . It is an invaluable resource that has enriched my work but it is not always convenient or affordable. So photographs are my "go to" for subject references, made even more accessible by the immediacy of digital photography and top notch editing programs. I encourage my students to use every resource possible but not to rely on any one of  them exclusively. They are simply" tools" that when paired with the experience, knowledge, skill and imagination of the artist, can strengthen and inform their work. There is no magical singular solution or "way." I only know what I feel works for me and that is what I share but always with the willingness to try alternate methods and new materials.

During the past two years I have been teaching basic Digital Photography and Photoshop editing at the high school level . I had no prior experience and had to learn along with my class.  It has significantly impacted my own way of "seeing" and has exposed me to the works of some masterful contemporary photographers who create imagery that seems as precious to me as the finest oil paintings on Belgian linen. These artists happen to all be women.  They capture the human form while telling some underlying and often thought provoking story, whether or not that was their intention. Intensely captivating children are featured as subject for a few of them. I am drawn to them. I hope that my paintings share a similar sensibility. So I thought I'd share the excellence of their work.

I was asked why I don't just make photos. Because when I paint, I am aware how much I love the process , the error  and the evidence of my very own fumbling marks when using pigment .

Here are a few of my favorite photographers:
1. Sally Mann
Sally Mann
b. 1951 Lexington, Va.
 2.Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman
 b. 1958-1981 Denver, CO
3. Diana Arbus

Diane Arbus
b. 1923-1971 New York , NY
4. Loretta Lux
Loretta Lux
b. 1969 Dresden


5. Deborah Parkin
Deborah Parkin

7. Tierney Gearon
Tierney Gearon
b.  1963 Atlanta, GA   

Sunday, January 12, 2014


This painting, entitled Progeny is part of my White Rabbit, White Rabbit: Rituals of Painting, Progeny and Play exhibit. It can be viewed at the Ocean County Artist's Guild at 22 Chestnut Ave, Island Heights, NJ from February 2-26, 2014. Please join me for the opening reception Feb. 2 between 1-4 pm at this location. http://ocartistsguild.org/
Progeny  oil on wood 30 x 30 2013 Jude Harzer

Jude, Art and Inspiration