Jude Harzer, USA Painter, teaches high school visual arts and states that she came to her painting life rather late as she had abandoned this talent and desire for almost twenty years . Instead she married and raised children, thinking that she could not successfully balance family and career.
But now fully committed to painting, she is at Arte Studio Ginestrelle to dedicate full time to work. She confides, “I’m in a state of personal transition regarding my marriage and creative pursuits. Also, my mother unexpectedly passed away about 18 months ago . This seemed like the perfect opportunity to attend this residency. The location near Assisi has personal significance as my mother shared a special affinity with St. Francis., the patron saint of Italy. Currently, in my work, I am investigating relationships between mother and child.”
Jude brought her mother’s ashes, which she scattered in Assisi. Her goal was to ‘create a found object altar piece that addressed familial relationships, celebration of women, legacy and how mothers, in particular, transfer their fears and beliefs to their children.” Jude believes that the intimacy of this relationship is the most powerful and profound. Her residency is a personal as well as professional journey.
Reflecting on her process, Jude adds, “Even though you work in isolation, necessary for most artists, you’re also desperate for a like minded community. In a residency you are with a caliber of artists, from a variety of disciplines, that feeds your intellect and creativity. This much needed inspiration rejuvenates an artist’s spirit. Also, of course, I get to come to Italy, a country abundant in visual beauty and art.”
Jude accomplished more than she had planned, while also staying faithful to her objective. Her work unexpectedly evolved , according to her, in response to the colors of the environment and the monastic quiet of the remote location. “The amber light of the atmosphere and the pink of the mountains , really impacted my work. I integrated the bees that came into my studio space as well and realized the relationship they held with the Madonna imagery that I was investigating. I was fascinated with the abundance of local shrines, placed at pedestrian and vehicle crossroads. I discovered that they are erected not only to celebrate the Madonna but also to ask her guidance when one is at the crossroads of life.”
Jude is at a good place in her life and looks forward to painting and exhibiting more.
Artwork : L’Ape Regina: Protector of Soul and Spirit mixed media, 2015