Painter Judy Hodge presents a collection of vibrant abstracted landscapes inspired by the energy of nature and visionary teachers. Visit her website to find more of her work.
In 1964 I fell in love.
It was my first trip to Buffalo’s Albright Knox Art Museum. I was six years old, and The Old Mill by Vincent Van Gogh captured my heart in a way that has become my leading inspiration, my muse, my teacher. I stood and wept, for a moment lost to time, for the hand of the artist that I would never hold.
That the vision and passion I felt from looking at that paint and canvas created so meaningful a zeitgeist, was for me a profound inspiration which set my course.
I had the great good fortune to attend SUNY Buffalo in the eighties where thought was dominated by the freedom and discipline of abstract expressionism. There was an air of rebellion seated firmly on the shoulders of giants. It paid homage to process and theory, but believed in movement, experiment and the clash of color with its power to evoke.
There was artist Walter Prochownick, who alternately told me of the rigors of war while turning my can-vases upside down. Artist Seymour Drumlevitch, whose heavy Brooklyn accent added color to his dedication and insights. Filmmaker Tony Conrad (who inadvertently named the Velvet Underground), was as cool as he was kind. These men were my teachers. By their examples I was led.
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My early works and exhibitions were large scale abstractions. They expressed movement combined with fingerfuls of paint. Slashes of medium became early permission to express my longing—to feel the hand of the artist, even it if was only my own. They were undisciplined releases of emotion that were largely unsellable, but deeply gratifying.
A minor in art history gave me a good foundation in history and the mavericks who dared create it. It opened me to new influences. Being a Buffalo gal, I often day-tripped to Toronto. Much to my surprise, the Canadians filled me in on a great hole in my education—Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven. To this day I will often chuckle and say that I worship at the altar of Tom Thompson.
An interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Fine Art and Computer Science, a twenty-year career in advertising and several trips across the country and back brought me home to Buffalo. In 2013, I started painting again.
Like the great painters who inspired me, I too fell in love with landscape painting. I had a deep heart desire to capture the impossible energy of nature with whispers of boundless growth and movement.
In 2014, I applied to, and was accepted as an exhibiting artist with The Buffalo Society of Artists. I won their Gold in 2017, and have gone on to several solo and group exhibitions. My work can be found in galleries and private collections all around the United States and in Japan.
And now, just when I thought I was winding down, I am finding unbridled joy as I step into the wide open world of fine art.
Artist Judy Hodge invites you to follow her on Instagram.
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