Monday, December 16, 2013

Last stop before heaven…a heathen paints retired nuns

Just to mix things up a bit, in my Chicks furlough, I found myself in the enviable position of painting beautiful retired nuns. 

Sr. Markie

Just to be clear, none of these nuns posed for me for Chicks with Balls. Though, after hearing their stories, I saw just what an incredible group of unsung heroes these women are… within the Catholic Church, an institution that desperately needs them.

The only reason I'm talking about painting the nuns here on the Chicks blog is to chronicle my art activities during my short inspiration break from Chicks with Balls.

How did I get this gig? My mom hooked me up.

You may know that my mom (a chick with balls herself) is a retired English Professor at Notre Dame College of Ohio. She is not a nun herself…she’s my mom remember…but she is friends with many retired nuns whom she taught with for many years at Notre Dame.

The retirement center at Notre Dame is an incredibly welcoming place where the sisters continue their work, care for each other and are vital alive and active as they transition into old age where they need more care. Such a wonderful model for assisted living, these senior women are friends, and continue to be extremely useful to the world and each other for their whole lives. I was welcomed to a wonderful warm female nest of work, satisfaction, love, prayer and complete confidence that the next stop was heaven.

This project (tentatively called NUN) was very much like my Solon Senior Project where I also set up in a weekly spot and painted beautiful old age. The religion aspect is what pushed at my comfort zone.

I am not Catholic, or Presbyterian like my mom, or a non-practicing Catholic like my dad, or an agnostic like my husband. I am a Heathen. I unapologetically say I am a Proud Heathen to squelch the hopes of my kind-hearted evangelical friends for a potential rebirthing. I’m not “undecided”, because I truly don't see how I can ever make a “decision” on faith and belief… I just want to keep learning, thinking and doing.

You may think a Heathen is a bad thing, but here is the dictionary definition:


a person who does not belong to a widely held religion (esp. one who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim) as regarded by those who do.

Well, that’s me.

I’m not an atheist, I do believe in God, but it may just be my better self that I’m talking to. But she helps.

I believe in love…big time.

I also believe in the strength and goodness of humans.

I believe in Karma to a certain extent, but don’t think we should do good for the sake of Karma…or Heaven. I think we should be good for goodness sake…to be the change we want to see in this world (that one's from the Dalai Lama).

I also believe in the pursuit of our own happiness, but never at the expense of the happiness of others. I’m always in pursuit of the win-win situation myself…and I often find it (this is my take-away message from the much maligned Ayn Rand).

But, that will be enough of my sermon.

My concern at Notre Dame was that I wanted to paint these beautiful women without being saved or getting into arguments. I’m a pro-choice, pro-birth control, pro-marriage equality, of-course-there's-evolution… kind of gal, and I wanted to respectfully see the inside of an institution (Catholicism) and way of life (being a nun) which, as a Proud Heathen and outside observer I had never really known or understood.

Much like a tourist in a foreign country I wanted to learn about the nuns. Actually these women are called sisters. Nuns are cloistered, whereas sisters work in the community…this was one of the first things I learned. 

The second thing I learned was that very few of them still wear their nun headgear let alone the full habit. I had pictured the paintings as essays in black, white and red, with these delicious weathered faces peeking through. 

My tourguide for my time at the Health Center was Sr. Annemarie, who, an acomplished pastel artist herself, could not have been more welcoming to me. She arranged for all my subjects to pose, made sure I had publicity within the center so I'd have an audience, and generally created a little slice of heaven for me where all I have to do is come and paint an incredibly beautiful, soulful, fascinating and wise woman each week. Sr. Annemarie also took great care to make sure I had at least a few sisters pose for me who do wear the headgear still.

Sr. Deborah was my first subject.

Sr. Deborah

During our extensive discussions, she did ask me whether I was Catholic. 

I decided to lay the cards on the table and tell her I was a Proud Heathen. Much to my surprise and amazement she expressed no shock…or even what friendly Christians will sometimes say, “No, you’re not, you’re so NICE!”

She accepted my heathen status and we talked about good works, being kind to others, service…and she told me how wonderful it was for me to come and bring art, inspiration and beauty into their midst. I told her the honor was all mine…the heathen was making a win-win situation. Truly, they were doing me a huge favor to indulge my selfish art desires and let me paint them.

You can see the extensive pictures and progressions on my website, under the heading, NUN. On this blog I’ve shown you a few of the paintings which are well on the way. Not calling them done, but I’m very excited about how they are coming out!

Sr. Patricia

Stay tuned to hear about my continued adventures painting the sisters of Notre Dame…and to read about what I learned on my fascinating weekly vacation to the last stop before heaven!


Now showing in Cleveland!

NUN: Judy Takács paints
retired sisters of Notre Dame

Opening Reception: Thursday night April 10th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Clara Fritzsche Library Gallery
Notre Dame College
4545 College Road
South Euclid, Ohio
Show dates April 10 to May 23

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Left is Right: Forays into the Madness that is the Monoprint

Photo by Karin McKenna
Follow my continued adventures as I stretch, bend and leave my comfort zone in the rear view mirror in order to return to Chicks with Balls refreshed, awake, alive and inspired.

Some of the photos here are courtesy of my fabulous, famous photographer friend Karin McKenna, who came with me to Zygote Press on my monoprinting day to see the action. While I was monoprinting Karin wandered around the Zygote studios with the camera she uses to save the world and found inspiration right and left. Check out her unique view of Zygote on her blog at

You may remember Karin because she is also a Chick with Balls.

And now, here's how I got involved with monoprinting at Zygote Press.

 Zygote Press is Cleveland's only print cooperative. Masterminded and executed by Liz Maugans and Bellamy Printz, Zygote has been incredibly active in the community and practices boatloads of community outreach; bringing people to art, art to people, art to Cleveland and Cleveland to the world.

One of their outreach activities is Monothon. Each year selected Cleveland artists who are not print-makers (they can be painters, photographers, movie producers, ceramicists, jewelry artists, just not print-makers) are invited to the Zygote studios to create a monoprint with a personal printmaking mentor. We learn the process, have a blast and create a few monoprints,. One of these is sold at a fundraiser for Zygote, another is forever archived at Zygote and the rest are for the artist to keep.

Photo by Karin McKenna

I was honored that Liz Maugans asked me to participate in Monthon this year.

This year's Monothon artists are, Gina DeSantis, Brandon Juhasz, Kasumi, Susan Kelley, Irina Koukhanova, Jason K. Milburn, Erik Neff, Scott Pickering, Deborah Pinter, Lauren Sammon and of course, me, Judy Takács.

This mixing of the disciplines is a win-win for all involved, artists and art lovers alike.

Those who attend the Zygote Off the Wall Holiday Party on Saturday December 7th (12:00 to 5:00) and Sunday the 8th (12:00 to 4:00) will have the opportunity to buy an original work of art; a monoprint from a Cleveland artist whose work normally sells for much much more than the low low Holiday party price of  $150.

So, I hope to see you some of you at this event and hopefully one of you will go home with my monoprint!

Here are some pictures from the process!

Photo by Karin McKenna

Meet my personal print making mentor…Denise Stewart you are an awesome teacher, printer, friend and mentor!

The monoprint process can be a very painterly one, so, because I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone too far back in the rear view mirror, I decided to be painterly with it. 

Since the color choices for printing were much more limited than my vast palette at home in my studio, I decided to try something with color I’d only read about but never tried; the Zorn Palette

Anders Zorn is a master of portraiture and his fresh as air paintings glow. His palette consists of four colors; Black, White, Cadmium Red and Yellow Ochre. From these printing ink colors I mixed my fleshtones and it was real nice. I'm not changing what I do at my studio, but I shall add knowledge of this simplicity to my right now incredibly complicated palette.
Right and Better Left Unsaid by Judy Takács

As the basis for my print, I decided to use my most popular painting to date. “Right and Better Left Unsaid” has won awards right and left and been included in the Art Renewal Center Salon Catalog and the 52 Weeks/52 Works Calendar. And Ralph was so fun to paint the first time I thought a second time might be even more fun…it was.

I stuck my Xeroxed image of my painting behind the plexi-glass which will be my plate.

Then I started painting…backwards. The first things you paint will be the last  things to print on the plate…for me that means highlights right off the bat, and then placing progressively darker colors on TOP of them. Very confusing for someone that doesn’t even understand time zones like me.

After a few hours of painting, I decided to pull my first print.


Everyone was nice and said it was good, but I think that was the warm and fuzzy supportive studio atmosphere talking. I am thinking I’ll work back into this one.
So then I pulled a shadow print using the ink left on the plate after the first print.

Kind of cool, but to me it needs a little punch. I may go back into the print with some black ink. In monoprints that’s okay…unlike in other types of printmaking where it messes up the integrity of the print.

So then, after two prints from the original paint on the plate, I decided to work back onto the ink that was left on the plexiglass plate. This time, with reckless abandon. There was a pale image left, it was 4:00 and I said, Screw it, I’m going to get some definition going here. So out came the pure black. In my vast monoprinting experience (this was my third print) I've come to the conclusion that THIS is when the fun starts.

This one I loved.

And then after I pulled the print above, I worked back onto the image on the plate with even more reckless abandon…

I really liked the second two better than the first two…and apparently the black ink smudge that extended below his arm is “printerly” and a good thing (kind of like “painterly” is a good thing for painters.)

A super fun day at Zygote Press! And please remember you are invited to the Zygote Press Off the Wall Holiday Sale on Saturday and Sunday December 7 and 8!

Oh yeah…here's a little epilogue (you know I love epilogues). Remember the first two prints which I was going to work back in to? I continued on them back in my studio and here’s what I came up with…

Before: First print, fresh off the press…

After: With a little pastel touch-up…I think I may have gone too far, but they eyes looked too blobby and vacant before.


Before: Here's the Shadow Print, fresh off the press…

After: Here's the Shadow Print…with a little calligraphic panache. This one’s cool too…not sure which one of these will be for sale, you'll just have to see for yourself at the Zygote Press Off the Wall Holiday sale December 7th and 8th at Zygote Press, 1410 E. 30th St. in Cleveland, Ohio!

And what shall I call my monoprints? After much deliberation, I decided that, “Left is Right” was the perfect name…a nod to the original painting name, “Right and Better Left Unsaid,” and to the print process (and much of politics too) in which Left is indeed Right!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Taking my eyes off the ball

The best thing about working on a series is that I know what I’ll be painting next…that is also the worst thing about working on a series.

With the first round of Chicks with Balls paintings done, and the first show under my belt, I had to figure out where it was going to go from here. I’ve been preaching that it’s a “growing living collection” as I meet new women that amaze me or as my old friends come around and indulge me. Since it will continue, I don’t want it to become stale where I’m basically plugging new faces and balls into the same painting format over and over.

So, I needed to come up for air…artistically. Phase 2 of Chicks with Balls will still include Chicks, and they’ll have balls, but the new paintings will have a different look to them. That look and new perspecive is what I hope to discover during my sabbatical from Chicks with Balls.

While Chicks is on my back burner, here’s one of the paintings that is bubbling up front…it's actually a triptych, which means three paintings that work together:

Cancer Honeymoon by Judy Takács

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know my mom, who has already posed for Chicks is going through Ovarian Cancer
(Dalma: A Mother's Day Portrait). She had the surgery this past summer, and is now undergoing a second course of chemo. She is really doing beautifully. As soon as she could, she started swimming again, and she is now tutoring English at the Notre Dame College where she only just recently stopped teaching classes…at the age of 79.

During the time when she was going through the first course of chemo she had lost her hair. Never one perseverate about physical appearances, for my mom baldness was the least of the problems associated with cancer, and she actually enjoyed the convenience of the turban; wearing the itchy wig only occasionally.

Because she is my number one muse, I asked her to pose for me during her treatment for some bald pictures to later inspire a painting. She took this acting role with relish and posed for hundreds of photos. I knew I wanted to include her deliciously knobby and arthritic hands, so they were prominent in the poses too.

From this collection, I found three poses that I assembled for a triptych that represented a few of many emotions I had seen over the past year or so of treatment since diagnosis.

I call this time period (and the painting) the Cancer Honeymoon. Like with a honeymoon, you’re new to this next phase of life and just getting to know the cancer and how it fits into your life. Like with marriage, the statistics are not in your favor, but you’re also very optimistic that with luck and a positive attitude you’ve got what it takes be on the better end of the statistics. You’re well more than you’re sick and the people you love are paying extra attention to you. It’s not a wonderful time, but there’s a lot of good to be found; you are able to laugh.

So, I called this painting that had been burning in my peripheral vision as I was finishing Chicks, “Cancer Honeymoon” From left to right they are subtitled:

Curiosity… Acceptance…Humor


And now, for the first time ever, this painting will be on public view.

Please join me at the Opening Reception of
Friday Night May 16, from 7:00 to 9:00
Awards Presented at 7:00 PM

Show Dates May 16th through July 18th

7700 Clocktower Drive
Kirtland, Ohio

Gallery hours:
Monday through Friday 9:00 to 9:00
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 

Check out the impressive roster of artists who were also juried into this show.
A sincere thanks to jurors George Kozmon and Maggie Guthrie.
And huge gratitude to Mary Urbas, whose tireless efforts as Gallery Director at Lakeland keep the MAY show Northeast Ohio's premier juried exhibition year after year.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Serpie, always enchanted

“Serpie, always enchanted”
by Judy Takács

If Serpie is stuck in a waiting room for a few minutes she might pick up an issue of Golf Digest, Antique Car Collector or Cat Fancy…not because she’s interested in these things, but because perhaps she might be. Her life is a fascinating adventure where bits of wisdom and knowledge are there for the taking…waiting for you in unlikely places.

Serpie lives her life alive, awake and ready to be amazed. She grew up much like I did, first generation, with highly educated immigrant parents (hers are physicians from Turkey) in a very all-American white suburb. We’ve spoken at length on this and have come to a few conclusions; this sense of being the only different one in the land of the same makes for a somewhat isolated childhood, but pays many adult dividends. Not fitting well where you’ve been put awakes the dreamer in you, ready to be enchanted by the whole world and all its possibilities.

And now, as an adult it is quite appropriate that this intelligent woman, full of optimism, hope and possibilities, is Chief Magistrate for the county’s Domestic Relations Court. As a magistrate, Serpie functions much like a judge, but on a more personal level. She is assigned specific cases of broken families who are having disputes over parenting matters and she must make life-changing custody decisions.  Going to trial is often the most damaging route for everyone involved…children and adults alike.  She approaches each case with the goal of problem solving and guiding the parties to a healthier outcome that empowers them to find their own solutions and preserves relationships, so that families can leave the court in a better place than when they came.

Serpie, an introspective and interested patron of art, also has the distinction of being one of the few people in this world who have commissioned me to paint portraits for her family.

I have painted 2 of her 3 beautiful daughters as they began their senior years in High School, as well as an oversized head and shoulders portrait of Serpie herself.  This is quite rare you see, because, even though I only paint people, the large majority of my subjects are paid models, reluctant family members with no choice, or of course the Chicks with Balls in this book…and most only hang in my home. There are a finite number of Takács portrait commissions in existence out in the world. I have stopped doing them now and will only grandfather in one more; Serpie’s third daughter, when she begins her senior year.

I will do this, because when Serpie asked me to paint her children, she told me she wanted it to be my vision. She didn’t tell me, “Here’s what I was thinking…” which lots of clients do, not realizing that with those innocent words, they are sucking the very soul out of the painting as well as out of the artist. She wanted my artistic vision, trusted in it and moved out of the way to allow me the freedom to discover it.

Fascinating, fascinated, intelligent and active, Serpie understands the creative spirit, and I call her portrait:

Serpie, always enchanted

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kym Flies and Saves Lives

Kym Flies and Saves Lives by Judy Takács

When I talk to Kym my hyperactive soul relaxes. She exists quietly and peacefully in the moment and exudes a calm that should be bottled.

The things she does for fun, however, belong on the checklists of adventurers; motorcycling, kayaking, skydiving, flying a helicopter, running in benefit races, and, most impressively, rock climbing…on a girls’ weekend no less!

She volunteers for the Red Cross and rushes in to help in fires, tragedies, and accidents. I know that her trademark calm is a comfort to those whose lives have undergone horrible upheaval.

When I asked Kym about posing, I pictured her Lady Godiva hair cascading down for modesty giving her the freedom to hold her balls high and proud. The balls she chose were the hackysack pulls to a skydiving parachute.  She gently shows us these humble balls which are the lifeline to the parachute she relies on when she jumps out of an airplane 10,000 above the earth.

Kym has given up skydiving for a while now as she raises her two boys with her spirit of adventure, but I’m thinking at some milestone or another over the next 10 years I’ll be seeing facebook photos of a family skydiving adventure, and Kym will be out there in the blue, in the zone, in the moment, at peace with the world, knowing her hackysack pulls are near.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Maria Speaks the Truth

Maria Speaks the Truth by Judy Takács
Maria has a watercolor painting of a colorful naked man hanging over the table where her girls have dinner. It is one of mine that previously hung in my mud-room entryway. She admired it every time she came over for playgroup. Actually, what she said was, “I want that one”.

As an artist, hearing selfish greed like this is the highest praise. Everyone is happy to politely gush effusive praise all over my paintings, but taking them home to live with you is an entirely different matter altogether. For me it’s rare…very rare. But Maria was rewarded for her candor. Next birthday that rolled around, watercolor-penis-man came to her house to stay. And she did me the supreme honor of hanging him over the kitchen table…where her girls eat.

And with that Maria began her extensive collection of Takács originals. I have painted each of her three girls in their 8-year old communion dresses…and named each painting, “Isabella Rejects Satan”, “Francesca Rejects Satan” and “Cristina Rejects Satan”…in that order. (As a proud heathen and outside observer of religious rituals it has long fascinated me that as part of the Catholic Holy First Communion, the presiding preist asks these sweet little girls, nestled in clouds of angelic white tulle if they reject Satan.) Maria loves everything I paint and when she doesn’t, she says in her most polite Spanish accent, “I liiiiike it”. That’s how I know she hates it.

Aside from this very occasional thinly veiled lie, she will always tell you the truth.

That’s how Maria rolls. A proud Ecuadorian with a proud Spanish accent, Maria has brought new vocabulary words to our playgroup. (sometimes we all have “eeeshoes” with the “beaches” in our lives) Maria provides the ethnic diversity missing from the upscale homogenously white town her family has settled in. A Spanish-English interpreter for a large hospital systems, she is a knowledgeable friend, advocate and lifeline for her patients that have flown to Cleveland for world-class healthcare. She raises her three girls in a bilingual home with yearly trips to Ecuador and a strong sense of self, purpose and heritage.

Maria chose her balls to represent her girls sports, two soccer players and an accomplished golfer. Her portrait gave me some particular troubles…Isabella’s golf ball especially. And I actually repainted Maria’s face several times, finally settling on a happy pose with only some of her attitude mixed in.

I entitled her portrait, “Maria Speaks the Truth”

Friday, August 30, 2013

A long overdue thank you note!

A beauty shot of a few of the Chicks…
courtesy of Karin and her “eye phone”

Doesn’t the opening look like a New York Disco?

The Chicks with Balls show opened to rave reviews (see press coverage at right) and record crowds at BAYarts in Bay Village, Ohio. Some of the amazing ladies who posed for me flew in from New York, Boston and Omaha for the weekend to be part of the growing buzz that has surrounded CWB. And Ohio friends from as far as Akron, Hudson, Toledo and Columbus made the drive for the phenomenal opening reception hosted by BAYarts.

Karina and Kim in front of their paintings.

My honored houseguests this weekend were Pam, Karina, Kim, and Miles too. Arriving a day early, was my wise and funny friend, Norma, whom I’ve known since my early graphic designer days. She came from Massachusetts to show her support and to pose for me too…you’ll have to wait for the next show to see her painting though!

Pam and I crack up in front of hers.

Those of you who attended the gallery talk and have been keeping up with me on facebook know that my mom (my oldest Chick) had major surgery for her ovarian cancer in July. She still tires easily, so the non-stop action of the opening reception would have been too much for her, so she was not there.

My mom, Karina and Norma relaxing with some coffee

Table full of estrogen…we were joined by Karin, Maria and Cindy.

I did want her to experience at least some of the celebrity and friendship the other chicks were enjoying, so, on Saturday morning after the reception, I had a low key brunch for my houseguests and the local chicks who were able to make it…and of course my mom. Thank you to the ladies who attended…it was so great to see my friends making friends with my friends and do what we do best…talk, talk and talk.

Thrilled that Serpie was able to stop by the next morning as well!

A little mutual book signing going on.

Through the weekend’s activities, here’s what struck me the most, though I really shouldn’t have been surprised: my friends are such nurturing, caring friendly and welcoming people I was so proud to have them meet and bond with each other…bond the way I had individually bonded with each of them over the past 30 years or so. 

Nina, my poster Chick!

The second thing that so struck me were ALL the acts of nurturing, consideration, and support performed by so many of the people whose lives had been touched by “Chicks”. A multitude of thanks to those who posed for, came to see, supported, read about, commented on and have been following my Chicks with Balls painting adventure.

Some have been faithful supporters right from the start, following and sharing the blog, and keeping up with the paintings. Some have joined up along the way.

And over the past few years or so, I’ve had friends on facebook as well as neighbors in the street stop me just to let me know how they have been moved by my Chicks blogs. You have no idea how much I appreciate hearing positive feedback…really.

Maria brought her daughters to the show and poses with her painting.

So many of my friends…who posed and those who didn’t…have had the Chicks opening on their calendar for a year now…ever since I’ve started talking about it incessantly.

And at the opening reception itself, I was heartened by how many people were looking out for MY comfort. To be the recipient of all this unsung heroism was to truly be humbled and honored.

During the festivities, one friend kept me fed and made sure I didn’t starve during the fanfare of the opening. She also had a great tip for making it seem like I was socially drinking, when in fact I was trying to stay sober, coherent and upright.

Susie poses with her friend Joan…
you can see her painting in the background on the left.

Another friend noticed that I had my purse still hanging from my shoulder well into the opening. Knowing I didn’t want to leave the kind people who were talking to me, she made sure to take the purse from me and put it in a safe place, so I could truly play the hostess at the opening.

Another friend restricted her own son’s social life for the night of the opening, to ensure that no problems would arise and force her to leave during this special night. She told him it was a very important night for Miss Judy.

Sharon and I in front of her double portrait.
One of my friends who went incognito and tried to overhear what other guests were saying about my paintings…a tricky thing to orchestrate at your own solo show, but wonderful for her to do it for me!

And the thorough and kind people at BAYarts really went to bat for me too, facilitating press coverage and making sure I was introduced to anyone and everyone who expressed their love of the Chicks. 

And through the course of the weekend (and the past few weeks too), my own family really went to bat for me too. My boys took over many of my household chores as my sister and I took over many of my mom’s household chores during her surgery recovery. My oldest drove his brothers to their activities and lessons and my husband even traded cars with me for weeks so I could take my dad to visit my mom in the hospital in a nice comfy sedan instead of my very high truck.

Sunday morning was a relaxing floor play session…
legos are the BEST!

Even my mom, the original unsung hero…who likes to do things for herself, hired some temporary home care help, just in time for me to turn my attention back to the impending Chicks with Balls events. This was a great relief for me not to have to worry about her and my dad while I was worrying about the Chicks running smoothly.

And during the Chicks weekend, with four female house guests, where the home estrogen to testosterone level went up to 50/50, my teen boys babysat for 3-year old Miles. I loved when my middle son, Eric, the house quizmaster, expressed incredulity that he could give a very thorough and reasonable answer to one of Miles’ many question and still have Miles ask “why?” again and again. Oh the irony.

So, as I relax and reflect, I am so thankful that the Chicks exhibition, opening reception, extravaganza weekend, gallery talk AND workshop all came together so beautifully…so much due to all the support and help from so many Chicks (and dudes) in MY life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Me and my wonderful workshop students in front of my painting of Laurel…
who was also our figure model!

And lest you fear that this big thank you letter is some kind of a conclusion,
fear not! 

The show at BAYarts was the debut and Chicks is only just beginning to take off. Watch this blog and your emails to see how the Chicks with Balls journey continues to unfold!

My mom and dad in front of her portrait

Just one more… I did bring my parents out for a private viewing to see the show…doesn’t my mom look amazing?

Love this picture!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oil Painting the Figure and Face with Personality and Grace

Laurel…just another day
by Judy Takács

I’m getting excited about the oil painting workshop I will be teaching at BAYarts in conjunction with Chicks with Balls! And, I just confirmed this moments ago, Laurel (from the painting above) will be our figure model for the workshop.  Laurel is the one I had in mind when I came up with the words, “Personality and Grace”…she is a true pleasure to paint.

Oil Painting the Figure and Face
with Personality and Grace

A Two-day figure painting workshop with instructor Judy Takács
Saturday, August 24th and Sunday August 25th
Each day from 10:00 to 4:30
At BAYarts in Bay Village, Ohio
sign up at

If you want to get in on all the wit, wisdom, fun and paint that comes along with talking to me about art and life, I'd love to meet you when you take this really special workshop. I will stress gesture and expression of the nude human form using a live model, along with focusing on the portrait aspect of figure painting. We will work on short oil sketches as preparation for a longer figure painting on canvas.

My demonstrations and workshops have generous doses of  “how to” as well as “why to”. Because I really like to get to know my students one at a time. After the workshop, I continue many of the friendships I have made with attendees through facebook and continued interaction in the Northeast Ohio art world. In other words, there is personal attention for those who seek it. Check out my website to see photos from past workshops and classes I have taught. 

This workshop is also special because, the Chicks with Balls paintings will be on exhibit right downstairs from the studio, so during lunch at Mojos café downstairs and on breaks, students can immerse themselves in these figurative portraits where I have done my darndest to capture the female form with boatloads of personality and hopefully some grace too!

And a note about my personal workshop philosophy. I teach very few workshops or classes, and try to come up with a fresh concept for each one…to keep it interesting for me as well as for you.  And I do not cancel them even if the enrollment is small. The reason for this, is that I am so thankful for the students that signed up, I want to reward them with a small and intimate class where everyone gets a great spot and lots of instructor attention. 

Nina is grace under fire by Judy Takács

Tentative Workshop Schedule:

Morning Day One… will begin with my quick and lively demonstration of spontaneous gestural oil sketches on paper, after which the students will do the same.

Afternoon Day One… the longer pose will start which the students will paint from for the remainder of the workshop. I will demonstrate my process for how to start this long pose on canvas, then the students will paint their own beginnings.

Day Two…  students will continue on the long pose on canvas. I will demonstrate the progression from painting values to augmenting with color during the day to lead the students into the final stages and details of the second day of this longer painting.

A supply list will be given when you signup at 

And I'll have my paint, so if you want to try a squirt of something before you buy, I'm happy to share.

Shoot me a quick email if you have questions about the workshop: 

I look forward to seeing you at the workshop
…or at the opening, Friday night August 9th from 7:00 to 9:00
…or at the gallery talk, Wednesday night August 14th at 7:00.
…or stop by to see the show at BAYarts from August 5th to August 30th. 

Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00 to 5:00, Sunday 12:00 to 5:00

Make a day of it with lunch at Vento Trattoria next door, a trip to the BAYarts gift shop and a visit to see Rob Crombie’s amazing landscapes, displayed in the adjacent Diane Boldman Gallery. 

And if nature inspires you, you could take a hike in the Metroparks Huntington Reservation, just behind BAYarts or a visit to the Huntington Beach, just across the street from BAYarts. (really, its all walking distance at this beautiful and cozy, art and nature campus)

28795 Lake Road
Bay Village, Ohio
440 871 6543

Lexi defends and defines her path by Judy Takács