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.



  1. Judy....this is such a powerful portrait of your mother. I am so happy I got to know her via FB.

    1. Thank you so much Katalin! I know she is thrilled to know you too…as am I! I'm enjoying your book about your art and your life. Thank you so much for that lovely gift for both of us!

  2. Love the words you used to describe your portraits of your Mom...first, curiosity, second, acceptance, and last but probably not least, humor! Those words spoke to me and I realized that they are the ones I think of as my "body" ages and my life keeps growing! I like balls! :) Thank you for the words and the portraits of women who have them! :) Just beautiful!! :)

  3. You are so sweet to say all this ludabelladonna! Yes, humor is one of the biggies…at least it is for me!

  4. WOW! I am blown away by this. Love your Chicks with Balls series, too. But this is so, so powerful. And so courageous -- both you and your mom. Much applause. Thanks for the inspiration. My name is Tonya Bates, my art is on Facebook at Tonya Bates' Painting, but I don't know how to use the "profile" thing on your blog so I selected anonymous. Not trying to be anonymous, though. Thanks, again!!!

  5. Your portraits are amazing, love looking at them. A well deserve award. Congratulations Judy!


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