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