Sunday, January 12, 2014

Secret Confessions of a Self-made Extrovert

My adventures continue as I work on everything BUT Chicks with Balls 
for a few months. I shall return to the Chicks energized, refreshed and inspired, but for right now here’s what I’m painting!
Sweet Sloth by Judy Takács

You may not have heard of it…and that would be fitting…but lately there has been a quiet revolution of introverts. 

“Introvert” is the new label of coolness, like Jock, Rock Star and Prom Queen from days of yore. Everyone is coming out as an introvert lately; from David Letterman to Meryl Streep from Christine Aguilera to Warren Buffet.

My oldest son just started college this past September at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, ranked by Huff Post as one of the top ten trendiest colleges in the country. Their required summer reading was, “Quiet, The Power of  Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Clark.

To me this book choice is no accident and no surprise. Even when I started as an undergrad there, back in the ’80s, Case was a throbbing hotbed of nerdy introverts. (Nerdy is cool now too, thank you billionaires Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and your ilk) My favorite college pastime was seeking out fascinating discussions with individual thinkers who wanted to philosophize on the fringes of the party…and make fun of those who didn’t. This was way more fun than cutting a rug out on the dance floor…but…and here’s the big but…in order to get into fascinating discussions with these fascinating people, someone had to talk first; I had to become an extrovert…ironic, but true. 

I was okay with the extrovert thing though, it was a way to take charge of the shyness and anxiety of my childhood, and I worked really hard at my extrovert skills. You don't have to drag to a party, I will (almost) always chat with a stranger, and bare soul quickly to a new friend. Even my paintings are extroverted…they are all in your face, laughing, high contrast, hot and exaggerated. 

And yes, like all good painters I am thrilled to be alone in my studio for extended periods of meditative paint pushing, but I am still in a crowd; surrounded by the extra large people in my paintings (and of course my wonderful friends on facebook.)

But being an introvert is cool now…and after I spent so many years working on my extrovert skills to get me some of those cool introvert friends, I find myself in the babbling minority doing the hamster work of filling the silences.

Even in my own families…the one I grew up in and the one I spawned…I am the only extrovert; trying to make them not only HAVE fun, but also to visibly demonstrate that they’re having fun, so I won’t feel guilty that I’ve failed in my mission to spread joy. There, I’ve said it, all about me, typical extrovert.

This newfound realization would probably be better expressed on a psychiatrist’s couch than to the throngs who surely read my blog. So, instead I shall present to you a duo of paintings that I’ve been working on during my short hiatus from Chicks.

Both feature my eldest son, before he cut the hair he grew so long…partly because he didn’t want to have to chat with a hairdresser about his college choices and what he likes to do in his spare time. He has let it grow long before and twice donated 12 inch ponytails of pristine hair to Locks of Love to help children with long-term hair loss.

The painting above is “Sweet Sloth” from my budding series on the Seven (not so) Deadly Sins.

The one below is called, simply, “The Introvert.”

The Introvert by Judy Takács

And, this past summer, when my son performed the miracle of actually reading his summer reading before starting at Case, his commentary on the introvert book, “Quiet”  was this…

“The book was kind of obvious; everyone knows that introverts are cooler than extroverts”

Yes, honey, if your mom is an extrovert, it can’t possibly be cool anymore.


Speaking of cool, if you want to see both these paintings…exhibited for the first time ever, please join me at the now legendary 78th Street Studios Third Friday Art Walk from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. January 17th. I will be exhibiting these and a nice selection of paintings of men (for a change)…along with a small group of stellar artists as part of the SYZYGY show, curated by Leslie Humez, at the Cleveland West Art League Gallery. A very few copies of my Chicks with Balls book will be for sale at the show, and I'll sign one just for you!

Cleveland West Art League Gallery

78th Street Studios
1305 West 80th Street
Cleveland, Ohio

If you can't make the opening, the CWAL gallery is open every Friday through February 21st for the SYZYGY Show from 11:00 to 4:00, and the show will be up for February's Third Friday Art Walk too on February 21st from 6:00 to 10:00.

Or you can schedule an appointment: (once again, don’t be shy) by calling Dan Nefaros at: 216 456 6503 or you can email him at: Either way check it out. It promises to be a dynamite show!