Monday, April 21, 2014

Chicks books for sale at the upcoming Portrait Society Meeting!

Each year as I get ready for the Portrait Society of America meeting, I pack with an eye to leaving space in my luggage for all the new art books I’m going to buy.
Over the years I’ve amassed a small library of inspirational art books purchased at the veritable artists candy store that is the PSoA Book table.

And this year, for the first time ever, my Chicks with Balls book will also be for sale at the amazing Portrait Society book table!

Chicks with Balls: Judy Takács Paints Unsung Female Heroes
large and small format books for sale at the Portrait Society Meeting in D.C.

Portrait of Maquoketa by Rose Frantzen

I shall always remember my first Portrait Society book purchase; “Portrait of Maquoketa” by Rose Frantzen. After seeing her win the “Face-off” live portrait competition, watching her riveting oil painting demonstration, hearing her speak, meeting her and learning about her epic portrait project painting the citizens of her hometown, I snagged a copy of the book. Fortunately I got one before they sold out and lined up to have her sign it too. Since then I have had many breakfasts and late night snacks while poring over the 180 portraits it houses. Read about how Portrait of Maquoketa spurred me on to  move forward with my Chicks with Balls project and make it come to life!

Breaking the Rules of Watercolor and The Intimate Eye by Burton Silverman,
New York Creative from Raymond Everett Kinstler and
Self-Portraits and Oil Painting Secrets from a Master from David Leffel

At subsequent conferences I also discovered where Burton Silverman, Raymond Everett Kinstler, and David Lefell had been hiding since I first heard about them 30 years ago from my Portrait Painting teacher, José Cintron at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Over the next couple conferences, I bought their newer books and even dragged my 30-year-old tattered, oil-paint and coffee-stained ones from my collection at home for them to sign. It was a thrill to meet these gentlemen, who were, for me living legends from my early training.

Nelson Shanks from Nelson Shanks and Alla Prima by Richard Schmid

At the Portrait Society book table, I was also introduced to Nelson Shanks and Richard Schmid…in book format…can you believe I’d never heard of them before I came to the Portrait Society? I bought both their books and ensured another year or so of inspiring breakfast book dates.

Visions and Voyages by Susan Lyon

And then there was the incredible Susan Lyon book. When my friend bought Visions and Voyages one year, I pored through it, but was already over 50 lbs in my luggage for the return flight. I vowed to come back and buy it the following year. Fearing a sellout like Rose’s book, however, I came back the next morning and bought it anyway. I brought it home as carry-on and read it on the plane. I knew that her book as my breakfast companion would serve as a catalyst for delicious and meaningful brushwork for years to come.

The Incognito Project by Terry Strickland

Last year, I was thrilled to see The Incognito Project by Terry Strickland at the always crowded Portrait Society Book table. I had been following her project where she enticed her friends and family to reveal their secret selves and pose for her. This was of special interest to me because there were similarities in process to my own Chicks with Balls project. Lucky for me I had already ordered the book online and didn’t have to fight for one before it sold out…but I was thrilled to finally meet Terry after only talking to her on facebook.

Working South by Mary Whyte

And I’ll always remember the Portrait Society Conference where I saw Mary Whyte speak about her working south project. She bowled me over with her brilliant, quiet, thoughtful descriptions of her meticulously observed series chronicling the jobs of manual workers in vanishing fields. When she sat down with us for a glass of wine at the bar, it was confirmed I was in the company of a profoundly talented and gracious artist. Next chance I had, I made her book mine and had her sign it. Since then, I have been her groupie and have followed her shows to the Butler Institute and the National Arts Club in New York!

This year I’m looking forward to seeing what the book table has to offer. And, I am especially honored that the Portrait Society has asked me to sell my very own book, Chicks with Balls: Judy Takács paints unsung female heroes, at the fabulous, famous Portrait Society of America book table.

So, please, when you come to the conference this year, leave room in your luggage…or bring a sturdy carry-on totebag! You’ll go home with inspiration to last you a lifetime… maybe you'll go home with “Chicks with Balls!”

My collection is growing…maybe yours will too!

And just for the Portrait Society, I will be introducing an abridged, smaller version of the Chicks with Balls book for $50. During the Conference in DC, it will sell for the special discounted price of $45. After that it will be available on at the full $50 price.

The complete, beautiful, large, original version is available $80 online at

And if I see you at the Portrait Society, I’ll be more than thrilled to personally sign a copy just for you or for a special Chicks with Balls in your life. Mother’s Day is coming up you know! 
I'll be sitting at the book signing table on Friday May 1st at 12:30, and look forward to meeting you!