Apparently, I have had it wrong all of these years. I'm always trying to come up with original ideas for various art projects and crafting ideas. According to my drawing teacher this is not how it is done. Even Picasso famously copied other master's work over and over. He then, gasp, put them out into the world for all to see. This is very acceptable in the art world. People who study art like to see connections, they want to know what the artist's influences are. Even if it is a blatant copy of another work.
So, here is my copy of Alice Neel's "Religious Girl" definitely NOT an exact replica. Maybe it is a post stroke version of the girl, her face is sagging a bit. And she seems to have had some bad Botox or maybe a single cheek implant. I can only hope that Ms. Neel would be flattered by my attention. By my love of the challenge in the eyes of this girl she conjured up on her canvas. Or did this girl first spring to life somewhere else? She had a sitter for the painting, but how much of herself did Neel inject into this work? She lost two of her four children to illness early in their lives, surely that would cause one to question religion. Is it Neel's own eyes or the eyes of the girl sitting for the portrait that seem to be at the same time, filling up with tears and challenging the world? This is what I love about Neel's work, the way her subjects draw you in, introduce themselves to you and ask you to stay, spend a little time and get to know them. For me, attempting to reproduce Alice Neel's work is most certainly the highest form of flattery.