Alice Neel's 'The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson and Julia)'

I saw this 1970 painting of Neel’s in the flesh on Sunday, and loved every inch of it. Exaggerated, beautiful and full of life. And I like the way you can work out the character of each subject from their shoes; the ones on the left are stylish as hell, but could probably kill you dead.

It (and other pieces in the show – all the 1970 onwards stuff, anyway) made me realise how one-note my drawings are; and inspired me to get some more observation into the stuff I’ve been doing, really. Not that I’d ever be this good, but I’ve realised how much I rely on tricks; and how I seem to draw the same three or four characters over and over again.

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