Miss Juliana Willoughby was my first copying project at the NGA. The most difficult part of copying the work of a Master artist is not copying the subject, it is trying to recreate the hues of the period the painting was created. It’s amusing that some visitors comment that they like my colors better. They don’t fully consider that the original painting is often hundreds of years old and the paint, of course, has dulled. Some ask if I painted the original. Come on….I don’t think I look that old, but I take that comment as a compliment. Some spectators will point out errors, and give me advise how I can perfect the painting. I take all critiques as a learning experience because as we all know, art is subjective. Actually, the visitors are often the most fun part of the copyist experience.
Although I sometimes feel frustrated at being interrupted, I must say the attention is flattering. I’m often swarmed by groups of visitors with cameras in hand. Each one wants to be photographed with me. How could I be upset with all that attention?