I love this painting. In a world where people try so hard to be tough, cool, alone, aloof, cynical, and independent you would think this little old woman would be invisible. But look at the faces of the men around her and her young charge (my scanner cut off the faces of the two men on the left who are also staring). They are in awe, slightly shocked, and there seems to be an almost hunger in their eyes for what this woman has. This woman has chutzpah! So frail, and little, yet she has the inner metal to praise her God in the midst of the everyday man. She, with her pointy umbrella, feels strong enough to display her beliefs to the outside world and defend them, if need be. Her thin, aged body, her vulnerability in travel, the witness of a loving child even, do not prevent her from doing what she knows she must.
I often look at this painting and wish I had such strength of character, to show the world all that I believe without worrying about what others think, without worrying that they might malign that which I hold dear to my heart in jealous protection. This little old lady is far tougher than any of the leather clad bad boys surrounding her... and they know it.