When painting her portraits, for example, she said that she had four things in mind:
1. Art - the best part of the process was the moment of "dividing of the canvas," the setting out of the composition.
3. Capturing something of the inner character of the sitter.
Painted around 1937, the portrait is a relatively early work (and as such is an interesting counterpoint to her better-known paintings of the 1970s), but it gives you a pretty good idea of what Neel meant.
Art is not as stupid as human conversation