When I read independent, young girl, the first artist who came to mind was Frida Kahlo
She suffered all over her life; it was full of issues. This painting was made up after a terrible bus accident when she was 18. She painted herself in a steel brace, putting on one as she was instructed to. I do think it exhibits independence and strength in times of adversity.
A different painting that comes after a similar theme is this one, by Gustav Klimt
The girl in this particular portrait, Mäda, is rebellious and confident at the same time. It’s his only painting of a child, but it appears as though she has the confidence of an adult.
Steve Hanks is a watercolor artist whose theme is usually young women and girls:
They undoubtedly depict powerful independent women, even if the women in question, in fact, aren’t.
Shashikanth Dhokre is an Indian artist who painted various women. They generally have desire and longing in their eyes. Here’s a usual painting:
Is she powerful and independent? It relies upon what the person interprets. It appears like she’s wishing to be on the opposite side of that grill. At the same time, it appears to be she has the inside mental strength to get through her difficulties.
No matter if a painting represents a powerful, independent woman or not actually relies upon how the person feels it.
I feel that when I project my own opinions onto the artwork of a woman, I will see strength and independence always.