This delightful picture was the only group portrait that the artist painted of his three daughters. That it was a ‘one-off’ might be explained by the practical challenge of getting the children to sit still for an extended period of time without fidgeting! In fact, the starting point for this painting was a black and white photograph of the little girls taken by the artist himself while they were all sitting on the London Underground.
In the final version, he reproduced the actual colours and patterns of the girls’ summer dresses. The blues and greens dictated an unusually cool palette for NMK. This was reflected in the mottled dark green background that replaced the upholstery of the high-backed seat on the Tube in the original snapshot.
The dark haired girls are depicted above the waist. They appear lost in their own worlds. Perhaps they were bored or tired from the journey. Helen, the eldest, aged 9, is in the centre; Diane, the middle daughter, aged 6, is on the left and the youngest, Sharman, aged 3, is on the right. She is turned away from her older sisters and looks dreamily to one side out of the canvas.