The painting “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” by Manet, which hangs in the Courtauld Gallery in London, was the inspiration for this painting. Poppy, the young lady who worked behind the bar at my local pub, the Hand in Hand on Wimbledon Common, reminded me of the woman behind the bar in Manet’s painting. Poppy agreed to sit for me. To begin with I approached the painting very much as a pastiche of the Manet. It didn’t work. So I painted out the glasses, the bottles and all the other stuff one finds behind a pub bar, and moved her from the centre, where Manet placed the bar maid, to the left of the painting. I introduced the three strong horizontal bands of colour behind her and painted her almost entirely in black and white except for her hair and lips. I’m delighted to say that the painting was bought immediately I exhibited it.