During the 1980s Sandy Moffat made a number of paintings of young Scottish artists, including Ken Currie, Peter Howson and Gwen Hardie. Each sitter was depicted alongside their own work and all the paintings were painted directly onto the canvas with little or no preparatory sketches. This is the second of two portraits Moffat made of Gwen Hardie and as a result, Moffat explained, ‘I could be more ambitious, more certain about things. Gwen was able to find a more natural pose, one which she felt very positive about.’ Hardie’s painting ‘Venus with Spikes’ is shown in the background - its confrontational imagery of a female body decorated with internal spikes reflects the artist’s own relaxed but defiant posture. Hardie is from the town of Newport-on-Tay in Fife.