The red-haired girl sits patiently for the artist within her garden or local forest. A small pond can be seen behind and a tree stands besides her in order to provide some vertical structure to the painting. In the distance we can make out further trees and also a small opening through which sunlight peeks through. The girl herself, Miss Betty Pollock, wears a pretty white dress which covers her down to below the knee. The artist chooses to crop below that point in any case. Her blue ribbon which is tied around her stomach adds a splash of colour which is then repeated again with reflections of light across the pond behind, as well as the sunlight at the far back. She looks away from the viewer, just to our left hand side and this creates a barrier to connection between the model and ourselves, something which Waterhouse would regularly do within his mythologically-themed portraits. More formal portraits such as this one were much rarer and would have been produced as a favour to a friend or family member in most likelihood.
This painting was sold at auction as recently as 2015 for the impressive figure of £110,500 which is relatively high for this artist when you consider that this is not one of his more famous paintings. Much of his output now resides within private collections, and some of that do appear at auction from time to time, just as this one would do. The piece has featured within several publications on the artist, dating back several decades and so there is no question as to the authenticity of this piece, which is also signed in the bottom right corner by the artist himself. Waterhouse is believed to have shared a connection with the Pollock family which brought about their meeting and Elizabeth (Betty) Pollock would have been approximately thirteen at the time that this painting was completed.
The bright green lily pads which float across the pond in the background will remind many of the iconic paintings produced by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. He was the true master of this plant, featuring it within a whole host of canvases in which he studied the impact of changing conditions upon its appearance. Some of the canvases were huge, measuring many metres apart and the artist was able to work directly from his garden, having installed a pond there in order to be able to work whenever he felt the urge. The garden itself remains open to the public today and efforts have been made to keep it as faithful as possible to how it looked during the artist's own lifetime. Several other members of his group were gardeners themselves, and so there was a natural connection between their work and the display of plants and flowers within environments such as these. Some of Monet's memorable depictions on this topic included The Water Lily Pond, Water Lilies, 1919 and Japanese Footbridge 1899.