Eardley's first Glasgow studio was in Cochraine Street, after which she moved to 204 St James's Road in the Townhead district of the city. The tenemented streets, teeming with children, absorbed her throughout the 1950s, 'The character of Glasgow lies in its back streets which are for me pictorially exciting ... The back streets mean almost entirely screaming, playing children - all over the streets - and only in the shadows of doorways groups of women, and at street corners groups of men, but always chiefly children and the noise of children' (see C. Oliver, Joan Eardley, R.S.A. (1921-1963), Arts Council Memorial Exhibition Catalogue, Glasgow, 1964, p. 9).
The artist's favourite models were the Samson family, 'There is a large number of Samsons, twelve at the present moment, so I have always had a certain number of children from this family of any age when I chose to need. This particular family of Samsons move me. They hardly notice me when they come in. They are full of what they have been doing. Who has gone to jail today. Who has broken into what shop. Who flung a pie into whose face, and so it goes on and on. They are letting out their life ... For me they are Glasgow' (see W. Buchanan, Joan Eardley, Edinburgh, 1976, p. 36).