Born in Melbourne, Charles William Bush studied under Mcinnes (q. v.) and Wheeler at the National Gallery of Victoria School, and later taught there from 1954 to 1955. After his appointment as a war artist in 1943, he studied, travelled and exhibited overseas. In partnership with his longtime companion Phyl Waterhouse, and June Davies, he established the Leveson Street Gallery, Melbourne, in 1962. Bush was equally adept with pen and brush, and won many awards for his skilful, professional paintings which included landscapes, seascapes, genre and portraits. (He was also widely known throughout Australia for his long-running weekly television programme My Fair Lady.)

Both Charles Bush and Phyl Waterhouse frequently stayed with Ursula and Edward Hayward at Carrick Hill, during their many visits to South Australia, when they also often exhibited at John Martin's Gallery. Bush presented his portrait of Phyl Waterhouse to their hosts, the Haywards, in 1946.

Bush's swift and sure technique is evident in this accurate and competent portrait of Phyl Waterhouse, which captures the personality and the likeness of the very talented painter, muralist and gallery director.