In 1971 while summering in New Harbor, Maine, one evening around dusk Barnet caught a glimpse of his wife standing on the porch with a shawl wrapped around her shoulders, her silhouette etched against the sea and sky. The image resonated with associations from his youth.
In describing this work, part of the series Women and the Sea, Barnet stated, “I was involved with trying to deal with the sky, ocean and great distances. I felt the need to come to grips with the radiant light found in the atmosphere without being realistic or literary. I want to disassociate from normal human activity the relationship between the figure and nature, and to deal instead with the mysterious poetry between the two. I want to give the sense of great distances yet keep the painting two-dimensional.”