By 1961 de Kooning was settling into The Springs, the house in East Hampton, Long Island that he later bought from his brother-in-law Peter Fried. He spent less time in New York, although he continued to work in his studio there, until a new studio could be built near The Springs that could accomodate large paintings. In 1963 de Kooning painted Pastorale, the last painting he completed in his New York studio, and took up full-time residence at The Springs.
The move to the sun-drenched open vistas of the East End was already having an impact on De Kooning's painting. His landscapes, which in the late 1950s were urban in their inspiration, take on a lighter-keyed and more glowing palette. These warm colors help bring about the fusion of the landscape and female figure themes in de Kooning's work. The hard contours of the "Woman" paintings of the early 1950s dissolve in light and watery reflection; "Willem de Kooning the 'Expressionist' had become Willem de Kooning the 'Impressionist'" (D. Waldman, Willem de Kooning in East Hampton, exh. cat. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1978, p. 21)
The present drawing displays to an extraordinary degree the new tonal subtlety and lyrical richness that the artist's new surroundings brought to his work. The drawing is composed of a variety of marks, from dark accents to grainy, atmospheric half-tones. Indeed, the present work looks forward to the Ruben-like ripeness of the Clam Diggers, 1964 the first important painting in de Kooning's next series of Woman paintings.