In the artist's words: "I prefer... a picture composed and painted outdoors. This making studies and then taking them home to use them is only half right. You get composition but you lose freshness."
Quoted in Lloyd Goodrich, Winslow Homer (New York: The Whitney Museum of American Art, 1973).
In 1893, Winslow Homer left his busy life in New York and built a studio in an old stable on the high shore of Prout's Neck in Maine, only a few hundred feet from the ocean. He loved walking on the cliffs during fierce storms to study the way the surf did battle with the rocks. On more pleasant days, he had little interest in the water. When the ocean was calm, he thought it looked like "a duck pond."