This painting is included in the database of the artist’s work being compiled by the Wyeth Center at the William A. Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine.
The present work was painted on Maine's Monhegan Island in 1969, from the roof of the famous Island Inn overlooking Fish Beach along the mouth of the Monhegan harbor. The serene and rugged landscape of Maine has been a continual source of inspiration to American masters, from Thomas Cole to George Bellows to the three generations of Wyeth family artists. Jamie Wyeth's grandfather N.C. Wyeth moved his family to Maine in 1920, eventually passing on a legacy of painting in the Port Clyde area to Jamie's father Andrew Wyeth, who famously incorporated the local people and landscapes into his work. Following in their footsteps, Jamie Wyeth still spends portions of the year in this area. Early in his career, Wyeth spent time working in a Monhegan Island studio once owned by the famed Maine painter Rockwell Kent.
Painting familiar subjects, places and people that surround his everyday life, Wyeth has created a visual language of his own. From the high vantage point in the present work, Open Sea portrays the beauty of the domesticated yet wild coastline, where everyday life meets the uninhabitable, endless horizon of the ocean. The coastal atmosphere becomes tangible in the depiction of the radiant sun against the side of the Inn, glistening on top of the sea and bringing to life the magnificent blues and greens of Wyeth's glorious seaside vista.