The process of constructing a painting was very important to De Kooning. The layers of paint and his use of colour indicate a method of adding and taking away. Over the entire canvas the artist uses an immense variety of brush strokes. In the final work the surface was built up with a thick and varied texture. Although the abstract painting resists a direct reading, forms associated with landscapes emerge in this work. North Atlantic Light could be read as a seascape. This way of seeing is reinforced with the ‘silhouette’ of a small blue ‘sailboat’ and its mirror image on water. During this period De Kooning lived near the coast in the surroundings of East Hampton. In those years he stated: ‘I reflected upon the reflections in the water, like the fishermen do’.
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