“To me there are no rules…except those which your own feelings suggest and he who renders nature to make one feel sentiment of such, to me is the greatest man.”
— J. Alden Weir, 1876
As a pioneer of American Impressionism, J. Alden Weir set aside the artistic conventions of his day to explore new ways of painting. His words are a good reminder to me to take risks, connect with a subject, and express what I see and feel. While visiting Weir’s former home, now the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, I had just a short time to sketch, so I don’t think I was altogether successful in illustrating his words. They really should be paired with the spreading oaks and maples, stone walls, red barns, and scenic landscapes of his farm. But who knows– maybe Weir would be forgiving, telling me to forget what “should be” and keep putting brush to paper.