Landscape painter Edward Willis Redfield would be inspired by the sights and scenery of almost everywhere he traveled. He would capture the gentle beauty of spring time scenes and he would effectively demonstrate the impact of man on his environment. He would achieve all of his effects with a reliance on Impressionist techniques, using bold strokes of color and thick layers of paint. His works were usually done in one sitting, and outdoors ("en plein air").
He had studied at the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia at the age of twelve, from there he moved on to the Franklin Institute where an emphasis was placed on academic technique.
Redfield would then acquire his unique method of painting a scene in one "live" sitting from commercial artist Henry Rolfe, with whom he studied from 1884 to 1887. He later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before heading to London in 1889.
Redfield then traveled through France before settling into classes at the Academie Julian, where he studied under William Bouguereau. His final formal training would be at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1890, and 1891 would see his first successful submission to the Paris Salons.
In 1892 a successful solo exhibition was staged in Boston, and Redfield was able to return to Europe to marry the young woman he had fallen in love with only a year earlier. The couple settled in Pennsylvania, but upon the death of their first child they returned to France.
While they were in Europe the Pennsylvania Academy displayed an exhibition of Redfield's work and the pair was soon recalled to the United States. They settled in Bucks County, where Redfield would become known as a painter of the New Hope school, a group that would eventually be called the Pennsylvania Impressionists.
His favorite subject was snowscapes, and he continued to paint his distinctive version of these subjects throughout this period. He also began exploring the coastal areas of Maine and painted cityscapes in the winter months as well. He briefly relocated to Pittsburgh in order to serve as a juror for the Carnegie International Exhibition and was deeply shocked by the city's squalor, which he captured in distinct scenes far from his usual subjects of all-natural beauty.
His later work transitioned into more distinct lines and forms. When his wife died in 1947, Redfield destroyed more than one thousand paintings, reserving only those he felt worthy. By 1953 he had completely abandoned painting and worked strictly in handicrafts.
His works won hundreds of awards throughout his career, and his paintings are in dozens of major museums throughout the world.