Artwork Share Tweet

 
Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Spring Silhouette, April 1916; watercolor with graphite on paper, Overall: 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 in. (22.5 x 30.2 cm) Frame: 19 1/8 x 21 3/4 in. (48.6 x 55.2 cm); Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Spring Silhouette, April 1916; watercolor with graphite on paper, Overall: 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 in. (22.5 x 30.2 cm) Frame: 19 1/8 x 21 3/4 in. (48.6 x 55.2 cm); Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979

In April 1916, Burchfield produced a number of important small sketches in Bedford Glens and other wooded areas near his home in Salem. On April 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, he created vertical all-day sketches that document rain, soaring birds, sunbursts, snow or water bubbles, a kite pulled in a southerly wind pattern, and a half moon at night. On April 3, he also created a “Conventualization of Tree just commencing to leaf” with the notation to paint “a thin veil of green thru which can be seen trunk & branches & also sky & other object[s] behind.” Spring Silhouette, a watercolor rendition of this idea, illustrates two pleached coves of trees.  On the left a young tree has leaves, surrounded by older trees that have nascent chartreuse leaves, flanked by mature trees that are still leafless. On the right, the opposite scenario plays out, with a leafless sapling in the center surrounded by mid-sized trees with newly sprouted spring growth and tall trees thick with green leaves. —Nancy Weekly