Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Past Noon, July 7, 1916; watercolor on paper, 14 x 19 7/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979
Painted very shortly after Burchfield completed his studies at the Cleveland School of Art, in Past Noon the artist captures a sprawling vista over a field to houses and a church, nestled into the treescape as if they had grown there along with the foliage. In this painting, Burchfield’s design sensibilities can be seen at work again. The sky, a solid block of pale orange, is background to stylized, graphic trees and triangular rooftops tinged by the light of the day. The scene seems to calmly reverberate, emphatically outlined in accenting colors. Squiggled lines in patterns alternate, dark-on-light then light-on-dark, guiding us through the field into town.