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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), New Moon in December, 1948-1965; watercolor and conté crayon on paper, 17 ¼ x 10 7/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Peter C. Andrews, 2018

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), New Moon in December, 1948-1965; watercolor and conté crayon on paper, 17 ¼ x 10 7/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Peter C. Andrews, 2018

Barely discernable words across the bottom of this work have been obscured by paint strokes. “Pools in…in December” describes snow- or rain-filled ruts in a plowed field. A new crescent moon glows in the sky—a phenomenon that occurs days after the new moon, when the dark side of the moon faces the earth. Sunlight scintillates in an orange and green dotted line on the horizon. Sounds or heat waves emanate from barren trees on a distant hill, surrounded by the yellow glow of warm sun-heated air contrasting with blue-rimmed clouds. — Nancy Weekly