Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Autumn Leaves at Play, 1950-1959; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches; Private Collection

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Autumn Leaves at Play, 1950-1959; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches; Private Collection

From NYC: BPAC Artist-in-Residence Entry 1, October 8, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for referencing Autumn Leaves at Play in your message. I was struck by the river of light that flows from the left middle ground diagonally to the center foreground. A conversation with a new student today at ICP came to mind and I sent her the image right away. She shared in critique that she has always felt like a shadow and, therefore, has been drawn to them photographically. In response, the assignment I gave her was to find and photograph the light in her life. Autumn Leaves at Play is the perfect example.

Burchfield and my AIR experience became part of my class discussion today when another student inquired about one of the issues with which I’ve been struggling: what happens to the creative process when the intuitive exploration becomes conscious? I responded by sharing my Presence series (projected from my website) and my experience to-date, including my intuitive approach and the challenges I faced when photographing again in September following my July presentation of the work-in-process. With the themes so concrete, I often found myself asking: does what I see "fit" within the series?

It was a useful exercise to respond to the student’s question by reflecting on what I did: I listened to the doubt, acknowledged it, returned to the quality of my initial reaction to the subject matter to determine its truth. Sometimes I was certain about its authenticity and I made the picture. Other times I was not sure and chose to make some of the images and not others. One of the shifts in my practice during this residency has been to allow myself to take the risk of making the picture I wasn't sure about at all. Doing so has led to satisfying discoveries.

Warmly, like the light,



Janelle Lynch is the 2013 Burchfield resident artist. She has garnered international recognition over the last decade for her large-format photographs of the urban and rural landscape. Widely exhibited, her work is in several public and private collections including the Burchfield Penney, George Eastman House Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum, the Fundación Vila Casas, Barcelona, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta, Argentina.