Charles E. Burchfield in his own words

From the age of seventeen until the end of his life, American watercolor painter Charles E. Burchfield wrote in journals that chronicled his artistic and intellectual development. These journals reveal much about his unique vision, love of nature and gift for writing. Burchfield’s passion for writing could not be contained in the journals alone. Throughout his career, his moods, ideas and personal critiques were also recorded on thousands of scraps of paper and studies for paintings as well as in letters to family, friends and colleagues. His complex and layered visual language points to a complex human being. The inner triumphs, struggles and ambitions of his career are reflected and recorded in his own words and serve as an inspiration for all.

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  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 25, 1950

    Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    A.M. Studying & discussing the show at Rehn’s in April. We about come to the conclusion that I should confine the show to woodland scenes & related nature fantasy...

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 24, 1911

    Monday, February 24, 2020

    "...Bill said “That was all right”, Burchie. Of course, I knew it wasn’t, but it cheered me in my misery...It is more like Spring to-day. The sun came up in a clear.."

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 23, 1962

    Sunday, February 23, 2020

    Studying: Various pictures of recent years – also the winter and spring folios of 1920. Got out the notes on Winter Dawn, 1920, and the 1920 water-color – made a drawing for mood of this subject –

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 22, 1912

    Saturday, February 22, 2020

    What would I not give to be out in the woods on days like this! The roaring of the wind thru 38. some dense copse would be the most enjoyable thing imaginable. Will I never be able to study nature as I would, until, by a partial isolation or complete isolation from her, the keenness of my interestmore

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 21, 1963

    Friday, February 21, 2020

    Brilliant sunlight—a stiff S.W. cold (+6˚): a combination that seems only to belong to late February—the sound of a February wind; as in the [Till] Eulenspiegel legend of Winter & Lucifer, the nearer it gets to Spring, the more Winter blows at the heart of the earth to freezemore

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 20, 1915

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    The sky is streaked vague blue and white; sunlight dim; the streets are dusty; the air is warm; almost motionless, yet there is a subtle coolness which is pleasant.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals February 19, 1948

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    Evening—B & I to chamber music concert at the Gallery. A fine program beautifully played—a trio of Mozart, Sonata (piano and violin) of Beethoven and a Trio (Opus 101) of Brahms.

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 18, 1950

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

     What a difference snow makes in a landscape. Our snow-less winter was monotonous, and without any seasonal character. Now, with the recent snowstorm everything is changed...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 17, 1962

    Monday, February 17, 2020

    Loose clouds dawn, which soon evaporated beginning first on the northern horizon, where a broad band of clear cerulean appeared – soon the whole sky was clear, and the sun blazed forth full and strong –

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 16, 1962

    Sunday, February 16, 2020

    Actually, how fortunate I am that at 68, I am still able to do many things, have a voracious appetite which has to be curbed and not forced; eating is a mundane thing but a good appetite is a joy.

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