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 Burchfiel, Journals, October 21, 19

    Sunday, October 21, 2018

    664 – “Smoke Hazard” from tile works. Announced ahead of time by warning signs, and orders to use lights. The “works” were to the right not far from the road. The smoke came in great billowing masses over the road and actually made “visibility” close tomore

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 20, 1956

    Saturday, October 20, 2018

    Mild and misty again — so I painted the wild geese episode I saw Thursday.  All nature seems glorious to me again, and my relation to my work more normal – Up until now there have still been, in the inner recesses of my mind, ripples from the retrospective —

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, October 8, 1913

    Friday, October 19, 2018

    Fine autumn weather—Clear skies, warm sunshine—And wonderful cool breezes from the south—A calm quietness has settled over all things. The odor of burning leaves—What an intoxication!

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, October 16, 1913

    Thursday, October 18, 2018

    What wonderful weather is fall weather—I can only describe it as capricious. Weather of the Indian Summer type prevails—

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 17, 1920

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    While there my attention was attracted from the sight of the thinning trees beyond the Libery stable in the hazy October sunshine, to an old man and a group of boys

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 16, 1938

    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Spent the afternoon putting some daffodil & tulip bulbs along the side of the house – the mild luscious weather continues...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 15, 1914

    Monday, October 15, 2018

    "...The present model Sam, when I asked him what he did evenings said he often took a walk or played cards and was anxious that I should understand that he did not play for money, only for fun..."

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 14, 1958

    Sunday, October 14, 2018

    Got to work on the dismounting of the 1917 “In a September Meadow” which I added to, preparing to make it large.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, October 13, 1957

    Saturday, October 13, 2018

    Late P.M. – another visit to Chestnut Ridge, this time to the western part — several excursions into the woods — first a “nursery” of pines — the long corridors between deciduous trees – the ground spongy and springy with several inches of fallen needlesmore

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, October 15, 1915

    Friday, October 12, 2018

    Yesterday morning while on my way to school in the rain, I marked that the color of autumn seems to have come all at once—Walking under the trees I felt as if the color made sound—

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