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, April 2, 1917

    Thursday, April 2, 2015

    At Dusk to Bentleys under the grey sky – I was in the hollow at last twilight on the damp leaves – before an hypatica – the black gloom settled down over the saplings.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, April 1, 1939

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Out Clinton road almost to French to make a sketch. Painting of the stream that runs along the road here for a short distance, and then crosses under thru a cement culvert to the flats southward.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 31, 1918

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    To Teegarden Teritory – The first hollow – warm white sunlight, sparkling stream...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 30, 1938

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Last night I wrote this self-exhortation in my sketch notes “Have you grown so spiritually dead that you failed to make and notes of the strange and beautiful moonrise at dawn-light in the morning..."

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 29, 1963

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    He brought up the subject of their acquisition of the, “Late Winter Sunlight” for their new apartment home at the Park Lane –

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, Vol. 27A, March 28, 1916

    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    A cold raw day — fine for walking, tho I stayed indoors. Fine rain at times — trees made patterns against the sky — the robins sang as boldly at sunset time —The grass in town is green, but has not the emerald look.The romance of Sat &more

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, March 27, 1946

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    To the Albright Gallery. W.N.Y. Show. Not very interesting. The guard told me one of my pictures was in one of the north galleries. It turned out to be “Mid-June” up for purchase consideration.

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, March 24, 1924

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    March skies have come – Today at noon the first cumulus clouds of the year loomed upwards towards the sun startling white topped with black trees against them – an hour later, and a great soft warm yellow gray blanket from the west comes to spread over the sky, the cumulus fleetmore

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 25, 1915

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Morning is cloudy + cold – a fine breeze braces over shoulders; early in the afternoon great blue holes appear in the sky thru which the wind whistle

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 24, 1937

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Morning- Half sunlight from vague misty sky. On my walk hear killdeer, red-winged blackbirds...

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