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 E. Burchfield, Journals, July 24, 1927

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

    I long for old half-forgotten moods— For endless summer days—spent in the Ohio hills – for the July days of 1918 spent in the hill country south of Salem—

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 23, 1964

    Friday, July 23, 2021

    The “heat wave” continues unabated. Lunch at the Lodge, where the air-conditioning was delightful. P.M. — Sketch from the walnut grove — of the sun high in the sky, with tall phantom clouds...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 22, 1915

    Thursday, July 22, 2021

    At 6:00 – A walk to the Dutchman’s – Sunburst under long bank of Clouds – Down Painter road which is lit up with romantic orange.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 21, 1946

    Wednesday, July 21, 2021

    P.M. Hank & Mart take C [Catherine] – S [Sally] & M.A. [Mary Alice] to beach. B [Bertha] & I out for drive at late afternoon – south to Glenwood & west to Boston, home on Cole Rd.

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

    Tuesday, July 20, 2021

    A wren sang to a Dappled Dawn – I am terrified that I view nature with such lassitud...

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 19, 1915

    Monday, July 19, 2021

    "...I took a walk after sunset tonight along country roads..."

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 18, 1946

    Sunday, July 18, 2021

    She fixed two of her drinks (which we call Big Berthas to tease her) consisting of a shot of whiskey, orange juice, and ginger ale with ice, very good –

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 17, 1917

    Saturday, July 17, 2021

    Last night in the Half sleep, Imagined I had gone in the boat to a corner of the lake (I had been there in the morning.) All at once strange hideous shapes loomed out of the trees; first grinning evil faces, then gigantic slimy gorillas with long clutching arms; I turned my boat; the water becamemore

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 16, 1964

    Friday, July 16, 2021

    In spite of all had a good night — (Prep on the sunburn and aspirin did the trick!) But postponed my visit to Dr. A. until tomorrow morning...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 15, 1946

    Thursday, July 15, 2021

    A fresh brilliantly clear day – a cool east wind. It tips the top branches of trees, which catch the early sunlight, forming pale yellowish green tops against the sky. 

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