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, September 2, 1942

    Wednesday, September 2, 2015

    B + I out to the Allen Rd. country - take our lunch along and eat under the big maple at the east end of the road. Tho a warm humid day, it was pleasant under the tree, for a wind, that increased somewhat as the day progresses, rendered the air in the shade delightful.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, September 1, 1917

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    I found this evening dangling on the end of grass frond, a curled morning glory flower, which in drying had fastened a tiny grey feather to the grass stem. How did this happen?

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 31, 1914

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    All the birds of the air have this silveriness of flight from their long association with the ethereal upper air perhaps.

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 30, 1959

    Sunday, August 30, 2015

    Mrs. Sheldon was one of those unfortunate persons who can not only see faces and other objects where they are not, but also must insist on airing their “discoveries” and arguing about them.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, Vol. 19, August 29, 1914

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Night clear and starry.Tho evening spent riotously at King’s all of that falls away from my mind and only the impression of the afternoon remains.I find that I am extremely absentminded on all things except those which I love — art, nature & music. Imore

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, August 28, 1916

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    A cool rainy morning – clearing  - vivid blue cold sky – reflected in pools + wet roofs – brilliant cold sunlight

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 28, 1913

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    Clouds! While other phenomena of nature delight us and arouse the poetry in us I do not believe anything quite stirs our imagination as do clouds...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, August 26, 1914

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    A poplar tree, no matter how distant, may be discerned from all others. Saw one this morning quite aways off whose twinkle, lessened by distance, appeared as heat waves. All the coldness of the sky + wind + the freshness of the sunlight was in that tree.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, August 25, 1917

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Strange how Summer and Fall should meet all at once. Last night was deep August – stagnant, heavy, a huge thunderstorm booming to the North...

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 24, 1948

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    To Zimmerman Rd. to do the grasshopper picture...unpremeditated was the introduction of a yellow & black spider (Miranda) feeding on a grasshopper...

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