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</>, January 23, 1962

    Saturday, January 23, 2021

    In the eastern sky the moon shining through the flaky clouds (which were patterned with rhythmic darker sky openings) was surrounded by a broad orange halo...

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, January 22, 1954

    Friday, January 22, 2021

    Continuously cold weather – close to zero every morning – More work on the 1917 picture – P.M. – asked Bertha to look at it – she liked it all except the upper left sky...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 21, 1943

    Thursday, January 21, 2021

    ...wishing for milder weather so I can paint, I am blind to the beauty and power of this zero weather...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 20, 1952

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    Late P.M. – to the Koenig (James & Catherine) opening at A.I.B – a good show. Afterwards to Quaker Bonnet for supper.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 19, 1942

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    The January thaw. - Thick almost impenetrable fog - The pores of the earth seem to open and exude a chill dampness into the sodden air - The ice in the creek breaking up, but no real flood water yet..

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, January 18, 1911

    Monday, January 18, 2021

    "...The Class play is in full progress...The evening I spent up at Edith’s with Fred and Louise, where we played five hundred, drank grape juice and had a general good time."

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

    Sunday, January 17, 2021

    Up fairly early (8:00) So got more work done today – Finished work on the drawing started yesterday – and worked on several others and mounted them – and started going through previously mounted ones.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 16, 1954

    Saturday, January 16, 2021

    Got to work on the 1920 “Day After Christmas” picture it went well – when I came out, the air was freshening – a brilliant western horizon – exciting feeling of weather change...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 15, 1947

    Friday, January 15, 2021

    A mild beautiful day yesterday, with clear watery blue sky, a few white clouds and warm sunshine. Toward sunset mists gathered, and in the evening a heavy downpour of rain...

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 14, 1941

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

    A dream, most of which evaporated with waking. Out there remains the memory of finding two pair of beautiful moths by the side of a dark green pool.

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