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 1929

    Sunday, July 5, 2015

    All my mis-deeds, all my denials swept over me as I lay in bed – where have I been? 

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, Vol. 43, July 3-4, 1940

    Saturday, July 4, 2015

    July 3 – Wed.Buying Fireworks for Arthur & Catherine & Sally —July 4 – Thurs.Arthur’s last year to celebrate with Firecrackers. Evening our usual celebration with the “House on–Fire” as a grand finale.more

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 4, 1935

    Saturday, July 4, 2015

    There comes a point in fireworks where the sensations of sight and sound overlap, and affect one another. Our perception of the loveliness of bursting rockets, is different, when suddenly bombs start bursting in the midst of the cataracts of stars. I cannot explain how it seems to me. And amore

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 2, 1938

    Friday, July 3, 2015

    A “clearing-up” day after the rain yesterday. The wind from the northeast, great loose clouds in a calm blue sky, the air full of the hot per-fume laden humidity of early summer. 

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 1, 1914

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    Following two days of cold numbing weather, July opens with a cool rainy day. The sky is down East. The rain comes down evenly and quietly. A cool breeze stirs the sluggish air. There is nothing dispiriting about the rain. The sky is brightening westward.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 1, 1948

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

     The longing to do exactly what he was doing became almost too great to bear.

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, June 25, 1925

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015

    I cut the weeds in the front yard tonight.  Regret came with the first blow of the sickle...  

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, June 29, 1949

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    Evening B & I to Strand—then changed our minds and went for drive instead—Seeing an ambulance we decided impulsively to follow it. It led us a “merry chase”

  • Charles Burchfield, Journals, June 28 – July 6, 1958

    Sunday, June 28, 2015

    The children were adorable – Art so sturdy and bright and always coming to me to be loved – Shy again at first, Nancy soon made up with us again in a couple of days – Cyndy was so good, and happy –

  • Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, June 27, 1941

    Saturday, June 27, 2015

    A bouquet of pink clover — such large blossoms as I do not remember seeing before – The odor – if it could be translated into a visual thing, would be like the rosy bloom on the sun-tanned cheek of a child.

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