Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Old House by Creek, 1938; oil on canvas, 34 1/2 x 57 in. (87.6 x 144.8 cm); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Purchase, 39.14
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 8, 1938
Saturday, February 8, 2020
When I look at the sketch I worked on Saturday & yesterday, and note how I achieved a certain sort of freedom in it, former nature studies seem inhibited; and even this one is perhaps a little too self-contained— I think, oh, when will I ever really let myself go and express the tremendous force of nature, or will I die at last without having done so? But the vital force must be within me.
I like to think of myself—as an artist—as being in a nondescript swamp, alone, up to my knees in mire, painting the vital beauty I see there, in my own way, not caring a damn about tradition, or anyone’s opinion.
—Charles E. Burchfield, February 8, 1938
[Note, on Feb 6, 1938 he wrote: “PM. To Buffalo Creek at Bailey to get impressions for the “Seneca St. House” painting—" He had been making studies for Old House by Creek, 1932-38—NW]