Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Orion in Winter, 1962; watercolor, white chalk and charcoal on paper on paper, 48 x 54 inches; Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 1993
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, March 7, 1962
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Morning gray, with light on the southern horizon — Temp. +34° - By early afternoon, the sun came out and it seemed like Spring –
In studio most of day working on “The Heavens Declare” and somewhat to my surprise bringing it more or less to a conclusion ‒ In fact, I had doubts about it, since I practically finished it [in] about a week’s time ‒ However when I took it into the house, Bertha insisted it was beautiful as well as logical — that I had reached the point where I did less fumbling because I had the experience of a life-time at my disposal.
The red-bird singing all day—his main ‘stomping-ground’ seems to be our willow tree— I discovered I had some sunflower seeds, so early in the afternoon I put some out under the willow tree, and some also on the studio roof. The sun made the air delightfully mild –
Evening— To East Aurora, the first of the mid-week Lenten services. The solemnity of the season – One of the hymns ‘Go to Dark Gethsemene.’
After the service we drove over on the Girdle Road and parked near the Blood Road so we could get a view of the sky unhampered by lights (except those of passing cars of which there were annoyingly too many!) The southwest sky blazing with the stars and constellations I used in my picture, an awesome sight. In the northeast the Big Dipper – in its winter-early Spring position – which I call “Balancing the Dipper” the dipper bowl at the top, the handle in a vertical position –
It was a fine moment for us to be alone under the vast sky –
Home, and played Canfield –
Bed-time music – Smetana’s the “High Castle” and “Moldau” — and the Virgil Thomson music.
Charles E. Burchfield, March 7, 1962