Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Forest Fire in Moonlight, 1920; watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, 26 1/4 x 18 3/4 inches; Private Collection
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals March 25, 1920
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
P.M. to Bottoms sketching –
It is the day for burning the swamps – a hot white wind out of the south; the blue smoke – wonderful music; the roar of wind in the tree tops, with call of crows, bluebirds, killdeers & blackbirds, then all at once as the fires reaches a thick pile of brush – the mighty crackling roar of flame drowns out all else.
How the flames leap up wildly into the hot white air – how pale & ghostlike they appear in the dazzling sunlight
At late afternoon, the fire has rushed on, leaving burning stumps on the hillside like torches - ; the rain-gloom has covered the sky with vivid flattened lights – a redbird sings
[in margin] Note: (The “Bottoms” were low flat marshes just below “Post’s Woods”)
Dusk comes gradually and when it is dark, a hazy moon shines ludicrously above the burning stumps and logs which glow like furnaces.