Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), For the Beauty of the Earth, 1959; watercolor on paper, 33 x 44 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, April 1, 1959
Saturday, April 1, 2017
To Gowanda – Zoar Valley Rd — to the Big Woods (scene of so many of last year’s woods sketches)
A cold cloudy day, wind from the east. With what elation I set forth, my first country sketching trip since last Dec. 4! —
No sign of yesterday’s snow at Hamburg – Between N. Collins and Gowanda, a fine wet snow commences. Stop at Taylor’s Grove buy 2 gallons of Maple Syrup. —
By the time I reached the Big Woods, the snow had almost ceased falling. First for a walk in the ravine: a fine moment — the gaunt bare trees, with fine snow falling between, the distances hazed – the rattle of snow on dead leaves, the little brook singing —
Before lunch – I first chose my sketching spot — (planning to  do a crow cawing from tree tops motif –) – I find a suitable spot readily and set up my easel – then back to the car for lunch. Hepaticas just in bud here.
[Burchfield highlighted the last paragraph with red pencil]
All afternoon on the sketch, with great pleasure, improvising freely & inventing symbols. – The sky cleared about mid-afternoon, but I was able to proceed anyway. – Finished about six — the sun setting in a blaze of gold behind the wooded hills to the west. I dug a few hepaticas for B to put in a dish, then got a basket of rotten wood for the rhubarb. Then moved the car to the brow of the hill westward and ate my lunch. A pale moon sliver, almost horizontal. Then home. B thought the sketch one of my best.
Charles E. Burchfield, April 1, 1959