Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Fantasy of Heat, 1952-58; watercolor on paper, 40 x 30 inches; Private Collection, Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 21, 1952
Thursday, July 19, 2018
A wonderful day, such as happens seldom—in spite of physical discomforts, I was completely in tune, and the natural elements put on one dramatic moment after another….
Parked at the Great Hill for a brief reconnaissance then north to the Maples. Here I decided to spend the day. First took my lunch in. The deep grass still wet from a morning shower—Hot and steamy—I soon was wet all over from sweat. While eating I watched a tiger-swallowtail sporting over the meadow. He used the various air-currents for his aerial acrobatics—seldom flapping his wings. To float he set them stiffly at 45 degree angles upward. He loved to dive almost to the ground, and would rise from such a descent just as quickly, without any effort—A lovely creature. What goes on in his brain? How much do they think—are the actions blind instinct or are they conscious of pleasure? And do they remember?...
Charles Burchfield, July 21, 1952