Charles E. Burchfield in his own words Share Tweet

 
Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Landscape with Hills and Clouds, Undated; watercolor on paper, 26 x 30 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Landscape with Hills and Clouds, Undated; watercolor on paper, 26 x 30 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives

Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 22, 1946

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

To country S.W. of Pike sketching –

First eastward on 20 to Wyoming Village to see about reserving a room for Red and Sally for the night of their anniversary (Aug. 9) –

The speed at which the car has to be driven, (on account of the “overhauling”) = 30 miles, is at first galling, but after a while I got used to it, and found it pleasant to go slowly along, looking at the landscape. I discovered by chance, that with the left window half open at right angles to the door, caught my whistling, and repeated the air with me, one step lower, in harmony. It was only plainly audibly within the limit of one scale. I amused myself by whistling air as loud as I could.

South from Warsaw, turn right at Pike on what I took to be the Genesee Rd.

After about a couple miles westward, where the cement road became dirt, I found my “spot” to work and stay for the afternoon. (I had already eaten my lunch at a spot in the road between Wyoming Village & Warsaw). A high table land, receding to valleys in all directions. A field of hay, with many [Black-Eyed Susan,] daisies and other flowers.

It was a fine day – partly cloudy, misty, and slightly cool. At times the sun would come forth a few moments and shine dimly, at which time it grew momentarily hot. Pale tall phantom-like cumulus clouds half lost in the misty air.

After my long abstinence from sketching, I felt carefree and happy to be out under the wide sky, and in a landscape that seemed illimitable.

A water color of the hayfield motives and one or two of the phantom clouds.

As I was nearing a finish, a farmer and his little girl came along on their way to mow some hay. The farmer called and asked me if his little girl could come and see my picture. Of course I was agreeable. They came over and admired volubly what I had done. Even at my age and experience I do not know what to say under such circumstances.

Supper under a wide spreading maple, in a pasture field on the south side of the road. On the edge of the high ground – the valley to the westward – the railroad in the lowest point, with a sharp almost right angle curve. A farmer cutting hay on the sloping hill to the west; the wind and the hill back of him threw the sounds he made to me quite clearly. It was odd to note due to the difference in the speed of sight and sound waves, how I would see him stop, adjust something on the cutting machine and start up again and then hear his “Whoa, there” – and his “Giddup” after he was on his way again.

Stay until after eight – pick a bouquet of yellow daisies and pink mallow – then homeward [through] Arcade and Route 16.

Later in the evening Mart tells us she and Hank want to be formally engaged and married soon. She said Hank was coming to see us [Wednesday].

Charles E. Burchfield, July 22, 1946

 

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