Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Clearing Sky, 1920; watercolor and pencil on paper, 19 1/4 x 26 1/2 inches, Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 22, 1914
Monday, July 22, 2019
Sultriness increases. Day clear until noon, when one or two white clouds appear. Little observation for me on account of my work but I find a splendid feeling inspired by the clouds. With the soil clouds came a smooth misty expanse of luminous yellow & blue streaked clouds. The streaks tend in one direction i.e. - from the north probably spun but of the air by a higher air current. The solid clouds are softened in outline and appear glued to the mist.
A yellow light fills the air - one mist wonder if it finds its source in the pale suns, whose dreamy light is spun over the whole sky with the drifting mists, or if it is the reflection of the dry yellow earth, of the roads, and appearing in chinks in the weeds & grass & from thirsting gardens. It envelopes all things in a harmony of yellow. A blue ragged cloud in front of sun holds especial beauty. The yellow light brings the beholder into harmony with ourselves as it blends nature. And so, the day does not go out without having inspired in us some reverent feeling.
Cicada heard at noon.
Swifts at evening
As sun nears the horizon the “solid” ragged blue clouds disappear. - has the spinning mists assimilated them. The sun appears as a bright soft glow in the west and the light from it spreads farther and seeks unheard of places out and brightens them.
Parent robin feeds young robin in top of cherry tree. The youngster full grown and well able to care for itself. This imposition of the young on the old common in the bird world. Tho it is not peculiar to them alone.
When complete darkness has come, clouds & mists vanish, and the stars shine brightly.
Charles E Burchfield, July 22, 1914