Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Afternoon Wind, 1964; watercolor on paper, 37 13/16 x 28 3/4 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods and Goodyear, In memory of Ruth Millet Goodyear, 1976
Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 23, 1914
Friday, July 25, 2014
How the wind prods the imagination, urging it to conjure wonderful things! The world is turning to silver. There is silver in the mist whitened sky, in the light of the dimmed sun, in the sunlight flashing on swirling leaves. Even shade has been opaqued and is lightning [sic] —in the spring shade looks cool and seems black—now it seems jaded and appears not much darker than the suncovered areas. Perhaps it is the dim sunlight that causes it, or perhaps the wind blows the shade away—a wild thought but the wind without doubt makes shade & sunlight the same—if it is a warm day there is no refuge from the heat in the shade; if a cold day we cannot warm ourselves by seeking the sun.
Why is it that I cannot seem to express the feeling I experience on a windy day? The wind catches our mind, tears it loose from us and carries it far and wide. It is a feeling of supreme elation, of detachment from ordinary affairs.
Economically speaking, the wind is one of the most effective renovators we have. Such days are mother earth’s clean up days. It is also a clean up day for the mind of a person who loves the wind—our minds are cleansed of all the truck that will accumulate, try as hard as we will to keep free of it.
Charles Burchfield, July 23, 1914