Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Yellow Torrent in the Woods Near Hepatica Hollow, 1951; Watercolor and chalk on paper, mounted, 40 1/2 x 26 inches; Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, July 25, 1945
Monday, July 25, 2016
A warm restless night-
A dream –
All of us, and Joe, come to a rooming house in a village in some southern state (Tennessee?) to spend the night. Joe + Art decide about midnight to go out to get “cokes” at some all night soda fountain. They urge me to go out – altho I am dead for sleep,I finally consent to go. Clad in my pajamas (the other two are dressed),bedroom slippers, + bathrobe, I set out with them.
We moved at once to an excursion boat, which crosses a river on the other side of which is a fairly large city – The river is swollen with spring rains and is a roaring torrent of rapids. Somehow the boat sails safely across the rapids + we disembark.
I am worried about my attire. Altho it is now about two or three thirty a.m. there are many people aboard, mostly young people; college students I thought.
Bertha is now with us, and we become separated from Joe and Art – then I lose track of Bertha, and spend a long anxious time trying to find her. I think now we ought to return to bed, and it seems there is a bus that goes back to the village; but I cannot find the bus-station, and I know I must find Bertha before I can leave anyway.
I finally come to a drug-store where there are many college students drinking sodas + jitterbugging. Outside a soft wet February snow is falling. I awake at this point.
I am exhausted when it is time to get up. I can scarcely do the necessary things. Shaving is an agony. Eating almost as much of an effort. My blood has “turned to water.”
A hot, humid aimless day – I am in disdain over my painting. I haven’t a single creative thought or impulse. The best I can find to do is to put a glass in the shed door, and knock a box to pieces, removing the nails. This done, I am completely exhausted.
A stagnant evening – a remote thunderstorm (that only growled audibly once or twice) to the N.W. Another to the S.W. which passes southward in silence. The sun sank a soft orange red-orange glow in the thick gray green mass of cloud and at last midnight, salmon pink swirling masses of cloud in the high southern sky lit up the earth with a strange supernatural glow.
Charles E. Burchfield, July 25 – (Wed) 1945