Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), August Cloud, August 1, 1947; watercolor on paper, 37 3/4 x 27 3/4 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, August 1, 1947
Saturday, August 1, 2020
To Zimmerman Road —
[A brilliant day after a cold morning – the sun warm but a cool northerly wind.
I felt good, and eager to paint, and also to get some ferns and cardinal flowers for a little garden by the side of the house.
As it was not quite lunch time, I decided to get the plants before eating, then paint in the afternoon and get extra dirt etc. in the evening. I went to the accustomed spot where the flowers were plentiful, and dug up ten plants. My basket was not big enough so I was forced to made a sort of bag of my coat for the rest. After I had placed these carefully in the “trunk” of the car, I went and dug up the same number of ferns.
A short walk to relieve myself of the exertion, and then I ate my lunch. After this, I set out to find my painting spot.
My subject in a way, was a pre-conceived one. I wanted to paint the effect of sunlight coming from directly behind me, with the effect of sunrays coming from above and slanting downwards (the effect produced by perspective). I found, without trouble, an ideal place for the working out of this idea.
It was good to be back in this place, scene of so many interesting and happy hours painting last summer. The fields and woods already had the mid-summer August look. A few grasshoppers singing in the reddening grasses, and occasionally a timid cicada, who after one song would lapse for long pauses into silence, as if frightened by its own sound. Puffy white clouds, driven by the northeasterly wind, drifted across the clean cobalt sky.]
Finished about six — after carrying my “gear” to the car, I set about getting some rotting wood, and black muck, after which I took a short walk northward. I then moved the car out into a more open space to eat my supper. In the fields to the west, above which the sun was slowly declining, some farmers were loading a truck with hay, and another with a team of horses was cutting.
I spent the evening here. A short excursion into a black-caverned woods, where I found a gray-topped mushroom (which we identified later as collybia platyphilla.
I had planned to wait for the moon to rise, but grew tired, and set out for home by way of the Cole Road –
Charles E. Burchfifeld, August 1, 1947