Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Landscape with Rain, 1917; watercolor on paper, 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches; Collection of Merritt P. Dyke
Charles Burchfield, Journals, August 3, 1939
Monday, August 3, 2015
To Emporium country again. I had in mind a painting of a woods with a view over the hills, located about 15 miles below Smithport (sic). I arrived before noon, and to find a place to eat lunch, I took a dirt road leading off into the wooded hillside (I found later I was in Penn. State woods). I soon came upon a wide open place where I could look southward over all the hills. Here I decided to paint, first eating lunch.
As I was setting up my out fit (sic), I heard thunder behind the hills in the west, where the sky became overcast and more threatening with each moment. I had barely made a few tentative outlines when the rain came. I hastily put whatever would be harmed by the rain in the car, then sat, and watched the storm.
It was fine to see the rain coming across the hills. It was like a dense curtain, mouse colored or gray brown in tone, accompanied by a soft dull roar, which increased in volume and sharpened in tone as the rain neared me. The rain came down in torrents for an hour or so, and then settled down into a steady gentle fall. I packed my things, and droved (sic) down, thru a long maze of woods until I struck the main road.
Realizing painting was out, I set out to explore S.E. of Emporium for high hills. I found many interesting things & made notes.
I decided then to head for home. But on the way, I stopped at the point I originally wanted to sketch and was so impressed by the scene that I had to make a sketch. The sky was dark and lowery, the woods shrouded in deep twilight, and from the valleys between the hills, spectral tattered masses of white mist were constantly arizing (sic).
I painted until after light; when I arrived at Smithport telephoned B – and then got my supper. The drive home (88 miles) was all after dark. The blind driving did not bother me until I was past Holland.
Charles E. Burchfield, August 3, 1939 (Thurs.)