Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Untitled, 1916; watercolor and graphite on paper, 13 5/8 x 19 3/8 inches; Private Collection
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals August 7, 1916
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
August 7, 1916—
Yesterday I met a person whose mind was so saturated with blind business that he was an object of unbelievable loathing to me. He influenced my whole day so that, at the end of it, frantic, I almost forgot the existence of the sun.
I have of late been unguarded. I have not attempted to hedge in my soul with aloofness & indifference. Consequently thoughts of hated business & politics have crept in. My minds mechanically goes over things that have no bearing on my life —
I can look forward to no future I must spend a season of oblivion with nature —
A train is rumbling in the distance; the hot August moon throws its pale light over the earth, heat lightning illumes the unfathomed north; the cricket chorus pulses ceaselessly — a great oppression comes over me — what will the outcome be?
To most laymen art is either a means of earning a living, or a pastime. They do not realize it is life itself. They do not comprehend that the artist paints not from a desire, but because he must.
Charles E. Burchfield, August 7, 1916