Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Song of the Wood Thrush, 1950; watercolor on cardboard, 12 x 17 15/16 inches; Carnegie Museum of Art, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Beal
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals August 14, 1950
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Aug 14 (Mon.)
To Zimmerman Rd. painting. A warm but fresh day. How good to be out again in this wild secluded spot. Aug. morning in the woods – cicadas singing, oval patches of sunlight falling aslant tree-trunks, spot-lighting patch of rugged bark; dry grass lit up against deep shadows under young hemlocks, likewise piles of hemlocks branches, without the needles, like huge spider-webs, orange-sienna in color; mushrooms, snails [strikethrough] nibbled by snails whose dried slimy trails across the mushroom’s top glisten in the half-light.
For walk westward, thru the low swampy tracts – too much water to reach the west woods; the rough going made me realize I could not carry my sketching paraphernalia there; and then a drainage ditch full of water too deep to cross.
Back to car to eat lunch [strikethrough] woods on east side of road. Find a subject at once, in an old hemlock tree. To car to eat lunch, then set up my easel and soon at work. I find I am very rusty – and confused as to what I want to do. However I stick to it all afternoon and eventually it begins to take shape.
Work until 5:00 then for leisurely walk both south & north – (several beech trees loaded with nuts – I planned to come back in fall) – A lovely late afternoon, the hazy sun sending warm mellow sunlight over the white fields of dead grass and ripe oats.
After lunch, I drove the car northward a short distance, then spread a burlap bad on the road bank to watch the sun go down. (Now dimmed by a great patch of tiny pebble like clouds.) However tired as I was, a chill seemed to emanate from the earth and creep up my legs, and I decided to go home.
Charles E. Burchfield, August 14, 1950