Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sun Setting in a Bank of Smoke, 1917; Watercolor on paper, 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches; Image courtesy of DC Moore Gallery
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, September 10, 1914
Monday, September 10, 2018
Heavy frost. Roofs white. Brilliant sun’s rays plunging swiftly thru (sic) the cold-laden air shattered the frost to dust, some of which floated aimlessly around in a scummy haze and some of which condensed on grass blades in sparkling frost dew.
One imagines he never inhaled such air or sunshine.
Wet spots on a tar-roof a deep but brilliant blue.
Sky pale & whispy.
Mists at horizon. Sun whitened houses looking eastward. Sunsaturated smoke hovers lazily around.
Noonwards & afternoon sky becomes smeary white & hazy. Sunlight dim. Tinny “cheweenp” of goldfinches fill the air.
Sky grows darker towards evening. Sounds prolonged. White smoke pushes slowly & with difficulty straight up thru (sic) the heavy air. Having attained a certain height snaps off shorts & travels westward. It is very quiet. The summer is over when rain comes in this fashion.
Sky vaguely dappled, at first I thought it plain. A train-whistle echoing & re-echoing thru (sic) the elastic rainy air, followed by a roar of wheels & tracks.
Charles E Burchfield, Sept 10, 1914