Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Untitled (High Noon), October 1915; watercolor with graphite on paper, 14 x 20 1/8 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Tony Sisti, 1979
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, September 10, 1916
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
An idea — To allow design motives in a scene to exist almost alone – As in the markings on tree bark – These designs only will be drawn / all other detail merely suggested —
To design a plant which may suggest the progress of the seasons – or a tree’s showing winter at the bottom, spring in the lower branches, Summer in the upper with autumn crowning the top with fruit —
Today’s was September — A wonderful mackerel sky at morning with a stiff cold wind from SE — noon vivid, white, & hot, dancing of butterflies & rasping of cicadas — Mellow sunset / Startling moon at afterglow — How a moon changes at sunset time – first flat white in the chalky blue sky – then a luminous pale yellow; then a dk blackish glow appears around it which suddenly at the last light turns to a brill YG glow —
Make arbitrary designs of plants etc., conventionalizing all there is of sky in one spot, all trees in another etc.—
Great patches of wonderfully Rhythmic mackerel clouds swept by all night last night —
The Autumnal Equinox takes note of dying plants which assume grotesque shapes & attitudes; of the last frenzied flutter of butterflies; of thinning trees & falling leaves; of migrating birds; of brilliant noons; & romantic moonlit nights; of rain wind & storm.
A scene with grotesque sunflowers in queer attitudes.
Charles E. Burchfield, September 10, 1916