Charles E. Burchfield in his own words Share Tweet

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Cicada Song, 1951; Watercolor on paper, 24½ x 29½ inches; Private Collection

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Cicada Song, 1951; Watercolor on paper, 24½ x 29½ inches; Private Collection

Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, September 26, 1914

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Heavy frost.

Cold crystal air.

A day out of October.

Wonderfully deep resounding blue sky; blinding white wind¬-chased clouds.

On these days, noon maybe said never to come; it is morning all day and I can refer you to the morning-glories, which do not close. After a season of barrenness, they are now blooming again, as if to take advantage of their last days of life.

Afternoon spent chiefly with Mother in the kitchen. I like the way a bar of sunlight fell over the stove and onto the floor. It was such a clear yellow and crystal, that I almost expected to hear it clinkle (sic) as it fell.

Sunlight dancing in musical ellipses over the table — refreshing. It had the wind in it.

This oblique crystal sunshine — its thin yellow light, so clear and golden, as it falls on the crumpled trees and scrawny herbs, has a wonderful effect which I cannot give voice to.

My diary seems to be a journal of the wind sunshine and sky.

I boast in my mind that if ever I became bedridden I could travel as far and see as rare beauties as I do now.

I never tire of seeing the giant sparkles in a lowly plum, or of a blade of grass bent by the breeze, or of a blue sky, or a common white cloud. I may sicken of reading grand opera, etc, but never these.

Thin pin-point creaking of a few crickets.

One z-ing katydid.

Both are lost in the wind-clanking trees and rasping corn-blades.

Yellow sunshine flowing in steady stream above the cold blue depths in the sod-chinks, bearing with it a shower of tinkling glint sparkles.

The sun-set hour; when shows the true character of October.

A few glowing insects; sunlight thin and finely golden, not striking trees with distinct light, but only gilding their foremost glint-spots, seeming to flow thru the tree.

Myriads of blackbirds, [chirping], a flock far to the east seen as a mass looks like June heat waves [arising] from those poplars.

An insect haze in the air. Smoke-ghosts towering in the vivid orange west - motionless.

Half-moon, directly south as tho the level sunrays struck its western half. Blue-sun spokes in the orange.

The plum haze brings chestnut wanderings to the eye. A vague chill, yet it seems warm. We are uncertain.

Train-roarings jar the red-purple horizon; they remain long after the train is gone.

Yellow after-glow.

This sunlight is full of music. In repose we imagine the air is full of tinkles — rainbow tinkles, it is only the sunlight.

At a lucky moment in the afternoon, the sun struck a polished kettle-lid, creating a blinding glow, which was halo-ed with a rainbow of light. Where is the vulgar kettle now? Mother said it reminded her of a locomotive gleaming in the sun, the sun-glowing steam from the kettle, the locomotive’s smoke & steam!

Cold moon-lit night

White haze in the air.

Charles E. Burchfield, September 26, 1914