Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Windy Trees in Sunlight, c. 1917; watercolor and gouache on paper, 20 x 14 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, November 23, 1948
Monday, November 23, 2015
To the Rushford country sketching—
Cool & cloudy at first—park by an extensive woods on route 243 not far west of Rushford. After a brief with in the woods, set up my easel and soon at work.
A fine feeling—the best this Fall—the roar of wind in the tree tops, the rich wet sienna leaves—chickadees and nuthatch. The sun began to break thru the dark layer clouds & I introduced stray sunshine effects into my sketch—
By noon I had completed what might be termed an underpainting—I stopped for lunch which I ate sitting on a log. Then painting again. From time to time I was annoyed by hunters who stopped by the road to relieve themselves—the annoyance being that I was afraid they might come over to see what I was doing. None did however.
As the afternoon wore on, the sun disappeared & the sky became more & more overcast. Just as I was finishing a fine wet snow began to fall. By the time I was packed up & on the way to the car, the woods was turned to a soft misty grayish lavender by the falling snow. It did not last however.
I drove on and took the road north from Rushford, on which last summer I painted the cross-roads picture. I parked at the same spot as on that occasion. Just as I was about to leave a school bus came along and dropped off two boys who ran down the road to there (sic) home prancing and shouting.
I took a short walk, gathered some dead weeds for a bouquet, then drove westward & to the road of last Tuesday painting. Eventually I stopped at the hemlock grove at 98 & 243—and ate my supper in the gathering dusk.
Then homeward. When I set my sketch up, I felt as tho I had repeated myself. B however, liked the sketch.
Charles E. Burchfield, November 23, 1948