Photo
Happy Fall!!
Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Autumnal Fantasy, 1916-1944; signed with monogram and dated lower left:, 39 x 54 inches; Private Collection

Happy Fall!!

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Autumnal Fantasy, 1916-1944; signed with monogram and dated lower left:, 39 x 54 inches; Private Collection

Photo
"To Zimmerman Rd painting –A glorious day packed full of delightful impressions from beginning to end.Parked at the open fields to the north of the main woods. The moment I landed, I felt at once that it was a special day – brilliant sun, hot dry wind from the southwest blowing of the meadows of bleached grass, asters and golden-rod.I decided to do a piece featuring the asters and dry grass – almost from the first, the picture took the lead and I had to follow as best I could – and it was difficult to invent rapidly enough the semi-abstract conventionalizations that the power and beauty of the wind, sunlight and sky demanded, worked until 3:00.Near the end of my effort, a man in a car stopped and asked permission to look – He was so sincerely courteous in his request (few make it, and most of those who do, say it in a manner that says plainly – “I’ll look anyway, whether you give me permission or not”) that I readily assented. He obviously did not understand what I was doing, but again, the questions he asked were not flavored with, “you must be crazy, not I” but seemed to spring from a genuine desire to know. He asked other questions too that were none of his business, but in honest ignorance, not prying – for example he asked the usual questions “How much would you get for a picture like that” – when I told him $1200 or $1500 – he made no comment. I told him when he chanced to be in Buffalo & had time, to look up my butterfly picture at the Albright Gallery. When he left, we shook hands & said he was glad to have met me – (He was George Peters, of Cherry Creek, works for “Carnation Milk”)First I spread a blanket beside the car and lay down to rest – it was pleasant to look straight into the zenith and watch flaky white clouds float across the deep blue – the music of wind in the weeds all about me – Then I ate my lunch, which I enjoyed a lot.Then for a walk eastward – thru – the deep grass and other plants – A pair of “blue” butterflies joined together, alighted on my hand, and stayed there for a long time – What dainty little creatures! Walking thru a patch of lesser cinquefoil – the odd sensation produced by the sound and feel of my feet breaking thru their hoary stems. – The view out over the Boston Valley – Head of cattle on the extreme edge of the thin strip of woods that extends up the road. – A pleasant woods, with little underbrush. I walked back thru it.Altho I had virtually decided on my second subject, I took another walk down the road in the late afternoon sunlight toward the main woods. Dying ferns a rich burnt sienna.Altho the subject I had decided to paint was a “twilight” one (deep woods with crickets chirping in long dead grass in front) I know I would have to start it long before sunset. Still tired from my morning’s effort & the walk, I again stretched out a blanket and rested a while. Then I set up my easel and started work. Painted until after the sun had disappeared, with great enthusiasm.Altho it was rapidly growing dark, I nevertheless could not bear the thought of eating my lunch in the car. So I set my “table” on the rock by the road and ate, barely able to see what I was eating. The warmth of the day and beauty scarcely abated – the woods to the north & east full of deep mystery & charm.On the way home several spots where the katydids were in full “song” – especially on the hill road leading up to Chestnut Ridge from the valley – They lent mystery and ominous overtures to the deep-shadowed ravines.” Charles E. Burchfield, Journal September 21, 1951 http://bpac.co/n:1464Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wind-Blown Asters, 1951; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches (Frame: 35 x 45 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Dr. Edna M. Lindemann, 1968

"To Zimmerman Rd painting –

A glorious day packed full of delightful impressions from beginning to end.

Parked at the open fields to the north of the main woods. The moment I landed, I felt at once that it was a special day – brilliant sun, hot dry wind from the southwest blowing of the meadows of bleached grass, asters and golden-rod.

I decided to do a piece featuring the asters and dry grass – almost from the first, the picture took the lead and I had to follow as best I could – and it was difficult to invent rapidly enough the semi-abstract conventionalizations that the power and beauty of the wind, sunlight and sky demanded, worked until 3:00.

Near the end of my effort, a man in a car stopped and asked permission to look – He was so sincerely courteous in his request (few make it, and most of those who do, say it in a manner that says plainly – “I’ll look anyway, whether you give me permission or not”) that I readily assented. He obviously did not understand what I was doing, but again, the questions he asked were not flavored with, “you must be crazy, not I” but seemed to spring from a genuine desire to know. He asked other questions too that were none of his business, but in honest ignorance, not prying – for example he asked the usual questions “How much would you get for a picture like that” – when I told him $1200 or $1500 – he made no comment. I told him when he chanced to be in Buffalo & had time, to look up my butterfly picture at the Albright Gallery. When he left, we shook hands & said he was glad to have met me – (He was George Peters, of Cherry Creek, works for “Carnation Milk”)

First I spread a blanket beside the car and lay down to rest – it was pleasant to look straight into the zenith and watch flaky white clouds float across the deep blue – the music of wind in the weeds all about me – Then I ate my lunch, which I enjoyed a lot.

Then for a walk eastward – thru – the deep grass and other plants – A pair of “blue” butterflies joined together, alighted on my hand, and stayed there for a long time – What dainty little creatures! Walking thru a patch of lesser cinquefoil – the odd sensation produced by the sound and feel of my feet breaking thru their hoary stems. – The view out over the Boston Valley – Head of cattle on the extreme edge of the thin strip of woods that extends up the road. – A pleasant woods, with little underbrush. I walked back thru it.

Altho I had virtually decided on my second subject, I took another walk down the road in the late afternoon sunlight toward the main woods. Dying ferns a rich burnt sienna.

Altho the subject I had decided to paint was a “twilight” one (deep woods with crickets chirping in long dead grass in front) I know I would have to start it long before sunset. Still tired from my morning’s effort & the walk, I again stretched out a blanket and rested a while. Then I set up my easel and started work. Painted until after the sun had disappeared, with great enthusiasm.

Altho it was rapidly growing dark, I nevertheless could not bear the thought of eating my lunch in the car. So I set my “table” on the rock by the road and ate, barely able to see what I was eating. The warmth of the day and beauty scarcely abated – the woods to the north & east full of deep mystery & charm.

On the way home several spots where the katydids were in full “song” – especially on the hill road leading up to Chestnut Ridge from the valley – They lent mystery and ominous overtures to the deep-shadowed ravines.” Charles E. Burchfield, Journal September 21, 1951 http://bpac.co/n:1464

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wind-Blown Asters, 1951; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches (Frame: 35 x 45 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Dr. Edna M. Lindemann, 1968

Photo
"To Zimmerman Rd painting –A glorious day packed full of delightful impressions from beginning to end.Parked at the open fields to the north of the main woods. The moment I landed, I felt at once that it was a special day – brilliant sun, hot dry wind from the southwest blowing of the meadows of bleached grass, asters and golden-rod.I decided to do a piece featuring the asters and dry grass – almost from the first, the picture took the lead and I had to follow as best I could – and it was difficult to invent rapidly enough the semi-abstract conventionalizations that the power and beauty of the wind, sunlight and sky demanded, worked until 3:00.Near the end of my effort, a man in a car stopped and asked permission to look – He was so sincerely courteous in his request (few make it, and most of those who do, say it in a manner that says plainly – “I’ll look anyway, whether you give me permission or not”) that I readily assented. He obviously did not understand what I was doing, but again, the questions he asked were not flavored with, “you must be crazy, not I” but seemed to spring from a genuine desire to know. He asked other questions too that were none of his business, but in honest ignorance, not prying – for example he asked the usual questions “How much would you get for a picture like that” – when I told him $1200 or $1500 – he made no comment. I told him when he chanced to be in Buffalo & had time, to look up my butterfly picture at the Albright Gallery. When he left, we shook hands & said he was glad to have met me – (He was George Peters, of Cherry Creek, works for “Carnation Milk”)First I spread a blanket beside the car and lay down to rest – it was pleasant to look straight into the zenith and watch flaky white clouds float across the deep blue – the music of wind in the weeds all about me – Then I ate my lunch, which I enjoyed a lot.Then for a walk eastward – thru – the deep grass and other plants – A pair of “blue” butterflies joined together, alighted on my hand, and stayed there for a long time – What dainty little creatures! Walking thru a patch of lesser cinquefoil – the odd sensation produced by the sound and feel of my feet breaking thru their hoary stems. – The view out over the Boston Valley – Head of cattle on the extreme edge of the thin strip of woods that extends up the road. – A pleasant woods, with little underbrush. I walked back thru it.Altho I had virtually decided on my second subject, I took another walk down the road in the late afternoon sunlight toward the main woods. Dying ferns a rich burnt sienna.Altho the subject I had decided to paint was a “twilight” one (deep woods with crickets chirping in long dead grass in front) I know I would have to start it long before sunset. Still tired from my morning’s effort & the walk, I again stretched out a blanket and rested a while. Then I set up my easel and started work. Painted until after the sun had disappeared, with great enthusiasm.Altho it was rapidly growing dark, I nevertheless could not bear the thought of eating my lunch in the car. So I set my “table” on the rock by the road and ate, barely able to see what I was eating. The warmth of the day and beauty scarcely abated – the woods to the north & east full of deep mystery & charm.On the way home several spots where the katydids were in full “song” – especially on the hill road leading up to Chestnut Ridge from the valley – They lent mystery and ominous overtures to the deep-shadowed ravines.” Charles E. Burchfield, Journal September 21, 1951 http://bpac.co/n:1464Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wind-Blown Asters, 1951; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches (Frame: 35 x 45 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Dr. Edna M. Lindemann, 1968

"To Zimmerman Rd painting –

A glorious day packed full of delightful impressions from beginning to end.

Parked at the open fields to the north of the main woods. The moment I landed, I felt at once that it was a special day – brilliant sun, hot dry wind from the southwest blowing of the meadows of bleached grass, asters and golden-rod.

I decided to do a piece featuring the asters and dry grass – almost from the first, the picture took the lead and I had to follow as best I could – and it was difficult to invent rapidly enough the semi-abstract conventionalizations that the power and beauty of the wind, sunlight and sky demanded, worked until 3:00.

Near the end of my effort, a man in a car stopped and asked permission to look – He was so sincerely courteous in his request (few make it, and most of those who do, say it in a manner that says plainly – “I’ll look anyway, whether you give me permission or not”) that I readily assented. He obviously did not understand what I was doing, but again, the questions he asked were not flavored with, “you must be crazy, not I” but seemed to spring from a genuine desire to know. He asked other questions too that were none of his business, but in honest ignorance, not prying – for example he asked the usual questions “How much would you get for a picture like that” – when I told him $1200 or $1500 – he made no comment. I told him when he chanced to be in Buffalo & had time, to look up my butterfly picture at the Albright Gallery. When he left, we shook hands & said he was glad to have met me – (He was George Peters, of Cherry Creek, works for “Carnation Milk”)

First I spread a blanket beside the car and lay down to rest – it was pleasant to look straight into the zenith and watch flaky white clouds float across the deep blue – the music of wind in the weeds all about me – Then I ate my lunch, which I enjoyed a lot.

Then for a walk eastward – thru – the deep grass and other plants – A pair of “blue” butterflies joined together, alighted on my hand, and stayed there for a long time – What dainty little creatures! Walking thru a patch of lesser cinquefoil – the odd sensation produced by the sound and feel of my feet breaking thru their hoary stems. – The view out over the Boston Valley – Head of cattle on the extreme edge of the thin strip of woods that extends up the road. – A pleasant woods, with little underbrush. I walked back thru it.

Altho I had virtually decided on my second subject, I took another walk down the road in the late afternoon sunlight toward the main woods. Dying ferns a rich burnt sienna.

Altho the subject I had decided to paint was a “twilight” one (deep woods with crickets chirping in long dead grass in front) I know I would have to start it long before sunset. Still tired from my morning’s effort & the walk, I again stretched out a blanket and rested a while. Then I set up my easel and started work. Painted until after the sun had disappeared, with great enthusiasm.

Altho it was rapidly growing dark, I nevertheless could not bear the thought of eating my lunch in the car. So I set my “table” on the rock by the road and ate, barely able to see what I was eating. The warmth of the day and beauty scarcely abated – the woods to the north & east full of deep mystery & charm.

On the way home several spots where the katydids were in full “song” – especially on the hill road leading up to Chestnut Ridge from the valley – They lent mystery and ominous overtures to the deep-shadowed ravines.” Charles E. Burchfield, Journal September 21, 1951 http://bpac.co/n:1464

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Wind-Blown Asters, 1951; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches (Frame: 35 x 45 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Dr. Edna M. Lindemann, 1968

Photo
"By train to Springville, thence walked to N. Boston thence hitch hike to Hamburg – thence by Street car home— I can think of no day for years that has been as perfect for me as was today; when I was so completely in accord with the world; so physically elated, that I was unconscious of using energy – not since I was a boy & every ordinary stick & stone, every fence post shell, fish & tree was fully of interest – it seemed as tho this was the first walk I had [ever] taken – like the first created man coming into a new land.It rained just before dawn – driving torrents – but by eight-thirty it commenced to clear, & by nine-thirty when I arrived at the L. & W station at the harbor there was not a cloud left in the sky – there was a light cold breeze blowing over the harbor – a couple freighters were being pulled out by tugs – I walked along the wharves full of joy – I felt that I loved these boats, the raw elevators – as tho I wanted to reach out and embrace them—The train ride I spent in making notes for my painting “September” & looking at the landscape – Leaving the train & coming into Springville in the morning freshness, the town seemed full of glamour – I bought bananas at a grocery – the saleslady & other customers seemed unreal to me – The street that I took north was lined with huge elms & maples – soon I was in the open country – The rich odors of September, probably intensified by the heavy shower delighted me – it was a rich community of asters, goldenrod, rotting wood onion flowers – cows in pastures added interest to the odor – I presently came to a little grove by the side of the wood & decided to walk thru it.Entering it was like coming a newly made woods, on the first day – I stood still hardly daring to breathe – the thinning trees let sunshine thru in freckled patches – the ground was lightly coated with fresh brown leaves – a dignified hush was over all things – a lane had been cut thru it, which I followed thru to a side road whence I came to my main road again—Some distance ahead I saw where a dirt road veered off from the main road & went up over a hill & I determined to take it – before I came to it, I chance to look back toward Springville, & saw higher hills that I had not been able to see in the town, rising to the south like phantoms – as I walked along I kept looking at a hill that faced the south & was covered with scattered groves, & the queer-shaped bushes that cows make by eating the lower branches – I kept watching it with regret – I should climb that hill I thought – but I pushed on up the hill-road – knocking wild apples – their sharp flavor a delight – The road attains the first plateau – a few clouds have appear in fleets along the southern horizon – a pasture woods stings my curiosity—I enter it – an old cow-shed delights me as much as when I was a boy – I found what seemed like a bird nest inside under the leaves – as I touched it, a reddish brown mouse with a white belly ran out—The woods had evidently been struck by a mean tornado this summer as uprooted trees were scattered about in the greatest confusion – crows were around – I sat on a fallen tree loathe to leave the spot—Shortly beyond here my road ran into another “improved” road – It ran in a northwesterly direction & I thought by taking it I would miss Boston, my original destination & I debated whether to try to find the Boston road, but decided to continue up the hill – along the road here was a little bank covered with long dry grass, & plated with what I can only call road-pride maples – such places seem to me to so inevitably belong to late Summer that I decided to eat my lunch here – on the other of the side of the road were countless goldenroad (sic) – to the south a pasture I could see the blue hills south of Springville—Shortly after continuing on my way I came to a macadamized road that veered off to the northeast – a sign read “Boston – 6 min –“ & I decided after all to go to Boston – This road ran along the top of a wide rolling hill – to the east lay a wide valley & beyond it another wide rolling hill – back, & other hills – in the after noon sunlight, I went along, singing & whistling idiotic songs—The barren hill with a single scraggly elm & a solitary black house silhouetted against the sky on its extreme top – a feeling of wide loneliness—Came upon an old farm-house that was a delight – a fine colonial shape, in a terrible state of repair – in front of it a huge black walnut tree – I make a sketch of it – first one of the occupants & then another come up to see what I am doing – the second one tells me that the main part of the house was built over a hundred years ago, & the other part 75 years ago, as a cheese factory – that the black walnut was brought from Vermont by his grandfather & planted there a smaller tree nearby he said was first as old as he was - it was planted the fall before he was born & came up in the following spring which amazed me, as the tree was only a sapling apparently, while he was quite old – 63 years as he told me.A heavy shadow suddenly fell across the battered house, & I turned to see that a wonderful formation of huge clouds had spread over the western sky, & then followed my only regret of the day – for all day I had let impressions come in so fully & had sketched so much that now I was not emotionally or physically quite up to drawing these clouds – as they came up one behind the other over the hill, they seemed to strike me with great power – to the east, but up by the sun as they advanced over the wide flat hills – they presented a galaxy of shapes & colors so marvelous as to put despair into my heart – feeling as I did that I could never paint any clouds like those—I walked along torn apart by regrets on one hand & feelings of awe & wonder & delight on the other presently a young farmer came along with a machine - & took me to Boston – but a short distance awayHere I learned I could get a bus to Buffalo in an hour, so I decided to continue walking towards Hamburg intending to take the bus when it came along.I was a little tired by now, & enjoyed the late afternoon in a subdued more peaceful mood – the hills were gradually getting lower as I went toward the lake. it was not long until a road-worker came along and gave me a mile – left to a village called Patchin. I had not left here long until a man in a big truck offered me a ride to Hamburg, which I accepted. Here I got the streetcar home. The day was not done for while on the car, I saw a beautiful effect of an orange cloud while all the others were dark & neutral that gleamed like a red eye—” Charles E. Burchfield, September 17, 1929 http://bpac.co/n:1410Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Mother Britannia (Norway Spruce), April, 1929; watercolor on paper, 29 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches; Image courtesy of the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives  http://bpac.co/n:1410  

"By train to Springville, thence walked to N. Boston thence hitch hike to Hamburg – thence by Street car home— I can think of no day for years that has been as perfect for me as was today; when I was so completely in accord with the world; so physically elated, that I was unconscious of using energy – not since I was a boy & every ordinary stick & stone, every fence post shell, fish & tree was fully of interest – it seemed as tho this was the first walk I had [ever] taken – like the first created man coming into a new land.

It rained just before dawn – driving torrents – but by eight-thirty it commenced to clear, & by nine-thirty when I arrived at the L. & W station at the harbor there was not a cloud left in the sky – there was a light cold breeze blowing over the harbor – a couple freighters were being pulled out by tugs – I walked along the wharves full of joy – I felt that I loved these boats, the raw elevators – as tho I wanted to reach out and embrace them—

The train ride I spent in making notes for my painting “September” & looking at the landscape – Leaving the train & coming into Springville in the morning freshness, the town seemed full of glamour – I bought bananas at a grocery – the saleslady & other customers seemed unreal to me – The street that I took north was lined with huge elms & maples – soon I was in the open country – The rich odors of September, probably intensified by the heavy shower delighted me – it was a rich community of asters, goldenrod, rotting wood onion flowers – cows in pastures added interest to the odor – I presently came to a little grove by the side of the wood & decided to walk thru it.
Entering it was like coming a newly made woods, on the first day – I stood still hardly daring to breathe – the thinning trees let sunshine thru in freckled patches – the ground was lightly coated with fresh brown leaves – a dignified hush was over all things – a lane had been cut thru it, which I followed thru to a side road whence I came to my main road again—

Some distance ahead I saw where a dirt road veered off from the main road & went up over a hill & I determined to take it – before I came to it, I chance to look back toward Springville, & saw higher hills that I had not been able to see in the town, rising to the south like phantoms – as I walked along I kept looking at a hill that faced the south & was covered with scattered groves, & the queer-shaped bushes that cows make by eating the lower branches – I kept watching it with regret – I should climb that hill I thought – but I pushed on up the hill-road – knocking wild apples – their sharp flavor a delight – The road attains the first plateau – a few clouds have appear in fleets along the southern horizon – a pasture woods stings my curiosity—I enter it – an old cow-shed delights me as much as when I was a boy – I found what seemed like a bird nest inside under the leaves – as I touched it, a reddish brown mouse with a white belly ran out—

The woods had evidently been struck by a mean tornado this summer as uprooted trees were scattered about in the greatest confusion – crows were around – I sat on a fallen tree loathe to leave the spot—
Shortly beyond here my road ran into another “improved” road – It ran in a northwesterly direction & I thought by taking it I would miss Boston, my original destination & I debated whether to try to find the Boston road, but decided to continue up the hill – along the road here was a little bank covered with long dry grass, & plated with what I can only call road-pride maples – such places seem to me to so inevitably belong to late Summer that I decided to eat my lunch here – on the other of the side of the road were countless goldenroad (sic) – to the south a pasture I could see the blue hills south of Springville—
Shortly after continuing on my way I came to a macadamized road that veered off to the northeast – a sign read “Boston – 6 min –“ & I decided after all to go to Boston – This road ran along the top of a wide rolling hill – to the east lay a wide valley & beyond it another wide rolling hill – back, & other hills – in the after noon sunlight, I went along, singing & whistling idiotic songs—

The barren hill with a single scraggly elm & a solitary black house silhouetted against the sky on its extreme top – a feeling of wide loneliness—

Came upon an old farm-house that was a delight – a fine colonial shape, in a terrible state of repair – in front of it a huge black walnut tree – I make a sketch of it – first one of the occupants & then another come up to see what I am doing – the second one tells me that the main part of the house was built over a hundred years ago, & the other part 75 years ago, as a cheese factory – that the black walnut was brought from Vermont by his grandfather & planted there a smaller tree nearby he said was first as old as he was - it was planted the fall before he was born & came up in the following spring which amazed me, as the tree was only a sapling apparently, while he was quite old – 63 years as he told me.

A heavy shadow suddenly fell across the battered house, & I turned to see that a wonderful formation of huge clouds had spread over the western sky, & then followed my only regret of the day – for all day I had let impressions come in so fully & had sketched so much that now I was not emotionally or physically quite up to drawing these clouds – as they came up one behind the other over the hill, they seemed to strike me with great power – to the east, but up by the sun as they advanced over the wide flat hills – they presented a galaxy of shapes & colors so marvelous as to put despair into my heart – feeling as I did that I could never paint any clouds like those—
I walked along torn apart by regrets on one hand & feelings of awe & wonder & delight on the other presently a young farmer came along with a machine - & took me to Boston – but a short distance away
Here I learned I could get a bus to Buffalo in an hour, so I decided to continue walking towards Hamburg intending to take the bus when it came along.

I was a little tired by now, & enjoyed the late afternoon in a subdued more peaceful mood – the hills were gradually getting lower as I went toward the lake. it was not long until a road-worker came along and gave me a mile – left to a village called Patchin. I had not left here long until a man in a big truck offered me a ride to Hamburg, which I accepted. Here I got the streetcar home. The day was not done for while on the car, I saw a beautiful effect of an orange cloud while all the others were dark & neutral that gleamed like a red eye—” Charles E. Burchfield, September 17, 1929 http://bpac.co/n:1410

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Mother Britannia (Norway Spruce), April, 1929; watercolor on paper, 29 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches; Image courtesy of the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives  http://bpac.co/n:1410  

Photo
"Small flock of morning doves. Startle upwards in hooked beaked whistling whirr into the blueish wind." Charles Burchfield, September 12, 1914 http://bpac.co/n:1446 Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Gateway to September, 1945-1956; watercolor on joined paper, 42 x 56 inches; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Gift of the Benwood Foundation

"Small flock of morning doves. Startle upwards in hooked beaked whistling whirr into the blueish wind." Charles Burchfield, September 12, 1914 http://bpac.co/n:1446 

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Gateway to September, 1945-1956; watercolor on joined paper, 42 x 56 inches; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Gift of the Benwood Foundation

Photo
As I review my life, and its many little events, they see unique and wonderful to me, and I feel that should be recorded somehow but are they different than the run–of–the–mill human experiences? And even if they are, how is it possible to get them down on paper? There is not time for everything.” September 10, 1964 http://bpac.co/n:1409Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sea of Queen Ann’s Lace and Cicada Song, 1960; watercolor on paper, 10 1/8 x 7 7/8 inches; Private Collection, Image courtesy of the Burchfield Penney Archives

As I review my life, and its many little events, they see unique and wonderful to me, and I feel that should be recorded somehow but are they different than the run–of–the–mill human experiences? And even if they are, how is it possible to get them down on paper? There is not time for everything.” September 10, 1964 http://bpac.co/n:1409

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sea of Queen Ann’s Lace and Cicada Song, 1960; watercolor on paper, 10 1/8 x 7 7/8 inches; Private Collection, Image courtesy of the Burchfield Penney Archives

Photo
"It is my habit to fear the making of an acquaintance with new people, and probably if no one else ever made first overtures I would never meet anyone. So it was with the visit of the Soyer’s - but I need have had no apprehension. I liked them both - Soyer was all artist, and interested so completely in picture. He said his visit here was the happiest day of his stay in Buffalo, which I can well understand, for there is not an artist in Buffalo who is completely an artist - The most are dilettantic, - more interested in social life, or the politics of “art circles.” Charles E. Burchfield, September 3, 1942 http://bpac.co/n:1408Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Studio, 1942; watercolor on seamed paper; Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 2006

"It is my habit to fear the making of an acquaintance with new people, and probably if no one else ever made first overtures I would never meet anyone. So it was with the visit of the Soyer’s - but I need have had no apprehension. I liked them both - Soyer was all artist, and interested so completely in picture. He said his visit here was the happiest day of his stay in Buffalo, which I can well understand, for there is not an artist in Buffalo who is completely an artist - The most are dilettantic, - more interested in social life, or the politics of “art circles.” Charles E. Burchfield, September 3, 1942 http://bpac.co/n:1408

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Studio, 1942; watercolor on seamed paper; Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of the Burchfield Foundation, 2006

Photo
"Played the Sibelius Third tonight. In the latter part of the last movement, when he gets such a terrific bedlam going, (when you feel that gigantic forces of nature are engaged in a death struggle) you wonder how can he (Sibelius) possibly bring it all to a reasonable conclusion—end it with honor as it were—But he does with their powerful notes, like the blows of a huge hammer—a God pounding for silence.” Charles E. Burchfield, September 12, 1936 http://bpac.co/n:1429

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sunburst, 1929-31; oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 47 1/2 inches (Frame: 41 3/4 x 53 5/8 x 2 1/2 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1994

"Played the Sibelius Third tonight. In the latter part of the last movement, when he gets such a terrific bedlam going, (when you feel that gigantic forces of nature are engaged in a death struggle) you wonder how can he (Sibelius) possibly bring it all to a reasonable conclusion—end it with honor as it were—But he does with their powerful notes, like the blows of a huge hammer—a God pounding for silence.” Charles E. Burchfield, September 12, 1936 http://bpac.co/n:1429

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sunburst, 1929-31; oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 47 1/2 inches (Frame: 41 3/4 x 53 5/8 x 2 1/2 inches); Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1994

Photo
The hottest day yet – temperature at 93 at mid-afternoon – very hazy, “high” clouds glittering white against the hot blue zenith –
Discovered early morning that the cortisone spray was empty – this meant I had to go in to Dr. A’s office and get a new one –
The city from the Thruway like a dream world induced by haze and industrial dust.
Mart over about 10:30 with Peggy & Tom – Peggy to help Bertha and Tom to mow the lawn –
Little ambition – in and out of the studio – Made a final (I hope!) correction on the drawing of the hill in Old August Hill”
We ate under the willow-tree again – a happy time with the youngsters – scarcely had he finished eating than Tom was “Tarzaning” on the rope in the willow-tree, and Peggy followed soon after.
When Tom addressed any of us, he had picked up somewhere a new form of salutation – it was “grandfather o’ mine” grandmother o’ mine” sister o’ mine” etc –
In the afternoon after Tom had finished the lawn and some weeding, he came in the studio, obviously wanting to chat and look around.  As I was in no mood for working – I let him stay – he has to explore the attic and was always exclaiming over something or other –
Once something was said about the 1917 portion of the Winter Afternoon hanging on the wall “really” he said “your 1917 pictures are pretty crumby aren’t they?  Not like this masterpiece here” pointing to the “Old August Hill” on the easel.
My “fame” seems to fascinate him, although I wish he could forget that phase of my life “you’re famous, aren’t you” with embarrassing directness – “You’re in encyclopedias and dictionaries.” Mostly however his attitude towards me is one of free and easy comradeship, which is the way I want it.  For example one day, when I had forgotten to zip up my trousers he stare at me saying casually “gramps, you’d better lock the farm door before the horse gets out”
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have known a father and grandfather – I could not have been much older than 3 or 4 the last time I saw my father; and as for my grandfather, I remember him as a white haired – and – bearded old man, who lived out the years I knew him, as an almost helpless invalid with a brain concussion caused by being hit by a base-ball
However, after all, what one has in life, if it is all right. Seems the proper thing – I had a dependable Big Brother Jim, and wonderful mother who made us forget we were fatherless.  In fact the fathers of the boys I played with made me feel I was lucky not to have one.
About 3:00 Tom became tired; he would have gone home on the bus, but I took him in the car.
Evening music – Brahms Hungarian Dances, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances – Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for strings – Borodin’s Nocturne from his quartet – Bonber’s Adagio for strings & Grunslaves by Vanlour - Wilhems 
Charles E Burchfield, Journals, August 31, 1962 
More at www.BurchfieldPenney.org

The hottest day yet – temperature at 93 at mid-afternoon – very hazy, “high” clouds glittering white against the hot blue zenith –

Discovered early morning that the cortisone spray was empty – this meant I had to go in to Dr. A’s office and get a new one –

The city from the Thruway like a dream world induced by haze and industrial dust.

Mart over about 10:30 with Peggy & Tom – Peggy to help Bertha and Tom to mow the lawn –

Little ambition – in and out of the studio – Made a final (I hope!) correction on the drawing of the hill in Old August Hill”

We ate under the willow-tree again – a happy time with the youngsters – scarcely had he finished eating than Tom was “Tarzaning” on the rope in the willow-tree, and Peggy followed soon after.

When Tom addressed any of us, he had picked up somewhere a new form of salutation – it was “grandfather o’ mine” grandmother o’ mine” sister o’ mine” etc –

In the afternoon after Tom had finished the lawn and some weeding, he came in the studio, obviously wanting to chat and look around.  As I was in no mood for working – I let him stay – he has to explore the attic and was always exclaiming over something or other –

Once something was said about the 1917 portion of the Winter Afternoon hanging on the wall “really” he said “your 1917 pictures are pretty crumby aren’t they?  Not like this masterpiece here” pointing to the “Old August Hill” on the easel.

My “fame” seems to fascinate him, although I wish he could forget that phase of my life “you’re famous, aren’t you” with embarrassing directness – “You’re in encyclopedias and dictionaries.” Mostly however his attitude towards me is one of free and easy comradeship, which is the way I want it.  For example one day, when I had forgotten to zip up my trousers he stare at me saying casually “gramps, you’d better lock the farm door before the horse gets out”

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have known a father and grandfather – I could not have been much older than 3 or 4 the last time I saw my father; and as for my grandfather, I remember him as a white haired – and – bearded old man, who lived out the years I knew him, as an almost helpless invalid with a brain concussion caused by being hit by a base-ball

However, after all, what one has in life, if it is all right. Seems the proper thing – I had a dependable Big Brother Jim, and wonderful mother who made us forget we were fatherless.  In fact the fathers of the boys I played with made me feel I was lucky not to have one.

About 3:00 Tom became tired; he would have gone home on the bus, but I took him in the car.

Evening music – Brahms Hungarian Dances, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances – Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for strings – Borodin’s Nocturne from his quartet – Bonber’s Adagio for strings & Grunslaves by Vanlour - Wilhems 

Charles E Burchfield, Journals, August 31, 1962 

More at www.BurchfieldPenney.org

Photo
"Trains roaring in the black night have suddenly taken on a strange significance.
Yesterday at noon as I looked from my window seeing the vivid sunflowers in the startlingly sunlight; two jagged yellow lines sweeping past marked the course of two butterflies.

While lying on my bed half awake, half asleep I thought of the sort of nature I was now viewing. Unconsciously I went back to the visions I saw two or three years ago and all at once I came to my senses amazed. What was it I had been thinking of?
Again I fell to thinking – was this life I lived for art alone a life of sacrifice of denial / No! All at once I thought of forgotten childish dreams of strange lands & adventures & carefree life and came back to the present with a sudden heart-beating as if terribly frightened.” Charles E. Burchfield, August 30, 1916 http://bpac.co/n:1428
Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Butterflies and Black Barn (also known as August Noon), 1916; watercolor and pencil, 20 x 14 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Archives

"Trains roaring in the black night have suddenly taken on a strange significance.

Yesterday at noon as I looked from my window seeing the vivid sunflowers in the startlingly sunlight; two jagged yellow lines sweeping past marked the course of two butterflies.

While lying on my bed half awake, half asleep I thought of the sort of nature I was now viewing. Unconsciously I went back to the visions I saw two or three years ago and all at once I came to my senses amazed. What was it I had been thinking of?

Again I fell to thinking – was this life I lived for art alone a life of sacrifice of denial / No! All at once I thought of forgotten childish dreams of strange lands & adventures & carefree life and came back to the present with a sudden heart-beating as if terribly frightened.” Charles E. Burchfield, August 30, 1916 http://bpac.co/n:1428

Image: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Butterflies and Black Barn (also known as August Noon), 1916; watercolor and pencil, 20 x 14 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Archives