September Afterglow

September Afterglow
Charles E. Burchfield
1893-1967
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 72.35
Medium: Watercolor on paper
Size: 19 1/2" x 13 1/2"
Date: 1949
Credit: Gift of Mr. Ralph L. Wilson

Best known for his romantic, often fantastic depictions of nature, Burchfield developed a unique style of watercolor painting that reflected his profound respect for nature. He painted scenes that he saw outside of his bedroom window, or in the family’s garden, or on walks in the neighborhood. Half of his lifetime output of art was produced while living in Salem, Ohio. Burchfield’s talent was described in 1917 by one of his teachers: "Mr. Burchfield sees nature with keen penetration. To him nothing is commonplace, everything is radiant, with beauty all its own. His pictures shock the observer into looking at nature from a new angle. Burchfield paints not merely what he sees, but what he feels about what he sees. His pictures reflect states of mind induced by experiences with the outside world. His pictures reflect moods." Burchfield painted not only what he saw, but what he felt about what he saw. His artwork reflects the moods and gives emotions to the natural world, such as in this piece, where a droopy, dying sunflower conveys sadness, as does the overall gray tone of the piece and the symbolism of the setting sun.