|Acquisition Number: 72.35
Watercolor on paper
19 1/2" x 13 1/2"
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. In many of his works he transformed the surroundings of his Ohio hometown into imaginative and otherworldly scenes.
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."
Throughout his life, Burcheld went through sudden and dramatic mood swings, from happiness to near-suicidal despair. His journal suggests that this condition had physical effects, which at times altered his perception of the world around him.