Special Summer Feature: Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967)
Studies of Summer, 1915

Saturday, May 31, 2014-Thursday, July 3, 2014

Catalog of Exhibition:

Please contact the gallery concerning availability of works from past exhibits.

1. Hills and Valleys at Sunset
10-1/2 x 8, ur 5-31-15
750.00 (sold)

2. Marshy Meadows
8 x 10-1/2, lr 5-31-15
750.00 (sold)

3. Summer Fields
11 x 17, circa 1915
1200.00 (sold)

4. Low sun seen through trees
11 x 8-1/2, lr B, 6-20-15 (double-sided)
900.00 (sold)

5. Hayfield
8-1/2 x 11, lr V, 6-28-15
800.00 (sold)

6. Hayfield Study I
8-1/2 x 11, lr N, 6-28-15 (double-sided)
800.00 (sold)

7. Hayfield Study II
11 x 17, lr P, 6-28-15

8. Studies of Tree Tops
11 x 8-1/2, lr D-3, 6-29-15
800.00 (Doantion to the Burchfield-Penney GALA 2019)

9. Sky roofs & streets & tops of trees strangely luminous
11 x 8-1/2, lr I, 6-29-15
900.00 (sold)

10. Cloud & Smoke Rhythms
6 x 9, lr B, 7-12-15

11. Dapple bars in eastern sky at late afternoon
6 x 9, lr I, 7-14-15

12. Noon trees casting shadows
6 x 9, circa 1915
450.00 (sold)

13. Remote yellow sunshine through scene of Sunset clouds
11 x 17, lr U, 7-16-15 (double-sided)
1100.00 (sold)

14. Rainy sky & convent peach trees
11 x 17, lr 7-16-15 (Seen 7-15-15) W
1100.00 (BPAC 2014 gala donation)

15. Cloud-whirl in a rainy sky
17 x 11, lr F, 7-15-15

16. Russet
11 x 8-1/2, lr L, 7-17-15 (double-sided)
800.00 (sold)

17. Sketch(es) of young robin
11 x 8-1/2, lr D, 7-20-15
900.00 (sold)

18. Thunderhead studies
17 x 11, lr G, 7-21-15
1400.00 (sold)

19. Sunlit Tree
17 x 11, circa 1915
1400.00 (sold)

20. Glow horizon sunlight on fields and trees
17 x 22, verso 7-21-15, W

21. Sun colored openings in clouds
11 x 17, lr OO, verso 7-24-15
1300.00 (sold)

22. New kinds of trees
11 x 17, lr OO, 7-24-15
1100.00 (sold)

23. Moon casting halo on dapples
11 x 17, lr U6, 7-24-15
BPAC GALA donation 2017

24. Combining tree trunks with foliage
9 x 6, lr FF. 7-24-15
500.00 (sold)

25. Thunderhead reflected in water
9 x 6, lr D, 7-26-15
500.00 (sold)

26. Sketches of houses and trees
11 x 17, lr J, 7-26-15

27. Great combination of Thunderheads windy trees & house
11 x 17, lr H, 7-30-15

28. Windy trees
17 x 11, lr H1, 7-30-15
1600.00 (sold)

29. Summer Flower Study
9 x 6, l.r. F, 7-29-15 (double-sided)
500.00 (sold)

30. Sun in rhythmic sky
9 x 6, lr H, 7-29-15
500.00 (sold)

31. Orange sunlight on lower part of beech, upper part pale cold blue
22 x 17, lr Y, 7-31-15
3600.00 (sold)

32. Piled up clouds sunlit to north
17 x 11, lr G, 8-15-15

33. Plant Patterns
8-1/2 x 11, circa 1915
1000.00 (sold)

34. Flower studies I
17 x 11, ur I, 8-28-15
1200.00 (sold)

35. Upper rays of sunflower bent over
9 x 6, lr A, 8-16-15
475.00 (sold)

36. Flower studies II
17 x 11, ll I, 8-28-15
900.00 (sold)

37. Mushroom studies I
11 x 17, lr B, 8-26-15
1100.00 (sold)

38. Sunflower studies
17 x 11, verso A, 8-24-15
1600.00 (sold)

39. Plowed fields
11 x 17, circa 1915

• Titles derived from the artist’s inscriptions or from the artist’s “Catalogue of 1915 Sketches”
• All works are pencil on paper.
• All dimensions are in inches, height precedes width.
• All works are attributed to Charles E. Burchfield by Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.
• Dates inscribed by the artist unless noted circa.
• Artist’s dating system: capital letter preceding date indicates position sequence of the day’s drawings (eg: C is the third study).
• ll= lower left; lr= lower right; ul= upper left; ur= upper right; and verso= reverse side.
• All works framed with conservation materials.
• Additional works by Charles E. Burchfield are available through Meibohm Fine Arts.


“It was evident in my earliest years that I was destined to be an artist. Although I think of 1915 as the true beginning of my career, I was, in fact using watercolor before I went to the first grade.

None of these efforts have been saved, but I feel sure that even those early years I was using watercolor to express ideas and nothing more. I have never considered myself a true watercolorist, but an artist who uses the medium to make picture; I hardly need to point out that there is a vast difference. First, I was expressing childish ideas; now the themes are more sophisticated. Actually the only change was in the kind of brushes used.

1915 was the year that ideas came to me which were to haunt me the rest of my life; ideas and visions of paintings that were far beyond my ability of knowledge to carry out and still are, after fifty years, and unfulfilled dream. These ideas began to emerge in such paintings as the 1943 Coming of Spring, the 1949 Transition, Autumn to Winter, the 1960 Four Seasons and the 1962 Moon and Thunderhead.

In 1914 an exhibition of Chinese art was held in Cleveland. I was fortunate, for along with other art students, I was chosen to act as a guard. This provided me the opportunity to examine the exhibition in every detail. The beautiful scroll paintings were an overwhelming experience.

A year later the germ planted then in my mind came to the fore in a vision. (I thought then that the idea was entirely original to me). This was to execute, in continuous form, the transitions or sequence of weather events in a day, or several days or seasons. I called them “all day sketches.” Thus began a day with sunrise over misty valleys, clouds at midmorning, early afternoon thunderstorms, a dramatic sunset, then moonrise behind still dripping trees.

I started collecting “all day sketches” in winter and spring of 1915. During the summer they really took over and the whole world of nature literally burst upon me.

By that time the city lost all the glamour of a new experience and I was assailed periodically by violent attacks of homesickness for the country. My journal was full of my longing for our back yard in Salem, the dusty roads and wooded fields near our home. The view from my bedroom window was the entrance to a romantic land, which hastened my return to the Valley of the Little Beaver.

I made hundreds and hundreds of studies of clouds, trees, fields, fieldflowers and grasses, moonrises, sunsets and storms. All the ideas and materials for a lifetime had to be gathered that summer or never.

Due to my “discovery” of Chinese art, I determined to formulate a set of conventions, based on Nature, as other great artists had done, except that mine were to be completely my own. There again, I did not realize the years of observation and painting that would be needed to accomplish this aim. (New ones are still being invented). The abstract motifs of 1917, for emotions, wee something else.

The year 1915 was a year of decision and arrival. I felt great joy when I decided to become a painter and nothing else – not realizing the detours and frustrations that lay ahead. A year later my formal art education ended without ceremony in a New York academy.

At this time I was lacking in almost everything but ideas. But for the work I was to do, the uncharted world I was to enter, the “know how” had to be dug out of actual experience in life and nature – not in the classroom. Besides the drawings, I made many watercolors that summer in my “spare time!” For these I devised a simple formula. Everything was reduced to the twelve colors of the color wheel, plus black and white, with minimum modifications. Thus sunlit earth would be orange; shadows on it red-violet; sunlit grass, yellow; shadows, blue or blue-green and so on. They were executed in flat pattern with little or no evidence of a third dimension.

Chas. Burchfield

“Fifty Years as a Painter” essay for “His Golden Year”
A retrospective exhibition of watercolors, oil and graphics.
November 14, 1965 – January 9, 1966 - The University of Arizona Art Gallery.