Transcendental Landscapes

Charles Birchfield Watercolor Show Poster from Museum of Modern Art
Charles Birchfield Watercolor Show Poster from Museum of Modern Art

There are only two days left to see the Charles Burchfield Watercolor Show in Buffalo. The show was put together by the Hammer Museum at UCLA and it travels to New York next but seeing it in in Buffalo, where Burchfield worked as a wallpaper designer (his “hack” job), is a special treat. Burchfield paints “the healthy glamour of everyday life.” Passages from his journals accompany each of the paintings. He was a marvelous painter and writer. The show includes his compulsive doodles, a notebook of drawings called “Conventions for Abstract Thoughts” and rooms full of his transcendental landscapes. My favorite painting was of an oak leaf in his neighbors snow coverd front lawn, “The Constant Leaf.”

The Burchfield Penny Museum here, across the street from the Albright Knox, is brand new building. Their state of art men’s room use Sloan Technology on their “zero-water consumption urinals”. Thank god the water fountains were not similarly equipped.

A trip to Buffalo would not be complete without a visit with Mark from PosterArt. We started talking about the old days and he went in the back room and returned with a stack of “Closet Punk Productions” posters that he designed when he was booking bands at the Continental. A lot of them had dates one day earlier or later than the posters on the Scorgies website.

Mark recommended Coles, down the street on Elmwood for something to eat. This place has been around since the thirties and the outdoor tables were the perfect perch for taking in the Buffalo vibe. “Anarchy in the UK” was playing on the sound system as we sat down. Back on the thruway, pointed at Rochester, the trees looked Burchfield trees.


2 Replies to “Transcendental Landscapes”

  1. I see from your entries you are a painter and seems like you are from Irondequoit – me too on both counts. Don’t know who you are though.
    I also take classes with Fred Lipp – a man with an amazing eye. I also went to see the Birchfield show on March 20th and so also got to see the Stephen Quiller demonstration for the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society.
    It was a special occasion because Stephen Quiller who is a fabulous painter admires Charles Birchfields paintings and his spiritual connection to the landscape similar to his own.
    Also I’ve seen and enjoyed the “Margaret Explosion” on WXXI.
    Since I enjoy reading especially your notes on painting and would like to know – who are you?

  2. Okay – read more and followed through. Gottcha’. Forgive the denseness of the question in the last comment. Keep on painting & keep on playing.

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