Weekly Feature



2017-11-09 / Front Page

Burchfield book outlines watercolorist’s career

Author celebrates self-published book with signing event Nov. 11
by JENNIFER WATERS
Editor


A sketch by Charles Burchfield shows the family home at 3574 Clinton St., where Burchfield, his wife and two daughters moved in 1925. 
Photo courtesy of Burchfield Penney Art Center, Nancy Tomchuck Barlow A sketch by Charles Burchfield shows the family home at 3574 Clinton St., where Burchfield, his wife and two daughters moved in 1925. Photo courtesy of Burchfield Penney Art Center, Nancy Tomchuck Barlow “The Gardenville Years: 1925-1967,” written and self-published by author Nancy Tom- chuck Barlow, follows watercolor artist Charles Ephraim Burchfield in a collection of stories, poems, photos and illustrations from his neighbors and friends in Gardenville.

The book was recently published and printed by Grover Cleveland Press in Amherst, and a book signing event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3512 Clinton St., a few doors west of the Burchfield home.

St. John’s Church and Burchfield Nature and Art Center volunteers will host a reception celebrating the historic chronicle with coffee and light refreshments. While the author signs books, a meet-and-greet time will allow visiting with a number of current and former residents who are mentioned or quoted in the book.


“Orion in Winter,” by American watercolor artist Charles Burchfield, was sent as a Christmas card by the family, signed “Bertha and Charlie Burchfield.” Cards are available at the Burchfield Penney Art Center museum store. 
Photo courtesy of Burchfield Penney Art Center, Nancy Tomchuck Barlow “Orion in Winter,” by American watercolor artist Charles Burchfield, was sent as a Christmas card by the family, signed “Bertha and Charlie Burchfield.” Cards are available at the Burchfield Penney Art Center museum store. Photo courtesy of Burchfield Penney Art Center, Nancy Tomchuck Barlow Personal journal entries from Burchfield relating to his life accentuate the work Tomchuck Barlow put into the book.

“Follow his journal as his walks take him through the hamlet of Gardenville and the countryside of Western New York,” Tomchuck Barlow said in the book.

“The Gardenville Years” tells of a community’s awareness of its most famous resident and of the thoughts of watercolorist Charles Burchfield while he and his family lived in Gardenville, New York.

Tomchuck Barlow grew up in Gardenville and fondly recalls memories of the community. She interviewed other current and former residents who knew the Burchfields as neighbors and friends. Their comments, interspersed with pictures and excerpts from Burchfield’s journal entries, make for delightful reading.

Burchfield resided in Gardenville with his young family starting in 1925, Tomchuck Barlow said. The hamlet, now part of West Seneca, is located along Buffalo Creek and provided the young artist with his desired natural subject material. Today, Burchfield paintings representing nature, neighborhoods and industry are known around the world.

Charles E. Burchfield has been described as a visionary. In the 1930s, he was acknowledged as one of the 10 greatest American artists.

This was followed by international recognition — his paintings hang in major art galleries in America and Europe.

From his late teens until his death in 1967, Burchfield kept a personal journal.

His journal entries allowed him time to express his second love, nature writing, which included sketches of nature, the sky and dwellings. The journals are located at the Burchfield Penney Art Center on the campus of Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo.

This historic collection of nostalgic stories, poems, photos and illustrations add up to a rewarding sense of living in Gardenville between 1925 and 1967 as a friend or neighbor of the renowned artist.

“This document has been created with fond admiration of the friends, neighbors and Burchfield admirers who joined me on this journey,” she said. “The walks down Gardenville streets, visiting churches, restaurants and homes, standing by the creekside and meeting with lifelong friends demonstrated to me that the heart of Gardenville is still there.”

The book is available for $25 at the signing event or by parcel post with a check or money order for $28.73, which includes postage and tax, sent to P.O. Box 980, Buffalo NY 14231.

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