Moods of the Seasons

Charles Burchfield often used nature as a way to express his thoughts and feelings. Have students look closely at An April Mood. Without telling them the title of the work, ask students how would they describe the mood that Burchfield created in this painting. Is this a place they would want to be? Why or why not? Reveal the title of the work to your students, adding that Burchfield wanted to portray the struggle between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Do they see that here? Where?

Ask students to pick a month of the year to create a mood painting or drawing. What are the elements of the month that they want to portray? How might they try to create that mood on paper?

Dark clouds and bleak landscape.

Charles Burchfield, An April Mood, 1946–55. Watercolor and charcoal on joined paper, 40 × 54 in. (101.6 x 137.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with partial funds from Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman  55.39

All works by Charles Burchfield are reproduced with permission of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation