Art: Listener to the Trees

As Charles Burchfield saw it, any landscape painter worthy of the name had to take his nature raw. "You cannot experience a landscape until you have known all its discomforts," he said. "You have to curse, fight mosquitoes, fall over rocks and skin your knees, be stung by nettles, scratched by grasshopper grass and pricked by brambles before you have really experienced the world of nature." He braved winter winds and rainstorms to sketch outdoors. One March day, inspired by a "glorious thaw," he trudged out to a nearby woods and had hardly set up his easel when a thunderstorm came...

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