Charles Burchfield is known for dark and spooky watercolor paintings that depict highly personal images of nature and small-town streetscapes. His early work, influenced by an interest in Asian art and unexposed to European modernism, exudes a fantastical sense of whimsy, wherein architecture and nature seem alive with energy. In the 1930s he had a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art and was commissioned by Fortune magazine to paint a range of industrial subjects, from railroad yards to coalmines. After painting these motifs for several years, Burchfield returned to the rural landscapes that he loved, recording seasonal changes from direct observation. In the 1940s, he revived the quirky, expressive elements and distorted forms of his early paintings.