Words and photograph by Bob Burnett
My wife Susan and I spent a great week up here in the Truro area out on Cape Cod, staying in a house that was frozen in time in 1932 thanks to a watercolor by Edward Hopper. Our friend, the fifth generation of his family to own the house, has kept it fairly accurate to 1932.
We were out wandering around on a heavily wooded dirt road Susan had found that she thought I'd like for some footage (I'm a director). I had a Canon C300 and a 70–200mm lens on a tripod. I've been shooting footage of the house and the environs. I haven't figured out what to do with the footage yet, but feel some kind of short story will come of it.
A car came up the road, which was the only one I'd seen in hours. It stopped and the driver said hello. There were four other passengers crammed in. Everyone had binder notebooks with Hopper paintings. She apologized for disturbing me and said she takes groups on tours of Hopper painting locations in the region.
Imagine the glee when I said, "we're staying in Marshall's House."
Hopper used to drive around in his car and paint, often using the car as his studio for convenience but, according to others, also to avoid contact with people. He was a quiet man of few words who preferred his own thoughts and space to those spoken by others.
It took me two days of shooting before I started to see subtleties like the light, the mist, and the effect of the wind that he captured so beautifully up here. I'm fortunate to be doing it with a lens and not trying to do it with a brush. Here is a JPEG of the 1932 watercolor as well as a quick iPhone shot I made of the house.
Bob Burnett is Creative Director of GVI, a video and multimedia production company specializing in advocacy, educational and documentary presentations. Its latest short film is "The Art of Richard Thompson."
©2015 by Robert Burnett, all rights reserved
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