This fireplace is one of two in the living room of Julian Alden Weir’s house in Connecticut. Weir (1852-1919) is one of the founders of American Impressionist painting and his farmstead has been preserved as Connecticut’s first National Park site. You can read more about this fireplace on page 57 of my book Weir Farm National Historic Site (Arcadia Publishing).
I was commissioned to artistically document the interiors of Weir’s home before it underwent renovation and the beehive oven fascinated me. I prefer natural light, so I don’t use flash very often.
But for this image, I wanted to recreate a sense of what it might have been like for Weir or his family to open the door and to retrieve a hot loaf of bread during a cold, dark winter morning. So I placed a flash inside with an orange gel over the lens and remotely triggered it.
In addition to getting exactly what I imagined, the light of the flash went through an opening in the oven door and projected a heart on the wall. It was a beautiful and unintended surprise. The heart has made this a popular print.
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