Norman Fortier (1919-2010) is best known nationally as a photographer, particularly for his maritime pictures of yachts and regattas taken in and around Buzzards Bay, Narragansett Bay, and other popular waters of New England.
However, Fortier was also a terrific watercolor painter and his charming renderings of boats, people, and places in his beloved Padanaram and farther afield also benefited from his gifted eye for light and composition. At his harbor front studio on Elm Street, Fortier would host friends and fellow yachtsmen, many of whom would commission a boat portrait or two by the charismatic artist. In this new exhibition and accompanying catalogue, old friends, family, and fans have loaned the majority of the watercolors on display and in print, which together demonstrate his extraordinary range of style, from broad planes of colorful spinnakers at the starting line to playful light flickering off the trees of Elm Street, to images of clapboard houses reminiscent of Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth.
While the exhibition consists of 30 paintings, the richly illustrated companion catalogue includes many more, as well as photographs and personal stories from collectors, friends, and family of Norman Fortier. The Photographer’s Brush catalogue presents a unique opportunity to see many works from private collections by a truly remarkable local artist.