LITTLETON—Growing up in Bethlehem, Jeanette Fournier has attended every Littleton Art Festival since she was young. “I think it makes people happy,” Fournier noted. “It’s a really good way for local and regional artists to come together to show their work and to sell it as well.”
Fournier will be setting up in front of Parker’s Marketplace at this year’s event, displaying her water colors and pen and ink drawings. “It takes a community of supporters and volunteers to make an event happen,” explained Littleton Area Chamber Downtown Director, Jess Bunker. “Jeanette has been the champion of this year’s Art Festival.” Bunker continued, “With her history and experience, she graciously acted as my sounding board for many questions. With Jeanette’s perspective, the Chamber has been able to plan logistics through the eyes of an artist, allowing them to spend more time sharing their art with visitors.”
Art started as a hobby for Fournier in her youth. “There was nothing else that could entertain me growing up,” she laughed. Influenced by calendars, magazines, and other publications, Fournier would copy the work of Norman Rockwell, N.C.
Wyatt and other popular painters of the time. “I loved doing it,” Fournier revealed. “There was a time when I was a teenager that I could draw an exact copy of a superhero.” Though she imagined herself growing up to be a comic book artist, Fournier decided to pursue business at Hesser College instead. The Institute of Art was down the street from her dorm, which encouraged Fournier to take a few classes on the side.
Post graduation, Fournier became Human Resources Manager. Despite working up and down the East Coast, Fournier always marked her calendar to return home for the Littleton Art Festival.
Fournier moved back to the area to be close to her family when her brother left for his first tour of duty in Iraq. Eventually, Fournier and her husband settled in Littleton where they remodeled the space above their garage for her Nature’s Way Studio.
From her days of copying superheroes from comic books, Fournier’s medium of preference was pen and ink or graphite. After having some wrist trouble, Fournier switched over to watercolors, though she didn’t learn how to paint traditionally. “I paint with my brushes like they’re pens,” Fournier described. “When I transitioned from pen and ink to watercolor, I did so by adding color to my drawings. Water color and pen and ink go so well together.”
Fournier’s take on watercolor lends an uncommon and beautifully unique look to her paintings. Her life in the North Country has “Been a huge influence on my art,” Fournier described, emphasizing the importance of spending time in nature.
Fournier’s work can be found at The Gallery at WREN in Bethlehem and at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel, the Sunapee Landing Trading Company in Sunapee, and the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, Vt. Her painting, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” will be featured in The Artist Magazine’s 33rd Annual Art Competition Jan/Feb 2017 issue as a finalist in wildlife and animal category, while her “Prince of Leaves” will be at the 2016 Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit next month.
A member of the Society of Animal Artists and Signature Member of the Northeast as well as the Vermont Watercolor Society, Fournier submits her work nationally every year in the hopes to expand beyond New England.
At the Littleton Area Chamber Art Festival, Fournier will be displaying a showstopper, a piece she’s still finishing up. For more on Jeanette Fournier, visit her website at www.JFournierArt.com, or attend her open studio this Oct. 29-30 from 12 to 4 p.m. To see a full schedule of events for the Littleton Area Chamber Art Festival (Sept. 23–25), visit http://littletonareachambernh.com/art-in-the-mountains/.