Joe Fournier
10/1/10 3:48PM

A white farmhouse on a hill. Flame-colored forest. Pine trees. Snowy ground. Cobblestone sidewalks. A white clapboard cottage. An American flag hanging outside the front door. Picket fencing. This is classic Maine, rendered amicably enough in the watercolors of local painter Joe Fournier. And there is always a need for amicable watercolors of the local scenery, but Fournier goes a step further, or rather a step different, if one looks closely enough at the details of his work. “Winter on Cove Road,” location of that snowy farmhouse on the forested hill, is less idealizing than my description might suggest—parked on the lawn of that house sits a junky old car, its hood covered in snow. “House on Merrill Street,” where rests that picket-fenced clapboard cottage, bears some formal play—the horizontal wood on one side of the house is delineated with blue lines, and the house itself casts a shadow not black but blue. “Morning St. at Night,” home of cobblestone sidewalks and plenty of greenery, looks completely conventional—but its title indicates the wordplay that Fournier has found in the name of his subject and the time of day. Perhaps, in the end, it’s just these kinds of subtle oddities in the ordinary that are the real classic Maine.

—Lori Waxman
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