Seascapes: Fairfield Porter

Fairfield Porter (American, 1907-1975) grew up in an intellectual household, and attended both Harvard and the Art Students' League. He became a well-respected art critic, but had to learn to set aside his educational background in order to paint freely and expressively.

Porter's family had a home on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, where he painted many seascapes.

Surf on Windy Day oil on paper mounted on board 10¾" x 14" 1974

A Sudden Change of Wind 

Calm Morning 1961

Wild Roses oil on canvas 24"x 28" 1961

Low Tide 1962

View from Bear Island oil on panel 14"x15" 1968

Ocean, State I  color lithograph 1973
"The right use of color can make any composition work."

"Order seems to come from searching for disorder, and awkwardness from searching for harmony or likeness, or the following of a system. The truest order is what you already find there, or that will be given if you don't try for it. When you arrange, you fail."
"When I paint, I think that what would satisfy me is to express what Bonnard said Renoir told him: make everything more beautiful."- Fairfield Porter


  1. Wonderful series where you've included some of Porter's best. Thanks for posting this! Porter had two solo shows at MICA just before I came to teach there (MICA's then president Bud Leake was friends with him and had him come down to talk with our students). Sorry I missed him and his work.

    1. Philip, that would have really been something, for you to have heard him talk.

  2. The first painting is my favourite from all of this. really lovely

    1. Thank you Mary, I agree that it's marvelous.

  3. Thanks Taryn, I recently saw a great small oil by him at Hirshl and Adler, sun sparkling across water

    1. You are welcome Kurt. Your seascapes have something in common with Porter's, that's for sure.


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