Nancy Fortunato


"A Canadian Reel"© arranged digitally by D.W. Anstedt.

During the past 30 years I have traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada looking for Lighthouses. My vacations have often been completed with a statement by my husband,"Isn't there something else to see on a vacation besides Lighthouses?"He is usually kidding of course, because it was a "gut" feeling he would have about where a lighthouse should be located, that we would find one. More often than not, there were no directions or signs pointing to what was just a mark on a map...

     Some of the highlights of these vacations are very clear remembrances. When we traveled to Nova Scotia in the early 1970's, we came upon a scene in a farmer's barnyard with animals eating out of the top of what was once a local lighthouse that the farmer said the structure or tower had been dumped off the cliff into the water...

   On another trip to the Northwest we had driven a long way off a State Highway only to find that the lighthouse was fenced and locked. The narrow dirt road leading to the Lighthouse was on the top of a cliff with nothing but the water on both sides of the road. We had to back up slowly for over a mile to get back to safety...

   A few years ago we visited Prince Edward Island and toured this Canadian Province over a period of a couple of weeks. The numerous beautiful lighthouses that dot the coastline are very unique. We had made reservations to stay overnight in what is called...the eastern-most Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast Inn on the North American continent. The Innkeeper is the daughter of the last lighthouse keeper who served there and she is also the President of the Lighthouse Association of Prince Edward Island. We spent the night after dinner with a walk along the coast, watching the sun set and listening to ghost stories of this famous lighthouse's past. The Innkeeper kept us up until the wee hours of the morning with story after story, and I don't think we had more than a couple hours sleep.

   In the early 1980's, I decided to make lighthouses a subject matter for teaching children, and adults in my programs on watercolor painting. Since that time, I have given programs to over 10,000 children and hundreds of adults. With the exception of a few demonstrations since the early 1980's, each of the lighthouses I have painted have been a new challenge.

   For many years I have set myself a goal and that is to never paint the same lighthouse exactly like I have painted it before. Now, when I look back at my finished lighthouse paintings, I see a lot of paintings and some of them have wonderful memories .

   I love the sea and I keep coming back again and again. It seems to provide me with mystery and power, danger and comfort, and allows for endless compositions and endless interpretations.

Artist's Biography

    "Nancy is an internationally known artist specializing in birds, landscapes, lighthouses and portraits of unusual people. Nancy finds innovative ways to always bring a new perspective to her work...She brings sensitivity to the watercolor medium...She has a lot of integrity toher work."Excerpted from "Brush with Greatness" by Mark Mandernach, Chicago Tribune


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