Albert Edward Cloutier was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1902. Cloutier's Canadian parents returned to Montréal when he was still a child.
As a young man growing up in Montréal, Cloutier studied under several well-known teachers, including A.Y. Jackson and Edwin H. Holgate. He supported himself as a freelance artist for ten years, then took on the position of supervisor of war poster production for the federal government from 1940 to 1944.
In March 1944, Cloutier enlisted and was appointed as an official war artist for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He rose to the rank of flight lieutenant, and was one of only a few war artists who had established himself as a successful artist and designer prior to war service.
After an initial posting at Kingston, Ontario, Cloutier was sent to Newfoundland where he painted and sketched various detachments throughout the Eastern Air Command. It was at Brig Harbour Island on the coast of Labrador where he was most succesful as a war artist. He arrived at radar base in April 1945.
Cloutiers style was loose and free, he used bright colours and clean brsuh strokes emersing the viewer in the wartime scenery.
He died in 1965.