Fresh, atmospheric, luminous. These are some of the words used to describe Michael Reardon’s watercolors. Reardon’s painting SOUTH ANCHORAGE, GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE is a good example of his ability to offer a unique vantage point while also conveying an alluring mood. “I’ve tried to paint the bridge before, but this time I really wanted to capture it in a way that had not been done in the past,” he says.
The inspiration for this recent painting springs from San Francisco’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Reardon’s painting is on view through June 9 at San Francisco’s George Krevsky Gallery in a group show titled Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate, one of 75 cultural events taking place across the city this year in conjunction with the anniversary. The juried show features works by 30 top artists from around the country. “Watercolor is a tricky but beautiful medium,” says Lori Sottile, assistant director of George Krevsky Gallery. “It’s so unforgiving. Yet Michael is able to capture the subtleties of the fog, light, and water in his Golden Gate paintings. His work is striking, almost textural, and he makes it appear effortless.”
An architectural illustrator with a degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Reardon has worked with clients in far-flung locales such as Hong Kong and Dubai for more than 30 years. In 2005 he received the prestigious Gabriel Prize from the Western European Architecture Foundation, which enabled him to spend three months in Paris and make a visual study of an aspect of French architecture.
Indeed, Reardon is armed with many creative weapons for capturing what he loves to do best in a painting—convey a sense of place. “What attracts me these days is the interaction between the built environment and the natural world and the way light hits structures,” he says.
As this story was going to press, the artist was participating in the California Art Club’s Gold Medal Juried Exhibition at the Autry National Center and the American Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Thomas Reynolds Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
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