Michael Reardon shows a master watercolorist’s skill for handling edges, from the delicate tonalist softness of mist shrouded foliage to the crisp sharpness of architectural forms, often contrasted in adjacent passages within the same work.
Reardon’s deft handling if architectural subjects, and the strong geometry underlying his compositions, no doubt owes something to his thirty plus years of experience in architectural illustration.
He paints his atmospheric and light filled landscapes and cityscapes both on location and in the studio. What I find particularly fascinating is his choice of strongly vertical compositions, which he uses to great effect in painting after painting.
In 2005, Reardon received the Gabriel Prize from the Western European Architecture Foundation, which included a three month residence in Paris to study some aspect of classical French architecture. He chose as his subjects the city’s 20th Century public fountains and painted many of them in watercolor.
These are the focus if an exhibit titled The Fountains of Paris currently at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco, which can be previewed on Reardon’s website. The exhibit runs until April 30, 2011.
Reardon has also collected works from the series into a a book: Fontaines: The Public Fountains of Paris, available from Blurb.
In addition, Reardon has paintings in current exhibitions of the Califorinia Art Club and American Watercolor Society, and is featured in the Spring 2011 issue of American Artist Watercolor magazine.
I found the news about the latter events from Reardon’s blog, which is also one of the best places to see his work, as the images are often linked to larger versions.