Harold Gretzner (1902 - 1977)
Born: Baltimore, MD
Studied: California College of Arts and Crafts (Oakland).
Member: American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society, West Coast Watercolor Society, Society of Western Artists.
Harold Gretzner grew up in the eastern United States and attended art school in Washington, D.C. before moving to California in the 1920s. After settling in the Bay Area, Gretzner studied fine art in Oakland and lithography in San Francisco.
For over thirty years, Gretzner followed a routine. In the predawn morning, providing the weather cooperated he would wake up and drive toward his workplace in San Francisco. Somewhere along the way, he would stop and paint a watercolor, usually depicting a cityscape or harbor view. Harold was exclusively a watercolorist and worked only with transparent paints. His style featured a controlled wet into-wet approach, inspired by his close friend and painting partner, Maurice Logan.
Harold Gretzner was a prolific painter and exhibited from the 1930s to 1970s. He was a member of the Thirteen Watercolorists, and became a founding member of the West Coast Watercolor Society. On the East Coast Gretzner exhibited in the annual American Watercolor Society shows. Unfortunately a large number of Gretzner’s watercolors were destroyed in a fire that swept through Oakland, California. For most of his life, Gretzner worked as a commercial lithographer in San Francisco. After retiring from this job in the 1960s, he continued painting and taught small groups of advanced students in the Oakland area.
For most of his life, Gretzner worked as a commercial lithographer in San Francisco. After retiring from this job in the 1960s, he continued painting and taught small groups of advanced students in the Oakland area.
Harold Gretzner Biography information: Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last - Author, California Watercolors 1850-1970. Illustrated History and Biographical Dictionary.