Work by Scott Addis.

Camden Falls Gallery presents “Stonington and Beyond,” a new exhibit featuring Tad Retz and Scott Addis. The show opens Sept. 2 and runs through Sept. 22.

The pairing for this show is serendipitous and based on how both artists came to be represented by Camden Falls Gallery early in their artistic careers.

Scott Addis was represented by Camden Falls Gallery when the gallery first opened in 2000. After a reluctant hiatus due to family obligations, Addis rejoined the gallery again 15 years later with a renewed release of spirit, talent and passion as evident in his most recent body of work depicting the timeless waterfront village of Stonington, in Deer Isle.

“Addis’s style has developed into a form of fine draftsmanship utilizing strong compositions, vibrant color and an interplay of light and shadows,” says gallery owner Howard Gallagher. “Addis lives in Montreal, Canada, but finds the architecture and working waterfront of Stonington a perfect environment to challenge himself, with its cantilevered buildings, sheds and outbuildings perched to accommodate the push and pull of the tides. In his paintings, the colorful, sunlit buildings are dissected with cool contrasting angulated shadows. You can almost feel the relief of refreshing shade on a hot summer’s day.”

Addis reflects on his recent renaissance, “It’s a happy time for me and this body of work is a celebration. My kids are teens — I didn’t break them and I didn’t allow them to break me — they’ve got their plans and I’m allowing them the space to discover for themselves their dreams while I revisit mine.  With that I find myself free to travel and paint onsite again, sometimes with youthful abandon. It’s a new beginning of sorts but it’s familiar ground, chasing color and cast shadows across the landscape. The people of Stonington welcome me like a soft breeze as I churn the water and scratch the ground in search of that trail once abandoned, abandoned no more.”

Tad Retz, “Perfect Day.”

Tad Retz currently resides in upstate New York and joined Camden Falls Gallery five years ago when he was just 20 years old and embarking on his artistic career directly upon graduating from high school.  In those five years, his drive and daily focus on his craft has resulted in a precipitous rise in national art circles. Last year, Retz was listed as one of the top plein air painters to collect by Plein Air magazine and his work continues to evolve with a sophistication well beyond his young age.  He travels widely and paints alongside artists he admires, and more recently has begun teaching workshops throughout the US. 

Retz’s most recent body of work is not an exact representation of his subject matter, but a result of his current desire to experiment with paint manipulation and to see what different tools can do to the look and shapes of color. He attempts to capture the timeless atmosphere of old American, European and Dutch Masters of impressionism, of which he devoutly studies when not painting. “When I first saw the images coming in for the show,” says Gallagher. “I had to ask Tad if he had aged 100 years and stepped back in time two centuries.”

“The feeling of being surprised at the end of each painting session is invigorating,” Retz says. “Through using new tools, thicker paint, and fast drying mediums, I am discovering new ways to suggest reality in my paintings. Through the act of scraping paint off, applying unmixed paint with palette knives, calligraphic brush marks, dragging tissues through the thick wet paint, and so on; I am able to achieve the look that I have been striving for – a look that is timeless and poetic and more in line with who I am as an artist.”

Camden Falls Gallery is at 5 Public Landing in Camden. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call 207-470-7027, email info@camdenfallsgallery.com, or go to www.camdenfallsgallery.com for more information.

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