“Secluded Shore” by Tad Retz.

CAMDEN — Camden Falls Gallery, 5 Public Landing, presents “Pas de Deux,” a new exhibit featuring Aline Ordman and Taddeus Retz. The show opens Thursday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. in conjunction with Camden’s Third Thursday Art Walk and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 6.

“Pas de deux” is a French noun that means a dance for two people, typically a man and a woman. This special show can be enjoyed as painterly choreography between artists Ordman and Retz.

Ordman and Retz both derive energy and inspiration from painting en plein air, where the visual complexities of the natural world offer up endless challenges.

A master pastel and oil painter, Ordman stresses the analytical elements of shape, value, and color saturation when she is teaching, asking her students to set aside preconceptions of the objects or scene they are beholding and to concentrate on the negative and positive shapes and tonal planes that cause that object or scene to emerge. Ordman is an alchemist when it comes to transforming those abstract “bones” into a finished composition rich with layered pigment and movement.

Although she has held annual teaching workshops in France and Italy, Ordman is always drawn back to a small village in Vermont called Peacham. For her it is the “Tuscany of New England.” Her work from that bucolic land of rolling hills and small farms speaks volumes of her passion for the pastoral and respect for those who work in concert with nature.

Whenever Ordman paints figures in a landscape she says, “I want to describe my vision — what hit me at the time I saw the scene. It’s all about the gesture, and body language.”

“Swan’s Island House” by Aline Ordman.

Retz is from upstate New York and has spent many hours analyzing the work of painters that he admires, from master portrait artists like John Singer Sargent to the naturalist realism of Winslow Homer and George Bellows, whose genius evoked an appreciation of working class Americans and their daily struggles with the tumultuous sea and equally frenetic city life.

It is rare to find a young artist with as much self discipline as Retz. Self taught doesn’t even begin to describe the rigorous constraints, challenges and perimeters that he creates to force himself to work with fresh techniques and subject matter. Absorbing the old and new masters and learning from them enlivens his own originality and acts as a catalyst for experimentation.

Retz said, “I don’t think of myself as trying to emulate anymore. Sometimes it is a song or a sculpture that ignites a creative, free and passionate emotion in me. Paintings inspire me because of the infinite routes that can be taken to get a successful image.”

Camden Falls Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 207-470-7027 or visit camdenfallsgallery.com.

“Acadia” by Tad Retz.