Emerging ‘Artist’s Journey’ at Camden Falls

Sep 09, 2018
“King Phillips Trail” is an oil on board by Taddeus Retz.

Camden — Camden Falls Gallery on the public landing will open its final show of the 2018 season, “The Artist’s Journey,” Taddeus Retz’s first solo show, Tuesday, Sept. 11, to run through the 28th.

Since graduating high school in 2015, Retz has been chasing the light and painting by day; and studying masterworks by night. Primarily self-taught, this young artist is consumed by a passion to paint.

Retz is inspired by 20th-century impressionism and realism, and his eyes and interests are drawn to anything painted from life. It is not always the subject matter that captures his interest, but the way light reacts to the objects and the environment. He counts John Sargent, George Bellows and Winslow Homer among inspirations.

“Being able to capture the essence of a scene with deliberate, expressive brush strokes ignites the drive in me. I believe the most successful paintings in this style were the result of studying in the natural environment,” he said.

Retz captures and records the values that he sees on his substrate, ranging from board panels that he personally sizes to illustration board. The biggest change since he began is the quantity of paint, he said. He doesn’t try to conserve as much as he used to and “it is liberating.” He also is taking more risks in learning about the materials and fundamentals of picture-making, in general.

“I'll push colors towards a crazy harmony or paint on cardboard just to see what happens. I've found all the rules we hear about applying paint and the ‘steps’ you should take are helpful to know, but I like forgetting about all of it sometimes,” he said. Creating with the free mindset I had before I knew the things to and not to do.”

Retz would use anything as a substrate given the opportunity, driven by his inherent passion to paint, design and experiment. Starting and finishing a painting on location is how he likes to work. Plein air painting requires that he works efficiently “and make minimal mistakes.”

Camden Falls Gallery invites everyone to stop by the gallery and enjoy these works, as Retz starts his journey on what promises to be an incredible art career. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 470-7027 or visit camdenfallsgallery.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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