Past Show

As we wrap up our 2016 season, we would like to thank our patrons and those who visited with us for making it a very rewarding and successful season. At this point, we would like to introduce five artists who are new to the gallery with a limited showing of “New Work for the New Year.” This brief preview of things to come in 2017 will be on view through the third week of January, when we will be closing our doors for three months for our annual winter hiatus.

The beauty of Maine has always attracted artists, and this summer brought three new artists from out of state to paint Maine in all of its glory. Camden Falls Gallery is very pleased to be the first Maine gallery to represent Taddeus Retz, Barb Walker, and Ken DeWaard. We are also excited to welcome artists Charles Fenner Ball and Julie (J.C.) Airoldi into our ranks.

The youngest of our five new artists is Taddeus Retz, who began his artistic career working primarily as a sculptor. An avid student of the fine craft and history of classical painting, Retz has pursued various avenues of study to expand his technical expertise as a painter. It was through an exhaustive study of the old masters that Retz developed an appreciation for the principles of tone, value, and composition that inform his work. His lovely oil “The Pemaquid Lighthouse” exhibits his mastery of texture, color, and form. Today, Retz has a journeyman’s discipline that belies his youth, painting outdoors or in his studio every day.

It has been said that all we really have is the present moment. Barb Walker has the enlightened person’s ability to delve deeply into the singular experience that each moment presents, and to translate that experience into unique plein air work. Primarily self-taught, Walker draws inspiration from diverse sources such as workshops, books, videos, and even podcasts. Like Retz, she puts in daily hours at the easel and in close observation of the natural world around her.

A native of Ohio, Walker spends many days at Cuyahoga National Park, absorbed in the changing light and seasons. She is a member of the Ohio Plein Air Society, Oil Painters of America, and the American Impressionist Society. Maine’s coastline and small villages have been a regular painting vacation destination for this midwesterner to experience northern New England, submersed in the moment to experience it profoundly.

For over 30 years, Ken DeWaard has been challenging his powers of observation by painting en plein air as much as possible, in locations as varied as Cape Ann, Laguna Beach, Sonoma, and Florida. DeWaard has taught at the Academy of Fine Art in Denmark, Wisconsin, and has conducted art workshops around the country. DeWaard, his wife, and four children now reside amidst a wealth of natural beauty as recent arrivals to the town of Hope, Maine.

DeWaard’s oil “Enchanted Evening” evokes summer’s shimmer and limpid late light. It was painted overlooking Rockport Harbor, Maine, as glimpsed through a hundred shades of leafy green. Peace and clarity radiate from the narrow working harbor, as viewed from a steep perspective.

The son of a famous railroad historian and photographer, new artist Charles Fenner Ball developed a love of trains and the richness of landscape at an early age. He is especially drawn to the colors and contours of the southwest, as well as the New England coast. These starkly contrasting landscapes are continuing sources of inspiration for new work. The forthright simplicity of “July on the Bay” features the front side of a shoreline house emblazoned with sunlight. Two windows seem to gaze back at the viewer like opaque eyes, masking the interior life within. A placid, deep blue bay recedes to island silhouettes against a paler sky. Ball characterizes his paintings as “having a representational style, a dose of impressionism, with a slightly contemporary edge.”

New artist Julie (J.C.) Airoldi enjoyed a successful 10-year career in commercial graphics before pursuing her longtime dream of painting professionally. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she is currently an artist member of the North Shore Art Association in Gloucester, as well as the Rockport Art Association. Airoldi was also elected into the prestigious Guild of Boston Artists in 2012. She and her family reside in Hampstead, New Hampshire.

Airoldi’s two small oils, “Star Island” and “Sandy Point,” both portray shoreline vistas with great sensitivity and subtlety. In describing her plein air painting experience, Airoldi writes, “I feel so fortunate to witness ordinary scenes made extraordinary by light and atmosphere… and then set out to capture the spirit of my experience in my work.”

As we bring our 2016 season to a close, we invite you to visit the gallery to learn more about these new artists and enjoy a small sampling of their work. Camden Falls Gallery is open daily from 10am-5pm through the third week of January. For more information, please call 207-470-7027 or visit our website at www.camdenfallsgallery.com.