Artist Tim Ross at his home studio/ Photo by Brooke Wanser.
By BROOKE WANSER
Growing up in Iowa, Tim Ross was literally surrounded by art.
His father was a commercial artist, whose works appeared on buildings and signs across a seven-state area.
“You’d see the big Purina towers and the big co-op grain elevators. He did all those signs and all that stuff on there,” Ross said. “He painted everything in that part of the world.”
After over 30 years in broadcast, Ross, now 63, has made a second career in the world of art.
Ross, a meteorologist at WSMV in Nashville for nine years, quit in 2009 after an administrative change.
“New management came in and they decided they didn’t like my funky ties and my flamboyant ways,” said Ross, whose on air persona is as vibrant as the abstract art he loves to paint.
He tried to conform to more serious standards imposed by new management but said he was “miserable,” so he left.
Ross began his shift to art by experimenting with palette knife pieces, one of which hangs in his Fieldstone Farms home.
He has carved out a niche for himself as a local artist painting scenes of historic Franklin places, crediting Mayor Ken Moore’s wife, Linda, for pulling him in that direction.
Linda Moore approached Ross, asking him to paint their home in downtown Franklin as a gift for her husband.
“The lady across the street, said, ‘I’ve got to have mine!’ So I did hers, and then one thing led to another,” Ross said.
“She [Linda] got me going in a direction that opened up a whole new area I hadn’t thought of,” he said.
His biggest seller is paintings of traditional Franklin scenes, like Meridee’s Breadbasket, and commissioned works of people’s homes.
“I guess this is my bread and butter,” he admitted.
But Ross’ first love is abstract, pop art, a la Peter Max, an inspiration of his.
Inside his home, Ross has painted the walls bright, rich shades of yellow, orange and blue, and displays his personal favorite pieces, abstract renderings of people and items.
“I like color, I like blocks of color, I like boldness,” he said, acknowledging that, “this is probably not a really good area for this.”
“I get much more of a response for doing the historical and traditional art,” he said.
He has displayed his work at several local galleries, including Gallery 202, though he now sells his own work through his website, and through word of mouth.
Ross has also begun to dabble in videos, filming a tour of downtown Franklin and the farmer’s market at The Factory with a drone and his phone.
And after a hiatus from the world of broadcast news, Ross is back in the studio for the morning show at RFD-TV, a rural and agricultural news network, reporting news five days a week.
“It gives me plenty of time to come home and paint and do other things,” he said
In the future, he would like to open an art gallery, or teach art to the elderly.
To see more of Ross’ works, visit www.timross.com