March 15-23. The 7th Annual Melrose Open Air Arts featured 45 of Florida's best plein air painters collaborating for a marathon week of creativity in the live public art venue. The artworks have an extended exhibition at Melrose Bay Art Gallery and Bellamy Road Arts in Melrose. This year I was honored to be an artist participant, a supporter, art hanger and master of ceremonies for the artist demo day!
I've participated in the event every year since the premiere in 2007. This one always brings out the best in me. Melrose and the area has long been an inspiration and home to artists, writers, poets, musicians and other creatives. Over the years, Open Air Arts has blossomed into a lavish celebration and tribute to we artists! Five grand parties, including two gala receptions! The party at the historic Lee House was fantastic as ever! The beautiful setting with the grand and generous feast that was prepared for us was surpassed only by the gracious hospitality of our hosts. A young artist, a fan of my space art and show hanging at the Shake Rag Gallery, introduced herself to me and delighted me with praises about my work!
After painting all day, we party into the night at the homes of the artists who live in the area, Phil Robinson and Reed Pedlow. The stars were so beautiful at Phil's house that I did a night painting. It gave me a chance to use my new headlamp. LED light, with dimmer and focus features, this $40. investment performed perfectly. Very light and portable. Correct color. The range of dimmer to brighter is amazing, allowing you to get the perfect balance to keep your eyes light adapted to the dark subject you are viewing and painting.
The best part of the week is the amazing welcome we get from the folks who welcome us onto their properties to allow us to have access to paint all the best views the area has to offer. I got a tip this year that sent me down a long, wild and bumpy road way out into the woods ending in the most majestic setting of cypress trees on Lake Sante Fe. That's where I spent the day, alone in nature, in a very peaceful place with just the sound of the wind in the trees and the sweet song of wildlife. I painted "Serenade" there. On another day, Bill and Deb Rossi hosted a bunch of us at their beautiful home in Earleton on Lake Sante Fe. I painted "Rossi's Retreat" on their dock after being served a wonderful breakfast on their porch and before Deb brought us all more treats!
So much to celebrate and be thankful for as we toast the last exhibit at the close of Bellamy Road and all the support given to we artists over the years by the David T. Warner Foundation and the Bellamy Road Gang. I've very fond memories of all the wonderful art and cultural events staged there and the fun late night parties we had on the upstairs veranda and around the bonfire. Bellamy Road gave so much to so many and will be missed.
- Tim Malles Art Studio
- Gainesville, Florida, United States
- Astronomy themes, landscapes and public art are some of the targets of my work. These are the best of times as we stand on the threshold of unprecedented discovery in space. As a space artist, I am grateful for and inspired by the amazing images of faraway places that the great telescopes of our generation have given us. As a plein air painter, I am inspired to quickly capture light, color and movement with the focus on our rapidly changing environment. As an artist within the live public art venue I am inspired by the opportunity for creativity, spontaneity and exchange.