Painting the Rural Carolina Landscape

Here we have a post from August 2013 that addresses one of North Carolina’s more gifted landscape painters. Anthony Ulinski’s work looks not to flowers and trees, mountains or oceans – but to the agrarian sheds and industrial structures that dominate the rural countryside. Usually we see them in a flash from the windows of rolling autos. But Ulinski wisely takes the time to study and capture them softly:

An economist by training and woodworker by trade, Anthony Ulinski is a studio painter who’s turned his attention to the landscape of eastern North Carolina.

H’s inspired by the agrarian towns and farmsteads of the Piedmont region – an observer who carefully takes in his surroundings, making note of their condition.

“I paint it not to glorify it but to record it,” he says.

Lately he’s been focusing on the areas around Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Greenville and Wilson, and in Nash and Edgecombe counties. He’s got an eye for rural designs and farmsteads falling into disrepair.

Like a still-life, his paintings reveal a foreground and a horizon, with distant fields populated by simple buildings. They’re lit by winter’s worn-down grays, spring’s electric greens or summer’s washed-out haze.

“The light bouncing off the buildings becomes a focal point, and the way the farms are laid out also,” he says.

Like Daisy Buchanan’s voice, there are the rising and falling tones of money too.

“Even though economic activity in cities has dropped off a lot, some of the farms continue to do fairly well – though some are more prosperous than others,” he says. “By looking at the roof lines you can tell which are doing well – if they’re sagging or straight, painted or not.”

Other landscape artists might focus on beaches, streams or waterfalls, but Ulinski prefers the simplicity of what’s been built. “I’m focused on the things that people aren’t looking at,” he says. “There aren’t many working with the same subject matter and the same attitude.”

Or getting the same results.

For more on Anthony Ulinski,go to

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