Painting the Rural Carolina Landscape

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

Specifically, he’s inspired by the agrarian towns and farmsteads of the piedmont region. He’s 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 an Edgecombe counties. He’s got an eye for rural architecture, and old farmsteads falling into disrepair.

Like a still-life, his paintings reveal a foreground and a horizon, with fields in the distance populated by simple buildings lit by wintry grays, electric spring 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.

There are undertones 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 he 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.

His work will be on display from Sept. 6 – 30 at Artspace in downtown Raleigh.

For more on Anthony Ulinski,go to

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