Painting the Rural Carolina Landscape

General / People / Places / Products / August 16, 2013

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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Michael Welton

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on August 16, 2013

What a treasure! Thanks for writing this piece Mike.

on August 17, 2013

Well-done! (says the wife of the artist). Thanks, Mike.

on August 17, 2013

Beautiful work. I was with the artist on a photo research expedition just before a tornado. Some of these paintings are based on those photos. We narrowly escaped with our lives!

on August 18, 2013

In 1980, Anthony Ulinski made a cradle for my infant daughter, so I have followed the course of his painting
with interest. His subtle color palate and careful compositions send memorable tributes to these old structures. Thanks for an enjoyable article.

on August 19, 2013

Since I raised the roof of my 65-year-old 100’x 100′ hay barn in Chatham County I may look like a more prosperous equestrian but I thought I was just preserving the winter forage for my beasts. Thanks for the article and thanks even more for the art, Anthony!

on September 19, 2013

As a native of Columbus County who know calls Northwest Florida home, I loved your paintings of place near and dear to my heart.

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