More than Art: Q&A with Carole Tinsley

More than Art: Q&A with Carole Tinsley

SPRING. It’s when hosts of locals and visitors of Greenville gather for this season’s music, food, and art events downtown. Here at Coldwell Banker Caine, we are thrilled to have the artwork of our springtime principle artist, Carole Tinsley, exhibited at our Main Street Gallery. Her work will be on display through the end of June, 2012.

In this Q & A, Carole exposes the spirit of her artistic bravura and why her connections to South Carolina and eventual move to Greenville signify turning points in her career. After graduating from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, Carole began a deeper journey of evolving as an artist. Her pursuit for artistic recognition has been rewarded by invitations to contribute in prominent exhibits. With a studio-gallery in Greenville, SC, she claims that this is a community which embraces the surfacing of artists like herself.


Q: When did you first discover your creative talents?
A: When I entered a drawing in the first county fair for Sangamon County near Springfield, Ill and rec’d first prize. I was 10 years old.

Q: Please tell us a bit about your experimentation with mediums and how you found your own personal style? What is your favorite material to handle/medium?
A: I presently work with acrylics.  I create my own papers to collage into paintings with various inks, watercolors, and acrylics.  I make some of my own stamps to create texture onto the prepared papers.  Also use found materials and objects.

Q: What are some challenges you face during your creative process?
A: Balancing my time among marketing, exhibiting, painting, record keeping and keeping things going here on the home front.

Q: When finding topics for your next work, where do you find the most inspiration for your Native American emphasis? And how do you go about titling each piece?
A: I am most interested in the textures found in their dwellings and the shapes of their passageways.  Titling work is not easy—sometimes I get ideas from stories, poems I have read regarding their culture or from a song I am listening to by a Native American.  I give a lot of credit to my deceased husband who was very creative for coming up with titles.

Q: How did you launch your career?
A: Earlier, I showed my work at a few outdoor festivals, in restaurants, and businesses, city and county offices. I entered lots of local shows in Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, and Spartanburg counties. Later entered and was juried into State exhibits. Also have shown in other States.

Q: At what point in your career did you transition to Greenville, SC?
A: I took a class in the early 70’s at the Gassaway Mansion from Janet Dreskin.  This was the “old Greenville Art Museum”, before the present one was built.  Also took watercolor at the former Tempo Art Gallery from Carrie Brown. The Greenville Art Guild, (not in existence today) had exhibits at the new Greenville Art Museum and I was juried in 2 different exhibitions there.  Also started showing with Upstate Visual Arts winning awards in those exhibits. Took many classes at the Greenville Art Museum to the present day. Moving to Greenville from Clemson in 2000, I became even more involved showing with Open Studios from its very beginning and will be showing again the first weekend of November.

Q: How has having a studio-gallery in Greenville positively influenced the direction of your artistic movement?
A: It has been a great motivating factor with increased opportunities to exhibit my work at various types of venues, and marketing results have greatly increased.

Q: What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
A: To be as good as I can be…One never stops on this journey of creativity. To instill in the viewer a better appreciation for non-objective art.  Help them to use their imagination in interpreting my work….they then become an active observer.

Q: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?
A: Visit lots of art-related exhibits and museums as much as possible.  Practice, practice, practice your art.  Copy other artists’ works only as practice in matching colors, value, understanding composition, but never show in a show…Try to use your imagination and come up with your own design/composition.  That is most rewarding. Listen to your inner voice when creating and during critiques.


Please join us for an Artist Opening Reception honoring the work of Carole Tinsley!
The event will be held May 3rd from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Main Street Real Estate Gallery, 428 S. Main Street. Open to the public.