Robert Tino’s studio sits atop a hill in Sevier County. The space is filled with an eclectic mix of personal belongings, artwork, and supples—one gets the feeling this is his space and his alone. This is where he comes to relax and paint.
Two white cats lounge atop a nearby table; interested but aloof, they meander about the space, eventually bounding off the table onto an adjacent file cabinet and up into the rafters. Robert’s love of animals is evident not only in the abundance of cats and dogs in and around his studio, but in the art itself. He has long been known primarily as a painter of the East Tennessee natural landscape and its fauna. In the past fifteen or so years, however, Robert’s work has evolved to include new subjects and styles, exploring a broader range of environment and human emotion. His studio may be comfortable, but he is not content to stay within the confines of his past accomplishments.
One of the things that is impressive about Robert Tino is his willingness to take on a challenge and pursue an idea. When Cityview called and suggested he paint the largest canvas he had ever done for our cover—and paint it in our studio so we could document its creation in pictures and time-lapse video—we received an enthusiastic “yes!” Over the next few weeks, we worked to come up with the right image and how to accomplish the project. We reset the studio, installed some new lights, and rigged up the stands to hang the canvas.
The accomplished photographer Bryan Allen agreed to shoot the process for our cover and set up the necessary video equipment. His assistant Jalynn Baker took many of the behind-the-scenes pictures you see featured here.
Though Robert said he would be honored to do the painting and appear on our cover, the honor has been all ours. It was a pleasure to watch him work, and we are in awe of his talent and professionalism. To ice the cake, Robert has agreed to attend our Top Chefs event on March 25th where he will do a painting live—we will include the piece in our charitable auction that night.