"MY SEVIERVILLE": ROBERT A. TINO
Artist Robert A. Tino Talks About His Adopted Hometown Of Sevierville, Tennessee.
Known for his watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings of landscapes inspired by Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains near Sevierville, Robert A. Tino has worked as an artist since the 1980s.
His paintings capture nature’s beauty in diverse styles including realism, impressionism, and abstraction. “He will work on five or six pieces at a time, his brain switching back and forth,” says Mary John Tino, wife of the artist and gallery manager. “He’s never boring and never stops thinking artistically.”
One of the most celebrated artists in the Southeast, Robert captures remarkable detail with his skillful use of color, depth and texture. His works are shown in fine art galleries and enjoy a loyal following of collectors. Each year he releases Limited, Collector’s, and Signed Editions of original paintings from his gallery in Sevierville.
We recently caught up with the artist for his take on Sevierville.
What do you most enjoy about living and working in Sevierville?
- I’ve lived here since 1977; I went to high school in Sevierville. I’ve seen a lot of growth, but it’s still a small town—a small town with a tremendous amount going on. Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are three small towns that millions of people come through. It’s a gorgeous area! It’s right beside the Great Smoky Mountains. I love that I work in Sevier County, one of the most gorgeous places in the world to paint. Plus, people from all over the country and world come to these mountains, so I’ve got a good market for selling my paintings. I’ve always enjoyed living in Sevierville.
What would most surprise an out-of-towner about Sevierville?
- If you’ve never been here before, you may be surprised what a busy little place it is and what it has to offer. It’s not a sleepy little town.
Many of your paintings showcase scenes from the local area. Do you set up easels outdoors or work from photos?
- A little bit of both. For most of my bigger pieces I work from photographs and sketches that I do out on location. I don’t do a lot on location, but I’m starting to do more and enjoying it. It depends on time. Mostly I work in my studio from photos.
Where do you recommend someone go for the most picturesque view of Sevierville?
- One of of my favorite views is from the bridge near Wilderness at the Smokies [on Gists Creek Road], looking back to Mount LeConte at the West Prong Little Pigeon River with the Sevier County Courthouse in the distance. Another is coming down Chapman Highway [US-441] on the way back into town; you can see the courthouse and Sevierville. And driving on Veteran’s Boulevard has lots of pretty views. Those are the easiest to find—I also enjoy back roads.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in Sevierville?
- Chop House is my favorite. I also like Holston’s Kitchen and Gondolier Italian Restaurant.
Do you have a favorite hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
- I like Alum Cave Trail going up to Mount LeConte because there’s a wide variety of stuff to see. You start out along a river, then by Alum Cave, up Mount LeConte. It gets real steep but has spectacular views. You get to see a lot of different things. [The hike is 2.5 miles one way to Alum Cave Bluffs; a trail continues past Alum Cave Bluffs for a total of 5 miles to just below the summit of Mt. Le Conte.]
Where's your favorite place to go on a rainy day?
- My studio.
Where would you recommend visitors take young children?
- I’m a big fan of Dollywood. It’s an excellent amusement park with a great deal of things to do. I think it’s a classy place in theme with the mountains. I just think it’s a great place to go to have fun.
Where in Sevierville do you and your wife most enjoy going on a date night?
- We go out to eat and also enjoy going to the [Southeast Cinemas] movie theater at Governor’s Crossing.
How has Sevierville influenced your career?
- I was about 13 or 14 when moving here. I had been painting awhile then when we moved up here I started painting nature. At that point in my life I always loved being outside and what a great place for a kid to grow up who enjoys nature and painting it! I’ve painted it now for 40 years and I’m still very excited about it.
What in Sevierville is a "must see"?
- The bronze statue of Dolly Parton on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn. It was done by nationally-known local artist Jim Gray. Of course, I’m a huge Dolly fan. She’s one of the greatest people and I think that statue is really cool and when you’re coming through town it’s a neat thing to see. Dolly is associated with Sevierville, so that’s the thing no visitor should miss.