My home and work are rooted in Michigan's landscapes and the little landscapes on a kitchen table between people having dinner. My paintings are akin to visual songs or poems and in their rhythm I seek places where we've tied our threads of memory and home to the landscape. Each piece is built and carved through gradual and interwoven layers that, like paint on the side of an old house or days in a life, are in themselves little histories. Throughout my work, there are ecological and botanical interpretations of the landscapes as well as purely personal and poetic strands, each piece holds both of these aspects of understanding as companions in listening to the elemental heartbeats of places and things. Central to all of my work is a deep regard for getting to know things by spending time with them.


Landscape painter Cayla Tinney takes an unexpected approach to her work: she is less focused on capturing a likeness of her surroundings than exploring elements of shape, rhythm and movement. At times, flickering brushstrokes capture the subtleties of shifting light and color. Bold, thick application of paint in clumped shapes takes on an almost decorative approach in other pieces.

Tinney paints in oil, building up layers of paint, manipulating it during the drying process and reworking areas to reveal evidence of past mark making. She simplifies her forms, flattening her botanical references and employing bold, bright color. Organic shapes and curving, vine-like lines capture the rhythm of her surroundings. Whiplash lines through her work vibrate with color, underpainting showing through.

Cayla Tinney completed Foundations in Art at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2005 and earned her BA in Ecosystems Management from University of Michigan in 2008. In addition to making art, she is a member of the field crew at PlantWise Ecological Restoration and Native Landscapes in Ann Arbor, MI.


University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts; Ecosystems Management

Cleveland Institute of Art, Foundations in Art


“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
“Toast”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI
“Everyone in the Pool”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

“Portside Fine Art Fair” East Jordan, MI

“Arts and Apples” Rochester MI
“Summer’s End Show” Green Things Farm, Ann Arbor, MI

“Solo Opening” Elements Gallery, Charlevoix, MI

“Jordan River Arts Council Member Invitational” East Jordan, MI

“30x30” Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“One Woman Show” Harmony Brewery, Grand Rapids, MI

“30x30” Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“Emerging Artists” Jordan River Art’s Council, East Jordan, MI
Magpie Gallery Opening-Saginaw, MI 2011
“Trajectory of Rain Exhibit” DaVinci’s Salon & Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor City Club- Ann Arbor, MI

“Emerging Artists” Jordan River Art’s Council, East Jordan, MI

“Moves Me, Matches Your Sofa” Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
Scholarship Portfolio Show” Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH


PlantWise Ecological Restoration and Native Landscapes-Ann Arbor, MI