Artist - Terri Waters

Artist Biography

Terri Waters in her home studio
Terri Waters painting in her home studio

Gatlinburg Artist Terri Waters is best known for depicting realistic scenes of the Great Smoky Mountains in watercolor. She is a Gatlinburg native and direct descendent of the first pioneer settlers who came to the Smokies in the 1800's. Her family has lived, farmed and worked in the Smoky Mountains for over 200 years. Growing up in Gatlinburg, and interested in art since childhood, Terri found inspiration for her artwork every day in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.

A fine arts graduate of the University of Tennessee, Terri was exposed to many different styles of art. In college, painting and the use of color became her focus. Realism and Impressionism were her favorite styles. Terri then added oil and acrylic to her preferred medium of watercolor. Having been painting for over thirty years, her work continues to evolve. The one constant in her work is the daily inspiration of living in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains with their endless changing faces and seasons. Terri was honored to receive the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Council's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for her contribution to the arts. 

Besides being a fine artist, Terri worked for years at her parents' printing company in Gatlinburg doing graphic arts. Crescent Printing Company was owned by her parents, Bill and Blanche McCarter, and began operation in 1969. The company produced the first process color printing in the Great Smoky Mountain area and provided Terri with her continued love and interest in the graphic arts. Crescent Printing also published the monthly magazine "Our Smokies Heritage," which provided a look at early life in the Smokies. Terri was married in 1980 to Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, and together they have two children and four grandchildren.

"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced."

— A favorite quote of the artist by 
Vincent Van Gogh