After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, Terrell Tumlinson pursued painting while working as a writer in several major cities across the country. Her work was informed by her access to museum collections in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Currently based in Denver, she has studied with painters Sandra Kaplan, Homare Ikeda, Margaretta Gilboy, and Jordan Wolfson, and she continues to consult with these professionals. In 2014, she added sculptural work to her portfolio after classes with Martha Russo.