published Sunday, September 11th, 2011

'Cloudscapes' at Colonnade in Ringgold, Ga.

Eight members of the North Georgia Sky Painters are exhibiting at the Colonnade in Ringgold, Ga. through Oct. 3. Their show, "Cloudscapes," showcases paintings that depict the beauty, drama and magnificence of the sky at various times of the day.

The organization was established about 18 months ago after Carol Hobbs saw a sky painting at the Hunter Museum of American Art's Spectrum auction/fundraiser. She was so inspired by the artwork that she asked several of her friends to join her in a workshop that focused on filling large canvases with images of the sky.

The subject matter appealed so much to the other artists that they formed the North Georgia Sky Painters.

Members Sandra Babb and B.J. Wright work in an impressionist style, while Betty Hamilton is an expressionist painter inspired by Oskar Kokoschka.

Janice Kennedy, formerly a watercolorist, has chosen oils and acrylics as her preferred medium to depict details and drama.

Sherry Hullender left her pastels behind to use oils to paint skies that are inspired by her photography. Evelyn Marie Williams is the most experimental of the group, according to Hobbs. She tackles cosmic themes and adds unexpected details such as soap bubbles floating in her skies.

Jim Badger is a graphic designer who uses graphite to create his paintings.

"I recently took a photo of an orange, stormy sky, and friends said it looked sci-fi," he said. "I love drawing the sky, but it's the toughest subject for me."

Hobbs says the difficulty of her current challenge of capturing moonlit clouds on canvas lies in the fact that there are no sharp edges.

"I am constantly working on feathering and softening techniques," she said.

A portion of the proceeds from sales during "Cloudscapes" will be donated to Ringgold High School's art department to help with costs incurred by last spring's tornadoes.

The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, is open 9 a.m.-5 .m. Monday through Friday. Call 706-935-9000.

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