published Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Sky Rhythms: North Georgia Sky Painters inspired by looking up

"Skyglow" by Janice Kennedy
"Skyglow" by Janice Kennedy
  • photo
    "Serene Display of Hope" by Evelyn Marie Williams

IF YOU GO

* What: Sky Rhythms

* When: Through May 30

* Where: North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive, Hixson.

* Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday

* Information: 870-8924

Members of the North Georgia Sky Painters know each other's style so well, each can tell the other's work at a glance.

"It's been a lot of fun," founder Carol Hobbs says of the three-year-old group, which formed after she enticed several artist friends to paint canvases for display at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga after another artist canceled. "We have our own unique style. We even have our favorite colors."

Many of the six members also belong to other artist groups, but they have in common a love of capturing the sky.

"The sky is free to all," Hobbs says. "It's a piece of artwork above our heads. It's always amazing. If you saw a picture or paintings [of some skies], it wouldn't be believable, but it looks that way."

The group's motto, according to member Sandra Babb, is "The sky is blue ... some of the time."

"There's just so much going on [with the sky]," she says.

"Sky Rhythms," an exhibit and sale of some three dozen works by North Georgia Sky Painters, is on display at the North River Civic Center through May 30.

Hobbs says friends and family members have "caught our disease" of being sky watchers and are quick to a mention a particular sunrise or sunset.

"It is ever-changing," she says. "It is totally unpredictable. The colors are mesmerizing."

Member Sherry Hullender says the sunrises out her back window and on her way to work provide inspiration. "Sunsplash," one of her works in the exhibit, "is a combination of all the skies," she says.

"I love the sunrise," she says. "I see these beautiful skies. I paint it from different angles. I always add a little something to it. That's how we are."

Babb said "Sunburn," one of her oil paintings in the exhibit, is an attempt to capture the heat of the sun. Its orange tones appear to reflect the sunset of a blazingly hot day.

"When I take a picture [of the sun]," she says, "my camera doesn't want to take it. So you want to make it as bright as you can, where you could hardly look at it."

Member Betty Williams says the sky is always a challenge, and the group's focus is "what we can do with the many facets of the sky."

Her favorite work in the exhibit, she says, is a small work of the North Edisto Tidal Basin in South Carolina. The light, bright green of the tidal basin, she says, provides a "very dramatic color" separation from the sky.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@times freepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to my posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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