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Finding tranquility at RedSky 

Sarah Faulkner displays feel-good nature works

The life of artist Sarah Faulkner is a whirlwind of colors, places and artistic styles. But when looking at one of her paintings at Charlotte's RedSky Gallery, that haze settles to a feeling of serenity.

Faulkner paints to ground herself in her thoughts and offer folks a sense of balance in the chaotic world we live in. She looks to nature for her anchor, painting swirly skies, fields of flowers and curious birds.

"We are living in such a busy time right now when we're constantly barraged with so much technology," Faulkner says. "I would like the paintings to create a sense of home and tranquility."

Faulkner began her career as an artist by making wooden furniture — a trade her father had taught her as a child — and steel sculptures. After moving out West, she was struck by the vast skies and landscapes and began painting.

"I like the openness and simplicity in my work," she says. "That negative space adds a sense of peacefulness."

Faulkner's paintings are a variation of the traditional style of encaustic painting. She paints using acrylic and wax to create layers on panels. These layers allow Faulkner to incorporate the craftsmanship and aesthetic she developed with her woodworking and sculptures.

Now a resident of Burnsville, N.C., Faulkner's encaustic paintings capture the misty quality of the mountains. Faulkner has completed more than 800 paintings, which sell for $160-$1,200, in the past four years. Her works are in various permanent collections and homes throughout North Carolina, including a 12-inch-by-12-inch painting in Gov. Bev Purdue's mansion called "Go Your Own Way." Faulkner also licenses her art out for Hallmark greeting cards.

"These days there's more of an emphasis placed on what's going wrong as opposed to what's going right in one's life," she says. "I hope that my paintings remind people of the joys in life and how important it is to maintain that joy and happiness for your own well-being."

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