Brian Ballard was born in Belfast in 1942 and was educated at the College of Art, Belfast and then at the College of Art in Liverpool. He now lives in Belfast but spends a lot of his time on the island of Innisfree off Donegal. Ballard was particularly attracted to the ordinary things and would often paint them several times with different lighting or perhaps a different viewpoint. He constantly altered his approach.
Ballard’s approach to landscapes was mainly ‘en plain air’ – painted in front of the subject. He spent a lot of time painting the landscapes of the coast off Donegal and Kerry. Brian focuses on the balance of colours ensuring that what he choses complement the subject. He uses bold and hard strokes to ensure the subject has order as well as depth in the painting. Painters such as Bonnard, Matisse and Picasso also used this technique.