The Irish colourist, genre painter and landscape artist Brian Ballard was born in Belfast in 1943, where he studied drawing and painting at the College of Art (1961-1964), and afterwards at the Liverpool College of Art (1964-1965). In 1968, he took up a post with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 1970, he won the Carroll Prize in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art.
Ballard’s paintings are noted for their rich colours and bold brushstrokes, while sometimes he repaints the same scene several times to portray its differing moods.
A virtuoso master of light and shadow, Ballard has developed a palette with the highly evocative pigments midnight blue and aqua marine, laying down thick strokes of paint that bring great depth and expression to his canvases.
His artworks have appeared in many solo and group exhibitions at art galleries throughout Ireland and the UK, such as Gormleys fine art.
His solo shows include: Queen’s Gallery, Belfast (1970); Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast (1972,74,82,83,87,94); Bell Gallery, Belfast (1976); Image Gallery, Dublin (1977,80); Newry & Mourne Arts Centre (1985); Grafton Gallery, Dublin (1986); Main Fine Art, Glasgow (1986); Solomon Gallery, London (1987,88,96,98); Beaux Arts, Bath (1987,89,91); Kerlin Gallery, Derry (1988,90,91,94); Grafton Gallery, Dublin (1989); Mistral Galleries, London (1990); Waterman Fine Art, London (1992); Cadogan Contemporary, London (1993,95); Trist Ann’s Gallery, Dundalk (1995); Cadogan Contemporary, London (1998); Trist Ann’s Gallery, Dundalk (1999); The Kenny Gallery, Galway (2001, 2003).
Brian Ballard’s artwork is represented in An Chomhairle Ealaion, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection, the P J Carroll and Co. Collection, Jefferson Smurfit Group Plc, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, the University of Ulster and the Ulster Museum, Belfast Education and Library Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, Guinness Peat Aviation, Waterford Crystal Plc, C.R. Sugar Trading, Conrad International Hotel Dublin, Irish Intercontinental Bank, and others.
The auction record for a work by Brian Ballard was set in 2004, when his oil painting entitled My Studio, 1969 was sold at Whytes, Dublin, for €96,000.