Forms in Water Inspire

January 20, 2011

This last week or so I’ve had an artist working at ArtWorks prepping for an exhibit he has coming up in Feb. at the Edmonds Art Festival Museum Gallery.   He’s been working on 6 foot tall Sumi/Shodo type paintings inspired by water forms to display in combination with another artist’s stone sculptures.

Jim Ballard is an extraordinary artist.  I’m inspired by his level of experimentation and the clear perspective he brings to each project he tackles.  His aesthetic is spare, Asian-esque at times and always interesting whether it’s his own stone sculptures or this new series of paintings.  When I first met him I asked him about the story I had heard of him attending a regular drawing atelier but using his non-dominant hand to draw with.  His response was that he likes the style that hand draws with better.  What a concept.

Over the last couple of years Jim has been working on a special book to teach the kids at the Louie Braille School for the Blind about non-vertebrates.  Jim wanted to emboss the designs of insects and so on into a heavy paper to create the book pages.  Many mechanical and technical details came into play and he would often come in for a cup of tea and throw something out at me that was challenging his project; things from how to emboss more pages quickly so he could make more than one book to how to bind the book so it wouldn’t squish the embossings.  Every week there was a new challenge or three.    Some samples of these pages will be included in the exhibit he’s working on, too. If you get a chance go see the Jim Ballard and Richard Hestekind – “Impressions – Paper & Stone” exhibit.

After seeing some of the preliminary paintings and watching the embossed book develop over time I’m anticipating seeing this exhibit with pleasure.  I’m very sure it will not fail to inspire!  In the meantime, get inspired and see the water forms at:



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