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Art Watch : Aldo Balding

Aldo Balding is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across nay discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch. 

Aldo began his career as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines. His work having been featured in publications such as Punch and the Sunday Times Culture Magazine. It is not surprising then that as a painter his works hold an intrinsic narrative quality. Where the image is not static but part of a larger story. Immediately as viewers we wish to ascribe personality to his figures, backstories; intent and motivation to the scene on the canvas. And in that rushed hurry to fill in the blank that Aldo has left us, we crave to see more, so we may hear more of their stories through his visual depictions.

The reason why Balding’s work is so compelling is owing to the unique narrative element that is apparent in Aldo’s work, he sets up scenarios, much like tableaux’s with no specific outcome, leaving it up to the viewer to determine what is going on. His unique form of visual storytelling is riveting to the observer.

A lot of his work portrays people in various scenes in suits and other than formal attire. And in each piece his own interest in the subject translates to a nugget of interesting story telling. He loves the formal for the lines, and shadows that they throw. He continues the timeless feel of his work into his interior scenes and landscapes.

Why Aldo Balding?

The secret that keeps the viewer hooked to his work is his innate understanding of posture. According to him, that the way a person holds their body can say more about their feelings and intentions, than words. And this is what he successfully depicts time and again. The subtle use of space distortion creates a sense that something is amiss or is about to happen. This is a feature that is present in all his works.

Aldo Balding, is a British painter, was born in Southsea in 1960 and though he studied for his Diploma in Illustration at Southampton College, he now lives in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Beginning his career as a freelance illustrator, his work appeared in and on the front covers of numerous magazines including the Sunday Times Culture Magazine, TV Times and Punch.

Aldo was a student of Civil engineering, then Architecture, when he gave it up to go to art school at about the age of 22. The world of art always beckoned him. He learned a lot about design, calligraphy, photography and history of art at Southampton, but he wanted to learn about drawing.

Artistic Process

 “I am a storyteller, I want to convey a moment in time that we can relate to. A shared sense of being. I hate contrived poses and find the natural and spontaneous stimulating. The psychology of my choice of expression is in what happens between people; it is what we are all about.” Says the artist – this is a personal and intimate sharing about his inner process which is what defines his working style and frames the outcome.

Aldo loves working with oils for the fluidity of the paint that offers a wider range of choice in application, glazing, impasto, grisaille, alla prima etc. The wet paint can be worked with further to create the effects he aims to achieve.

Living in the South of France, he likes to paint in direct sunlight. Aldo is definitely economical in his colour tones and at any time has no more than five or six at any one time. The work normally has a predominant tone or key to it, usually in the mid or dark range. This means that more than 50 percent of the canvas is occupied by one or two closely related tones; this method has been used by great artists such as, Sargent, Sorolla, Zorn and Munnings.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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