the art of ballOOn-painting

by uwe kurz

The evolution of the »ballOOn-painting«-technique


Scribbling: »I should call mom!« During my studies in art therapy we discussed the difficulty to get patients to work with colours, to paint and to be generally interested in art, especially if this patients did not have any previous experiences in this area, but a lot of self-criticism and a strong belief in the own inability and incompetence (and this not only on the artistic sector!).
In my opinion it would be much easier to create something out of raw material. In this case there should be something on the white sheet of paper to lead a patient to activity because the first stroke would be always the most difficult. Most of us made the self-experience of unintentionally creating funny-looking faces with beards and gaps between the teeth from newspaper- and magazine-pictures. Or think of your scribbling and doodling on an arithmetic sheet of paper while speaking with a boring caller.
    Therefore the first requirement was: there must be already something on the paper; the second: there must be a wide range of possibilities to create and to make the own ideas become reality. The logical next step: it would be the best, to work with chance - unforeseen chances on a white sheet of paper.The artist and his most important painting tool
    After some reflections about this, I got the idea with the colourfilled balloons and I was ambitious to develop a technique of painting in such a way, which no one did before. During this time I had a great interest in chance in art and in artists, who worked with chance (e.g. Justinus Kerner, Jackson Pollok, Marcel Duchamps or Max Ernst), but until this point none of the artists had worked with bursting balloons to create paintings. Later I saw a TV-documentation about the french artist Niki de Saint-Phalle, and she used balloons but in a different way and with a different intention.
    I experimented with different paint consistencies, varied the balloon air pressure, tried out different balloon forms, let several balloons burst simultaneous, for merging the colours into one another and finally I tried to apply my painting technique even to larger formats. Attempts with very large formats outsides on free field without the restricting cardboard-boxes, whereby the balloons will be attacked with darts or shot in Saint Phalle manners, are still in preparation.


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What is the »ballOOn-painting«-technique?


In a great cardboard-box, laid out with watercolour paper, you have to place a paintfilled balloon and bring it to a blow-out. This process can be repeated with different colours and as often as you intend to do it. The color tracks and trails and sometimes parts of the bursted balloons on the watercolour paper form the base for the further elaboration of the ideas and associations developed when having a look at this »raw material«. Hover with your mouse over the following raw balloon-painting to see what is possible.




Due to the unforeseeable and strong type of this painting method static motives e.g. trees receive as well an expressive dynamic appearance.
    The titles of the paintings and added literature quotations illustrate my own aspects and my associations and should motivate observers to have a good look at the atmospheres and impressions outgoing from this paintings.


Get your own impressions and examine the balloon-paintings in my galleries.


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Why Dispersion Paint?


Dispersion paint has exactly the correct characteristics for my requirements: You can use it in the original consistency or very strongly diluted. Depending upon different consistencies, the results and effects will also be completely different. In addition, during the later elaboration this variability is very useful. Dispersion paint can be used here strongly covering like oil colour or in the diluted form such as water-color for tender shades of color. Generally the light resistance is quite good, painting tools are easy to clean because of the water solubility and nevertheless an important factor is the economicalness and a small price.


Uwe Kurz


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