Joanna Ballard

"Sacred" Angel Abstract Figurative Portrait with Snake, Bird, and Fish Painting 1979



Watercolor, Paper


Beautifully executed watercolor painting by Joanna Ballard that depicts a nude angel standing over a resting figure. The composition includes many diverse hues that range in opacity. Depictions of flowers and a variety of animals (snake, bird, and fish) are positioned through out the painting. The piece is displayed in an ornate gold frame and is signed by the artist in the bottom left corner.

Artist Biography

(Excerpt from Soul Memories: The Mystical Paintings of Joanna Ballard) "Joanna Ballard knows she has a talent, but has never quite become accustomed to the recognition of her peers. Though Ballard's clients are aware they own fine paintings, few are aware of the difficulty of water color as a fine-art medium. Ballard's original style, which frequently includes an egg-glaze technique she devised to reach translucency with refractive light, is a wonder to artists who understand the difficulty in her chosen medium. Ballard grew up beneath the shadow of Machu Picchu in Peru and remembers her father's stories of the mysteries of Lake Titicaca and the history of the Incan people. As a science-fiction writer, he fed the fertile mind of his daughter. "I loved the drawings in the Oz books and in Edgar Rice Burroughs works and the artists in science fiction," says Ballard. Ballard's magical childhood environment foretold the direction of her art. As a child, the favorite subject of her drawings was horses. Now her subjects are distinctly and realistically human, amid a rich pattern of symbolism. Art as healer has been the impetus of Ballard's work since the early 1970s when, as a mental health worker, she developed art classes for emotionally disturbed juveniles and taught self discovery and life enrichment classes to adults. In college, she majored in psychology and minored in art. The college art classes emphasized oil painting, and she continued in this medium until 1977, when she switched to pencil and began to study under Houston artist Robert McCoy. Because of its intimacy, Ballard claims pencil as an art form itself, rather than a prelude to art. "I was intrigued with lacy things I saw in nature and the intricacy that pencil could give me," says Ballard, "so intricate I could walk into the pencil and see other things." Following her "pencil period," Ballard became interested in water color. Concurrently, her studies in metaphysical philosophies introduced her to the way the ancients related the form of Hebrew letters to certain numbers. Ballard saw a rich symbolism in the system and conceived the idea of formulating a painting through the numbers in a birth date. What evolved was her "Soul Memories," paintings springing from the artist's vision fed by the symbolism of the numbers. "The results were uncanny," states Ballard. "Each person for whom I painted had a soul recognition or encounter that began for them a highly meaningful and interactive healing journey or resolution." From the beginning, unusual things happened with Ballard's commissioned paintings. A man in California, who had commissioned his own birth-date painting several years before, commissioned another for his wife's birthday. When the painting was near completion, Ballard found that she had been working from an incorrect birth date. "I had to start over," she says. "The colors were all wrong." Months after the completed portrait had been shipped to California, the owner was visiting in Houston and called to meet the artist. "It is a portrait of her," Ballard exclaims in amazement. Never having met the woman, Ballard's visions nonetheless had led her to paint a remarkable likeness of the owner, garbed in robes from another era and framed in a rich border of flora and fauna. Another commissioned painting became the face and form of a departed friend of the painting's owner. A moving characterization of angels with strong, bird-like wings, executed for a healing arts program, depicted details at the time of death of the program director's mother."

Dimensions With Frame

H 60 in. x W 46 in. x D 2.25 in.

Dimensions Without Frame

H 49 in. x W 35 in.
"Sacred" Angel Abstract Figurative Portrait with Snake, Bird, and Fish Painting 1979
"Sacred" Angel Abstract Figurative Portrait with Snake, Bird, and Fish Painting 1979