Aldo Balding was born and raised in the United Kingdom and currently lives in the South of France. He started off his career as an illustrator before moving to France to become a full-time artist. He is represented by a number of galleries around the world, such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, France and South Africa.
There is a narrative element to Balding’s work in which he sets up scenarios, with no specific outcome, leaving it up to the viewer to determine what is going on. He believes that the way a person holds their body can say more about their feelings and intentions, than words. His subtle use of space distortion creates a sense that something is amiss or is about to happen. Similar talents were shown by the great black and white movie filmmakers (like Hitchcock) and there is a sense that many of his pictures could be stills from a movie. Balding considers himself a storyteller, he takes an idea and moulds it to his liking; furthermore, the colours, the figures, the scenery are all adjusted for the viewer based on what he wants them to see.
Living in the South of France, he likes to paint in direct sunlight. He prefers to be “stingy” in colour tones, using 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. Balding considers himself a tonalist painter, though colour is another tool he likes to employ to influence mood. He looks for colour harmonies that already exist in the subject. He squints a lot when painting and this helps him to simplify everything, see things within a hierarchy- the sharpest edge, the lightest part, the order of things that he is searching for. His inspiration, ideas and subject matter can originate from something he has seen- a man in a café, a woman crossing a street; or it can be an idea he has set up, where he has used a model, wearing something from his collection of clothes ranging from the 1940’s to the present day. The models act out an idea in his studio or on location rather than pose formally, which he then photographs during the ideas stage. He works quickly spending almost as much time on the set-up and ideas as the painting itself. A mid-sized painting normally takes between 2 to 3 days in an ‘alla prima’ style as he tries to work sections at a time to keep the ‘wet-in-wet’ technique.