The shape of the hot air balloon is something I am drawn to. I can’t help wanting to draw and paint it. There is so much to love about their generous curves. Like an upside down pear. I love the way they let the air fill them up so completely, no reserved hidden corners
I always like to see hot air balloons. It is just the sort of extraordinary sight in an ordinary day that makes me happy to be alive. Even in the most routine tasks there is the odd touch of whimsy to be found. It makes you breathe a little deeper and a smile a little more. Up in the quiet expanse of blue under a glorious colourful bulb. Staring at those bright generous shapes in the sky you can feel the sense of freedom. Freedom is a state of mind.
Even though I am not a huge fan of heights, there is something a little magical about a hot air balloon. They seem to have an energy of anticipation about them that is so inspiring. For it does take some energy to fill that balloon and get it air bound. All the heat and drama required to lift that balloon is a fascinating contrast to all the peaceful, silent floating.
So true to life. There will be moments of heat and fire. Passion and drama. But there will also be moments of ease and serenity. Perhaps one is not possible without the other. I’m not sure what the collective noun is for hot air balloons, or if indeed there is one. But for me there is only one word that describes them en masse. To see a sky filled with hot air balloons, what else could you call them but a celebration?
One of the most exciting parts of the painting is color. Through color, we can express emotions and create moods. You'll get to play with splashes of different colors while working with this hot air balloon. Inspire a profound effect of wonder on your painting's viewer while they look at how the different colors blend to create one image.
I have tried to capture that feeling in this artwork.
Watching a movie titled “Up” in 2009 somehow inspired my new painting. You may be puzzled why I took a decade to decide whether or not to paint a hot-air balloon. I myself also don't know why. Maybe it's just not the right time. Sometimes in life, timing is almost everything. This movie was so fantastically deep, meaningful and moving beyond relief. So even 10 years have passed, this film is still in my mind.
Up is a film about getting old, about regret and about realising that life is messy and out of control, as much as you might try to make it otherwise. But it’s also a film about love, compassion and making sure that every day counts. Which is exactly what Carl does. When the local authorities try to send him off to a retirement home, Carl realises he has one chance left to do his best by his late wife, so he ties hundreds of helium-filled balloons to their home and floats the house out of the bustling city and across the tops of the clouds towards the place he and his wife had always dreamed of visiting.
Soon after his remarkable lift-off, Carl finds that he has a stowaway: an 8-year-old explorer named Russell. The two find a lost world full of incredible adventures and must learn to survive their new surroundings, and each other. Gradually, Carl learns that it is the relationships we share with others that makes life meaningful.
Story is what makes a great movie great. Without story, you don't really have anything, maybe some effects, some action, maybe some cute or clever sight gags, maybe some laughs, hopefully some emotion where they can intertwine it all and do it seemingly effortless, which is an incredible feat. This is exactly what the movie "Up" had managed to accomplish.
I love how enchanting hot air balloons look floating gently across the sky. To me, they represent a whimsical form of escapism from reality. I cannot help wondering where they are going, but like to think it’s somewhere magical.
Have a look at my latest painting - this is the first hot air balloon themed piece I have painted, and really enjoyed every minute of it. I intend to paint a few more. What do you think?