Born in Cleveland, Harriet Ballard lived some years in Istanbul, returning to Ohio to finish high school, and then on to Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Her interest in painting began early, and after college and marriage, the interest gained momentum with courses at the Arts Students League in New York City.
She moved to London with her husband in the 1960’s and during her nine years there, she became absorbed by the painting of Matisse, Braque, and Ben Nicholson, all of whom departed from conventional space.
She graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987 with a BFA in painting, spent a brief time painting in Lacoste, Provence, and then received an MFA from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel , Mexico.
Building two houses in Mexico in the 1990’s enormously influenced her painting and introduced her to the melding of constructed structure with random tile design, and patterning.
As Ballard herself says “ The spontaneous unfolding of a painting is what motivates me. I try to reduce the things that get in the way of direct involvement. Painting flatly is integral to my work as it frees me to configure my own compositions without restriction. I have also reduced nonessential subject matter, so that i can improvise a more playful immediate imagery using swirls and doodle-like shapes. I like to interplay and layer abstract marks with recognizable form.”
Ballard has exhibited widely in numerous solo, juried, and joint exhibitions in Providence, RI, Stonington and Old Lyme, CT, Cleveland, OH, and San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico.