André Balyon was born on April 2, 1951, in The
Hague, Netherlands, as the oldest of seven
children. He has two children of his own,
André began painting at the age of fifteen under
the tutelage of various masters in his native Holland. All
four of his brothers have become artists and graphic designers as well.
While employed by ITT as a draftsman/engineer,
André continued his artistic endeavor. He believes
that his technical background in creative
construction helped him in his artistic career. “Creating a
three dimensional image on a flat surface is
problem solving for the most part, and mathematical in
a sense as well.”
At eighteen, André moved to Germany and was
employed as a specialized welding engineer for a
firm that produced bank vaults. “Not much I could
learn there, except for how to open up a safe in
no time.” Eventually André decided to commit the
rest of his life to the Arts.
“I love to paint the Dutch countryside. Growing
up near the coastline, I felt the moisture-saturated air. I
mother telling me to look at clouds, “Just look and observe
the clouds, it’s a humbling experience.” It was
André gazed for hours on end at the dramatic
formations, caused by the colliding warm air from
a gulf stream, the North Sea, with cold air masses from
André’s fascination with the sky and cloud
explains the dominant role the sky plays in many
paintings. For that reason, in 1994 André was
asked by the Walt Disney Company to assist and instruct a
background artists on oil painting techniques used for the sky part of the
animated motion picture The Lion King.
At the age of 21, André started a new life in the
United States. After a successful and productive three-year period in Miami,
Florida, he moved to
Los Angeles, California where he worked for six
years. Following a number of exhibitions of his oil paintings throughout the
Los Angeles area, Denver, Houston, and Carmel, André temporarily returned to
the Netherlands for several one-man shows in Europe as well as to study the
techniques of etching.
André feels very much inspired by artists such as
George Inness and John Singer Sargent. “I feel that we, the living artists,
are very fortunate to learn from, and be inspired by the many artists,
styles, and art movements of the past. It is astonishing to know that
artists before the 15th Century knew little about drawing and painting in
perspective. It has been a true evolution ever since. We are standing on the
shoulders of the great masters.
know and learn is through books and information about whatever experiences
someone else may have had before us. We can only hope to add to that
knowledge through our own experiences, however little this may be”.
In 1992, André opened his own gallery in Carmel
California, where a
Diorama was exhibited.
This 9 x 30 ft. (half-round) oil painting of “Stewart’s Cove,” a local
bay, was an attraction for many visitors to his gallery and Carmel.
In 1996, Andre completed a panoramic oil
“Panorama Big Sur”. A 360-degree, 15 x 120 ft.
rendition of the coastline of Big Sur,
creating an optical illusion complete with ocean
sounds and a gentle breeze. So that the viewer
observing the scene would believe that he or she
within the actual setting.
Big Sur ” will be exhibited in Voorhout,
Netherlands, starting in April 2007.
“Panorama Big Sur” is a prototype and technical
study for a gigantic 55 x 465 ft. future panorama, “Panorama Grand Canyon”.
This is to be the largest oil painting of its kind in the world.
“I believe that the true purpose of Art should be
to awaken an emotion; this can be love, pleasure or even pain. It should
never be just an exhibition of craftsmanship by itself, or a competition
with a camera lens. We all recognize emotions, and it’s the developed
ability of the artist to portray and convey that emotion. The intuitive mind
of the viewer is an integral part of this; it’s like having someone on the
other end of the phone line. However, a painting’s ultimate viability as a
work of Art largely depends on the quality of the visual terms whereby its
message is expressed”.