”Fireball”​ ​Bill Ball​, 49, of Mukilteo, ​performance paints​ ​at Cascadia NW Festival in Granite Falls.​ This week he is at Burning Man.​ (Photo by Michelle Dietz)

”Fireball”​ ​Bill Ball​, 49, of Mukilteo, ​performance paints​ ​at Cascadia NW Festival in Granite Falls.​ This week he is at Burning Man.​ (Photo by Michelle Dietz)

Mukilteo performance painter Bill Ball is a real ‘Fireball’

Bill Ball, 49, is an electrician by trade.

In 2013, he became an artist in a big way. He started doing live abstract and mural painting at festivals. This week he is among the 70,000 participants at Burning Man, an annual festival in Nevada that takes self-expression to the max.

His artist name is “Fireball.” He’s a performance painter.

He has been engaged in the arts in various ways since graduating from Everett High School. He was a performance fire-breather. He also made sculptures. He is now a full-time painter with a studio in Anacortes.

He creates abstract paintings with stencils, sponges and tools using dip, splatter and other techniques.

Ball lives in Mukilteo. Maybe you’ve seen him around town and at art festivals. He’s that tall guy in paint-splatted clothes and a top hat with a red or purple flower.

More at www.facebook.com/BillBallfireball.

How did you get started?

It all started in 2013. With no formal training in art, I only discovered that I was an artist when I found myself at Burning Man, a weeklong art and music event in the Nevada desert. Artists were constructing and painting walls and sharing spaces. I was given a wall.

I was tentative at first but threw myself into painting. “Psychedelic Cross” was the result, a large, vibrant, multicolored work … but a temporary one. I slept for a few hours and awoke to find it had been painted over. With this loss I began to revisit the recent loss of my entire family. (Note: His mom, dad, brother and uncle all died from unrelated causes in a three-year span.)

Could I heal myself with my creativity? I picked up a one-inch brush and for hours threw paint with pain and anger, using color to process it and heal. I finished painting, stepped back and turned to see what I had created. I smiled, laughed, and cried all at once realizing I had unlocked a hidden artist.

I came home and converted my living room into my new art studio. I have been invited back to paint murals at Burning Man’s Center Camp in 2014, 2015 and 2016. I have been showing art locally, live painting and mural painting at festivals for the last two-and-a-half years.

What type of art do you create?

I like to create art using contemporary and abstract expressionism. I like to explore new and innovative ways of applying paint to canvas with traditional tools and not so traditional painting tools. Some of my tools are regular household items like spoons and spatulas for cooking. Some of my tools I make. I want to push the boundaries of what is art. I want to be different and unique in what I do.

Who was your biggest influence?

I have three major influences: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and David Bowie. All three where willing to try something that was totally different from the rest of the world. I respect that in a creative person.

If you could​ have a beer with anyone alive or in history, who would it be?​

It would have to be Vincent van Gogh. I would like to get to know what the real van Gogh was like.

What are three things in your fridge?

Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale. Dill pickles. Kombucha.

What’s your most memorable moment?

It has to be two years ago. I was invited to live paint at an event that Alex Grey was also live painting at. Alex Grey is one of my favorite visionary artist of the times.

Any closing words?

I want to share with the world my beauty one painting at a time. I believe I can make the world a better place with my art.

Send suggestions to abrown@heraldnet.com or call 425-339-3443.

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