Danielle O'Connor Akiyama Biography
New Artist of the Year 2011
Painting in a variety of media, Danielle creates luminous floral images that vibrate with life, energy and colour, whether through a riotous party of flowers or a single magnificent blossom. She has received numerous awards for her paintings which she describes as “sanctuaries for the soul.”
Danielle is a Toronto-based Canadian artist who has been painting for 30 years. Having studied Art Therapy, she worked with people of all ages helping them to achieve personal change through the use and enjoyment of art. Since leaving her work as a therapist Danielle has dedicated herself to a life of painting, but her understanding of psychology has had a profound influence on her inspirational images.
Danielle’s style is loose and impressionistic, however she has always believed in the importance of each and every brush stroke. In order to gain a greater understanding and technical skill she studied sumi-e, Japanese brush painting. Her distinctive fusion of eastern and western artistry has led to her works being highly prized by art collectors from both sides of the Pacific. The head sensei of Nanga Sumi-e in Japan has given her the name ‘chi-sho’ which means ‘a source of joy’ – hence the red chopmark on each original. It is her greatest desire to create works of great joy for others.
Danielle was recently named as the President's 1st Choice at the Florence Biennale, proving once again the international appeal of her exquisite florals. Her paintings are manifestations of magic, tales of love, abstractions of the heart. Many pieces are emblems of her extensive travels around India, Tibet, Nepal, Ireland, the United States and her beloved High Canadian Arctic. On the surface there is a myriad of texture – paint, plaster, resin, encaustic wax, etched words, but there are stories buried beneath this - silent palimpsests of portent and mystery which are like hidden treasure within the image.
“The flowers I paint are no longer botanically accurate portrayals as when I was a young painter, but have been abstracted to more completely reveal the raw emotion I wish to portray. They are a lyrical dreamscape, the channel to my interior world.”