Danielle O'Connor Akiyama

Refuge by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Painted Dreams i by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Painted Dreams ii by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Attainment III by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Attainment II by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Attainment I by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Voyage Of Serenity II by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Voyage Of Serenity I by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Voyage of Tranquility by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Posterity III by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Posterity II by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Posterity I by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Heart Of Hearts I by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
Heart Of Hearts II by Danielle O'Connor Akiyama
It’s not an injustice to suggest that flowers play an integral and prominent role in Danielle O’Connor Akiyama’s signature works of art. And it’s the specific way that the acclaimed North American artist captures these flowers that’s assured that Akiyama’s work has remained in the public eye for the best part of three decades now, and is continually sought after, globally. The Canadian-born leading impressionist artist favours fluid acrylics on canvas as her preferred medium in which to work, although the Toronto-based Akiyama has trained in watercolours during her early career.

To date, Akiyama has successfully exhibited her work throughout the world, and is particularly popular in the UK and Ireland, alongside of her native North America, where she showcases her collections regularly in cities including Toronto, Chicago, Florida and Quebec. Akiyama’s mantelpiece must be heaving under the weight of awards garnered during the past 30 years of being a professional impressionist artist, whilst she also represented Canada at the 2009 Art Biennale and walked off with the President's 1st Choice at the Florence Biennale.

Describing her work as ‘sanctuaries for the soul’, Akiyama’s luminescent floral imagery is shaped, layered and enveloped by the injection of light and shadows, which is collectively energized and characterized by her unrepressed, stringent brushwork, and the measured application and technique of such. To the uninitiated, what appears to be broad, spontaneous strokes of paint, is in effect a many faceted study, that when subjected to further visual interrogation masks a far more intimate and complex structure.

The Japanese brush and ink painting discipline known as sumi-e is culpable for this deviance that masquerades just beneath the surface of Akiyama’s signature work, which is a 2000-year old art form, spiritually embedded in Zen Buddhism which Akiyama gravitated toward and studied as an outcome of her natural fascination for intrinsically-layered brushstrokes. On concluding her teachings, Akiyama’s head sensei afforded her the name, ‘Chi-Sho’, which translates as ‘a source of joy’, in acknowledgement of Akiyama’s understanding and respect for the art. In recognition of this seal of approval, all of Akiyama’s individual works of art are brandished with her chop, alongside of her more conventional artist’s signature.

Retrospectively we discover that Akiyama originally studied Art Therapy, encouraging people of all ages to achieve personal change by means of the exploration and fulfilment of art, often working with emotionally disturbed adolescents as well as oncology patients. It was on departing that field that Akiyama made the decision to turn to painting on a permanent basis, yet it’s that comprehension of psychology that’s provided a recondite influence for her inspirational images.

These stupendously lucid, glowing visual manifestations of both floral collectives and singular examples of flowers gracefully fuse Eastern and Western art pronunciations, whilst Akiyama’s use of layering evokes a cadence which echoes back to the moment of original inspiration. Akiyama herself says; “Flowers have historically been representative of giving love, care, kindness and thoughtfulness. We send these for special occasions; births, deaths, and everything in-between. They are emblematic of a joyful spirit and I express my sentiments of life through painting blossoms”. As if perturbed by the notion, Akiyama steadfastly stresses that she does not consider herself to be a flower painter, however. The artist reinforces her mantra that she sees her paintings as a disclosure of magic, tales of love and abstractions of the heart, while keen to point out that a large percentage of her pieces are symbolic of her extensive travels around India, Tibet, Nepal and the High Canadian Arctic.

View All Art Works By Danielle O'Connor Akiyama