Danielle O’Connor Akiyama
Brand New Collection
For - 2015/16
Danielle O’Connor Akiyama is North America’s leading
modern impressionist. Based in Toronto, she has been painting
for over 30 years to international acclaim. Her luminous floral
images vibrate with light and energy, whether through a riotous
party of flowers or a single magnificent blossom. Akiyama’s
loose, impressionistic style disguises the intricacy of her
brushwork and a rigorous technique. Her belief in the importance
of each and every brush stroke led her to study sumi-e, Japanese
brush painting, and 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. She was recently named as the
President's 1st Choice at the Florence Biennale.
Danielles style is loose and impressionistic. Firmly rooted
in the tradition of watercolour, her painting has evolved into
a spirit of exploration. Her personal vocabulary which includes
acrylics and oils as well, all evoke a sense of excitement of
the journey. In order to understand the strength and simplicity
of a single brushstroke, Danielle studied sumi-e, Japanese brush
painting. Upon receiving her master’s seal, the head sensei
named her "Chi-Sho", which means a source of joy,
and embodies both the artistic process and the observer’s
viewpoint. Each work bears her chop as well as her signature
This mastery of blending east/west artistry is evident, and
has led to her works being highly prized by many Asian collectors.
Strength of skill and brush technique, (fude no chikara), blend
with knowledge of colour and shadow, giving rise to beauties
voice. Impressions and feelings are absorbed in mediation, synthesized,
and brought into being by the mighty stroke of a charged brush.
Full of free spirited joy; driven by courage and intention,
guided by natures beauty, each stroke is a step on a journey;
each painting a cycle in the evolution of style, leading to
the frontier of possibility.
Whether it is a riotous party of flowers, a single magnificent
blossom, or a tranquil terrain of a place remembered, there
is always a hidden mystery in the under painting. This aspect
of Danielles work is what lies at the heart of her creations.
Her use of layering evokes a cadence, which echoes back to the
moment of original inspiration. The spirit of the subject (kokoromochi)
"...images burn continually and beg to tell their tale.
Buds of new-life form themselves representing hope of the next.
Bamboo thrusts emerge, lost and found, throughout the blossom;
grounding it, strengthening it, lending yang to yin. Centres
of blooms careen madly, raging red against diaphanous, translucent
colour, whilst screaming to explore further still. Pure, undiluted
brushstroke juxtaposes luminous washes of pigment. Startling
shots of colour, three black shocks, and scattered splashes
fragment the eye and make the whole image vibrate".
i follow the path of heart,
in the darkness, my interior world consumes... and the reverie
it is in this dreamworld i travel within, to uncover inner landscapes...
- to create kin with the magic of brush, paint and canvas...
this exploration is tireless, and knows no boundaries.
in the sweet silence of dreaming, truth is revealed...
this effortless meandering is the germination of a completed
When at the beginning of this dreamstate... i know not the outcome...
this is part of the journey...
... the galvanizing process... the unveiling... raw segments
of unborn thought.
These are the rare visions, the harbingers of beauty...
the bones of my work - to create, from pure imagination
and the endless travelling.
my mission is to manifest beauty, truth and joy
... come join my journey.
- danielle o'connor akiyama
I was influenced by the Skellig Michael islands off the coast
of Kerry, and the beehive huts from the monastic folk there
in the 6th C. (No, I have not yet ventured there). They found
their way into the work as a reflective and meditative imagery.
I did a whole series of these - and they began to morph into
floating lanterns - which represent celebration - as I saw them
in Thailand for someone's wedding.
The 'emptiness' within them holds a certain light.. and this
is one's own inner sense of quiet happiness.