danielle o'connor akiyama

Biography

A love of Life

Danielle has enjoyed major international success as an artist for over 30 years. A Canadian based in Toronto, she has spent much of her life travelling, and has exhibited her vibrant and exquisite masterpieces to great acclaim all over the world.

Danielle was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1957. From an early age she enjoyed the freedom and serenity of living in a small community of just 22 homes, nurtured by the warmth of those around her, and guided by her family’s strength and faith. They provided a wonderfully artistic environment; her mother and two sisters all paint – she describes her mother as a painter with a courageous paintbrush and a fierce belief - and her creative father was affectionately known as ‘the mad inventor’. Along with her four brothers and sisters, she took great delight in hearing the many stories that their parents told them, revelling in unfettered opportunities to let her imagination run wild.

After an illness in her teens, Danielle began to travel the world as a natural rehabilitation. Her mother encouraged her to have a fearless approach to the creative process… to find an inner peace from the act of paint interacting with paper.

This period marked the start of an intimate relationship with art and the beginning of a spiritual insight which has provided the foundation of all her creations. A simple secret told to Danielle by her mother at the time was ,“boys and paintings – don’t tell them everything!” This wonderful quote enscapsulates the idea of open and unexplained areas on her canvases which allows the observer’s personal interpretation.

Danielle’s time spent with her mother help focus her purpose and direction: painting was a brilliant and joyful form of expression. Courage was her guide. She began her lifelong habit of travel which at this time included Kent in England, Ireland, the Continent and North Africa. Inspired deeply, she came home to paint and tell “the stories” with her brush. Every subsequent trip served to inspire the fire of her imagination and fuel her will to become a solid painter.

After studying Art Therapy, Danielle commenced a career as an Art therapist using multiple artforms as a direct link to the emotional world – without verbal intellectualization or guarded style. The power of art once again revealed itself to her as clients blossomed and healed.