Soniei (pronounced sO-nE-A) is a very talented artist currently living and working in Nova Scotia, Canada. What’s interesting about her is that her paintings are clearly inspired by a place that’s rather far from home—namely, Japan.
Soniei explains that after living for a time in Japan her art became "greatly influenced by my experiences. . . hiking in bamboo forests; participating in Hanami night-time celebrations (cherry-blossom viewing) under hundreds of spectacular tree-hanging lanterns. . . and climbing Mount Fuji to watch the sunrise above the clouds."
The triptych below even shows a bit of those bamboo forests, and quite appropriately Soniei seems to have painted them in a flattened style similar to traditional Japanese art prints and paintings.
Kanji symbols (like the ones you see in the center panel above) are a recurring motif in much of Soniei’s work. . . but if you visit her website you’ll see that not all of her paintings are quite so Japanese-centric.
In fact, a few of her paintings reflect what I can only describe as a "deep whimsy."
Something about this painting is both light-hearted and mature. . . and I love how the sparse, delicate linework of the dragonflies offers a simple visual alternative to Soniei’s stylized tulips and textural clouds.
But my favorite piece is this next painting featuring Kanji symbols (drawn in traditional calligraphic style) and a simple, delicate flower design. Take a look.
This painting successfully combines Japanese typography and Japanese imagery with a healthy dose of design sensibility. . . not to mention a beautiful color palette. It may be a bit minimalist for some, but that’s all part of the Japanese aesthetic.
For more of Soniei’s paintings, please visit www.soniei.com or check out her eBay shop to see which of her works are currently available.
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